Bundesliga round: Dortmund shows fighting spirit while Sumerian championships frustrate Bayern

Remember seven days ago, when RB Leipzig’s defense was as crisp as a dried Brezel, Borussia Dortmund’s midfield was lighter than helium (and less cheerful), Bayer 04 Leverkusen was destined for relegation and Bayern Munich were scoring goals for fun without Robert. Lewandowski? Nothing is cooler than the heated events of last week in the Bundesliga.

This particular doubt is equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking, depending on where you stand. Dortmund, for example, have been stuck in an endless, albeit narrowly defined, cycle of inconsistency throughout the best part of a decade now, oscillating between hope and disappointment on a weekly basis.

After their last-minute 3-2 defeat at home to Werder Bremen caused so many horrific problems that some fear the season will be written off, things have changed dramatically to offer real optimism about a brighter future on Saturday.

The 1-0 win over Hertha was really little more than an organizational result, but Dortmund’s new commitment to tough defensive toil suggests real progress can be made in the end. Suddeutsche Zeitung’s Javier Caceres wrote: “Even players like Julian Brandt and Marco Reus, who are usually suspected of enjoying Cohibas more than hard work on the pitch, were immersed in fighting spirit – they left the field in sweaty shirts.”

Anthony Modeste celebrates scoring against Hertha Berlin (Photo: Ulrik Pedersen/Devode Images via Getty Images)

If Judd Bellingham had shown more composure in front of goal, the win would have been more comfortable, but as it were, his fierce nature and the way the goal came was very encouraging. Not only has BVB shown real resilience – the winning strike method has also ticked three very important squares.

First: Match winner Anthony Modeste, former Billy Gott, showed that he would score if he received a good cross.

Secondly, newcomer Saleh Ozkan, his assistant, was everything the club could wish for in terms of a solid presence in midfield.

Third: Manager Eden Terzic saw the problem, the lack of Modesty against Werder, and found a solution through dedicated training sessions. “Football is not exciting,” the 39-year-old admitted, but he is at least competent.

It was a similar story in Leipzig, where Christopher Nkunko scored twice against Wolfsburg to secure RB’s first right-back win of the season. Niko Kovac’s men could have scored a goal or two on their own in the second half, but they look more like surprise contenders for relegation than a team with European ambitions under the uninspiring leadership of Croatia. On the contrary, the right-back RB was more consistent without the ball than before and deserved to win in the end. You need a little luck in this league.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen, too, are reacquainted with Fortuna, the Greek goddess of fortune, after their very poor start with three defeats. A deflection from Exequiel Palacios led to a good little lead to Mainz before two counterattacks saw Jeremie Frimpong add a double. Gerardo Siwan saw “a different energy” and a more cautious approach by his men on the field, but most importantly they got their breaks when it mattered. Next month’s Champions League matches will show whether her rise in form is real or another short-lived mirage.

Upcoming midweek excursions will also focus on Bavarian minds. The 1-1 draw with fearless Borussia Moenchengladbach was a strange result at the hands of inspirational goalkeeper Jan Sommer, who set a new record with 19 assists.

The Swiss international used to shine against Bayern Munich, but to some observers, the host’s numerous failures to convert dozens and dozens of chances from close range have also posed an interesting theoretical puzzle. Was Robert Lewandowski going to score for Bayern to win? Or would the team have created far fewer chances with him up front in the first place? Julian Nagelsmann is definitely in the second camp.

He insisted his team had shown “the best performance of the season” and created “more than enough” opportunities by playing the versatile winger. An oddly bad result from Sadio Mane and another howl of Dayot Upamecano made it a disappointing result, but as of now, “Bayern need a Lewy after all” isn’t a view many in the dressing room are willing to attribute to. Outside opinions may change so far if the malaise continues against Inter or Barcelona (with a certain person at the top) next month.

Elsewhere, the results were more predictable. Union Berlin, the most determined player in football, beat Schalke 04 at the Veltins-Arena to put Bayern in front of a fantastic second-tier side against Bayern’s first clash at Alt Forestere next week. the athlete More Urs Fischer’s hilarious miracle men will bring you in time, but before we leave you this week, a word or two from those awesome games that make the league so compelling.

Eintracht Frankfurt’s 4-3 win over Werder Bremen was just amazing entertainment, it was a fitting ding-dong between two suitable teams with a deserved win for the slightly better away team. Randall Colo-Mane, the new French striker for Frankfurt, was particularly impressive for Oliver Glasner, who was also happy to see Mario Gotze’s first goal and his team’s first win of the season.

Many experts have predicted a tough time for the Europa League winners this season, but history suggests that no one really knows where the league’s ingrained tendencies – and others like them – will leave them in the coming weeks.

You can also read the Bunte astrology page (German version of Hello magazine) for future guidance.

(Top photo: Stefan Matzke – Sampix/Corbis via Getty Images)

Via theathletic.com

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