Another exciting weekend of action in the Bundesliga, with the game of the week most definitely not disappointing, Frankfurt finding themselves on the right side of another high scoring game. A very fitting way for them to celebrate the return of Alex Meier.
Friday night however was a different matter, more misery for Gladbach as they lost 3-0 to HSV. Before Friday night they’d conceded eight goals, four of them against Dortmund on match-day one. That’s almost as many as they conceded in the whole of the second half of last season (ten). As things stand now they’ve conceded more goals in the four opening games (eleven now) than in seventeen games last season. Their luck just gets worse and worse, they were without Patrick Hermann due to injury and will also be without Martin Stranzl for some time after he fractured a cheek bone in a clash of heads on Friday. And going by what happened on Tuesday night in their Champions League debut against Sevilla, their luck can get worse. They face Köln next, who will no doubt be keen to take advantage of their woes in the process of getting over their own demolition at the hands of Frankfurt.
Still keeping them company at the foot of the table is VfB Stuttgart who continue to break all the wrong kinds of records, with them having their worst ever start to a Bundesliga season, twelve goals conceded in their four opening games. As strange as it sounds, Stuttgart may actually be in better shape than Gladbach, at least at the moment. For they have actually looked capable of winning at times these past few weeks. Though they are still without a win, losing 2-1 to Hertha BSC. I’m also a little pleased that joining them in the play-off place is none other than H96 who lost 4-2 to Borussia Dortmund, thanks to an own goal and two penalties. A little revenge for last season and served up by Roman and his new club.
Bayern beat Augsburg 2-1, Thomas Müller getting to celebrate his 26th birthday a little early with another goal for him, this time from the penalty spot right at the end of the game. I’m no fan of Augsburg, but I have to admit it they were cheated out of their point. No way was that a penalty, absolutely not. You can’t get a penalty because you ran into someone, the defender wasn’t obstructing Douglas Costa, he chose to run into him to make the contact. I get that maybe the referee didn’t see it from where he was standing but the linesman would have had a perfect view, and yet he raised his flag. It was in his opinion a foul, but he was wrong, it’s that simple. I don’t like to criticize the official’s decisions too much, I think referees get a lot of unfair criticism. Everyone has an opinion about how to do their job, about what they should have seen or done, but no-one actually wants to do it themselves. But with calls like that, it’s impossible not to. In no universe was that a penalty. All due respect to Thomas Müller, but he’s wrong. Though I wonder if he really does believe it was a penalty or is just saying that. It wouldn’t exactly be showing loyalty to his team-mate to say otherwise, would it?
And saving the best till last, the real excitement of the week, Eintracht Frankfurt v 1.FC Köln. I was sure this would be a terrific game and I was not disappointed. I’m not even disappointed that I got the result completely wrong, not even close. Though to be fair, the numbers were on Köln’s side because Frankfurt have only won one of the last nine meetings against Köln. Interestingly enough Armin Veh doesn’t have a great record against them either, as a coach he’s lost the last five out of six matches against Köln. And Köln are the more consistent side. It was a fixture that promised a lot of goals if last season was anything to go by. Last time out there were six goals in total, funny because that’s how many Frankfurt scored this time. It’s also very fitting that Alex Meier makes his first appearance in this game because he scored both goals for Frankfurt last time (final score 4-2 in Köln’s favour). The first encounter last season was also full of goals, two of them again being scored by Meier. Final score that time was 3-2 in Frankfurt’s favour.
Frankfurt wasted no time making their intentions perfectly clear, it took them all of four minutes to get off the mark. With just over twenty minutes played they were 3-0 up, Meier helping himself to another goal. Köln did manage a reply via Anthony Modeste but Frankfurt were ready with an answer of their own just two minutes later. Just to add to the fun Haris Seferovic got in on the scoring and with three minutes to go Meier completed his hat-trick, making his return to the team perfect. Köln showed little of the patience and determination they’ve displayed in recent weeks, giving away cheap fouls, allowing themselves to be frustrated, making simple mistakes with giving possession away. There’s no doubt that Frankfurt can be a lot of fun to watch and can be capable of spectacular performances like this one, but can they actually build on that. Last season they had real problem stringing results together, if they can solve that problem they could realistically challenge for a Europa League spot.