5 things we learned from Match Day 4 of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

FOX Sports Asia football editor Gabriel Tan looks back on the five things we learned from Match Day 4 of the 2019/20 Bundesliga campaign.

They may have been coming off the international break but it hardly took the Bundesliga clubs any time at all to get back into their groove.

Borussia Dortmund produced arguably the display of the round as they routed Bayer Leverkusen 4-0, while the highly-anticipated clash between RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich produced plenty of drama in a 1-1 draw.

Freiburg and Schalke were both big winners as they beat Hoffenheim and Paderborn 3-0 and 5-1 respectively, while another noteworthy result was Borussia Monchengladbach defeating Cologne 1-0 in the Rheinderby.

Here, FOX Sports Asia looks at the big talking points from Match Day 4 of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season.

1) No changing of the guard at Borussia Dortmund just yet

Highlights – Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen

There was plenty of hype surrounding Dortmund’s transfer business in the summer as they brought in star names such as Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard but, even from Match Day 1, it was the old brigade that led the way.

For the time being, it looks as though that will remain the case as it was the likes of Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho and Paco Alcacer who inspired BVB to an emphatic win over highly-rated opposition.

Alcacer opened the scoring, Reus grabbed a brace while Sancho weighed in with two assists, but they had contributors all over the park with midfield general Axel Witsel another standout.

This is not to say that Brandt and Hazard will not play their parts in Dortmund’s title charge this season – just imagine how good last year’s runners-up will be once both up them fully settle at the Signal Iduna Park.

2) Goncalo Paciencia can fill Haller void for Eintracht Frankfurt

 

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It was not the ideal result for Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend as they were beaten 2-1 at Augsburg, but the game was not without its positives for manager Adi Hutter.

While many lamented the summer departure of Luka Jovic the most, it was arguably the transfer of Sebastien Haller to West Ham that left the bigger void to fill considering the Frenchman was the Bundesliga’s best one-on-one player last term.

Since then, Eintracht have brought in Bas Dost, Andre Silva and Dejan Joveljic but it has been Goncalo Paciencia – a man who was already at the club – that has shined the brightest so far.

Paciencia’s strike against Augsburg was his third of the campaign but, like Haller, he is already showing an uncanny ability to bring his team-mates into play that should help Eintracht overcome their inconsistent start to the campaign.

3) Goalkeepers are every bit as important even for the big guns

Ahead of Saturday’s meeting between Leipzig and Bayern at the Red Bull Arena, all the talk was on whether Timo Werner or Robert Lewandowski would fire their respective sides to victory.

While Lewandowski opened the scoring in the third minute and Werner was also lively, it was the goalkeepers who stole the show.

Highlights – RB Leipzig vs FC Bayern München

When the hosts overcame a sluggish first half and started threatening after the break, Manuel Neuer came to Bayern’s rescue with a series of fine stop but – right at the death – opposite number Peter Gulacsi produced a stunning fingertip save to prevent Niklas Sule from scoring a 92nd-minute winner.

Playing for the Bundesliga’s big guns means Neuer and Gulacsi are not always the busiest of shot-stoppers, but they are among the best for their ability to produce the goods when the stakes are highest.

4) Are Freiburg and Hoffenheim headed in opposite directions?

Sunday’s early kickoff saw Hoffenheim, a team that played UEFA Champions League football just last season, take on Freiburg, who had finished just eight points off the relegation zone in 2018/19.

By the end of the 90 minutes, it was Freiburg who had climbed to third on the table with a 3-0 win – their third in four outings – while Hoffenheim have just one victory to their names at present.

Of course, it is still early days and it will take something special for Freiburg to maintain this form, but they are already one of the most-exciting teams this season and should give the big boys a thing or two to worry about.

On the other hand, having lost Joelinton and Reiss Nelson over the summer and with star striker Andrej Kramaric sidelined, Hoffenheim desperately need to find their rhythm one way or another.

5) David Wagner has brought the fun back to Schalke

For a team with such a rich history as Schalke, last season’s 14th-place finish – where they spent much of the season flirting with relegation – was unacceptable.

Something had to be done in the off-season and the club hierarchy would have been hoping the appointment of former Huddersfield boss David Wagner as coach would provide the necessary tonic.

After a tough start to 2019/20 which saw them go goalless against Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich, Schalke have now recorded two wins in a row with eight goals to their names.

Die Konigsblauen are playing with a newfound freedom and players such as Amine Harit and Daniel Caligiuri are thriving on being able to express their creativity, while selfless target man Guido Burgstaller has also contributed even if he is yet to open his account.

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