Bundesliga Matchday 4: Four talking points

Richard Hazeldine Richard Hazeldine

Defending champions FC Bayern Munchen bounced back strongly following defeat last time out, while Dortmund ended their barren spell against FC Koln in some style.

We take a look at four of the key talking points from the Matchday 4 action.

New kids on the top!

Newly promoted Hannover 96 continue to blaze a trail in the Bundesliga, moving into pole position on Friday night (albeit only until Sunday) thanks to an impressive 2-0 win over Hamburger SV. They are now unbeaten in 16 games in a run that stretches back to last season.

Goals from Austrian international Martin Harnik and substitute Ilhas Bebou saw Hannover top the league for the first time since 1969, or the same time Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. The Lower Saxony side are keeping their feet firmly on the ground however, insisting that reaching the relative safety of 40 points is their main goal.

With 10 points from four games, they are already a quarter of the way there. And with games against lowly SC Freiburg and bottom club FC Koln up next, Andre Breitenreiter’s side could find themselves floating around the top of the table for a few more weeks to come.

Legend Lewandowski puts Bayern back on track

All talk of discontent within the ranks at the Allianz arena was put firmly to bed on Saturday as Bayern swept aside Mainz with a ruthless display.

’Unhappy’ stars Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski looked anything but unhappy as they put the visitors to the sword with a devastating display of high-tempo, attacking football to get their campaign back on track following defeat to Hoffenheim last time out.

Lewandowski was in inspired form on his 100th Bundesliga appearance for the club, bagging his 81st and 82nd goals with a smart low finish and a laser-like header.

It is an incredible scoring average and the 29-year old Pole shows no signs of slowing down.

Given his recent outburst about the club’s transfer policy, maybe Bayern and CEO Karl Heinz Rummenigge should reconsider their reluctance to splash the cash if they want to hang on to their most prized possession.

Leipzig stutter despite wonder-Werner

Last season’s surprise package RB Leipzig suffered a stutter as they were held 2-2 at the Red Bull Arena by Borussia Monchengladbach.

Star striker Timo Werner shows no signs of letting up as he plundered his fourth goal in four league matches, but Die Roten were held as Lars Stindl curled in a beautiful long-range effort before Naby Keita was sent off late on for a Sadio Mane-style tackle.

Werner was in irrepressible form for Leipzig, but the club possibly face the prospect of losing the German international at the end of the season (along with Liverpool-bound Keita) after the striker admitted that he would one day like to play for a ‘big club’.

With several of his best players, including new skipper Emil Forsberg, likely to once-again attract lots of attention the summer, it seems like coach Ralf Hasenhüttl will have his work cut out to focus his stars on making this term as successful as the last one.

Koln want replay after controversial goal

Video assistant referee (VAR) technology was brought into operation in the Bundesliga this season in an attempt to stamp out uncertainty about goals and crucial incidents.

Unfortunately, after Borussia Dortmund’s 5-0 win over bottom-club FC Koln on Sunday it seems to be doing exactly the opposite.

Koln have demanded a re-match after they said a goal was wrongfully awarded when
Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos scored in first-half injury time following a corner.

Referee Patrick Ittrich blew for a foul on Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn, but the referee’s decision was overruled by the VAR, giving the hosts a 2-0 half-time lead.

Koln said that the incident should not have been reviewed as the referee had blown his whistle before the ball crossed the line.

While Koln may have a case, what they couldn’t argue about is the fact that they were very poor, and completely outplayed throughout the whole match as Dortmund ended a run of six matches without a win against Peter Stoger’s side.

A rematch won’t change that.