Bayern Munich extended their perfect Bundesliga record to seven wins in seven games in their victory over Hoffenheim, while new signing Ibrahim Afellay opened his scoring account in Schalke's 3-0 victory over Wolfsburg.
It was a dominant performance from coach Jupp Heynckes' Bayern Munich side on Saturday. The hosts controlled from start to finish, with Franck Ribery as the star of the show. The French midfielder bagged a brace in his side's 2-0 victory against TSG Hoffenheim.
Ribery opened his Bundesliga scoring account for the season in the 19th minute when he picked up a pass from Thomas Müller and beat Koen Casteels at the left post. His left-footed shot came from an extreme angle, but the pace was too much for Casteels, who was playing in place of the injured Tim Wiese.
The assist from Müller would prove to be his only major contribution to the game. Just six minutes later he made way for Xherdan Shaqiri after suffering a gash to the face.
Despite the continuous onslaught from the Bavarian giants, Hoffenheim managed to keep Bayern at bay, and trailed just 1-0 going into halftime.
But fortunes changed almost immediately after the restart. In the 48th minute Shaqiri sent in a cross to a wide-open Kroos at the top of the box. The German international fumbled the pass and the chance, but managed to regain control and poke the ball towards a waiting Ribery, who finished calmly to earn his second goal of the game.
The result was never really in doubt, and Bayern held on to claim their seventh victory in as many games this season. With 21 points, the win assures they will remain top of the table heading into the international break. The club closed out the week on a high note after suffering a shock 3-1 defeat to Belarusian side BATE Borisov in the Champions League Tuesday.
Schalke cruise past Wolfsburg
Ibrahim Afellay scored a goal and set up another in Schalke's 3-0 win over Wolfsburg in Gelsenkirchen.
Jefferson Farfan netted his side's first in the 33rd minute when left back Christian Fuchs sent in a curling cross. The Peruvian met the ball with his head, and keeper Diego Benaglio was helpless to stop the shot.
The hosts immediately pressed at the start of the second half, and new signing Afellay netted his first Bundesliga goal just a minute after the resumption of play. Lewis Holtby, who threatened all game, put a ball through on the left wing that the Dutch international coolly placed past Benaglio.
The match was all but decided with nearly 45 minutes left to play, but Schalke were not finished. A 58th minute corner fell to Afellay at the top of the box. He played the ball in to midfielder Sebastian Neustädter, who trapped it and sent a shot low across goal and into the back of the net.
The win moves Schalke into third place with 14 points. They now sit three points ahead of rivals and defending champions Borussia Dortmund, who they face in their next matchup October 20 in the Revierderby.
Hamburg continue run
Hamburg continued their impressive run of form away to Greuther Fürth, picking up all three points in a tight affair.
South Korean midfielder Hueng-Min Son opened the day's scoring with an impressive drive down the pitch against the hosts. Picking up the ball at midfield, he rounded two defenders before sending a low shot past goalkeeper Max Grün in the 17th minute.
The early goal proved to be the winner, as the visitors held on to claim a 1-0 victory against last-placed Fürth. The signing of Rafael van der Vaart has been a huge boost for the Hanseatic club, as Hamburg have now earned 10 out of a possible 12 points from their last four games after starting the season with three straight losses.
It has been a tough Bundesliga debut for Fürth. Despite threatening late on, the hosts were handed yet another loss. They now sit bottom of the table with four points and just one win. They will hope to improve their fortunes in their next league matchup away to Hoffenheim October 19.
Freiburg impress late
Dramatics were on show in Freiburg's match at home to Nuremburg, with the club scoring two stoppage time goals en route to a 3-0 victory. It was a much needed success for manager Christian Streich, who secured his first win in nearly a month.
Cedric Makiadi opened the scoring for the hosts in the 36th minute when Erik Jendrisek headed a free kick across goal. Makiadi was there in the six-yard box to nod the ball in from close range, and his side went into the half with a 1-0 lead.
The game remained wide open throughout the second half until Nuremberg right back Timothy Chandler brought down Freiburg's Daniel Caligiuri in the box in the 91st minute. Caligiuri converted the penalty, leaving the match seemingly done and dusted at 2-0.
But just one minute later, Marco Terrazzino, who had substituted into the game just ten minutes earlier, controlled the ball, turned and volleyed in a shot from outside the box that must surely be a contender for goal of the season. The referee blew the final whistle shortly thereafter and Freiburg now sit 10th place with eight points from seven matches.
Mainz best 10-man Düsseldorf
It was neck and neck for much of the game between Mainz and Fortuna Düsseldorf until Oliver Fink was sent off in the 78th minute. The Düsseldorf midfielder took down Andreas Ivanschnitz with a foul the referee deemed too rough, earning him a second yellow card and reducing the visitors to 10 men.
Playing with an extra man, it did not take long for Mainz to capitalize. It was Nikolce Noveski, the captain, who was the hero when he headed in an Ivanschitz corner in the 85th minute. One goal was enough, and the hosts claimed their second consecutive victory of the season.
It was the first loss of the season for newly promoted Düsseldorf. They sit in sixth place with 10 points, but face a difficult task at home to Bayern Munich in their next league match on October 20.