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Sports

Bundesliga Matchday 9: Five things we learned

Arjen Robben still has plenty to offer Bayern Munich, Leipzig have the strength to challenge, and Freiburg can win away after all, plus the other talking points from Matchday 9 of the Bundesliga.

Arjen Robben still has a role to play

If the likes of Joshua Kimmich and Kingsley Coman represent the future of Bayern Munich, then Arjen Robben belongs to the generation they are intended to replace. But with two assists and his third goal of the season, the veteran Dutchman proved that he is as indispensable as ever as Bayern Munich beat Augsburg 3-1 for the second time in a week. The 32-year-old's current deal runs out next year but his father and agent, Hans, told Bild this week that they plan to sit down with the club to discuss a third contract extension. Saturday's performance will certainly not have weakened Robben's negotiating position.

 

Roger's relief

Sipping a glass of water in an executive box in the Volkswagen Arena, suspended Leverkusen manager Roger Schmidt found himself in more comfortable surroundings than the team bus from where he followed his side‘s embarassing cup defeat to Sportfreunde Lotte in midweek. His position will also feel more comfortable after his team overturned a 0-1 deficit against Wolfsburg to win for the first time this month. Sporting director Rudi Völler had demanded a response and Leverkusen provided it in the second half. The fluid build-up play from Kevin Kampl and Benjamin Henrichs to set up Admir Mehmedi's equalizer demonstrating the sort of football that this Leverkusen side are capable of.

Leipzig have strength in depth

Marcel Sabitzer's second half brace in Darmstadt constituted the sixth and seventh goals scored by RB Leipzig substitutes so far this season – a league high, demonstrating the strength in depth Ralph Hasenhüttl has at his disposal. Hasenhüttl brought Scotland international Oliver Burke off the bench to set up RB's first ever Bundesliga goal against Borussia Dortmund back on matchday two, and the visitors‘ goals here were almost carbon copies as first Timo Werner and then Burke crossed low from the right for Sabitzer to finish. The controversial newcomers remain unbeaten and could add further quality to their squad in January.

 

Freiburg can win away

With a 100% record at home but four straight defeats on the road, SC Freiburg's away form has been as frustrating as their home form has been impressive. Yet if they were going to overcome their travel sickness anywhere then all the signs pointed to Werder Bremen's Weserstadion – a ground where manager Christian Streich has never lost. That particular statistic didn't change as the Southeners wrapped up the points in a clinical first half, a Vincenzo Grifo penalty adding to a clever solo run and finish from Maximillian Philipp before Amir Abrashi wrapped up the points. Werder have now failed to win against promoted sides in seven attempts.

 

Reality check for Ingolstadt

Ingolstadt are still without a win following a 2-0 defeat away at Mainz and are increasingly suffering from a classic bout of second season syndrome. After securing an impressively comfortable 11th placed finished under Ralph Hasenhüttl last season, the Schanzers‘ football under new boss Markus Kauczinski lacks offensive threat (they recorded only 5 shots on goal to Mainz's 17), aggression (they comitted only 8 fouls) and accuracy in possession (pass completion rate 60%). Currently second from bottom, Ingolstadt could find themslves propping up the whole table should Hamburg get a point in Cologne tomorrow. Last week's rollercoaster 3-3 draw against Dortmund feels like ancient history.