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Three Bundesliga takeaways: back to normal, Stuttgart crisis, goal line technology works

Matchday 13 was no ordinary round. There were a spate of own goals, a fateful hammering for Stuttgart and a definitive argument for goal-line technology. But the most important thing was that play resumed.

It would be an overstatement to argue that matchday 13 represented a complete return to normality in the Bundesliga.

Security was enhanced in all nine stadiums, and three games started late to allow spectators to get through the beefed-up checks and take their seats.

Pictures like the one topping this article are hardly the most pleasant images.

On the other hand, the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris didn't prevent Bundesliga fans from turning out and enjoying Germany's favorite sporting pastime. By and large, supporters put up with the extra time standing in lines and intensified pat-downs by security guards with good humor. The message, which was occasionally explicitly spelled out on t-shirts and signs, was a resounding: We're not afraid!

After the cancellation of the Germany-Netherlands friendly the previous week, it was heartening to see so many people doing what they usually do on weekends - taking in a match at the park. And round 13 came off with only some minor hitches. Terrorism is sadly a reality with which we all must live today. Nonetheless - or better still precisely because of that: Welcome back, Bundesliga!

In that spirit, on to some football talk.

Not quite deja vu for Stuttgart

Stuttgart fans will be forgiven for enjoying matchday 13 rather a lot less than other supporters around Germany. The scoreline of the Southern Germans' 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Augsburg was flattering, the goals they conceded as soft as any you're likely to see this season. No wonder people filed out of the Mercedes Benz Arena at half time. Stuttgart had nothing to offer on Saturday.

Coach Alexander Zorniger promised up-tempo, attacking football when he took up the Stuttgart job this summer, and there was a sense that the team was a bit unlucky when results failed to materialize early in the season. But 13 rounds in, it's legitimate to ask whether Zorniger is the right man for the job when his team has yet to find any balance between offense and defense.

Fußball Bundesliga 13. Spieltag VfB Stuttgart gegen FC Augsburg

The worst start in Stuttgart's history leaves them in trouble towards the bottom

The situation of a highly touted coach failing to get Stuttgart out of the starting gate seems very familiar. Armin Veh resigned last season after the team failed to perform early. Thomas Schneider was shown the door the year before that. But the constellation is different this time round.

Stuttgart say they're sticking with Zorniger for now. And Huub Stevens is no longer waiting in the wings to save the day, if Stuttgart continue to embarrass themselves as they did on Saturday. Is it possible that there won't be a happy ending for the Southern Germans in 2016?

Common sense is a great thing

Something very unusual happened in Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Sunday - and not just the sudden blizzard that obscured ninety percent of the pitch. A relatively simple bit of technology was allowed to do its job, and what would have been an intense bone of contention was avoided.

With visibility approaching zero in the swirling snow, it was impossible even to see Eugen Polanski's inadvertent header clearly - let along determine whether it had crossed the snow-buried goal line for an own goal. In past years this would have been a nightmare for officials in a game that ended 1-0. This time round, all referee Guido Winkler had to do was look at his watch.

Imagine that! No arm-waving sport directors on the touchlines, no incensed coaches in the post-match press conference. Even Hoffenheim's coach Stevens - aka the "growler of Kerkrade" - accepted his team's misfortune without recriminations.

Instant replay, anyone?

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