Best of Bundesliga: Has Heynckes returned to a title race?
October 15, 2017
Bayern hammered Freiburg 5-0 and then watched RB Leipzig beat BVB as the 2017-18 Bundesliga season starts to hot up. All you need to from Matchday 8 right here.
Everything you need to know about Matchday 8 in the Bundesliga.
Good week for: Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Lars Stindl, Bruma
Bad week for: Borussia Dortmund, Cologne (again), Hamburg (again)
- Jupp Heynckes returned to the Bayern Munich bench for his fourth debut and saw his team hammer hapless Freiburg 5-0. Even though the 72-year-old only had a few days to get his message across, Bayern looked a new team. Heynckes fielded a mixture of experience and youth represented best by Arjen Robben and Kingsley Coman on either wing and Bayern never looked back. The Bavarians are just two points behind Dortmund now.
- Despite a goal difference of +19, there was a lingering suspicion that Borussia Dortmund could struggle against higher quality sides after being exposed by Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid in the Champions League. And so it proved against RB Leipzig.In a dramatic, offensive game which saw both teams reduced to ten men, it was last season's runners-up who prevailed 3-2, posing the question: could we have a three-way title race?
- Borussia Dortmund supporters again protested against the very presence of RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga – a club who many fans still consider to embody the perceived over-commercialization of the game. An estimated 4,500 fans took part in a pre-match march which, according to local police, took place peacefully. On the Yellow Wall, which was closed for one game following the violent scenes which marred season's meeting between the two sides, a large banner read: "The Wall of Disgrace greets the Disgrace of the League."
- Struggling Cologne were once again left to rue missed chances and VAR decisions as they crashed to a seventh defeat in eight away at Stuttgart on Friday night. After Dominique Heintz's stunning equalizer, Cologne thought they had been awarded a late penalty following a foul on Jhon Cordoba, only for the video assistant referee to overrule the decision after a long delay. As if to rub salt into the wounds, Chadrac Akolo then scored a last-minute winner for Stuttgart. Cologne have now made the worst start (one point from the first eight games, -14 goal difference) in Bundesliga history.
- Not only was Matchday 8 the goal-richest (33) of the season so far, it was also notable for teams simply refusing to give in. Ausgburg and Wolfsburg both came from behind twice away at Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen respectively to salvage impressive 2-2 draws. Meanwhile, Eintracht Frankfurt refused to give in after Hannover equalized, going on to win their game late thanks to French striker Sebastian Haller's third goal of the season.
- Lars Stindl demonstrated his immense quality again with a stunning goal to set Borussia Mönchengladbach on their way to a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen. Stindl turned Daniel Bauer inside-out in the box before firing past Jiri Pavlenka from a tight angle. The victory put the Foals up to fifth.
- Jakub Blaszczykowski scored his first Wolfsburg goal in his 35th game for the club. Kuba's last Bundesliga goal came 1,450 days ago when he scored for BVB against Schalke.
"A change of coach always releases new energy from somewhere." Bayern Munich captain Thomas Müller on coach Jupp Heynckes' comeback.
"I'm hungry!" Bayern midfielder Thiago after scoring against Freiburg – with a pizza box in his hand.
"That could have landed on the roof." Eintracht Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac on Ante Rebic's long range strike in Hannover.
"When you win, you're sexy. And we want to stay sexy for a long time." Mainz sporting director Rouven Schröder getting in the mood after his team's 3-2 win over Hamburg.
"It's what the bus driver used to tell our under-19s: If you don't take your chances, it gets tight." Julian Nagelsmann - even the bus drivers give tactical advice in Hoffenheim.
"I don't want to talk about it any more. Sorry." Cologne coach Peter Stöger has no more words for VAR after another decision goes against his team.
"In the past, players would look at the pitch whenever they miscontrolled it. But you can't use that excuse nowadays; the pitches are too good. Instead, they say: 'I had the wrong porridge this morning and it affected my lactose intolerance.'" Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Völler has no time for modern players' excuses.
"We were absolutely oustanding today. We played the perfect away game." Borussia Mönchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl was very happy with Gladbach's away win.
Bayern Munich will be without Javi Martinez for the trip to Celtic in the Champions League after the Spanish defender suffered a shoulder injury against Freiburg. How long he will be out for remains unknown but Martinez's Twitter post can give Bayern fans hope.
Hamburg youngster Tatsuya Ito has impressed on his first two starts against Werder Bremen and Mainz but the Japanese winger had to be substituted shortly after halftime in both games after suffering from cramp. Now, captain and countryman Gotoku Sakai has criticized his physical condition, saying: "He's only young but it doesn't help us when he can only play 55 minutes. That's not Bundesliga level."
Hertha Berlin launched an international debate after their players "took a knee" ahead of their game against Schalke on Saturday in a show of solidarity with athletes in the United States who have been protesting against discrimination.
Critics denounced the decision as a PR stunt aimed at attracting attention and marketing the club in the United States, but Hertha insist the idea came from the players themselves. CEO Michael Preetz said: "We are against any form of discrimination and against racism. We are Berlin. We are a cosmopolitan city and we stand for diversity. The team wanted to document that today."