Bundesliga Bulletin: Alarm bells as Schalke go from bad to worse | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 17.09.2018
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Bundesliga Bulletin: Alarm bells as Schalke go from bad to worse

Schalke's poor start to the season has taken another turn for the worse after they were beaten by Borussia Mönchengladbach. Elsewhere, it was a mixed matchday for Corentin Tolisso and Stuttgart finally got off the mark.

Good week for: Paco Alcacer, Fortuna Düsseldorf, RB Leipzig, Mario Gomez

Bad week for: Corentin Tolisso, Hoffenheim, Bayer Leverkusen (again), Schalke (again)

The lowdown

Schalke's start to the season went from bad to worse as the Royal Blues crashed to a third straight defeat, this time away at Borussia Mönchengladbach. After a 2-1 loss to Wolfsburg and a 2-0 defeat against Hertha Berlin, a 2-1 loss in the Rhineland sees last season's runners-up joint bottom of the table. And with Porto and Bayern to come in the next week, things aren't going to get any easier for Domenico Tedesco.

Bayern Munich made it three wins from three with a 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday afternoon. The visitors took an early lead thanks to a Wendell penalty (see "The Weird") but the champions hit back with goals from Corentin Tolisso, Arjen Robben and James Rodriguez – although Tolisso didn't finish the game following a painful-looking clash with Kevin Volland. Bayern coach Niko Kovac said the medical staff suspected a "cruciate ligament injury." Rafinha was also injured in the game and looks set for "several weeks" on the sidelines.

— Newly-promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf got their first win of the season as they beat Champions League participants Hoffenheim 2-1. The hosts took the lead right on halftime and valiantly hung on to their lead in the second half, but it looked like Julian Nagelsmann's side had rescued a point when Arsenal loanee Reiss Nelson equalized with his first two touches in Bundesliga action — only for Dodi Lukebakio (on loan from Watford) to restore Düsseldorf's lead from the spot even later.

— There was late drama in Mainz too where three subs scored in the final eight minutes. Augsburg took the lead but Mainz scored twice even later to seal the win.

RB Leipzig got their first win of the season at the third attempt, but they were forced to work hard for it against Hannover. After Niclas Füllkrug cancelled out Yussuf Poulsen's ninth-minute opener, Timo Werner scored twice to put the Red Bull side clear. Top-scorer Jean-Kevin Augustin was left out of the RB squad to avoid potentially falling foul of FIFA after the player decided to stay in Leipzig rather than join up with France.

Paco Alcacer got his Borussia Dortmund loan-spell off to a flying start with an impressive debut against Eintracht Frankfurt. After coming on a substitute in the 67th minute, the Spaniard helped set up Dortmund's second goal with a clever ball into Jadon Sancho, before making the score 3-1 with a screamer of his own. After concerns that BVB lacked an out-and-out striker, coach Lucien Favre may have found a solution.

— Stuttgart finally scored their first goals of the season — getting three at Freiburg — but they were still unable to get their first victory after a thrilling 3-3 draw. Mario Gomez's brace looked likely to get Stuttgart the win (he likes scoring against Freiburg — see "The Stats"), but Freiburg fought back.

Fußball Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund - Eintracht Frankfurt (Reuters/L. Kügeler)

Paco Alcacer got his Borussia Dortmund loan-spell off to a flying start.

The stats

Bayer Leverkusen's third defeat in three games represents their worst ever start to a Bundesliga campaign.

Patrick Hermann's strike to put Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0 up against Schalke was his first Bundesliga goal in 588 days.

A remarkable 14 goals were scored in the final quarter of an hour in the matchday three games, with 12 coming from substitutes.

Hoffenheim's loss to Düsseldorf was their third Bundesliga away defeat in a row. In fact, 17 of Julian Nagelsmann's Bundesliga defeats have come away from home.

Ausgburg goalscorer Dong-Won Ji was only on the pitch for 11 minutes in Mainz. He came on in the 74th minute, scored in the 82nd and then was taken off again five minutes later. 

Mario Gomez has scored 12 Bundesliga goals against Freiburg, more than against any other team (he also has 12 against Leverkusen).

For the first time since matchday 12 in 2011-12, every one of the 18 Bundesliga teams scored.

The quotes

"We are still on holiday and now we have a cup final against Mainz." – Lars Bender on Bayer Leverkusen's disastrous start.

"It was insane. It was physical assault. He deserves a three-month ban for stupidity." – Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness on Karim Bellarabi's foul on Rafinha.

"It wasn't just a red, it was a double-red." – Added coach Niko Kovac on the tackle.

"Dortmund won because they were more efficient over the 90 minutes." – Eintracht Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter

"All in all, that was very good today. I'm proud of the lads and how they worked." – Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco with an opinion that not all Schalke fans will agree with.

"I think we got three points from our worst performance in the three games so far." – Düsseldorf's Marcel Sobottka after the win against Hoffenheim.

The fans

Werder Bremen's fans delivered a clear message during the halftime break of their game against Nuremberg.

The weird

When Kevin Volland cut into the Bayern Munich box and attempted to cross in the fourth minute, the ball struck the sliding Thiago before springing up and striking the Spaniard on the arm. Referee Tobias Welz pointed to the spot. Volland stepped up but his weak shot was easily saved by Manuel Neuer.

But Bayern's celebrations were cut short when Welz ordered a re-take because several Bayern players had encroached into the box. This time, Wendell took responsibility and fired the ball hard past Neuer to give Leverkusen an ultimately short-lived lead. It all felt a little strange.