Bundesliga Bulletin: Borussia Dortmund suffer first blow in title race | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 01.09.2019
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Bundesliga Bulletin: Borussia Dortmund suffer first blow in title race

With plenty of games left, Borussia Dortmund's surprise defeat in the capital might not prove pivotal — but it was still a shock. Bayern Munich, on the other hand, found top gear. Read about Matchday 3 here!

Good week for: Robert Lewandowski, Timo Werner, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Yuya Osako

Bad week for: Corners, Mainz, Own goals, Lucien Favre, Leverkusen

The lowdown:

— In the very early stages of the title race, Borussia Dortmund's aspirations took a blow after they suffered a stunning loss in the capital to Union Berlin. Seemingly unable to deal with a raucous atmosphere in the capital, Dortmund and their defense were surprisingly out of sorts. Newly-promoted Union exploited Dortmund's errors with great composure and the hosts deserve a lot of credit. Nevertheless, this kind of performance so early in the season is not a good look for a side that made no secret of their intentions to win the title, especially given the familiarity of the issues on show.

Watch video 04:03

Neven Subotic on Union's first win

Bayern, meanwhile, secured a 6-1 win against Mainz with six different players getting on the scoresheet (Lewandowski, Benjamin Pavard, Ivan Perisic, Alphonso Davies, Kingsley Coman and David Alaba). Advantage Bayern.

— The battle for the best striker in the Bundesliga this season could be quite a lot of fun. Timo Werner looked in brilliant form, and scarily fast, in Friday night's 3-1 win against Gladbach. The RB Leipzig forward scored a hat trick, his first ever in the league and one that keeps Julian Nagelsmann's perfect record intact. Robert Lewandowski might have only scored one in Bayern Munich's 6-1 win against Mainz, but he looked lively and like a player at the peak of his fitness. That's six goals in three games for the Pole, which isn't a bad start. Werner sits one behind on five while Paco Alcacer is on four. The race is on.

— Hertha Berlin's brave and attacking approach on the opening day in Munich appears to have gone missing. Ante Covic's side were the cause of their own downfall, scoring two own goals, and generally looking a little sloppy. Schalke won't mind, but it does spell some long-term concerns for the capital side.

— Cologne and Paderborn are finally on the board, with the former snatching a late win in Freiburg thanks to a wonderful solo effort from Ellyes Skhiri in stoppage time. It might have been tough on Freiburg, but it's a result that, after impressive showings that ended with no reward, Achim Beierlorzer's bold football deserved. Paderborn could have won or lost their away game in Wolfsburg, which makes the point fair. But the tension shown at the end suggests Paderborn and their head coach Steffen Baumgart are going to be a lot of fun to watch this season.

The quotes:

"We have to stop thinking we can win games because of the quality we have. We have to show desire and passion - the skill will come after that."
Marco Reus after the loss in capital

"It's a game that's important for the rest of the season. It shows we've arrived."
Neven Subotic after Union's win against Dortmund

"I think there might be a beer tonight."
Urs Fischer after leading Union Berlin to their first ever Bundesliga win

"It was the drinks break."
Bayern captain Manuel Neuer on why Bayern turned it around against Mainz

"Defending 19 corners is enough for this week. We don't have to practice that in training anymore."
Hoffenheim's coach Alfred Schreuder

"That was cheap. It's not on, conceding goals like that."
Adam Szalai after Mainz's defeat

"Could have been isn't to have."
Steffen Baumgart on the fact Paderborn perhaps deserved more than one point after three games

The stats:

— In 23 league games, this was the first goalless draw between Leverkusen and Hoffenheim. And that despite 19 corners, 20 shots and 75 percent possession for the home side.

— The last time Bayern had six different goal scorers in a Bundesliga game was in September 1998 (6-1 vs. Hansa Rostock).

— Paco Alcacer scored his 25th goal for Borussia Dortmund. Only two players in the current squad have more than him, which proves just how important the Spaniard has become in a year.

The fans:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dortmund and Union Berlin fans let off plenty of flares at the start of the second half. Referee Felix Brych stopped the game so as to let some of the smoke pass. Sadly, in the first half there were altercations in the away block that were broken up by the police, who deployed pepper spray and made three arrests. 

A statement from the Berlin police stated that one police officer suffered minor injuries from the pyrotechnics, while Dortmund-based newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten reported that "several fans were injured by the use of pepper spray. The "Fanhilfe Dortmund," an organization which offers legal aid to football fans, called the events "scandalous" and asked fans affected by the police operation to contact them.

The weird:

Leverkusen's 19 corners but no goals came close to making this section, as did Hertha Berlin's two almost identical own goals against Schalke, but it was Paderborn's Mohamed Drager who wins the award for strangest moment of the weekend. He came out in the second half wearing the jersey of teammate Ben Zolinski, which Drager later realized and changed tops. Funny, even in the pro game the wrong jersey can be put on.

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