Schalke draw with Bayern in Alonso debut | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 30.08.2014
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Schalke draw with Bayern in Alonso debut

Bayern celebrated the newly signed veteran midfielder Xabi Alonso's first start. But that was all they had to cheer about in Gelsenkirchen as plucky Schalke eked out a 1-1 draw despite a red-hot start by the Bavarians.

A massive difference in class was all too apparent in the initial part of this match as Bayern pressed hosts Schalke right from the opening whistle. And striker Robert Lewandowski staked Munich to the lead after only 10 minutes, when the Royal Blues were unable to clear the ball from their box.

Bayern failed to deliver the knockout punch, however, dominating possession but increasingly failing to generate goal-scoring opportunities.

"After the first 20 minutes, we didn't have any clear idea in what we were doing," Bayern forward Thomas Müller said after the match. "I'm upset that we only got one point here."

Schalke hung tough and were rewarded just after the hour mark, when a clearance by Alonso, who was one of Bayern's better performers, ricocheted into the net off of defender Benedikt Höwedes.

"We slept through the start of the match, but we fought our way back into it," Schalke forward Julian Draxler told reporters.

Bayern's toothless performance clearly didn't please coach Pep Guardiola who was fuming as he disappeared into the tunnel. The draw takes pressure off Schalke coach Jens Keller, who had come under fire after Schalke was booted out of the German Cup in the first round and lost their first Bundesliga match.

Leverkusen keep on scoring

Bayer Leverkusen players celebrate

There was no stopping Leverkusen in the second half

At home against Hertha Berlin, Leverkusen were looking to build on their opening-round win against Dortmund . But they had no luck in the first half as the visitors played with a five-man back line. Instead it was Hertha who had the good fortune, being gifted a lead by a Tin Jedvaj own goal in minute 24.

Five minutes after the break, the young Croatian made up for his blunder with an equalizer. Leverkusen pressed, but Hertha retook the lead when Bernd Leno failed to control a cross on the hour mark, and the ball dropped onto Julian Schieber's head.

Leverkusen stayed positive, though, and got a second equalizer only two minutes later. Emir Spahic headed in a Hakan Calhanoglu free kick. And fifteen minutes from time, Julian Brandt put the hosts ahead, after a mazy run by the fleet-footed Karim Bellarabi. And Bellarabi completed the 4-2 scoreline with a strike two minutes from time.

Afterwards, Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt told reporters: "It was an extremely valuable win because we were challenged as a team."

The 4-2 win was a convincing performance by the Pharmaceuticals, who won by a two-goal margin for the second week in a row.

Paderborn book historic win

Paderborn versus Hamburg

Paderborn exploited a miserable Hamburg defense

Most pundits think minnows Paderborn's first Bundesliga season will also be their last for a while. But the underdogs are off to an undefeated start and notched up their first-ever top flight win with a 3-0 victory in Hamburg.

"I told my players to take the pitch with a smile on their faces and enjoy themselves," Paderborn coach Andre Breitenreiter told reporters.

They did - and deservedly so. Elias Kachunga may have been millimeters offside when he put the visitors ahead after half an hour. But shortly thereafter, he was wrongly flagged for a headed goal that would have made it 2-0. As it stood, the underdogs only went into half-time with a single goal lead.

No matter. In minute 68, Mario Vrancic doubled Paderborn's advantage, keeping his cool and rounding keeper Rene Adler after a woefully misplaced Artjom Rudnevs pass. Hamburg were coming apart at the seams defensively, and by the time Moritz Stoppelkamp scored Paderborn's third in the dying minutes, the home arena was beginning to empty.

Afterward, Hamburg coach Mirko Slomka, who looked as though he had lost the will to live, said: "That was a shocking display. We completely disappointed our fans."

The result shows that Paderborn are no pushovers, while Hamburg seem as if they're facing another long season after almost getting relegated last May.

Lots of goals elsewhere

Athony Ujah

Ujah put Cologne's first season win beyond doubt

In the remaining matches, newly promoted Cologne picked up their first season win with a 2-0 victory in Stuttgart. Yuya Osako and Anthony Ujah scored the goals in the first half against a listless Southern German side.

Wolfsburg and Frankfurt split the points with a 2-2 draw. The Volkswagen factory team went ahead twice only to see their guests from the southwest manage a pair of equalizers.

Hoffenheim also drew in Bremen. The visitors, fancied by many to be this season's dark horse, jumped out to the lead on a Roberto Firmino in minute 20. But Alejandro Galvez drew Bremen level, and the match ended 1-1.

On Friday, Dortmund opened their Bundesliga account this season, surviving a late comeback and booking a 3-2 win in Augsburg.

On Sunday Mainz host Hanover, while Freiburg lock horns with Gladbach.

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