BL Roundup 2020/21: MD2

BL Roundup 2020/21: MD2

If you skipped matchday two of Bundesliga 2020/21 with a preconceived belief that Bayern Munich are unstoppable, you missed out on a lot of fun. Just when you thought if Bundesliga could be more competitive, FC Augsburg and TSG Hoffenheim had something in store for you. Only a fortnight into the new season of the Bundesliga and it left us awestruck after the second round.

FootTheBall takes you through the most exciting of matchday two action from Bundesliga 2020/21 – as it happened.

 

Hertha 1 – 3 Eintracht

Bruno Labbadia and his men opened the second matchday of Bundesliga 2020/21 as they hosted Eintracht Frankfurt in their own backyard. The hosts lined up in a 4-4-2 diamond shape, as they did against Werder Bremen. Jhon Cordoba was, yet again, a substitute for this game. The Eagles made two changes from their one-one draw against Arminia Bielefeld. Almamy Toure operated as the right wing-back in Danny da Costa’s stead. Stefan Ilsanker partnered Sebastian Rode in the heart of the midfield.

The visitors were the better side from the outset. Adi Hutter changed his 3-4-1-2 formation to 3-1-4-2/3-1-5-1 to win the battle in the mid-thirds. Bas Dost’s movement made the difference. Hertha were seemingly caught with four players in the midfield. The Old Lady was essentially trapped in the centre of the park with Eintracht using a concoction of pressing techniques. However, Eintracht suffered a major blow when Filip Kostic had to be substituted in the first quarter of an hour following an injury.

Eintracht’s first chance arrived in the 20th minute. Daichi Kamada released Toure from the right flank whose cross met Dost’s towering header that missed the target. Five minutes later, Ander Silva almost put the visitors ahead. Kamada was once again the link-up option. Kamada fed Toure on the right-hand side who used his pace to dash past Maximillian Mittelstadt. Silva’s header was top notch and missed by a whisker to deny Toure his first assist of the season. The Eagles finally got their first goal through Silva. The Portuguese earned a penalty when Dedryck Boyata’s poor challenge brought him down in their box. Silva kept his composure to score from the spot.

Bundesliga Roundup 2020/21: Matchday 2

Andre Silva in action for Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga (Image courtesy: Twitter/@ProximaJornada1)

Bas Dost doubled the lead after six minutes of Silva’s goal. Kamada’s free-kick from the right side, outside of the box, found Dost rising the highest and finishing in the bottom left corner of the goal.

Eintracht had two more attempts in the first five minutes of the second half through Toure and Silva. The ensuing ten minutes belonged to Hertha as the hosts gained momentum. Cordoba and Matheus Cunha almost pulled one back for Hertha.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, Rode curled in from the right half-space to make it three for Eintracht. Jordan Torunarigha could only help in reducing the deficit to two goals. He found his way through Eintracht’s defense to deliver a low cross from the left-hand side of the box. The cross that was initially intended for Cordoba was put in by Martin Hinteregger into his own net.

 

Bayer Leverkusen 1 – 1 RB Leipzig

A close encounter that we all expected, two top-four contenders dropped points in matchday two of the Bundesliga season 2020/21. While this was the first draw for Julian Naglesmann, Peter Bosz now has only two points in his first two games. The hosts continued with their 4-1-4-1 setup. Patrik Schick started upfront in place of Lucas Alario. Naglesmann deployed his usual 3-4-2-1 formation. Marcel Halstenberg missed the game for personal reasons. Nordi Mukiele completed the three-man defensive line alongside Dayot Upamecano and Lukas Klostermann.

Die Werkself had a firm grip on their vertical approach. They were constantly looking for Moussa Diaby and Karim Bellarabi making runs in behind Leipzig’s defense. Diaby delivered a dangerous low cross in the fourth minute. Kerem Demirbay received a pass from Bellarabi in the centre of the park and swirled it in Diaby’s path with a single touch. Schick came sliding in to connect with the ball but could not beat Upamecano at the near post.

Kevin Kampl got a golden opportunity to put Leipzig ahead in the seventh minute. A dipping long pass from Peter Gulacsi found Emil Forsberg collecting the ball after Lars Bender lost his footing. Forsberg entered the box from the left to pick Kampl surging inside the box. The Slovenian wasted a big chance as he hit the ball wide. The creator got his chance seven minutes later. Yussuf Poulsen wrestled past Sven Bender after winning the aerial duel from Gulacsi’s long-ball. The Danish forward fed Forsberg in space on the left channel who rounded the other Bender to launch it past Lukas Hradecky. It was a thunderous strike that directly hit the ceiling of the net.

Bundesliga Roundup 2020/21: Matchday 2

Moussa Diaby was a constant threat from the left flank against RB Leipzig (Image courtesy: Twitter/@bayer04_en)

The hosts reverted within six minutes of conceding a goal. It was initially Angelino’s error that allowed Leverkusen to form a siege outside Leipzig’s box. A clearance from Leverkusen saw Angelino getting the first touch. The loan signing from Manchester City slipped which gave Diaby a clear run at the goal. The visitors got away with Diaby’s strike from a tight angle but could not keep Demirbay’s curling attempt from outside the box. The ball rattled the crossbar before bouncing twice inside the goal.

The remainder of the game had Leverkusen dominating possession and creating better chances. Florian Wirtz had a wonderful attempt hitting the woodwork at the hour mark. Unfortunately, Leverkusen had to settle for a point.

 

Augsburg 2 – 0 Dortmund

This was the first shocker of matchday two when Erling Haaland and co. blanked at the WWK Arena. Lucien Favre chose a similar lineup from their matchday one victory over the Foals. Raphael Guerreiro got his first start of the season in his preferred left wing-back role. Heiko Herrlich had to bring in Andre Hahn as Ruben Vargas was unavailable due to a muscular problem.

It was always Dortmund’s game to lose. Der BVB kept 79% possession of the ball as they controlled the game in a 3-2-4-1 formation. Augsburg held a medium 4-4-2 block to stop Dortmund from surpassing the middle of the pitch. Favre’s team opened gaps everywhere on the pitch with Jadon Sancho, Giovanni Reyna, and Jude Bellingham moving in pockets of space to progress the ball. As a result, Borussia Dortmund took five attempts in the opening ten minutes of the game. Nothing could beat Rafal Gikiewicz. Augsburg’s new signing made four saves in the first half.

The hosts moved the numbers on the scoreboard after 40 minutes into the game. Michael Gregoritsch won a free-kick on the left side of the box after Emre Can smashed his face in a duel. Daniel Caligiuri whipped the ball inside the six-yard box as Felix Uduokhai stretched his head to blast it past Roman Burki. Augsburg did the unthinkable after the break. With just 14 minutes into the second half, Florian Niederlechner collected a lofted back-pass from Dortmund. The Augsburg centre-forward wasted no time to feed Caligiuri making a run from the centre. The former Schalke attacker outpaced Thomas Meunier to score on his 300th Bundesliga appearance.

Dortmund were not as threatening as they were in the first half. They had wasteful possession with the ball steering from one flank to the other. Last season’s runners-up dropped crucial three points in the second round of the new season.

 

Hoffenheim 4 – 1 Bayern

Yes, you read the score correctly. It is not the other way around. Hoffenheim struck the back of the net four times against the Rekordmeister to end their 23-game winning streak. Even with a one-goal lead at the break, there were numerous questions being asked.

Did Sebastian Hoeness present a blueprint to beat Hansi Flick’s Bayern? Is the crammed fixture list a burden for Bayern? What about their wafer-thin squad amidst Bayern’s lowly transfer market activity?

All the questions pointed towards one common answer. Bayern Munich are mortal. Despite Bayern being the favourites to clinch their ninth straight league title, this season will not cease to surprise you. The first one just unfolded at the PreZero Arena on Sunday.

Sebastian Hoesness made one change to his 3-4-3 system. Stefan Posch joined Hoffemhein’s defense as Kasim Nuhu made it to the bench. Flick made four changes considering the DFL Supercup scheduled for Wednesday. David Alaba, Alphonso Davies, Corentin Tolisso, and Joshua Zirkzee started the game. Robert Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka appeared in the second half.

The visitors kept 71% of possession but could only manage two shots on target of their total 15 attempts. Hoffenheim were ruthless as they exploited Bayern’s nose-bleed high line. Andrej Kramaric and Moanes Dabbur got the better of Jerome Boateng’s tired legs. Hoffenheim got their first goal from a corner. The hosts overloaded Bayern’s six-yard box as Ermin Bicakcic headed the ball at the far post. Davies’s headed attempt to clear the ball could not stop it from touching the net. Dabbur made it two at the 24-minute mark. The Israeli forward was lurking in behind Alaba. An error from Benjamin Pavard saw him pounce and chip it over Manuel Neuer.

Bundesliga Roundup 2020/21: Matchday 2

Andrej Kramaric looks fired up to claim the Torjagerkanone this Bundesliga season (Image courtesy: Twitter/@beo_94)

Joshua Kimmich revived Bayern’s hopes with nine minutes left for the first half to conclude. He pulled the trigger from outside the box. Oliver Baumann, standing a yard or two ahead of the goal-line, could hardly do anything about it.

Flick introduced Lewandowski and Goretzka after an hour into the game. Consequently, Bayern came close to equalizing through Leroy Sane. The momentum swung back in Hoffenheim’s favour. Kramaric made it three for the hosts following a cross from Ihlas Bebou from the right flank. It took mere three passes to consummate this move started by Baumann’s goal-kick. Kramaric completed his brace in the additional time following a penalty. Neuer was the culprit as he brought down Bebou after he dribbled past two Bayern defenders.

 

Were there more surprises from matchday two?

(Featured Image: Twitter/@Bundesliga_EN)

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