Bundesliga Review – Week 5: Christian Streich’s Freiburg sit top as Union Berlin hold Bayern Munich

Freiburg lead the Bundesliga after a five-goal thriller against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday after Borussia Dortmund topped the table for a period following their win on Friday evening. With five matchdays already gone, there’s still plenty of football to be played but the table is starting to take shape. Only three teams remain unbeaten following Borussia Mönchengladbach’s defeat vs Mainz on Sunday and whilst Bayern Munich are one of those, they have successive 1-1 draws despite creating a number of chances.

Let’s take a look at MD5:

1 | RB Leipzig’s rather lacklustre start to the season got even worse on Saturday evening when they were thumped 4-0 by Eintracht Frankfurt. SGE got off to the perfect start when Daichi Kamada headed home from close range following a Randal Kolo Muani header. In the build-up, Leipzig sat off Frankfurt and allowed Mario Götze to pick out his cross. That theme continued when Frankfurt played through lines before Sebastian Rode’s shot deflected and wrong-footed Péter Gulácsi. Unlucky with the final effort but Leipzig made it too easy for Die Adler. Goals from Tuta (67) and Rafael Borré (82) from the spot sealed a convincing win for the home side. Leipzig have only won once in their opening five games with head coach Domenico Tedesco under increasing pressure.

2 | Freiburg continue their great start to the campaign beating Bayer Leverkusen 2-3 and sit top of the table after MD5. It was a lively affair in Leverkusen before the home side took the lead through Kerem Demirbay in the 16th minute. In truth, it was poor defending from Freiburg who had several chances to clear the ball but were punished for their tepid defending. It took Freiburg until the 47th minute to get on level terms when an inswinging corner was met full-on by Matthias Ginter. In a matter of minutes, Freiburg found themselves in the lead when a weak pass-back by Edmond Tapsoba was intercepted by Jeong Woo-yeong and tapped back by Michael Gregoritsch who has hit the ground running since his move from Augsburg this summer. Leverkusen found a way back into the game when new signing Callum Hudson-Odoi provided an assist for Patrik Schick. Freiburg found the winner from another set piece when a corner was headed on and found Ritsu Doan at the back post. Freiburg go top whilst Leverkusen sit in 14th with one win and four losses.

3 | FC Köln remain unbeaten and climb to fifth with a convincing 4-2 victory away to a struggling Wolfsburg side. It was VfL who got off to the best possible start when Lukas Nmecha found the net after just two minutes. It took the Billy Goats 20 minutes to get back into the game when Dejan Ljubičić was through one-on-one with Koen Casteels after some clever play down the right. Köln went up a gear then and found a second with the help of lady luck. A cross from the left was intercepted by Paulo Otávio whose touch bounced off the ‘keeper and back before rolling into the net. It was soon three before half-time when VAR awarded Köln a penalty. The tackle on Steffen Tigges was looked at for some time before being given. Even watching it now, you could argue for both teams. Nmecha did pull one back late on only for Sargis Adamyan to score two minutes later to ensure that the points went to Köln. It is the beginning of a busy period for the Billy Goats who will be juggling European football in the coming months. The loss leaves Wolfsburg without a win and in 17th place.

4 | A shoestring budget, gutsy performance and an unbeaten start to their Bundesliga campaign, Union Berlin picked up an impressive point in a 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich on Saturday afternoon. The raucous and packed-out Stadion An der Alten Försterei erupted after 12 minutes when Sheraldo Becker surpassed last season’s goalscoring tally. The 27-year-old volleyed his side into the lead, the forward’s fifth of the season, after ghosting into Bayern’s area unmarked following a Christopher Trimmel free-kick. Evidently unhappy at being substituted in the 62nd minute, Becker threw his water bottle in frustration. An act that head coach Urs Fischer was happy to see, Becker showing his emotion. Although Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich equalised just three minutes later, Union fans can be immensely proud of their team’s performance on Saturday afternoon as they sit one point behind leaders Freiburg after one game.

5 | For a brief moment, Borussia Dortmund sat top of the Bundesliga on Friday night following their 1-0 win against Hoffenheim. With three 1-0 wins already this season, excluding BVB’s capitulation against Werder Bremen on MD3 after being 2-0 up after 89 minutes, Edin Terzić’s side have largely impressed. More so, we’ve seen a shift in mentality compared to last season. Speaking post-match, Terzić commended the performance, describing it as “a good step in the right direction.” With upcoming games against RB Leipzig, Manchester City and Schalke in their next four games, we’ll get a better understanding of just where BVB are in their transition.

Player of the Week | Florian Kainz (FC Köln)

The Austrian was instrumental in FC Köln’s win at Wolfsburg on Saturday afternoon. After going 1-0 down, Steffen Baumgart’s side responded magnificently and a large part of that was down to the performance of Kainz. Operating on the left-flank but driving inside, the 29-year-old scored from the spot, assisted two goals and created four chances.

Team of the Week | Jiří Pavlenka – Benjamin Pavard, Tuta, Marco Friedl, Julian Ryerson – Julian Brandt, Djibril Sow – Florian Kainz, Mario Götze, Randal Kolo Muani – Niclas Füllkrug.

Jamie Allen and Daniel Pinder

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