Matchday six in the Bundesliga produced a couple of surprising results, more away teams winning than home, and resulted in a top very few would have expected after the opening six games. Here are your winners and losers from matchday six in the Bundesliga.
Bayer Leverkusen are experiencing their best start to a top-flight campaign since 1979. Their 0-3 away win against winless Mainz 05 maintained their unbeaten start and top spot. The fact of the matter is that Xabi Alonso’s side looks like the real deal so far this season. Within those opening six matches, B04 have already played last season’s top two, beating RB Leipzig (3-2) on the opening day and drawing with Bayern Munich (2-2) at the Allianz Arena.
The club’s summer recruits have adapted well to their new surroundings and taken to Alonso’s plans like a duck to water. Granit Xhaka has played a pivotal role so far in the middle of the park, whilst the likes of Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface have been effective when going forward. Even their new left-wing back, Álex Grimaldo, found himself on the scoresheet against Mainz on the weekend.
Next up for B04 is a home game against also winless FC Köln. They’ll be hoping for their best start to continue and head into matchday nine still top of the Bundesliga.
Darmstadt registered their first win of the Bundesliga season when they beat Werder Bremen 4-2 on Sunday. It was Darmstadt’s first top-flight victory since August 2018 and was greatly needed. Torsten Lieberknecht’s side were in cruise control for the majority of the game and coasting at 4-0 with 25 minutes left to play. Bremen did manage to pull two back, which will be a slight concern for the newly-promoted side. The Lillys may not even score four goals in one ga,e for the majority of the season, so leaking goals as they did against Bremen will be a slight concern.
However, the main objective was three crucial points. The win lifts Darmstadt into 15th and out of the relegation places. A massive cause for celebration at the club with a tough campaign ahead of them.
Another of the new boys secured an almighty win on the weekend as Heidenheim beat Union Berlin. Union have been the Bundesliga’s fairytale in recent seasons, having secured Champions League football last season. However, it was Heidenheim’s time to write their own bit of magic.
Heidenheim did well to stay in the game before eventually scoring the winner on the hour mark. Jan-Niklas Beste scored a peach of a free-kick, giving Heidenheim their second consecutive home victory in the Bundesliga.
It was the perfect response to losing 4-1 against Leverkusen the weekend before. It will be crucial for Heidenheim to make their home ground a fortress this season if they’re to stay in the league. With the likes of Köln, Bochum, and Mainz all struggling, the more points they gather now, the better chance they’ll have.
The newcomers currently sit 10th in the table.
It was never going to be an easy challenge for Frankfurt when they played Wolfsburg away on the weekend. However, the Eagles didn’t pose much of a threat and eventually caved into the in-form Jonas Wind, losing 2-0.
Frankfurt are in a precarious position right now. Their only win came on the opening day against Darmstadt (1-0), and it’s only four draws, which is placing them in the top half of the league. What’s more, those draws came against Mainz, Köln, Bochum, and Freiburg. The first three mentioned currently occupy the bottom three and haven’t won a game yet.
The match against Wolfsburg was the opportunity for Frankfurt to make a statement and get their somewhat mixed season back on track. However, the loss may just foreshadow a tough season for Frankfurt, who currently look unlikely to achieve a top 7 finish this season.
The Union Berlin fairytale has very much come back down to Earth in recent weeks. The Irons are without a win in four Bundesliga matches. The latest defeat came against FC Heidenheim, a team Union would have backed themselves to beat.
Head coach Urs Fischer spoke after the defeat about the club’s current situation: “Every defeat hurts twice as much. It’s important to get a sense of success again. But you have to reward yourself for that. That’s the accusation that we have to put up with.”
It’s a downward spiral that Union will have to work hard to stop as soon as possible. However, they’re going to have to do it the hard way. They host FC Braga in the Champions League on Tuesday before travelling to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
They’re not quite in crisis at the moment, but the signs are worrying.
Head coach Steffen Baumgart must be scratching his head, wondering how the campaign has got off to such a bad start. Against VfB Stuttgart on the weekend, the billyogats were very much in the game but ended up losing 0-2. The second goal perhaps sums up the side’s fortunes so far this season. (If you haven’t already, I encourage you to watch it.)
It’s not as if Köln are getting humiliated each week; in most games, they are losing by the odd goal. However, you just have to look at the forward line to find issues. Having scored just four Bundesliga so far this season, Köln have the join-worst strikeforce along with Mainz and Frankfurt. If you don’t take your chance, you’re more than likely going to be punished defensively.
Köln’s upcoming fixtures suggest that they’re going to have to do it the hard way if they’re to get their season up and running. On matchday seven, they travel to Bayer Leverkusen before games against Borussia Mönchengladbach, RB Leipzig, and Augsburg.
GGFN | Jamie Allen