Munich - Bayer Leverkusen outgunned Gladbach, Hoffenheim and Freiburg went into Baden derby overdrive and Mainz 05 downed Wolfsburg on an enthralling afternoon of Bundesliga football.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 4-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
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Sidney Sam struck twice as Bayer 04 Leverkusen made it three wins out of three with a 4-2 triumph over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Buoyed by their 3-0 win over Hannover a week ago, Gladbach began brightly in the BayArena, combining well and leading the ball forwards with intent. Juan Arango was at the heart of the action and his direct free-kick provided the first warning to Bernd Leno in the Leverkusen goal.
Stefan Kießling had Leverkusen’s first shot, but the danger did not end when Raffael cleared the ball off the line and behind for a corner. From the corner, the ball struck Arango’s arm and a penalty was given, allowing Kießling to step up and score his 100th goal for Leverkusen. Sam made it two within five minutes as Leverkusen gained control of the game, thanks to Kießling’s assist.
Gladbach rally, Bayer hit back
Gladbach came out for the second half with the same hunger they had shown at the start of the first, and this time they got their reward. Martin Stranzl went on a rare foray forward, and he found the right position to turn Patrick Herrmann’s cross in. Three minutes later, Arango put the cherry on top of the next clinical counterattack, pouncing as Leno fumbled the ball at his feet.
Having thrown away a two-goal lead in a matter of minutes, Leverkusen responded with Sam grabbing his second of the game. Kießling was the provider yet again, although the Leverkusen forward still had a lot of work to do to burst past two defenders and beat an unsighted Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Gonzalo Castro then completed the win, finding the bottom corner from Sam’s pass to take Leverkusen level with Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Mainz at the top of the table.
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1899 Hoffenheim 3-3 SC Freiburg
Ten-man 1899 Hoffenheim and nine-man SC Freiburg served up a corking 3-3 draw at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
Opening the scoring and receiving his marching orders all in the space of ten barnstorming minutes, Sejad Salihovic set the tone for a thrilling encounter, with Freiburg swiftly equalising through Oliver Sorg’s deflected drive. A moment of magic from Kevin Volland restored the Sinsheimers’ lead, but Freiburg were soon back on level terms in more ways than one when Karim Guede swept home from close range, before Francis Coquelin’s late challenge on Volland ensured both sides went in at the break with ten men apiece.
The drama didn't stop there as in-form Hoffenheim newcomer Anthony Modeste bent agonisingly wide of Oliver Baumann’s left-hand post after the restart. David Abraham then inadvertently sent a Sorg free kick onto the roof of his own net, with Sebastian Freis applying the all-important touch to Jonathan Schmid’s ensuing corner to put Freiburg ahead for the first time.
Markus Gisdol’s men were in no mood to let slip their unbeaten start to the campaign, and duly levelled matters courtesy of substitute Tobias Strobl’s sizzling 77th-minute drive, leaving 12th-place Freiburg, who had Admir Mehmedi sent off late on, still without a win this season.
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FSV Mainz 05 2-0 VfL Wolfsburg
An entertaining first-half gave way to an implosion in the second as 1. FSV Mainz 05 beat VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 on Matchday 3. The visitors settled into the game more easily, moving the ball around their Lusophone trio of Luiz Gustavo, Diego and Vieirinha confidently. Mainz wouldn’t be quelled that easily though, and in front of fervent home support they regularly broke on the counter-attack with Nicolai Müller, whose through-balls were squandered just as regularly by Shinji Okazaki.
A blistering effort from Vierinha on the quarter-hour mark was tipped over acrobatically by Heinz Müller in the Mainz goal, and the same player had his header cleared off the line after half an hour.
The second-half saw Wolfsburg press the self-destruct button. On the hour mark Maxim Choupo-Moting took advantage of their failure to clear after a corner to power the loose ball home from six yards, and four minutes later new signing Luiz Gustavo was given his marching orders for a second yellow card.
To compound a miserable and wet afternoon for the visitors, Nicolai Müller hammered a shot past Diego Benaglio and into the top corner to make it 2-0 on the break after 78 minutes. Thomas Tuchel’s counter-attacking tactics had paid off for a second week running, and sent Dieter Hecking home lamenting a second defeat of the season.
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