Munich - Another entertaining, goal-filled Saturday afternoon's action in the Bundesliga saw Bayer 04 Leverkusen win an eight-goal thriller against Hamburger SV, Schalke 04 come from behind to beat SV Werder Bremen and 1899 Hoffenheim suffer home defeat to Hertha Berlin.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 5-3 Hamburger SV
bundesliga.com summarises 17 goals in just three Saturday afternoon encounters...
A goal was all Leverkusen had lacked in the UEFA Champions League in Ukraine in midweek and they seemed keen not to make the same mistake against HSV, launching a wave of early attacks. Sidney Sam missed two good chances before Heung Min Son gave them a deserved lead.
The South Korean scored his first goal since the opening day of the season, and his first against his former club, receiving Gonzalo Castro's pass before beating Heiko Westermann and placing a low shot past Rene Adler. Son was then put through by another former Hamburg player, Sam, to double Leverkusen's advantage. He raced forward, took the ball round Adler and swept it in to grab the fifth brace of his career and his first for Leverkusen.
Flurry of goals
Maximilian Beister led Hamburg's response, scoring from just inside the area after Simon Rolfes got caught in possession. Suddenly, Leverkusen found themselves defending as Hamburg started to take control of proceedings.
The visitors levelled early in the second half through Pierre-Michel Lasogga, but all that did was spark Leverkusen back into action. Son completed his first ever Bundesliga hat-trick, side-footing in after Sam had cleverly left Stefan Kießling's cross. The South Korean set up Kießling to make it four, but Lasogga's eighth in as many games set up a tense finale. The hosts held their nerve, however, and added a fifth late on when Gonzalo Castro lobbed Adler on the counterattack.
Line-ups and statistics
FC Schalke 04 3-1 SV Werder Bremen
Schalke started the match against Bremen with a mixture of motivation and trepidation. After a heavy defeat to Chelsea FC in the UEFA Champions League, it was obvious the Royal Blues wanted to make amends, but Jens Keller's team seemed scared of suffering a further defeat to Robin Dutt's charges.
Julian Draxler carved out the home team's first chance of the game, but Sebastian Mielitz made a fine save to deny the Royal Blues' midfielder. Schalke were creating the better of the chances, until Felix Kroos pounced on a loose ball and fired past Hildebrand to score his first Bundesliga goal in 22 games from the edge of the penalty area.
Boateng at the double
Adam Szalai wasted two good chances to level and Draxler made a hash of his shot from ten yards, before Eljero Elia tested Timo Hildebrand at the other end once again. Schalke stepped up a gear in the second half, and they were soon rewarded.
Draxler's deep cross was met by a determined Kevin-Prince Boateng, who rose at the far post to head the ball back in the opposite direction and into the far corner of Mielitz's goal. Boateng then headed Schalke in front from another Draxler cross, this time heading the ball into the ground for it to bounce into the top right-hand corner. Boateng and Draxler combined once again to pull the ball back for Jefferson Farfan, who duly wrapped up the victory for the home side.
Line-ups and statistics
1899 Hoffenheim 2-3 Hertha Berlin
Hertha Berlin coach Jos Luhukay restored Sami Allagui to his starting line-up after two successive defeats, and the decision almost paid dividends as the Tunisian struck inches wide within three minutes of the starting whistle. It was his compatriot who broke the deadlock ten minutes later, when Änis Ben-Hatira supplied an emphatic finish to Adrian Ramos’ powerful run and low cross.
Hoffenheim almost hit back moments later when Anthony Modeste was denied by an excellent covering tackle from Fabian Lustenberger, and the hosts began to dominate possession but carved out no clear-cut openings. Sejad Salihovic almost made the most of a 30-yard free-kick, drawing a good save from Thomas Kraft ten minutes before the break.
Ramos seals it
Fabian Johnson, brought on after half-time, was teed up by Kevin Volland and almost found an equaliser three minutes into the second-half, but as it was, the next goal was struck at the other end. Ramos nonchalantly converted his first ever penalty for Hertha, and sixth goal of the season, in the 53rd minute.
The hosts weren’t going to go down without a fight, however. They were awarded a penalty of their own, converted in just as cool a fashion by Salihovic to make it 2-1, and piled on the late pressure, rewarded when Salihovic bent in an excellent free-kick for his brace with ten minutes remaining. Spirited it may have been, but enough it was not, as Ramos smuggled three points back to Berlin with a clinical late header.
Line-ups and statistics