bundesliga.com rounds up the Saturday action...
1. FC Nürnberg 1-1 VfL Wolfsburg
Nürnberg, the only side still without a win this season, burst out of the blocks with a confidence belying their 18th position. Their best early chance came through a Marvin Plattenhardt free-kick twenty yards out, but the 21-year-old left-back could do no more than bend his effort tamely into Diego Benaglio’s welcoming arms.
After that, Dieter Hecking’s Wolfsburg side, contrastingly fresh from four successive wins, began to impose themselves on the contest. The tireless Ivica Olic rounded everyone in the box after 27 minutes but his shot rolled excruciatingly across an empty goal. Maximilian Arnold then provided the breakthrough six minutes before half-time with his fourth goal in five games, an elegant left-footed strike from distance that eluded Raphael Schäfer in the Nürnberg goal.
Super sub Ginczek
After a scare at the end of the first-half when Makoto Hasebe struck the post, Wolfsburg resumed control of proceedings at the beginning of the second period. Luiz Gustavo bent wide from distance after tenacious work in midfield, while Diego almost matched Arnold’s impressive effort. After 63 minutes, however, Nürnberg recovered their early drive. Josip Drmic capitalised on a Gustavo error to drive from halfway into the box unchallenged, only for Benaglio to push his shot wide of the near post.
The Wolves’ defensive timidity was punished ten minutes later as substitute Daniel Ginczek cut into the box from the left, once again Wolfsburg offering no resistance, and fired a low shot past Benaglio for a deserved equaliser and his second goal of the season. Although he and Arnold could have won the game with late chances, Nürnberg’s fightback merited a point - even if they still haven’t managed to pick up three.
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FC Augsburg 2-0 1899 Hoffenheim
FC Augsburg veteran Halil Altintop, who has appeared in every game this season, celebrated becoming the Bundesliga’s joint-most capped Turkey international with his fiftieth top-flight goal to open the scoring. After a left-footed drive was poorly parried by Koen Casteels in the Hoffenheim goal, Altintop was quickest to react, hammering home with his left foot in the 17th minute to give the hosts first blood in an initially end-to-end encounter.
Augsburg did then take control, crowning their dominance six minutes later as Altintop completed a brace after superb work down the right-hand side from captain Paul Verhaegh. The Bavarian Swabians were, however, clearly perturbed by Anthony Modeste’s physicality. The Frenchman led his side’s response, shooting at Marwin Hitz, whose blushes were spared by an excellent goal-line clearance from Ragnar Klavan.
Hoffenheim fail in front of goal
Modeste was quietened repeatedly by Klavan after the resumption of proceedings, the action occurring in front of Casteels’ goal. Promising Polish youngster, Arkadiusz Malik, threatened from distance, and several Kevin Volland corners were cleared comfortably by Klavan, Verhaegh and their fellow defenders. Hoffenheim substitute Kai Herdling came closest to breaking Augsburg’s bulwark, but Hitz dealt with his shot easily.
Hoffenheim were looking as toothless in front of goal as Augsburg were looking comfortably in control, Daniel Baier and Kevin Vogt producing strikes from distance in failed efforts to increase the lead. As it was, Hoffenheim had to reflect on the first game all season in which they’d failed to score, and Augsburg, thanks to Altintop, on three well-deserved points.
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Eintracht Braunschweig 0-1 SC Freiburg
Eintracht Braunschweig went into the game with fellow strugglers SC Freiburg level on points with their opponents, but Torsten Lieberknecht’s charges seemed intent on continuing the impressive run of form that has seen them pick up four points from the last two Bundesliga matches.
Deniz Dogan could have opened the scoring for the hosts after just eight minutes, but the centre-back failed to connect with Karim Bellarabi’s cut-back from Damir Vrancic’s free-kick. Ermin Bicakcic had the half’s best opportunity after 21 minutes when he got on the end of a low cross from the right, but Oliver Baumann somehow managed to claw the ball to safety.
Fernandes fires Freiburg ahead
It was the visitors, however, who took the lead seven minutes into the second half. Gelson Fernandes received the ball on the edge of the area and wasted no time curling the ball past the stranded Daniel Davari and into the back of the Braunschweig net. Eintracht upped the tempo following Fernandes’ opener and went close through Bellarabi and Dogan, but their long-range efforts failed to find the target.
A further Bellarabi effort was deflected into the side-netting before Kumbela tested Baumann with another shot from distance. As the game wore on, Braunschweig seemed to run out of ideas and the visitors almost sealed victory with seven minutes remaining when Freis went close with a shot with the outside of his foot. It didn’t matter, however, as Freiburg held on to record a valuable victory over Lieberknecht’s team, who return to the foot of the Bundesliga table.
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