Quick out of the blocks
Cologne - FC Bayern München winger carried on where he left off last season, his match-winning display against VfL Wolfsburg in the 2014/15 curtain raiser earning him top spot in the Matchday 1 Player of the Week poll as voted for by bundesliga.com users.
The 30-year-old Dutchman ran away with the votes following the new campaign's first weekend of action, taking 56 per cent of the ballot ahead of Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s (23 per cent) and Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 2014 FIFA World Cup-winning hero (21 per cent).Robben had a hand in both of Bayern’s goals at home to the Wolves, laying on the opener for Thomas Müller before getting on the scoresheet himself early in the second half, meaning he has now been directly involved in two goals on Matchday 1 of each of the last three seasons (against Greuther Fürth in 2012/13 and against Gladbach in 2013/14).
“Scoring a goal and getting an assist - it couldn’t really have gone any better,” Robben said afterwards. Yet despite the narrow margin of Bayern's victory, the winger’s overall contribution was superb, covering almost 11 kilometres of turf and playing a part in ten of the Bavarians’ 17 shots on goal, taking five himself and assisting a team-mate for a further five efforts. Robben and his FC Bayern team-mate Manuel Neuer are on the shortlist for the 2013/14 Best Player in Europe Award, with the winner due to be announced on Thursday.
Bellarabi on fireBellarabi likewise scored one and made another for Leverkusen away to Borussia Dortmund, netting the fastest-ever goal in Bundesliga history to put the Werkself 1-0 up after just nine seconds. He would later dispossess Erik Durm in the closing stages before releasing Stefan Kießling to make it 2-0. “Karim is very motivated and has made a good impression on me from day one,” said new Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt. “Our playing style suits him very well.” The attacker also turned on the afterburners more often than any other Bundesliga player on Matchday 1, completing an astonishing 45 sprints and covering a total distance of 12.8 kilometres.
Winning the bronze medal in the vote was Gladbach supersub Kramer. Taking to the field in the 73rd minute to appear in his first competitive match since the World Cup final 42 days previously, the 23-year-old equalised against Stuttgart with his only shot of the game, meaning he has now hit the target in his last three consecutive Bundesliga matches.