Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Acast, Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

Bundesliga Week 3: Sahin takes the glory, Mainz make hay



The Magic Gnome Man of Köln Hauptbahnhof only appears before travellers in distress. Travellers like myself and Graham who were standing over one of the railway station's many ticket machines trying to figure out why we were being offered two fares to Dortmund with vastly differing prices. Miraculously, a little man in a bright red Deutscher Bahn T-Shirt sporting a pair of square rimmed glasses and a lavish moustache appeared.

Within seconds his super-fast magic gnome hands had danced across the machine's control pad and produced a tariff that took all four of our parties to Dortmund and back for €35. As we stood in amazement at the ludicrously cheap amount required for what we imagined to be a journey distance proportionately equivalent to a trip to Leicester and back we turned to the Magic Gnome Man for clarification, only for him to have disappeared, his work done.

That was the only remotely serious incident in a journey that took us to the Westfalenstadion, home of Borussia Dortmund where our party, along with approximately 73,000 others watched the Schwatzgelb beat (Steve McClaren's) Wolfsburg 2-0.

The first goal came in the 5oth minute while some of us (specifically me) were still waiting to be served at the bar. Nuri Sahin is a player that we'll come to know very well in the years to come. The attacking midfielder played a one-two with his team mate Sebastian Kehl before executing a perfect curling shot from 29 metres which dipped inside the post at the last millisecond, preventing Wolfsburg's keeper, Diego Benaglio, from getting anywhere near it. It was an absolute hammer of a strike which was rightly declared Bild's Goal Of The Day. Shinji Kagawa made the game safe for BVB on 67 minutes.

Wolfsburg were decent enough in the first half. Edin Dzeko hit the bar and Diego missed a clear opportunity. However, once Dortmund had gone ahead they had no answer. Diego himself became frustrated and petulant, earning a yellow card for a stupid foul right in front of the Südtribüne. McClaren elected to stick to his counter attacking tactics but his players lacked confidence and offered little threat in the end. That's three defeats in a row for Die Wölfe and a lot for the Englishman to ponder. Nevertheless, I believe that once they've notched their first victory of the season, they'll do fine.

At least McClaren can console himself in the knowledge that he is not the Bundesliga coach under the most pressure. That dubious distinction belongs to Felix Magath of Schalke. He watched his new signing Klaas Jan Huntelaar miss a hat full of chances against Hoffenheim on Friday only to lose the game 2-0. The first was from Hoff's Ghanaian defender Issac Vorsah. The second from a free kick by Sejad Salihovic which hit the post and bounced off the Schalke 'keeper, Manuel Neuer, before crossing the line. It was a bizarre situation and you had to feel sympathy for the German Number 1 has he did end up looking like a bit of a plank. That victory places Hoffenheim atop the fledgling table.

The Gelsenkirchen club are second from bottom level on (no) points with Wolfsburg and Stuttgart who are also having their now customary dreadful start to a season. Things seemed to on the turn for Christian Gross' side when Pavel Pogrebnyak put his team ahead at Freiburg. However, Papis Cissé's fourth goal of the season and another from Julian Schuster sealed an impressive comeback for the home side who must be feeling better about themselves after their second straight win.

If there's one team in the Bundesliga guaranteed to give goals at either end it's Werder Bremen. So it was with no small amount of anticipation when we settled down in a pub down the road from the Westfalen to watch the Bremenites late kick off at Bayern Munich. Surprisingly however, the game finished 0-0. It was an absorbing encounter for all that with Thomas Schaaf's players doing an excellent job in cutting off the supply to Ivica Olic, playing on his own up front for FCB. This was an even game between equals which either team could have won. As it happens, honour was satisfied I think.

Elsewhere, there was a little bit of argy bargy involving Nürnberg coach Dieter Hecking who got himself into an altercation with Hamburg's Guy Demel and Eljero Elia. Referee Markus Wingenbach was unimpressed and sent him to the naughty step. Hecking played the incident down after the game but is perhaps showing the way for his players. If Der Club are to stay in the 1. Bundesliga this season, they will have to fight and scrap for every point. The game finished 1-1.

The Bundesbag has been banging on for a few weeks now about how Eintracht Frankfurt were going to have a decent season. Well a 4-0 victory against Borussia Monchengladbach has finally kicked their season off . Europe beckons for Die Adler. Hannover's unbeaten start to the season continued with a 2-2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen. Köln boss Zvonimir Soldo rang the changes ahead of his teams clash with St Pauli. And it worked too.Twenty year old Taner Yalchin scored the only goal of the game to send Pauli fans back to the Rieperbahn with nothing.

But the real story of the weekend, in my opnion, is the third straight victory for FSV Mainz. Thomas Tuchel's fine blend of young hot shots and grizzled journeymen started poorly against Kaiserslautern, going 1-0 down to a lovely goal from the prolific Srdjan Lakic. However they fought back in the second half to win 2-1. In fairness to their opponents, both goals carried an element of good fortune. The first by Niko Bungert's goal was an exploitation of the offside rule that confused the FCK defenders. The second, from Andre Schurrle, took a wicked deflection. However, when the sun is shining on you, make hey as fast as you can. Mainz are second and building the foundations for yet another good season.

Of course, we didn't catch the game live on the telly as we chose to spend the final remaining hours at the Franz-Kramer-Stadion watching Koln II v Bochum II, a match in the Regionalliga West (fourth tier). We left early to catch our flight and missed three goals. Needless to say our departure was delayed. The Maastricht Air Traffic Control centre was held responsible by easyJet. Yeah right!

That's it. You can listen to the story of our trip to Dortmund on this very special Sound Of Football podcast that was recorded throughout the day.

Twofootedtackle's very own Gary Andrews came along with us. His match report is here

Results and tables can be found here.

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