Monday, 12 August 2013
Bundesliga matchday 1 - What was revealed.
Bayern, Dortmund and Leverkusen were true to form, all winning their openers. Schalke exchanged blows with Hamburg, but in the end had to settle for a draw. The debut of the two newcomers, Hertha BSC Berlin and Eintracht Braunschweig ended with an overwhelming victory for Berlin, but Braunschweig gave up a tear jerker to Bremen.
Borussia Dortmund has set the pace for the Bundesliga race by maintaining a clean sheet. While FC Augsburg, which barely escaped relegation put up a stellar fight, its defence was no match for Dortmund's new acquisition Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who got his first hattrick during his debut appearance. While Bayern only has two goals in the plus column after their 3-1 win over Gladbach, the win must be seen as a success for Bayern's new coach Pep Guardiola. He stuck to the normal line up for the Bavarians and permitted them to conduct an attack friendly game. This allowed Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery to perform their magic. Bayern, however showed some serious flaws in its defence during this match. Dante's own goal revealed that there has to be better communication among them.
It is difficult to draw any real conclusions after one matchday. Both Bayern and Dortmund had relatively easy opponents, Leverkusen played at home, while Schalke disappointed against Hamburg. Berlin's trouncing of Frankfurt was a surprise and revealed that the Hessen have a lot of work to do in their defence. Hoffenheim, despite its 9-0 DFB Cup success appears to continue its struggles.
Hoffenheim and Augsburg seem destined for another season battling relegation and Werder Bremen will be in the same boat. Franfurt, after one match took a trouncing and may only have had a bad day. Next weekend should provide a clearer picture.
Dortmund, Bayern and Leverkusen appear to be battling for the top spot, but the Knappen from Schalke will require a vast improvement. While both Bayern and Dortmund have experienced the rigors of Champions League competition, it remains to be seen how Leverkusen will cope with the stress. Schalke will have to improve vastly if the side is to compete at the top level.
FC Bayern, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen should finish in the top four. Who will be on top in the end is not that easy to predict. This season the battle should be among all three. While Dortmund was well behind Bayern during the 2012/13 season and Leverkusen just one point behind Dortmund, it should be a lot closer this year. Toss a coin.
Hoffenheim, Augsburg, Braunschweig and Bremen are predicted to fight off relegation. Berlin will have a top ten finish. Gladbach, Hannover, Hamburg, Freiburg and Mainz will compete for spots in the Euro League. The remainder of the pack will finish in the middle.
Related: Matchday 1 Roundup
Bayern wins season opener