The opening round of German Bundesliga play took place between this past Friday and Sunday. If one is to believe the sports media in that country, the return of the league was overshadowed by the use of the Video Assistant Referee, (VAR) which most of them claim ruins the game.
While system certainly still does not run as smoothly in the Bundesliga as it should, or as it did through most of the FIFA World Cup earlier this summer, I still find the anti-VAR hype, which seems to be almost uniquely German to be extremely overblown.
With all of that said, let’s get to the matches. The opener was between defending champions Bayern Munich and self-proclaimed title challengers TSG Hoffenheim. While the Bavarians were certainly lucky to come away with the 3-1 victory, their opponents were lucky not to have any of their players sent off for overly physical play.
On Saturday afternoon, both newly-promoted Bundesliga teams started their seasons with a loss: 1.FC Nuremberg fell to an unlucky 1-0 defeat to Hertha BSC Berlin, while Fortuna Düsseldorf lost 2-1 to FC Augsburg.
The other games at that time ended as follows: Werder Bremen- Hanover 96 1-1, SC Freiburg-Eintracht Frankfurt 0-2 and VfL Wolfsburg-Schalke 04 2-1.
On Saturday evening, Borussia Mönchengladbach beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 in a “game of two halves”.
On Sunday afternoon, Mainz 05 beat VfB Stuttgart 1-0 in an uneventful match. The same cannot be said about Borussia Dortmund vs. RB Leipzig which the efficient BVB won 4-1 over the hard-working Bulls.
The German Cup began the previous weekend and Sunday’s 2nd round draw gave us the following games to look forward to in late October:
Hansa Rostock-1. FC Nuremberg
Weiche Flensburg -Werder Bremen
Chemie Leipzig -SC Paderborn
SSV Ulm -Fortuna Düsseldorf
SV Wehen Wiesbaden-Hamburger SV
SV Rödinghausen-Bayern Munich
Holstein Kiel-SC Freiburg
Arminia Bielefeld-MSV Duisburg
- FC Heidenhem-SV Sandhausen
RB Leipzig-TSG Hoffenhem
- FC Cologne- Schalke 04
Hannover 96 -VfL Wolfsburg
Darmstadt 98-Hertha BSC Berlin
Boussia Mönchengladbach-Bayer Leverkusen
FC Augsburg- Mainz 05
Borussia Dortmund-Union Berlin