The 2017/2018 Bundesliga season is finally here!
Match day 1 started this past Friday, with Bayer Leverkusen outplaying Bayern Munich. But the Bavarians nevertheless started clear 3-1 winners, via three set piece goals, two of which came from two of their summer transfers.
Bayern’s third goal was historic, because it resulted from the first ever use of the Video Assistant Referee, (VAR) in Bundesliga history.
A foul on Robert Lewandowski in the penalty area went unseen by the main referee, who then received word about it from the VAR. Lewandowski went on to convert the spot kick that followed himself.
There was much criticism of the new technology on Saturday, as the video offside line did not work for most matches. As a stanch advocate of the VAR system, I hope that people will have patience with it, until the league works out its early flaws.
On Saturday afternoon TSG Hoffenheim defeated Werder Bremen 1-0 with a late Andrej Kramaric goal. Hertha BSC Berlin sunk promoted VfB Stuttgart 2-0.
In the encounter between the only two German Cup first round dropouts from Bundesliga 1, Hamburger SV and FC Augsburg, Hamburg’s Nicolai Müller scored the only goal early and bizarrely tore his ACL during the celebration!
Mainz 05 surprisingly lost 1-0 to newly-promoted Hannover 96 at home, while Borussia Dortmund demolished VfL Wolfsburg 3-0 away. That was a match in which Mario Götze returned to the team and American youngster Christian Pulisic had a goal and an assist.
Then on Saturday evening, a surprisingly strong Schalke 04 team, led by new coach Domenico Tedesco defeated RB Leipzig 2-0.
On Sunday SC Freiburg and Eintracht Frankfurt ended in a scoreless draw, while Borussia Mönchengladbach defeated its regional rival 1.FC Cologne by a score of 1-0.
Overall it was a strong start to Europe’s most watchable league.