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Bundesliga Weekly: Leverkusen hold Bayern to a draw, BVB keep crawling and Gladbach could really go down

Welcome to our inaugural Bundesliga weekly column – your go-to source for the latest updates and insights from the world of German football.

Following a bustling international break, the Bundesliga roared back to life with an electrifying start to the fourth round of matches. 

The headline act featured the league leaders, Bayer Leverkusen squaring off against Bayern Munich in a highly-anticipated showdown.

Meanwhile, other captivating fixtures unfolded across the league. Freiburg faced a struggling Borussia Dortmund side, promising a clash of contrasting fortunes.

RB Leipzig locked horns with Augsburg in an intriguing battle. Further down the table, Borussia Monchengladbach took on Darmstadt 98.

Here’s a recap of the exciting Matchday 4 of the Bundesliga.

Bayer Leverkusen hold Bayern Munich to 2-2 draw in Bavaria 

Die Wekself, led by former Bayern midfielder Xabi Alonso, has started the season well. They top the table on goal difference. 

However, Bayern remained close, waiting for an opportunity to claim the top spot.

In the match at the Allianz Arena, Bayern took an early lead through summer signing Harry Kane

Although Bayern dominated the first 15 minutes, Leverkusen gradually regained momentum. Alejandro Grimaldo’s spectacular free-kick from just outside the box levelled the score.

Leverkusen gained control of the game, with Florian Wirtz and Victor Boniface creating multiple scoring opportunities. 

Boniface even found the net, but it was ruled offside. Leverkusen’s Wirtz struggled to find his scoring touch against Bayern’s defence after another interchange with Boniface.

Bayern threatened to regain the lead, with Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka coming close. Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky was in majestic form and kept them at bay.

Both teams continued to battle in the second half, with Wirtz and Boniface missing chances for a memorable Leverkusen victory.

Kane also missed a crucial opportunity, denied once again by Hradecky.

The game finally saw a decisive moment as Leon Goretzka scored late, capitalising on a precise cross from Mathys Tel.

The young Frenchman set up the chance from the wing after coming on for Serge Gnabry.

However, the match had one more twist as Alphonso Davies fouled Jonas Hofmann in the box, resulting in a late penalty. 

Ezekiel Palacios confidently converted it, securing Leverkusen’s position at the top of the Bundesliga in one of the most thrilling football matches you’ll ever see.

Borussia Dortmund stage comeback win amidst glaring struggles

Dortmund secured a crucial 4-2 victory against Freiburg, aiming to regain confidence after a disappointing start to their Bundesliga campaign.

The win was pivotal as they prepared for a midweek Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

Freiburg, seeking redemption following a heavy loss to Stuttgart before the international break, had European commitments of their own against Olympiacos in the Europa League.

Dortmund took the lead with a powerful Mats Hummels header from a corner. Although Dortmund appeared in control, Freiburg remained a threat, especially with Ritsu Doan looking lively.

However, talisman Vincenzo Grifo came off the bench early in the first half to make the most notable impact for Freiburg. He created chances from set pieces, including Philipp Leinhart’s shot that hit the post. 

Lucas Holer equalised for Freiburg just before half-time from Grifo’s precise delivery.

Freiburg took the lead before the half-time whistle, with Nicholas Hofler heading in another Grifo delivery. 

However, Dortmund fought back in the second half, with new signing Niclas Fullkrug assisting Donyell Malen to level the score at 2-2.

Hofler was sent off for a reckless challenge on Marcel Sabitzer as the game progressed, giving Dortmund the advantage. 

Hummels found the net again, and Marco Reus sealed the win, papering over Dortmund’s struggles this season.

The victory served as a much-needed boost for Borussia Dortmund, who have been underperforming under Edin Terzic’s leadership.

RB Leipzig blitz past Augsburg in rampant 3-0 win

Leipzig lost their first Bundesliga clash against Bayer Leverkusen but bounced back with victories over Stuttgart and Union Berlin.

They flew out of the blocks against Augsburg, with Xavi Simons stooping to head home Lois Openda’s cross from the right-hand channel. 

The Dutchman has been on fire for Die Roten Bullen since signing and he turned provider for Openda, who slotted beyond Janis Blaswich to make it 2-0 by the tenth minute.

They made it three after 27 minutes as Yussuf Poulsen raced down the right side and crossed into the box. The ball found David Raum, who powered his effort home.

Marco Rose’s side continued to pepper the visitors, dominating in every sphere of the game and seeing out their victory.

However, Ermedin Demirovic missed a glorious chance to pull one back following a precise cross from Phillip Tietz.

Rose’s Leipzig are showing they are ready to challenge Bayern for the Bundesliga title alongside Leverkusen. 

As for Augsburg, coach Enrico Maassen will hope his side can avoid another disappointing result when they take on bottom-placed Mainz next week.

Monchengladbach battle back from three down to earn 3-3 draw against Darmstadt

Monchengladbach are in a relegation battle, and the signs don’t look good. They had only one point from their opening games and were steeped in the drop zone with Darmstadt.

Things did not start well for Die Fohlen as they conceded twice in the first ten minutes of the clash. Firstly, Fabian Holland sent a delightful ball that Marvin Maylem controlled expertly before firing home. 

Tobias Kempe was the next to deliver a peach of a ball for Croatian defender Matej Maglica to power a header home.

Things went from bad to worse as Fabian Nurnberger made it 3-0 when a botched Gladbach clearance sat up nicely for him to smash it home.

Gerardo Seoane’s side missed a penalty but then fought back to take something from the game.

Five minutes after the penalty miss, Rocco Reitz stormed into the Darmstadt box and cut the ball back for Jordan Pefok to pull one back.

Cvancara made up for his mistake from the spot as he cushioned a header back for Florian Neuhaus to fire in as the Foals piled the pressure.

Czech Republic forward Cvancara was a man on a mission. He arrowed a blinding shot from outside the box to earn his side a point.

Gladbach climbed to 14th, but they are still hovering above the danger zone as Torsten Lieberknecht’s side remained at the bottom end of the table.

High-flying Hoffenheim seal comfortable 3-1 victory over struggling FC Koln

TSG Hoffenheim boss Pellegrino Matarazzo has them flying in the opening weeks of the Bundesliga campaign, and they picked up another vital three points against the Billy Goats.

Hoffenheim did not waste any time, opening the scoring in the first minute through talisman Andrej Kramaric. It was his second goal of the season. 

Florian Grillitsch scored arguably the best goal of the matchday as he netted from the halfway line after Marvin Schwabe made an error in judgment to leave his post.

Grillitsch turned provider for Maximilian Beler in the second half before David Selke pulled one back. 

Koln fashioned some half chances but could not find their way back into the game as TSG took all three points.

Around the grounds

FC Heidenheim defeated Werder Bremen to earn a historic victory on home soil. Heidenheim talisman Tim Kleindienst took them in front, angling a penalty beyond Jiri Pavlenka in the Bremen goal on five.

Loanee Eren Dinkci took the ball just inside his half and jinked past three Bremen players before doubling the lead on the stroke of half-time. He refused to celebrate against his parent club.

The visitors won a penalty in the 49th minute. Kevin Muller saved substitute Marvin Ducksch’s effort, but the former Hannover 96 striker headed home the rebound. 

Mitchell Weiser equalised for Bremen, heading in Olivier Deman’s cross, but Heidenheim regained the lead moments later as Dinkci slotted in his second.

Jan-Niklas Beste sealed proceedings after 75 minutes, firing a terrific hit beyond Pavlenka to secure the three points.

VFL Bochum and Eintracht Frankfurt played out a heated 1-1 draw in Bochum. Eric Ebimbe was a bright spark for Die Adler and opened the scoring in the second half, drilling home a shot from the edge of the box.

Omar Marmoush was unnecessarily aggressive in his box and earned himself a yellow card to gift Bochum a penalty that Kevin Stoger converted to get his side a point. 

Wolfsburg beat Union Berlin at the Volkswagen arena to climb to sixth in the league table in a match that was done and dusted in the first 30 minutes.

Lovro Majer set up Jonas Wind to slot home the opener before Robin Gosens powered in Alssa Laidouni’s cross to equalise. Joakhim Maehle sealed the three points with a terrific hit.

Bottom of the table Mainz fell to another defeat against VfB Stuttgart. Serhou Guirassy’s hat-trick put the 05ers to the sword.

Bundesliga Player of the Week

Guirassy’s hat-trick for Stuttgart against Mainz means the Frenchman remains the leading scorer in the German top-flight.

The former Rennes man has made an incredible start to the season, notching eight goals in four league games.

Guirassy opened the scoring in the 56th minute as Waldemar Anton slipped him down the right channel before he put a deft finish beyond Robin Zentner.

Leandro Martins equalised for Mainz, but Guirassy doubled up. Maximilian Mittlestadt fed him the ball, and he dropped one defender before shooting through Zentner. 

He made it three as he looped one defender and headed over the keeper in the dying moments to continue his fine start.

Games to watch on Matchday 5

Dortmund welcome Wolfsburg to the Signal Iduna Park in what should be a tasty match-up, while Bayern face Bochum at the Allianz Arena.

Gladbach will hope they can get something when a rampant Leipzig side visit, while Leverkusen play Heidenheim.

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