2.Bundesliga Week 4 Round-up

Daniel Candeias impresses on his Nürnberg debut.

Daniel Candeias impresses on his Nürnberg debut.

The 2.Bundesliga has already whipped us up a few surprises this season and there’s a few teams which are unexpectedly sitting at the top end of the table. There are currently six teams all at the top with eight points and they’ve all yet to taste defeat in the league, they include newly promoted sides in RB Leipzig and Darmstadt, Karlsruher and Kaiserslautern who were challenging at the top last season and two sides that have started surprisingly well in Ingolstadt and a revitalized Bochum side. Two sides struggling in the early stages are Union Berlin and St. Pauli they’ll be looking to turn things around soon. This week we’ve seen two sackings, St. Pauli have replaced Roland Vrabec with Thomas Meggle, while the bottom club Erzgebirge Aue have sacked Falko Götz following the club’s worst start to a season, youth coaches Steffen Ziffert and Robin Lenk will take charge until a new head coach is appointed.

Nürnberg run riot in Berlin.

The entertainment started very early on and it was the home side that came close first, Björn Jopek was fouled and his effort from the resulting freekick cannoned off the crossbar. Nürnberg responded to that early scare and it was the new man Daniel Candeias that opened the scoring, Robert Koch regained possession for Nürnberg and played in Candeias who fired brilliantly past Daniel Haas at his near post. Both sides had a couple of chances each, however it was Nürnberg that doubled their lead, Candeias’ cross from the right deflected into the path of Timo Gebhart who headed past Haas. Sören Brandy missed a golden chance when he skipped past two defenders, before a horrible finish saw his one-on-one chance go well wide. Just before the break Union Berlin were reduced to ten men, Martin Dausch received a straight red after elbowing Candeias after he made his pass.

Things got worse for the home side just past the hour mark, Christopher Trimmel was booked for pulling the shirt of Alessandro Schöpf and then a few minutes later he received a second booking for a reckless tackle on Ondrej Petrak. Four minutes after the sending off Peniel Mlapa came off the bench and 19 seconds later he scored to make it 3-0, Gebhart’s shot was spilled by Haas and Mlapa pounced on the rebound. Twelve minutes from time Nürnberg wrapped up the scoring, a lovely move resulted in Koch firing a low effort past Haas, the Union keeper once again beaten at the near post. Nürnberg’s clinical display sees them move into 8th place, while Union Berlin drop to 15th.

Aalen’s late goal denies Kaiserslautern all three points.

Kaiserslautern set a quick tempo from the start and they forced two saves out of Jasmin Fejzić early on, first up was Srđan Lakić who’s header from a corner forced Fejzić to punch the ball away, then the second effort saw Kevin Stöger beat a defender before seeing his shot flicked round the post. Kaiserslautern opened the scoring after 15 minutes, Karim Matmour played a lovely pass through to Stöger and the midfielder comfortably slotted his shot through Fejzić’s legs. Aalen almost levelled things when Nejmeddin Daghfous’ shot from range flew just wide. Michael Klauß soon after had a golden chance when he found space in the box, however his effort went straight to Tobias Sippel.

Kaiserslautern felt they should’ve been awarded a penalty when Stöger collided with Fejzić, however it would’ve been a harsh penalty to give. After both teams wasted good opportunities Aalen finally got themselves level, a corner wasn’t dealt with well by Kaiserslautern, Daghfous’ diving header was blocked by Marcel Gaus, but Oliver Barth reacted the quickest and he hooked the ball in. Aalen were only level for six minutes, Kaiserslautern sub Amin Younes got away from his marker and provided a great cross to the back post for Lakić to head the away side back into the lead. Four minutes from time Aalen once again found an equaliser, this time from the penalty spot. Fabio Kaufmann was knocked down by Dominique Heintz and Leandro Grech stepped up to convert. The draw means Kaiserslautern are one of the six teams on eight points, while Aalen are in 10th place with five points.

FSV Frankfurt hold RB Leipzig to a goalless draw.

This was an evenly fought match and in the early stages it was FSV Frankfurt that produced the better chances, they came close from a corner, but Benjamin Bellot saved comfortably. After FSV Frankfurt came close on a couple more occasions RB Leipzig managed to muster up some decent attacks, unfortunately they lacked quality in the area. FSV almost took the lead when the ball was flicked over the defence to Edmond Kapllani, he lobbed the ball over Bellot, however Tim Sebastian managed to race back and clear the effort off the line. RB Leipzig responded and their best chance of the first half fell to Matthias Morys after a lovely turn he was through on goal, unfortunately for Leipzig it was a tame finish and Patric Klandt was able to save. Both sides clashed just before the break, after a hard tackle from Hanno Balitsch on Diego Demme, Clemens Fandrich shoved the defender to the ground and this resulted in him picking up his second yellow of the game. The last piece of action in the half saw Vincenzo Grifo beat two defenders before firing his shot just wide.

With the man advantage FSV produced chance after chance, just as he finished the half Grifo started the second with a good run beating a defender, however his finish was straight at Bellot. Grifo continued to cause plenty of problems for RB Leipzig and after a run down the left he cut inside and fired a shot at goal, Bellot could only parry the effort and Zafer Yelen was there to poke the rebound past Bellot and amazingly past the post. Late on FSV missed another golden chance, a deep freekick into the area saw Alexander Huber’s header hit the post, he was on the end of the rebound, but once again failed to hit the target, Kappani came close to knocking it in before the ball flew wide. RB Leipzig just managed to hold onto the draw and that result sees them in 3rd place with eight points and FSV Frankfurt are in 13th place with four points.

Karlsruher fail to make the most of possession as they share the points with Heidenheim.

Things got off to the best possible start for Heidenheim, it took them six minutes to take the lead. Reinhold Yabo’s cross was headed clear, Florian Niederlechner then played the ball to Adriano Grimaldi on the halfway line, the striker shrugged off Dennis Kempe before breezing past Manuel Gulde’s challenge and calmly slotting his shot under Dirk Orlishausen. Karlsruher almost got themselves level thanks to Jan Zimmermann making a mess of Manuel Torres’ cross, luckily for the keeper a team mate was able to clear the danger. Early into the second half Karlsruher were given a penalty, Torres was played through and after knocking the ball past Zimmermann they both collided. Yabo stepped up for the home side and despite Zimmermann guessing the right way, Yabo’s penalty was just out of reach. Iliyan Mitsanski almost gave Karlsruher the lead in fantastic fashion, however his optimistic overhead was just too high and clipped the top of the bar. The last chance of the game fell to Gulde, the defender’s effort saw Zimmermann react well to palm the shot away. Karlruher are yet to lose and find themselves in 5th place, Heidenheim have started the season well and are currently in 11th place with eight points.

Düsseldorf get back on track with win against Aue.

Düsseldorf get back on track with a win against Aue.

Fortuna Düsseldorf pile on the misery for Erzgebirge Aue. 

It took Düsseldorf just two minutes to take the lead, a poor corner saw Charlison Benschop flick the ball to Lukas Schmitz, his shot fell to Erwin Hoffer, who controlled before firing past Martin Männel. Soon after Aue went behind Romario Kortzorg forced Michael Rensing into action with his volley, the Düsseldorf keeper producing a good save. Things got worse for the home side, a poor clearance from Kortzorg resulted in Michael Liendl turning and playing the ball through to the overlapping Julian Schauerte, the right back pulled the ball back to Benschop and the Dutchman fired into the bottom corner. Aue should’ve pulled a goal back when Arvydas Novikovas drifted inside, his pass found Frank Löning who laid the ball off to Henri Anier and despite having plenty of space he could only hit his shot straight at Rensing. Hoffer missed a golden chance to make it 3-0 and to get his second of the game, Schmitz played in Axel Bellinghausen down the left and his cross found Hoffer, but somehow the Austrian missed from six yards out. Five minutes into the second half Düsseldorf finally made it three and Hoffer finally got his second, a quick counter attack saw Bellinghausen burst forward and after receiving the ball Benschop played a lovely through ball to Hoffer, who confidently slotted past Männel. Aue could’ve got a goal back, but after Dorian Diring found Rico Benatelli, the midfielder dragged an awful shot well wide. Aue continue their dreadful start and are still yet to earn a point and deservedly sit at the bottom, Düsseldorf’s good performance now sees them in 9th place with five points.

Simon Terodde and Bochum continue to impress against Eintracht Braunschweig.

Both clubs had a couple of half chances each in the opening minutes and in the 5th minute it was Bochum that made one of their chances count. Stanislav Šesták slipped the ball through to the in-form Simon Terodde and the league’s top scorer showed us why he’s at the top by clinically firing past Rafal Gikiewicz. Bochum’s lead lasted twelve minutes, Stefano Celozzi poorly headed back towards his own goal and Mirko Boland bounced, the midfielder managed to get away from Patrick Fabian and fire low into the bottom corner past Michael Esser. Braunschweig almost took the lead when a cross from the right saw Esser palm the ball away from Boland and then quickly getting up to deny Dennis Kruppke’s effort. Bochum came close before half time, Yusuke Tasaka’s freekick from the right saw Michael Gregoritsch leap the highest, but he could only head wide from five yards out. Both teams had a number of chances in the second half and despite Braunschweig having the better of possession they found themselves behind in the 77th minute. Bochum’s second came from a corner, Jan Šimůnek flicked the ball on and Braunschweig were rightly punished for leaving Terodde unmarked at the back post. Piotr Cwielong could’ve and should’ve made it 3-1 to Bochum, after being played through on goal he managed to dink the ball over Gikiewicz, despite managing to get back Marcel Correia gifted the ball back to Cwielong and he blazed his shot well over. The win sees Bochum sharing top spot with Ingolstadt and Eintracht Braunschweig dropping to 12th place after suffering back to back defeats.

1860 Munich and Darmstadt can’t be separated.

Darmstadt enjoyed the better of the first half and after a few chances weren’t taken they finally tested Stefan Ortega Moreno with Jérôme Gondorf’s effort from range. Soon after Darmstadt took the lead, Marcel Heller continued to cause a threat down the left and for the opener he managed to get past two defenders in order to pull the ball back to Dominik Stroh-Engel, who calmly finished. Hanno Behrens almost doubled Darmstadt’s lead, his long range effort flew past everyone and narrowly went wide. Leonardo responded with a long range effort of his own and the 1860 man forced a good save out of Christian Mathenia. Ten minutes into the second half Leonardo caused problems once again, he then laid the ball off to Yannick Stark, who’s shot was blocked, Bobby Wood then directed the ball to Rubin Okotie with his header and the Austrian volleyed past Mathenia. Leonardo was once again involved in an attack and his pass to Wood saw the American through on goal after a great first touch, sadly for 1860 he couldn’t beat Mathenia with his shot. Darmstadt almost regained the lead when Tobias Kempe slipped the ball through to Marco Sailer, his effort was straight at Ortega Moreno and Stroh-Engel’s follow up was headed away from danger. Darmstadt finished the game strongly and they came close through Gondorf, who’s header hit the side netting and then from a corner Benjamin Gorka’s header was cleared off the line. Darmstadt are now in 4th place with that draw, while 1860 Munich move up to 16th after grabbing their second point of the season.

Ingolstadt breeze past Sandhausen to keep up their impressive start to the season.

Ingolstadt got off to a brilliant start and in the 7th minute they took the lead, much to the anger of Sandhausen. Alfredo Morales played a great ball over the top to Stefan Lex, after Lex appeared to control with his arm Manuel Riemann came out but both missed the ball and Lex was able to tap the ball in. Sandhausen could’ve levelled things from a corner, but neither Florian Hübner or René Gartler could get enough contact on the ball to direct it in. Sandhausen were denied a penalty when Manuel Stiefler was brought down by Roger. Ingolstadt doubled their lead on the hour mark, Mathew Leckie whipped in a great cross and Lukas Hinterseer was left unmarked in the six yard box where he hooked the ball past Riemann. Ingolstadt continued to dominate the game and Riemann did well to deny Morales and Lex, who both had good one-on-one opportunities. Eleven minutes from time Lex grabed his second and Ingolstadt’s third when he tucked the ball past Riemann after Morales played him through. After the comfortable victory Ingolstadt now share top spot with Bochum and that defeat sees Sandhausen drop to 17th place having not picked up a win so far.

Greuther Fürth prove too much for St. Pauli to handle.

After some early chances for St. Pauli, Greuther Fürth finally woke up after some warning signs and they took the lead in the 21st minute. Niko Gießelmann produced an outstanding cross from the left and after picking out Kacper Przybyłko the striker was able to take his chance and head past Philipp Tschauner. Two minutes after scoring their first goal Fürth doubled their lead, once again a cross from the left saw Marco Stiepermann’s cross headed in at the back post by Zsolt Korcsmár. Fürth continued to have the most of possession in the second half and they wrapped up the scoring in fantastic fashion, Florian Trinks fired a brilliant freekick into the top corner leaving Tschauner with no chance. The win for Fürth sees them move into 7th place and the defeat sees St. Pauli move down to 14th place.

Match Report: Greuther Fürth 3-0 St. Pauli: Kleeblätter batter poor Pauli.

Article for VAVEL.

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