The Bundesliga’s first match day of 2016-17 is in the books. The German top-flight saw 26 goals scored in the opening three days of the season, and six of those came in one match. No fixture finished scoreless in the opening weekend, and fans can expect much of the same attacking football this season.
Bayern Munich are still the class of the Bundesliga
Despite changing coaches in the offseason, Bayern Munich are still the class of German football. Carlo Ancelotti’s men put six goals past a poor Werder Bremen side that just avoided relegation last season. Robert Lewandowski started the season with a hat-trick and Bayern once again showed top spot in Germany is theirs to lose.
Eintracht Frankfurt starts with win
Last season’s relegation playoff winners, Eintracht just preserved their top-flight status. Saturday’s 1-0 win over Schalke was the Bundesliga’s most exciting game of the weekend featuring a red card, missed a penalty and a fiery final 15 minutes. Eintracht held on for the 1-0 win despite being reduced to 10 men.
The team went undefeated in five of their last six matches a season ago, and the momentum looks to have carried over. Perhaps a season away from the relegation zone could be ahead Die Adler.
Borussia Monchengladbach are Bayern’s title rivals
After flirting with relegation early on last term, Borussia Monchengladbach got themselves sorted out, finishing in fourth. Saturday’s win over Bayer Leverkusen was a dominating performance as second half substitute Thorgan Hazard unlocked Bayer’s defence to set up Lars Stindl’s winner.
While most experts view Borussia Dortmund as Bayern’s main title rival, ‘Gladbach cannot be ignored as a dark horse for the Bundesliga crown.
Die Foals were undefeated against Bayern last season, winning 3-1 at home and drawing 1-1 at the Allianz Arena. ‘Gladbach were one of two teams to beat Bayern a year ago, and the only Bundesliga side to go undefeated against the Bavarians.
Werder Bremen will fight for survival
Last season, Werder Bremen just preserved their top-flight status thanks to a late goal against Eintracht on the final day of the season. Bremen looked woeful in Friday’s Bundesliga kick-off, giving up six goals to Bayern.
Bremen lack quality in the starting XI and since losing Franco Di Santo ahead of the 2015-16 season, haven’t found a striker to pick up the goal-scoring slack.
Bremen tallied 29% possession against Bayern, and the Germans only registered four shots. Of course, Bremen won’t have to play Bayern every week, but performances in the attack like the one on Friday will see the team relegated in May.
Andre Schurrle was a brilliant piece of business
One assist and an 81.3% pass success rate in his Dortmund Bundesliga debut, Andre Schurrle looked well worth the £26.9m the club paid for him. Schurrle also tallied six key passes in Dortmund’s opener, cutting Mainz’s defence apart.
His addition will take the pressure off of Mario Gotze, Shinji Kagawa and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Dortmund’s attack rivals that of anyone else in the league except Bayern.