Even this early in the Niko Kovac era, even with the league season looking so embryonic, Bayern Munich already unstoppable in the Bundesliga. Die Roten are still impeccable this season, four wins from four games, 11 goals scored, two conceded, while the rest strive to keep up.
Last season, Schalke were the king of the ‘others’ in the league, Domenico Tedesco’s side finishing in second place, but their league record this term read: Three games, three defeats as Bayern came to town.
Schalke were very encouraging in the Champions League draw at home to Porto in midweek, and Tedesco would have hoped the Miners have that positivity in them against the champions.
But it took less than 10 minutes for whatever optimism they had to turn to dread, only eight minutes had been played when James Rodriguez headed in Joshua Kimmich’s cross for the opener. Bayern added a second not long after the hour mark, Robert Lewandowski getting his second goal in as many games with a penalty for the visitors. Bayern remain spotless and on top, Schalke stay pointless and bottom.
Borussia Dortmund, who would be expected by many to keep pace with Bayern, had to make do with a point at Hoffenheim. Lucien Favre’s side fell behind at the Rhein Neckar Arena after Joelinton gave Hoffenheim the advantage just before halftime. And when Abdou Diallo got sent off for Dortmund with 15 minutes left, the visitors’ defeat looked cast in stone. But Die Schwarzgelben would restore parity as Christian Pulisic, their match-winner at Club Brugge in midweek, popped up with an equaliser six minutes from time, to ensure the spoils would be shared. Hoffenheim have four points from four games and are in the bottom half, while Dortmund are now four points behind the champions.
Elsewhere, it was a result of mass and massive relief at the Bay Arena, as a 62nd-minute goal from Kai Havertz gave Bayer Leverkusen a much-needed first league win of the season at home to Mainz, while Wolfsburg tasted their first defeat of the season, a 3-1 reverse at home to Freiburg, who have their first victory of the campaign.
Hertha Berlin moved up to second place in the league, after a brace from Vedad Ibisevic helped them to a 4-2 win over Borussia Monchengladbach, Pal Dardai’s side now on 10 points, two behind Bayern Munich. Werder Bremen saw off brave Augsburg by the odd goal in five, Stuttgart remain winless after a goalless stalemate at home to Fortuna Dusseldorf, and so do Hannover, who suffered defeat at Nuremberg.
Leverkusen 1-0 Mainz
Schalke 0-2 Bayern Munich
Frankfurt 1-1 RB Leipzig
Hoffenheim 1-1 Dortmund
Wolfsburg 1-3 Freiburg
Stuttgart 0-0 Dusseldorf
Augsburg 2-3 Werder Bremen
Hertha BSC 4-2 Monchengladbach
Nuremberg 0-0 Hannover
Image Credit: 90 min