- Borussia Dortmund – Schalke 04 3:3
- 1.FC Köln – Bayern München 0:3
- Werder Bremen – Energie Cottbus 3:0
- Hertha BSC Berlin – VfL Wolfsburg 2:2
- 1899 Hoffenheim – VfB Stuttgart 0:0
- Hamburger SV – Bayer Leverkusen 3:2
- Eintracht Frankfurt – Karlsruher SC ppd
- VfL Bochum – Arminia Bielefeld 2:0
- Hannover 96 – Borussia Mönchengladbach 5:1
What a great way to get back to the everyday routine of Bundesliga football after the World Cup qualifying break. Although things were looking rather strange on Friday evening. The match between Frankfurt and Karlsruhe had to be postponed after a Madonna concert at the Frankfurt stadium. The lawn which was brought in after the show did not grow enough roots to be a playable pitch. So the players must have had the Madonna song ringing in their ears that “this used to be our playground”, but now it’s just an acre.
So everything started on Saturday with two big matches. First up there’s the German equivalent to the “Old Firm” or “El Clásico”. Dortmund vs Schalke has a long tradition of fierce and intense games and this one had it all. The old coal region of Germany, the “Ruhrgebiet” is devided into yellow-black and blue parts (with afew renegades inbetween who support Essen, Duisburg or Bochum) and those two matches are the biggest days in that area. That game was matched by the media fuzz before the start only by the 1.FC Köln vs Bayern München tie. The main actor in this one was former Cologne hero Lukas Podolski, who was transferred to Munich after the 2006 World Cup and never made it into the starting eleven premanently in his first two years. this led to a huge speculation before the closing of the transfer window because one clause in his contract says that whenever Bayern gets an offer for him they have to consult with Cologne first. At the river Rhine they are still hoping for their lost son to return to their club and so this homecoming was a very special one.
The result wasn’t surprising, but Podolski scored the last goal and was celebrated by the whole stadium, not only by the Bayern supporters. He refused to celebrate his goal like the same way he did against Poland during this year’s Euro competition.
At Dortmund the spectators saw a great and highly intense game with six goals, two red cards and quite a few dubious decisions by the referee. Schalke went ahead 0-3 and had Kevin Kuranyi scored the fourth goal in the 2nd half the whole thing would have been settled by then. But Schalke allowed Dortmund to get back into the game and hurt themselves with two crazy red cards to Christian Pander and Fabian Ernst. Dortmund capitalized only two minutes from time with a doutful had penalty by Alexander Frei in his comeback match (who also scored the 2nd Dortmund goal from what looked like an offside position) and was on the verge of winning the match when the referee ended it with only one minute of injury time. Schalke was lucky though as there should have been a third red card to Rafinha who seemed to be begging to be sent off.
Elsewhere Bremen got back on track with a win over Cottbus, Hamburg came from behind once again against Leverkusen, Hoffenheim held Stuttgart to a draw, Hannover crushed Mönchengladbach, Bochum notched their first win of the season over Bielefeld and Wolfsburg remained unbeaten against Berlin.
Moving down the leagues Fortuna Köln managed to grab their first away win on Friday in their match against Sportfreunde Siegen. The winning goal was scored by defender Cedric Mimbala who just came back from an injury. With this win the club moves up the table and has a chance to tighten its grip on the front row places with a win over last place Hammer Spvg next weekend.