Bundesliga Team of the Week: Matchday 3
Goals galore, surprise victories and resolute defensive displays – Bundesliga Matchday 3 had a bit of everything! Check out our Fantasy Team of the Week below…
While Mark Uth stole the show at one end, Oliver Baumann kept things tight at the other with a string of excellent saves in the closing stages of Hoffenheim’s 2-0 win over champions Bayern Munich. Baumann was at full stretch to thwart Javi Martinez with ten minutes left on the clock, before denying both Robert Lewandowski and substitute Arjen Robben in the dying stages.
Speaking of Brosinski, the 29-year-old slots in at right-back on the back of an all-action display against Die Werkself. Only Bell and Leverkusen’s Admir Mehmedi won more challenges than the Karlsruhe-born defender, while he also helped set up Yoshinori Muto’s opener on the stroke of half-time, showing great determination before crossing for the Japan international, who finished with aplomb.
One of two Mainz defenders to make our Team of the Week, Diallo was also heavily involved at both ends of the pitch in the Zerofivers’ win over Bayer Leverkusen. Not only did Diallo – a summer signing from Monaco – net Mainz’s second goal in an eventual 3-1 success, he also won 12 challenges – only Daniel Brosinski (13) and Stefan Bell (17) won more duels than the Frenchman.
Oczipka was not the only defender to set up a goal on Matchday 3: In-form Alfred Finnbogason headed home the first of his three goals against Cologne from Max’s pin-point cross. The 23-year-old was heavily involved throughout at the WWK Arena, enjoying more touches of the ball (52) than any other Augsburg player and helping Manuel Baum’s side keep their first clean sheet of the season.
Schalke defender Naldo celebrated his 35th birthday on Sunday, but the Brazilian centre-back has Oczipka to thank for making his special day, well, extra special. The former Frankfurt man’s exquisite ball in the 46th minute of the Royal Blues’ triumph over Stuttgart found the head of the veteran defender, who accepted the gift with relish as he directed the header past Ron-Robert Zieler and into the net. Indeed, Oczipka delivered more crosses (3), than any other Schalke player on Sunday.
Only team-mate Naby Keita won more duels than Halstenberg (16) in Leipzig’s victory over Hamburg, whose unbeaten start to the season came to an abrupt end at the Volkparkstadion. The hosts tried desperately to find a chink in the Leipzig rearguard, but Halstenberg and company held firm to record their first clean sheet of the campaign.
If Leipzig supporters were in any doubt of Keita’s commitment to the RBL cause following confirmation of his move to Liverpool, their fears were allayed in Hamburg on Friday. Not only did the Guinea international open the scoring against the Red Shorts with a rocket from just outside the penalty area, he also won more challenges (20) than any other player on the pitch.
If he can remain injury free this season, Didavi could play a key role in keeping the Wolves’ heads above water this term. The 27-year-old’s free-kick in the 1-1 draw against Hannover was a joy to behold and left Reds goalkeeper Philipp Tschauner clutching at thin air. Didavi attempted more shots (five) than any other player at the Volkswagen Arena and would have registered an assist or two had it not been for some profligate finishing from the hosts.
Öztunali came back to haunt his former employers at the OPEL ARENA, providing two assists to help his current side to their first points of the campaign. Part of the Germany Under-21 squad that were crowned European champions this summer, Öztunali delivered a superb cross for Diallo to score Mainz’s second goal, before showing great awareness and composure to tee up Suat Serdar to make it 3-1.
If he can bag a hat-trick just a couple of days after recovering from a virus, imagine how many he’ll score when he’s fully fit! Finnbogason picked up an illness while on international duty with Iceland recently, but dispelled any doubts over his fitness with an excellent treble against Cologne, lifting him to the top of the Bundesliga goalscoring charts. Eintracht Frankfurt, Augsburg’s opponents on Matchday 4, had better beware.
Mark Uth (Hoffenheim), 14pts
“Uth, Uth, Uth!” was the cry from the home supporters after Hoffenheim’s superb win over Bayern, and who can blame them? The Cologne-born striker became the first player in the club’s history to net a brace against the record titleholders, smashing past Manuel Neuer at the near post to open the scoring before guiding home Steven Zuber’s cut-back to seal a memorable win.
Watch: Uth doffs hat to Kramaric after Hoffenheim’s victory over Bayern