Tuesday, October 4, 2011

German Bundesliga Team of the Week: Gameweek 8

Editorial | German Bundesliga Team of the Week |

GK: Oliver Baumann (Freiburg)

Freiburg's quest to avoid relegation was given a significant boost on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over in-form Borussia Monchengladbach, but things could have been very different had it not been for the heroics of Baumann in goal.

The 21-year-old was a calming influence at the back with his commanding dealing of high balls, but also showed excellent reflexes to deny Juan Arango's goal-bound header in the 76th minute.

RB: Gonzalo Castro (Bayer Leverkusen)

Leverkusen got back to winning ways on Saturday, recording a 3-1 victory over Wolfsburg. And they have Castro to take for the perfect start, with the full-back putting them ahead in the 14th minute.

Good work from Eren Derdiyok and Stefan Kiessling crafted an opening for the German international, who showed excellent composure to round Wolfsburg custodian Diego Benaglio, before scoring from a tight angle.

CB: Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim)

Hoffenheim have been inconsistent all season, winning four and losing three of their seven games so far prior to the weekend's fixtures. But they showed no fear on Saturday despite hosting red-hot Bayern, matching their more illustrious opponents blow for blow and holding up for a well-deserved point.

Credit has to go to Vorsah, who showed apparent disregard for his body as he defended his goal resolutely. First, he showed good anticipation to block Toni Kroos' close-range effort, before he repeated the feat to deny Thomas Muller from handing Bayern the lead.

CB: Johannes Flum (Freiburg)

Most clubs have players who are highly-valued by their peers solely for their versatility and ability to do a role no matter where they are deployed.

On Saturday, Flum played that role to perfection when fielded in the heart of defence by coach Marcus Sorg. Not only the 23-year-old show the defensive awareness of a veteran, he also exhibited his midfield traits by making his way forward in the 19th minute to unleash a shot, which was deflected past Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Gladbach goal.

LB: Christian Fuchs (Schalke)

Schalke's resurgence after a disappointing campaign last term continued on Sunday with a 2-1 win over Hamburg, but while it was Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who got the goals, it was Fuchs who put in a match-winning performance in defence.

The Austrian international kept his opponent quiet all day, but also found time to venture forward and deliver a pinpoint cross for Huntelaar's winner.

RM: Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund)

After a slow start to the season, the Dortmund and Germany wonderkid continued his return to form in Dortmund's 4-0 rout of newly-promoted Augsburg.

The 19-year-old showed enterprise and never shied away from testing Augsburg keeper Simon Jentzsch from range, and was rewarded for his efforts in the 75th minute when he fired home from close range. But Gotze looks most comfortable when pulling the strings from midfield, which he did just three minutes later, picking out Robert Lewandowski with a pinpoint cross, which his team-mate headed home with aplomb.

CM: Markus Feulner (Nuremberg)

While it's still early days, Nuremberg and Mainz put in their contender for match of the season, playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Frankenstadion on Saturday.

And on an afternoon where attacking football came to the fore, Feulner put in an impressive display which went a long way in earning his side a point. While his opener was fairly straightforward - tapping home Tomas Pekhart's knockdown, his assist for Nuremberg's second was anything but. The 29-year-old let a counter-attack into the Mainz penalty box, before intelligently laying the ball back for Robert Mak to slot home.

CM: Andreas Ivanschitz (Mainz)

And while Nuremberg had Feulner to thank for a well-deserved point, it was Ivanschitz who put in an outstanding shift for Mainz on Saturday. The former Austria captain was dominant in the centre of the park, and regularly looked to carve openings for the visitors.

And he was even responsible for putting Mainz 3-2 ahead in the 52nd minute, when he met Marcel Risse's deflected cross with a powerful header that left Alexander Stephan with absolutely no chance.

LM: Anis Ben-Hatira (Hertha Berlin)

Newly-promoted Hertha have so far enjoyed a good start to the campaign since returning to Germany's top-flight, and much of that is due to the fine form of Ben-Hatira.

Once touted as a future star, the 23-year-old never truly made his mark whilst at Hamburg, but seems to be on a new lease of life at the Olympic Stadium. Display his full array of creative talents in the 3-0 win over Cologne, Ben-Hatira raced forward before laying off a neat pass to Pierre-Michel Lasogga for Hertha's opener. And the combination worked wonders again just ten minutes later, when Lasogga powerfully headed home Ben-Hatira's wicked cross from the left.

ST: Mohammed Abdellaoue (Hannover)

Hannover have had a storming start to the season, and are currently in contention for European qualification, and they continued their fine form on Sunday with an enthralling 3-2 win over Werder Bremen.

Abdellaoue was the man of the hour for Hannover, giving them the lead from the spot before doubling his tally from Jan Schlaudraff's cross. And he completed his hat-trick just after the hour mark when he pounced on Sergio Pinto's header to score what turned out to be the winner.

ST: Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund)

It was a day to remember for Lewandowski as his trio of well-taken goals guided Dortmund to a 4-0 win over Augsburg. He showed excellent technique to control a Jakub Blaszczykowski pass, turn and fire past Jentzsch to give Dortmund the lead just after the half-hour mark.

And Lewandowski grabbed his second just before half-time when he capitalised on Ginril Sankoh's poor clearance to fire home from ten yards. And the Polish striker ensured the match ball was his to keep in the 78th minute when he nodded home Gotze's cross from six yards out.

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