Bundesliga, Week 1: Hannover, Schalke Entertain In 2-2 Draw

Borussia Dortmund kick off the campaign for their third straight Bundesliga title.

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Bundesliga, Week 1: Five Takeaways From Opening Weekend

The first weekend of the 2012-13 Bundesliga is completed. What have we learned?


Hannover 96 Vs. Schalke 04, 2012 Bundesliga: Nikci's Late Goal Secures Draw For Hannover

Hannover and Schalke shared the points today at the AWD Arena in Hannover. The hosts needed a late goal from substitute Adrian Nikci to secure a 2-2 draw.

The visitors controlled most of the first half, but conceded a free kick inside their half of the field just before halftime. Christian Pander sent a great free kick into the penalty area, and Hannover's new signee Felipe headed the ball past Timo Hildebrand in the 43rd minute. Replays showed criminal defending by Schalke as Felipe was left completely unmarked at the back post. Roman Neustädter in particular was wondering around aimlessly.

Schalke were determined to find their opening goal and found it just after halftime. Neustädter redeemed himself by breaking up a Schalke attack in his own penalty area. He quickly fed Lewis Holtby who turned immediately to attack. Holtby played a great ball down down the right flank to Klaas Jan Huntelaar who cut inside on his left foot and beat Ron-Robert Zieler to the far post to level the score.

Holtby would give Schalke the lead in the 64th minute when Jermaine Jones sent a short chip into the penalty area where the midfielder surprisingly beat Hannover defender Mario Eggimann in the air with a header that went into the net. Schalke were rolling at this point, and it seemed likely that more goals were coming.

Hannover weren't allowing Schalke to find another goal and kept pressing for their own equalizer. In the 8th minute, Jan Schlaudraff made an excellent run into the Schalke penalty area. He played a low cross to Nikci who slid and deflected the ball past Hildebrand for the goal. Nikci had only been on the pitch for a few minutes before scoring.

With the draw, Hannover extend their unbeaten run at home in the league to 19 matches. They'll host Slask Wroclaw in the second leg of their Europa League tie on Thursday. Schalke will be slightly disappointed to not pick up all three points, but they know that a picking up a point in Hannover is a victory in itself.


Stuttgart Vs. Wolfsburg, 2012 Bundesliga: Dost Wins It In Stoppage Time

Bas Dost scored the winning goal in the 90th minute to give Wolfsburg the 1-0 victory at the Mercedes Benz Arena over Stuttgart.

The majority of the first half was controlled by the visitors. They dominated the shot category, but they were never able to truly challenge Sven Ulreich in the Stuttgart goal. However, the best chance of the first half would go to Stuttgart.

William Kvist played a great through ball to Maza, and the centerback scored. The referee called it back due to the assistant referee holding his flag for offside. Replays would show that Serdar Tasci was offside, but Maza was onside.

The second half continued in much of the same. Wolfsburg controlled a lot of the match as they pushed for a goal. However, the best chance would again fall to Stuttgart. Cacau unleashed a right footed shot on the Wolfsburg goal but Diego Benaglio was there with a diving save.

Diego would come close to scoring a great goal for Wolfsburg, but Ulreich stretched out to his left for an outstanding save.

The referee would award a controversial penalty to Stuttgart after he judged Vedad Ibisevic to be fouled by Emanuel Pogatetz. Ibisevic stepped up to the spot, but Benaglio made the save on the shot. Ibisevic was quick to the rebound, but he put that shot into the stands.

Just minutes after the penalty miss, Dost rose above everyone to head home the winning goal from a Vieirinha cross. The celebrations began for Felix Magath's side as they picked up a huge win away from home to begin their campaign.


Borussia Mönchengladbach Vs. Hoffenheim, 2012 Bundesliga: Juan Arango's Free Kick Wins It

It was the Juan Arango show at Borussia Park as the Venezuelan midfielder led Borussia Mönchengladbach to a 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim.

After a rather dull first half hour, newcomer Granit Xhaka earned a free kick inside the Hoffenheim half. Arango played a pinpoint cross with his kick, and it found the head of Mike Hanke. The placement was perfect with the ball heading to the bottom corner of the net leaving Tim Wiese no chance.

Hoffenheim began to push forward out of the back looking for an equalizer. They found it in the 66th minute when Roberto Firmino headed the ball past Marc-André ter Stegen. Hoffenheim continued to attack and nearly took the lead on two different occasions thanks to Takashi Usami and Eren Derdiyok, but ter Stegen denied both players.

Just like in the first half, Xhaka drew another free kick deep inside Hoffenheim territory. Arango stepped up to take another free kick. The crowd erupted moments later when Arango's left footed blast found it's way into the top corner of the net.

The win is huge for Gladbach before their midweek visit to Dynamo Kyiv in the UEFA Champions League.


Greuther Fürth Vs. Bayern Munich, 2012 Bundesliga: Müller, Mandzukic Lead Bayern To Victory

It may have taken Bayern Munich a while to get going, but they finally broke down a resolute Greuther Fürth side making their Bundesliga debut. Goals from Thomas Müller, Mario Mandzukic, and an own goal saw Bayern to their opening day 3-0 victory.

Bayern finally found their goal in the 43rd minute. Xherdan Shaqiri swing in a corner kick, and Dante rose to head it on target. The ball was cleared off of the line and ended up at the feet of Müller. The midfielder poked the ball past Max Grün to give the visitors their lead.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 59th minute thanks to Mandzukic. Shaqiri played Arjen Robben in past the back line. Grün saved his right footed shot, but Mandzukic was on hand to head home the rebound. The goal is the Croatian internationals fourth in three competitive games for the Bavarians.

Things went from bad to worse for Fürth in the 79th minute. Bayern pressed their attack, and Robben's shot deflected off of Bernd Nehrig. Grün was beaten by the deflection, and the score was 3-0.


Borussia Dortmund Vs. Werder Bremen, 2012 Bundesliga: Mario Götze Scores Late Winner For Champs

Borussia Dortmund started their title defense with a 2-1 win Friday night. Thomas Schaaf brought his retooled Werder Bremen side to the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund and showed that they're going to be better than many thought this season, but they just weren't good enough to defeat the champions in their house on opening night.

BVB came out flying in the opening minutes of the match. Their passing was crisp and precise, and it seemed they were going to break down the Bremen defense at any moment. That moment came in the 11th minute when Jakub Blaszczykowski threaded a pass through the defense and Reus scored to make it 1-0. The shot from Reus was very impressive as he was running across the face of goal to the right and had the presence of mind to shoot the ball across his body in the direction that he came. Bremen goalkeeper Sebastian Mielitz stood no chance as the ball rolled past him and tucked into the far post.

Bremen's attack seemed to struggle to put together many passes aside from Aaron Hunt. The midfielder was consistently finding Eljero Elia on the left wing. The former Hamburg man was causing problems for BVB right back Oliver Kirch who was starting in place of an injured Lukasz Piszczek. In the 18th minute, Elia should have scored the equalizer when Hunt played him in and Elia was one on one with Roman Weidenfeller. Elia put his shot on target, but it was right at Weidenfeller for an easy save.

The visitors continued to press forward and Marko Arnautovic saw his shot slam off the post. They were, however, caught out by BVB's counter often for the remainder of the half. Bremen left back Aleksandar Ignjovski had a rough outing in the first half. He was caught horribly out of position on Reus' goal, and he drew a yellow card for a cynical foul just outside of his own penalty area after being beaten by Reus. The following free kick was right at Mielitz. The play balanced out as the half concluded, and Bremen considered themselves unlucky to not have found a goal in the half.

Both teams came out fairly cautious in the early second half in an attempt to not concede an early goal. Ilkay Gündogan seemed to be everywhere in the BVB midfield until he was subbed out after 70 minutes. His link up play between the back line and the front four was solid today, and he started many of the BVB attacks with a great pass opening up play.

Bremen began to press more and more for the equalizer as the second half moved forward. They earned a corner in the 75th minute and finally found the goal. Arnautovic played in a cross and right back Theodor Gebre Selassie lept over everyone and headed it past Weidenfeller to make it 1-1. The goal was deserved for Bremen as they really came to life as the half wore on, and it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before they grabbed the goal.

Jürgen Klopp wasted no time making a substitution bringing on Mario Götze for Kevin Großkreutz who was fairly non-existent in this match for BVB. Götze is still recovering to full fitness, but it didn't take him long to prove why he's a starter in this side. Götze received a pass from Robert Lewandowski and beat Mielitz to re-establish the BVB lead in the 81st minute. The hosts would spend the rest of the match peppering the Bremen goal with shots for the remaining few minutes.


Borussia Dortmund Vs. Werder Bremen 2012: Game Time, TV Schedule, Live Updates And More

Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen kick off the Bundesliga season on Friday.

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