The first matchday of the 2012-13 Bundesliga season is in the books and what a fantastic first round we had. Whether it was the title favorites playing like champions, clubs not performing as well as they should, or big wins by newly promoted sides, the first weekend had something for everyone.
Oh. It had everything except scoreless draws. We don't do that in the Bundesliga.
The new guys sure know how to score
The transfer market has always been away for clubs to strengthen their side, but this summer looks like it was goalfest for the Bundesliga clubs. There were 22 goals scored in the Bundesliga this weekend, and players at new clubs scored 11 of them. Without looking up the stats for Europe's other major leagues, I'm thinking that this percentage is quite high.
The highlight of these goals must be Bas Dost's last minute goal in Wolfsburg's big win over Stuttgart at the Mercedes Benz Arena. Dost made the estimate €9 million move from Heerenveen to Wolfsburg, and it was believed that Magath's side got a steal at that price. If we judge forwards on goals, then Dost looks like he's going to be a great signing. He already has two goals in two matches, and Magath's rebuilt Wolfsburg side looks like they'll be quite good this season.
Nice debut, kid
Dani Schahin has spent his entire career in the lower divisions of German football. The 23 year old began his professional career with the Hamburg reserves before moving on to second division side Greuther Fürth in the 2.Bundesliga (including a six month loan to Dynamo Dresden in the 3.Liga).
While both clubs were promoted, Schahin left Fürth this summer for Fortuna Düsseldorf, and the playoff winners must have seen something that Fürth didn't. Schahin came on as a second half substitute in the 60th minute, and he made every second of those thirty minutes count. Just eight minutes after coming on the pitch, Schahin unleashed a rocket into the far corner that the goalkeeper had no shot at saving. He got his brace in the 79th minute with another great shot into the back of the net.
Fortuna may end up on the relegation heap at the end of the season, but for one day Dani Schahin brought joy to an entire city that has waited fifteen long years to be back in the Bundesliga.
The Marco and Mario is going to be fun to watch
When Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern Munich to the signature of Marco Reus last January, we weren't quite sure at the time what BVB team Reus would be joining. Luckily for those of us that like to be entertained, Shinji Kagawa was the only player to leave the club over the summer.
Reus quickly opened his Bundesliga account with BVB in Friday night's fixture against Werder Bremen. In the moment that separates average players from great palyers, Reus took a shot at the exact perfect moment and watched the ball trickle inside the far post as a helpless Sebastian Mielitz watched.
Mario Götze is still recovering to full fitness after a summer featuring the European Championship and a bout with conjunctivitis. He didn't start on Friday, but he made sure his 12 minutes of time were important. His impact was felt after only two minutes. Götze slipped through the backline behind Werder centerback Sebastian Prödl, received a pass from Jakub Blaszczykowski, muscled his way through Theodor Gebre Selassie, and put his shot past Mielitz for the winner.
As a fan of the Bundesliga and entertainment, I cannot wait until both players are on the pitch from the beginning for BVB. It won't be too long before Marco Reus and Mario Götze are creating some beautiful football together.
Lewis Holtby is pretty good
With Raul's departure to a league in the desert, there were concerns in Gelsenkirchen over what player would fill the role left by the Spanish legend. With Klaas Jan Huntelaar winning the golden boot last year, Schalke were looking for someone to fill the playmaker role that suited Raul so well.
Schalke were goalless after halftime against Hannover on Sunday afternoon, but they soon remembered that this Lewis Holtby guy is pretty good. Assisting on Huntelaar's goal before scoring one of his own (with his head!), Holtby was the central force behind Schalke's second half comeback.
The 21 year old demonstrated that he is willing to take on the role vacated by the Spanish trequartista, and I think he's ready for the responsibilities.
Arjen Robben looked -- and more importantly played -- happy
Last season was a miserable one for Arjen Robben and Bayern Munich. The club finished in second played in the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, and Champions League. Robben played only half the season due to injury, missed a crucial penalty in what was basically the title decider against Borussia Dortmund, and allegedly refused to take a penalty in the Champions League Final shootout. Then, the Dutch had that catastrophe of a performance at Euro 2012.
The only thing left for Robben to do is put last season behind him and move on to bigger and better things this season. If you're to take anything away from Robben's performance against Greuther Fürth on Saturday, take the fact that Robben was running at the defense and trying to make something happen every time that he received the ball.
Of course, Bayern won't be competing with Fürth for any silverware this season. The club, and Robben, have bigger demons to exorcise that will only be accomplished by winning trophies.