Bundesliga: Five Takeaways From Week 9

Christof Koepsel

A brief look at the five things to take away from week 9 in the Bundesliga.

It's a little late, but let's review the weekend in Germany. Matchday 9 in the Bundesliga was crazy. How crazy was it? Greuther Fürth scored their first ever Bundesliga goal at home to earn their first ever Bundesliga point at home. Congrats, fellas. Now onto the important stuff.

Bayer Leverkusen end Bayern's record winning streak.

Bayern started the season with eight wins in eight and looked great offensively and defensively. The last time Bayer Leverkusen took all three points in Munich was 1989. If you do the match, it's been 23 years since Leverkusen last won there. Yeah, Bayern had this one in the bag.

Wrong. Leverkusen put together an impressive performance on the way to a 2-1 victory that shocked everyone. Philipp Wollscheid in particular was outstanding in the center of defense clearing cross after cross before Mario Mandzukic and other's could get to the ball. It might be time for Jogi Löw to give the 23 year old a shot with the recent poor performances of Holger Badstuber and Mats Hummels for Die Mannschaft.

The loss will be disappointing for Bayern, because they absolutely dominated play throughout the match. They had 62% possession, completed 86% of their passes, sent in 36 crosses to Leverkusen's 4, and had 24-5 shot advantage. While they nearly grabbed a point at the end of the match, Bayern's inability to truly threaten Bernd Leno consistently will be concerning.

The highlight of the match may have been the final minutes when Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer collected a ball deep in the Leverkusen half and dribbled into the penalty area. I nearly died from laughing so hard. Neuer is such an excellent footballer.

Schalke complete perfect week.

Schalke completed a perfect week with a 1-0 victory over Nürnberg thanks to a 77th minute goal from Jefferson Farfan. The last seven days have seen them beat rivals Borussia Dortmund in the Revierderby for the first time in two years, and they went to London and beat Arsenal in the Champions League giving the Gunners their first loss at home to a continental team in the competition since 2003.

They currently have the second best defense in the Bundesliga if we go strictly by statistics, but I still don't believe Huub Stevens knows what his best defensive lineup is. The biggest issue is figuring out what his starting centerback combination will be going forward. With Joel Matip, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, and Benedikt Höwedes all seeing significant minutes at the position this season, a decision must be made on the way forward. There's no debate at left back with Christian Fuchs having that on lockdown. There should be no debate at right back where Atsuto Uchida is my guy over there. Figure out the centerback position, because Lars Unnerstall deserves some continuity in front of him.

I see you over there, Hamburg.

Thorsten Fink's side is currently in 7th place in the table. After losing their first three games to start the season, Hamburg have won 13 out of 18 points including wins over Borussia Dortmund and Hannover.

The big turnaround comes with improved play all over the field. Rene Adler has been so great in goal this season that many are calling for his return to the national team. Michael Mancienne went from looking like a player that shouldn't be allowed on a youth team to a competent defender that is anchoring a Bundesliga backline. Rafael van der Vaart has stepped into the creative void with four assists, and Heung Min Son has taken to scoring all of the goals. He has five already this season, and Mladen Petric led the club last season with only 7.

If Van der Vaart can remain healthy, this team can do some damage in the coming months in the league. They're going to be fun to watch if they can find a second goal scorer to go alongside Son.

Borussia Mönchengladbach complete amazing comeback against Hannover.

First, we have to talk about the comeback. Down 2-0 to Hannover in the 70th minute, Juan Arango took over the game. The Venezuelan was involved in all three goals, including a goal and an assist, to lead a comeback when it seemed they were dead and buried. He scored the winner on a spectacular free kick at the near post catching Ron-Robert Zieler cheating to the far post.

Gladbach jumped up to ninth in the table, but... Let's not beat around the bush here: Gladbach have struggled mightily this season. While they're scoring goals at a rate just below last season, they've been a mess defensively. Last year they allowed .7 goals a game and this year they're exactly at 2. The loss of centerback Dante and defensive midfielder Roman Neustädter has been difficult for Lucien Favre's side to solve but solve it they must.

Whoa... Where did Mainz come from?

Mainz smashed Hoffenheim 3-0 this weekend thanks to a hat trick from Adam Szalai. The Hungarian jumped all the way to second in the scoring table after his outstanding performance.

They've picked up 10 out of their last 12 points and have moved all the way up the table into 6th place. The most impressive part of all of this is they've only conceded two goals in those four matches. They conceded eight in their first five matches.

It appears that Thomas Tuchel has found a back four that works for him. Nikolce Noveski is the anchor of a backline that can only be described as veteran. The 33 year old Macedonian is joined on the backline by fellow 33 year old Zdenek Pospech and 29 year old Junior Diaz. Niko Bungert was the youngster on the backline at 26, but he has since gone down with an injury and 33 year old Bo Svensson replaced him. Only Bayern Munich and Schalke have conceded fewer goals than Mainz this season, which is kind of impressive considering they've already played both of them.

Keep on keeping on, Mainz. You're actually watchable so far this year.

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