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Record Red Card Tally And First Managerial Casualty In Week 3 Of The Bundesliga

Wednesday 28th August 2013
It has been a busy week in the Bundesliga and Mark Dannell has a slight departure from pure match reporting this week as there is a lot to catch up on!

Bruno Labbadia given his Marching Orders after just 3 games: FC Augsburg 2-1 VfB Stuttgart  

After seemingly surviving by the skin of his teeth at least twice in the previous season (and then somewhat surprisingly being offered a contract extension to 2015), VfB Stuttgart manager Bruno Labbadia was fired on Monday morning following the latest in a string of embarrassing defeats to begin the season. Speculation had been mounting since last weekends defeat to Leverkusen that the Stuttgart boss was favourite to be the first Bundesliga head coach out of the door, and so it proved following a midweek Europa League defeat to HNK Rijeka and a Sunday "Schwaben Derby" defeat against FC Augsburg.Goals from Altintop after 6 minutes and Callsen-Bracker after 36 minutes gave Augsburg a lead they were not to relinquish despite Ibisevic's penalty just before half time. The 8th and final red card of a manic weekend was shown to Stuttgart's Traore in the 70th minute, although quite what the referee saw that the sold out crowd couldn't is beyond me. Stuttgart were utterly abysmal, Augsburg, deservedly registering their first points of the season.

Stuttgart have installed Youth Team coach Thomas Schneider as a temporary measure, with his long term fate to be decided based on performances in the next two games before the international fixtures. VfB will at least be hoping for the team to show some enthusiasm and enjoyment in their football as this has been sorely lacking so far this season.

Record Red Card Tally: TSG Hoffenheim 3-3 SC Freiburg

Hoffenheim have been by far the most entertaining team to watch so far in this season, being involved in 16 goals and in this game, a staggering 3 red cards, plus another for SC Freiburg Manager Christian Streich. Overall this weekend a record 8 red cards  were shown in the Bundesliga's 9 matches with 5 of them being straight red cards! The first, and perhaps dumbest was after just 9 minutes of this enthralling fixture, Salihovic of Hoffenheim being shown a straight red after hitting SC Freiburg captain Julian Schuster whilst celebrating putting Hoffenheim 1-0 up from the penalty spot!

SC were able to equalize through Sorg, before the once again excellent Kevin Volland restored the Hoffenheim advantage in the 25th minute. The Breisgau boys were able to quickly equalize again as Guede finished off a nice pass from Schuster in the 29th minute. After a breathless first 40 minutes there was still time for Arsenal loanee Francis Coquelin to collect 2 yellow cards in just 2 minutes and even up the numbers on the pitch. Freiburg boss Christian Streich quickly followed his player to the stands as he was banished for protesting the decision, and with good reason as replays showed the second card to be rather unjust.

In the second half Sebastian Freis gave Freiburg the lead for the first time in the game after 65 minutes, a lovely first time half volley following a corner. However they were not able to see the game out as Tim Strobl was able to equalize from around 20 metres out. There was however a final sting in the tail as Freiburg player Mehmedi spent just 18 minutes on the pitch, picking up a straight red for mocking the referee's award of a freekick, showing that perhaps the Respect Campaign could learn a few things from Germany.

Hamburg and Schalke lose again.

Thorsten Fink and Jens Keller will be nervously looking at their phones this week, as both Hamburg and Schalke lost again. Hamburg were especially awful, meekly surrendering 1-0 away at Hertha BSC who are making an absolute mockery of my pre-season prediction sitting pretty with 7 points after the 3rd round. Adrien Ramos won the game for Hertha in the 74th minute.

Schalke were perhaps a little unfortunate in another game of 3 red cards, the first a straight red for captain Benedikt Höwedes in the 9th minute for bringing down Mame Diouf when through on goal. From the following penalty, Huszti scored, and then turned provider, crossing for Diouf to nod home in the 42nd minute. An improved display after half time led to Szalai pulling a goal back in the 55th minute and just moments later he should have levelled the game, somehow contriving to miss when presented with an unguarded goal after Draxler's pass. An eventful game for Huszti took an unexpected turn with another straight red, this time for a high boot. However Schalke were unable to capitalize on the numerical parity, and Christian Fuchs was then sent off for a second booking late in the game. Should the unthinkable happen and Schalke fail to beat PAOK Saloniki in mid-week then expect the next managerial casualty to be Jens Keller.

Title Contenders cruise on.

In the Friday evening game, Dortmund played out a hard fought 1-0 win over an organised Werder Bremen side. Robert Lewandowski sealed the points for BVB in the 55th minute, sweeping in a pinpoint cross from Marco Reus. Jurgen Klopps men were dominant through out but struggled to break down Robin Dutt's Werder, who almost stole a point through new signing Franco Di Santo in the last few minutes.

FC Bayern were also made to work hard to win the Bayern derby against Nürnberg. It was a similar story to the Dortmund game with Bayern dominant, and uncharacteristically missed a second penalty kick in a week after David Alaba's kick was saved by Raphael Schäfer in the first half. Mario Götze was finally handed his début by Pep Guardiola but was a peripheral influence on the game, substituted after 68 minutes. Thiago was also injured during the game, ankle ligaments that will require surgery and a likely 7 week lay-off.

Bayern had to wait to the 69th minute to break the deadlock, Franck Ribery heading in from a Philip Lahm cross, before a superb solo goal from Arjen Robben wrapped up the points in the 78th minute.

Leverkusen, Mainz grab deserved wins, Braunschweig lose again.
Leverkusen beat Borrusia Mönchengladbach 4-2  thanks to excellent performances from Sidney Sam and Stefan Kiessling. Sam scored twice and created one, with Kiessling tucking away a penalty for his 100th Leverkusen goal and creating both goals for Sam. Gonzalo Castro scored the 4th, with Stranzl and Arango replying for Borrusia. Mönchengladbach will be relieved to have 2 of their most difficult fixtures out of the way, while Leverkusen, with a 100% record will be starting to think of a title challenge if they can maintain this form.

Mainz also secured maximum points for the 3rd game in a row, notching a 2-0 win against Wolfsburg. Goals from Choupo-Moting and Nicolai Muller sandwiched a sending off for Luis Gustavo for 2 bookable offences. Dieter Hecking will be tearing his hair out after an undisciplined start for his side has twice cost them points, whilst Thomas Tuchel of Mainz will be delighted with his side, and particularly Nicolai Muller who hit the net for the 4th time this season.

Braunschweig slipped to another home loss, and in the process gifted Frankfurt their first points of the season. Another dour game was won by Frankfurt with goals from Meier and Aigner the only real highlights. With just over a week to go in the transfer market it is going to take something really special to stop Braunschweig slipping to a very quick relegation.

And so after round 3,  there are 4 teams with 100% records remaining, Dortmund top on goal difference followed by Leverkusen, Bayern and Mainz. At the bottom are pointless Braunschweig and Stuttgart, with Hamburg and Schalke just above.
Mark Dannell
Fan of most sports first and foremost, Tottenham fan born and raised. Currently living in Germany and married, avid follower of the Bundesliga and closet Dortmund fan since 1997 thanks to a very enthusiastic high school German teacher! Covering the Bundesliga in detail for itsroundanditswhite.co.uk, any questions, requests for features or general information required all welcome, either by mail or Twitter (@mdannell) preferable.

Total articles: 86

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