FOX Sports Asia football editor Gabriel Tan looks back on the five things we learned from Match Day 5 of the 2019/20 Bundesliga campaign.
It was business as usual for two of the Bundesliga’s big boys on Match Day 5 with Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig both claiming comfortable wins on Saturday, beating Cologne and Werder Bremen 4-0 and 3-0 respectively.
However, Borussia Dortmund’s failure to hold onto a lead twice in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt means they are one of five teams currently in joint-third on ten points.
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Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen got back to winning ways against Union Berlin, Schalke’s resurgence continued with a third consecutive win, while Hertha Berlin defeated Paderborn to finally claim their first three points of the 2019/20 season.
Here, FOX Sports Asia looks back at the big talking points from the past four days of Bundesliga action.
1) Robert Lewandowski might be getting better… at the age of 31
Considering all he has achieved in his career, there is no denying that Robert Lewandowski is arguably the best No. 9 in world football but could he actually be getting better at the age of 31?
The Poland international’s double in Saturday’s win over Cologne took his league tally for 2019/20 up to nine goals in five outings, and he might even have completed a hat-trick had he not been substituted in the 71st minute.
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With the loan signing of Brazilian maestro Philippe Coutinho and Joshua Kimmich released into midfield, Lewandowski looks set to feeding on an even-more tantalising supply line of chances.
However, he deserves plenty of credit for taking his game to another level and should surely better last season’s 22-goal haul in the league.
2) Marcel Sabitzer has to be regarded among Bundesliga’s best
He may not enjoy the same status as RB Leipzig star Timo Werner but Marcel Sabitzer has to be regarded as one of the best players not just in his team, but the entire Bundesliga.
Having arrived at the Red Bull Arena in 2014 when Die Roten Bullen were still in the 2. Bundesliga and representing a less-illustrious nation like Austria, Sabitzer has flown under the radar slightly but has started the new season in scintillating fashion.
3️⃣?️ ➕ 2️⃣⚽ = 5️⃣ direct goal involvements in 5️⃣ #Bundesliga games ??
?⚪ #DieRotenBullen pic.twitter.com/rK3U3VI7xd
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) September 22, 2019
Regardless of whether he is deployed on the right wing or as a No. 10 behind the front two, the 25-year-old always takes responsibility as his side’s playmaker-in-chief.
Sabitzer already has three assists to his name and is the type of player capable of winning a game on his own and getting fans on their feet, which he certainly did with a stunning freekick against Werder – his second of the campaign.
3) Thuram off the mark as Gladbach attack looks increasingly potent
After Alassane Plea’s 12-goal debut campaign in the Bundesliga last term, Borussia Monchengladbach looked to have assembled a potent attack for the new season with the arrivals of Breel Embolo and Marcus Thuram.
The trio has combined for six of Gladbach’s seven goals thus far, with Thuram the latest to get off the mark on Sunday after coming off the bench and netting twice in the final six minutes to seal a come-from-behind 2-1 triumph over Fortuna Dusseldorf.
The temptation for Marco Rose is obviously to have all three on the field at the same time but team balance is also a factor, and the Gladbach coach has not been afraid to start Embolo or Thuram on the bench for tactical reasons.
Yet, if Rose can manage to find a way to field the trio and still get his side performing consistently, Die Fohlen could have one of the Bundesliga’s most-exciting frontlines.
4) Daichi Kamada could emerge as key player for Eintracht Frankfurt
Returning from a fruitful loan spell in Belgium with Sint-Truiden, Daichi Kamada did not take long to earn a place in the Eintracht Frankfurt starting XI and impress in an attacking midfield role.
Having started in the opening four league games of the campaign, the Japanese found himself on the bench against Dortmund but was thrown on in the 67th minute with his side trailing 2-1.
Immediately giving the visitors something more to worry about with his speed and guile, Kamada then played a key role in the 88th-minute equaliser when he popped up at the back post to meet Martin Hinteregger’s cross and fizz a ball back towards goal that was helped on by Thomas Delaney into his own goal.
The Bundesliga has had no shortage of excellent Japanese imports but, if the 23-year-old continues to improve at his current rate, he will be the competition’s next Asian star.
5) Dortmund are brilliant at their best but still have kinks to iron out
When Dortmund are flying, they are one of the most-exciting sides to watch in Europe as 12 goals in their three wins so far in the Bundesliga will attest to.
However, Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Eintracht – where they twice relinquished a lead – coupled with a 3-1 defeat to newly-promoted Union Berlin show that there is still plenty for coach Lucien Favre to work on.
Unconditional support, regardless of the outcome.
It’s the Dortmund way ?#EchteLiebe pic.twitter.com/FdAU70IExj
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) September 23, 2019
Dortmund seem to be at their best when their opponents dominate possession and they are able to exploit their speed and brilliance in transition, but they will definitely come up against many teams looking to sit back against them.
A “Plan B” has to be devised and with players such as Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho and Axel Witsel in the side, there should be no reason why BVB cannot also dominate the opposition and bully them into submission.