October 1, 2018 / 11:20 AM / in 21 days

Soccer: Five talking-points from the weekend in the Bundesliga

BERLIN (Reuters) - After slumping to a 2-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin on Friday, champions Bayern Munich were knocked off the top of the Bundesliga by Borussia Dortmund, who beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2.

Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Hertha BSC v Bayern Munich - Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany - September 28, 2018 Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery in action with Hertha Berlin's Arne Maier and Mathew Leckie REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke DFL regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and/or quasi-video

Here are five talking points from a weekend which produced 32 goals in 10 games.

No starts, five assists for Sancho

Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho has yet to start a game this season but he has proved one of the team’s most influential players with five assists in his 125 minutes of playing time.

The England under-18 international set up another two goals after coming on in the 68th minute of the 4-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday which saw the new leaders rally from two goals down at halftime.

Within one minute of his entrance, he set up Marco Reus to pull Dortmund level at 2-2 and also laid on the fourth goal for Paco Alcacer.

“The opponents knows that when Jadon comes in, we have a weapon coming on,” Reus said.

Five players score first Bundesliga goals

Five players scored their first-ever Bundesliga goals at the weekend: Florent Muslija (Hannover 96), Jonathan de Guzman (Eintracht Frankfurt), Evan N’dicka (Eintracht Frankfurt), Federico Palacios (Nuremberg) and Hanno Behrens (Nuremberg).

Muslija, 20, who played for Karlsruher in the third tier last season, scored on his Bundesliga debut for Hannover although they lost 4-1 to Frankfurt.

Nuremberg defender Behrens, who helped his side win promotion last season, is playing his first Bundesliga season at the age of 28, although he has scored 26 goals in the second tier.

Canada midfielder De Guzman’s goal came on his 22nd league appearance for Eintracht and in his second season at the club.

The well-travelled 31-year-old has also scored in Serie A for Napoli and Chievo, the English Premier League (Swansea City), La Liga (Real Mallorca) and the Dutch league (Feyenoord)

Little Oktoberfest cheer for Bayern

Bayern Munich’s shock 2-0 defeat to Hertha Berlin on Friday was their first of the season, their first in nine years against their opponents and also their first for eight seasons during the Oktoberfest period.

It was also their first in nine competitive games under new coach Nico Kovac, although he saw little to complain about.

“People are clearly going to look at the last two games. I look at all nine, and for the first defeat to come after nine games isn’t that bad, even if it’s not what we expect,” he said.

Leverkusen coach under threat

German media reports on Monday suggested that Bayer Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich is in danger of losing his job after his team squandered a 2-0 lead to Borussia Dortmund and lost 4-2.

Reports suggested that former RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl could be his replacement. Leverkusen have taken only six points from their first six games.

Best start for Hertha

Hertha’s win over Bayern left them level with their opponents on 13 points from six games — the best ever start to a Bundesliga campaign.

The club, one of the Bundesliga’s founding members, has had a turbulent history and have never finished above third place, although they won the old pre-Bundesliga German championship twice, in 1930 and 1931.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by John O'Brien

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