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Bundesliga Team Of The Week: Round 1







The rule over the best in Germany from the weekend’s round Bundesliga action.

Bayern Munich were held to a 2-2 draw by Martin Jol’s Hamburg while Schalke opened with a 3-0 win over Hannover. New boys Hoffenheim made the dream start with a 3-0 win over Energie Cottbus, but fellow newcomers Köln and Mönchengladbach both lost.

Dortmund beat Leverkusen 3-2 but suffered some costly injuries, whereas Werder Bremen had to be content with a point against Bielefeld.


Lehmann

Riether Costa Bordon Eichner

Blaszczykowski da Silva Trochowski

Wichniarek Kuranyi Ibisevic

Goalkeeper:

(1) Jens Lehmann (Stuttgart)

If people doubted whether Jens Lehmann was still up to the task of performing at the top level for Stuttgart. His performance against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday would have given them reason to change their opinion. The veteran keeper was on top form at the Borussia Park, pulling off two particularly fine saves in the first half from Matmour and Friend to keep Gladbach at bay. His signing could prove an astute move from the Swabians after the inconsistency in goal last year when Raphael Schäfer was between the sticks.

Defenders:

(2) Sascha Riether (Wolfsburg)

Finding his team 1-0 down at half-time, trainer Felix Magath reacted by replacing full back Christian Zaccardo with Sascha Riether and the move paid off as the Wölfe came back to win 2-1. Riether got himself involved immediately and provided the assist which allowed Christian Gentner to score. Mondragon in the Köln goal was unable to deal with Riether’s shot and the rebound was tucked away nicely by Gentner. His general all-round play both defensively and offensively was admirable.

(3) Ricardo Costa (Wolfsburg)

The commanding Portuguese centre back played well against Köln on Saturday keeping things tight at the back following the opening goal from Novakovic. He was a commanding presence and provided a good wall in front of keeper Diego Benaglio throughout the game.

(4) Marcelo Bordon (Schalke)

Schalke captain Bordon, who was in the Goal.com Team of the Season last term, began the new campaign well leading by example and saw his Königsblauen side to an opening day 3-0 win over Hannover. Always a danger at set-pieces, Bordon grabbed Schalke’s opening goal after just two minutes to provide a dream start to the 2008/09 season. He also kept things tight at the back to deny Mike Hanke and Jan Schlaudraff at bay.

(5) Christian Eichner (Karlsruhe)

Full back Eichner made three appearances in the Goal.com ‘Team of the Week’ last season and has made an instant return after an impressive start to the new Bundesliga campaign against Bochum. His run from left-back proved fruitful after half an hour as he unleashed a shot in the corner of the Bochum net, leaving Fernandes little chance from 25 yards. He was up and down the flank all afternoon - solid in defence and dangerous in attack.

Midfielders:

(6) Jakub Blaszczykowski (Borussia Dortmund)

Pole ‘Kuba’ Blaszczykowski began the season well and showed why he had been linked with a move to Liverpool. Dortmund started in a lightning quick manner against Leverkusen and the Pole was instrumental in their play early on. His cross from the right set up Valdez for the opener and he was a constant threat from wide areas running at the Bayer defence. New Leverkusen full back Djakpa certainly had to be on his toes.

(7) Antonio da Silva (Karlsruhe)

The loss of Tamas Hajnal was a severe blow to Karlsruhe this summer, but in former Stuttgart midfielder Antonio da Silva they may have found an adequate replacement. He was the creative force in their midfield and set up left back Eichner for the only goal of the game.

(8) Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg)

The loss of Rafael van der Vaart was hardly noticeable against Bayern on Friday as HSV held the reigning league champions to a 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena. German international Trochowski, who was reportedly drawing the attention of Arsenal earlier in the summer, is one of the players that Martin Jol will be looking to to compensate for the loss of van der Vaart. Against Bayern, his cross picked out Guerrero for the first goal before he coolly scored from the penalty spot to give HSV a deserved share of the spoils.

Forwards:

(9) Artur Wichniarek (Arminia Bielefeld)

‘King Artur’ is still the top-dog at the Schüco Arena for Bielefeld and his goals are going to be vital if the Arminen are to stay up this season. Bremen took the lead twice on Saturday, but were twice pegged back by the Polish striker. His first on 74 minutes saw him beat Tim Wiese in a one-on-one situation, while the second rescued a point just a minute after Werder had taken the lead once more.

(10) Kevin Kuranyi (Schalke)

Following their midweek Champions League win over Atletico Madrid, Schalke produced another impressive performance to open their Bundesliga season beating Hannover 3-0 at the Veltins Arena. In the absence of Jefferson Farfan through injury, the emphasis was on Kevin Kuranyi to provide the fire-power and he didn’t disappoint. A goal in each half saw him open his account at the start of a season during which the Königsblauen will want to push Bayern Munich all the way in the title race.

(11) Vedad Ibisevic (1899 Hoffenheim)

Hoffenheim enjoyed a dream start to life in the Bundesliga with a superb 3-0 opening day away win over Energie Cottbus. Two-goal hero Vedad Ibisevic earned special praise from trainer Ralf Rangnick after the game. The Bosnian opened the scoring after 16 minutes before setting up strike partner Demba Ba for the second. He put the icing on a very good Hoffenheim display by heading in the third goal of the game.

Honourable mentions:

As always, there are a number of players who deserve a special mention despite having not made it into the final XI.

New Hamburg captain David Jarolim played well in midfield as did team mate Nigel de Jong against Bayern Munich. Markus Rosenberg’s two goals against Bielefeld very nearly earned Werder a win, but he was ultimately denied.

Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller performed well against Leverkusen and pulled of two great saves from Patrick Helmes and Stefan Kiessling before having to go off injured at the end of the first half. Brazilian Renato Augusto also impressed in the same game for Leverkusen, as did BVB’s Nelson Valdez.

Jan Simak put in an impressive performance for Stuttgart on Sunday against Mönchengladbach being involved in two of VfB’s three goals. In the other Sunday game, Raffael earned plaudits for his display, which included scoring the opener.

Newcomers Demba Ba (Hoffenheim) and Milivoje Novakovic (Köln) grabbed opening day goals to open their accounts.

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Bundesliga Team Of The Week: Round 1 Reviewed by admin Ucop on 9:19 AM Rating: 5

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