Bundesliga: Takeaways from Week 5

Nicholas Mendola
·6 min read

Repetitive times call for appropriate measures, and Robert Lewandowski has put us in this spot.

We’re considering not including Bayern Munich’s amazing Polish striker in our “Player of the Week” considerations for the rest of the year because the dude could claim the honor 30 times a year and it wouldn’t be wrong.

It’s your fault, Bob.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Full schedule ]

Lewandowski scored three more goals on Saturday against Eintracht Frankfurt, as Bayern more than doubled the visitors’ conceded goal total this season.

The 32-year-old has 10 goals in five league games, nine coming in the last three. He’s scored 172 times in 195 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern, adding 38 assists to give him better than a goal involvement per game.

He has 155 goals in league play since the start of the 2015-16 season, meaning he’s scored nine less goals than Bundesliga appearances over the span.

So we may change our minds, but hat tricks aren’t going to do it Mr. L. You’ve gotta be involved in at least four goals or do something so ridiculous we have no choice but to name you POTW.

Tell you what, though, we have a hard time getting used to the German custom of using the thumb to indicate three, regardless of what Michael Fassbender showed us in “Inglourious Basterds.”

One of the trickiest teams to read this season has been Borussia Monchengladbach.

Forgetting for a moment our most recent look at Gladbach — Tuesday’s 2-2 home draw with Real Madrid in the Champions League — Marco Rose’s men have been the better team in every league match they’ve played since losing to Borussia Dortmund on Opening Day.

That’s not terribly surprising. The wins over Koln and Mainz were expected, though the latter only came via comeback after Rose was forced to bring on his rested big guns around the hour mark.

But 1-1 home draws with Union Berlin and Wolfsburg, two stingy sides, were xG wins. Gladbach is also averaging more shots per game than everyone outside Bayern (although the quality of competition may somewhat account for that).

The question is whether Gladbach has the depth to contend with this brutal congested schedule. Most teams in European competitions won’t, but it’s difficult to say here.

Gladbach is in a brutal Champions League group with Inter Milan, Real Madrid, and Shakhtar Donetsk. They’ve taken points off the first two and will like their chances of getting four of six from Shakhtar, even if the Ukrainian side has also looked quite good.

But will that wear on their league form? The five matches they’ll play that border group stage games are Bayer Leverkusen, Augsburg, Schalke, Freiburg, and Hertha Berlin. Only Leverkusen is contending with European football.

Bundesliga Team of the Week
Moenchengladbach’s Alassane Plea (R) and USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Americans Abroad

— Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna went 71 minutes in the Revierderby win over Schalke, winning 11-of-18 duels and failing to register a key pass in a rather pedestrian day for the young phenom.

— Bayern’s Chris Richards was again with Bayern II.

— Stuttgart manager Pellegrino Matarazzo continued a terrific start to his first Bundesliga season with a 1-1 draw against Koln.

— Tyler Adams missed Leipzig’s 2-1 win over 10-man Hertha with injury.

— Werder Bremen’s Josh Sargent is going to get even busier. The regular starter saw teammate Nicklas Fullkrug, the club’s leading scorer, lost for a month and substitute Yuya Osako also pick up a knock in a 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim. That was a quality result, and Sargent won five-of-eight duels as a right wing of sorts.

— John Brooks of Wolfsburg kept up his great season with an 8-clearance, 2-block, three-interception show while winning 8-of-10 aerial diels and passing and 87 percent.

— Eintracht Frankfurt’s Timothy Chandler was a halftime sub in the blowout loss to Bayern, playing left mid in a failed comeback bid.

— U.S. eligible Norwegian youth international Julian Ryerson played 10 minutes off the bench for Union Berlin on the right flank in a 1-1 draw with Freiburg.

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Player of the Week

Again, this could and should be Lewandowski but he’s a straight-up killer and that’s unfair.

Maximilan Arnold had a great day as Wolfsburg broke out of its four-match winless run and stretched its unbeaten run to five with a 2-1 win over new boys Arminia Bielefeld.

The 26-year-old hadn’t chipped in a goal or an assist through four league matches, a German Cup outing, and three Europa League qualifying matches.

But he found his way on the sheet Tuesday with a goal and an assist in about a minute. First he set up Wout Weghorst’s 19th-minute opener before Scoring a minute later.

His 94-touch day included 5-of-9 long balls, 2-for-2 dribbles, two fouls drawn, four clearances, three interceptions, and two tackles.

He’s a tough cat, too.

Team of the Week

Muller (Freiburg)

Upamecano (RBL) — Ginter (Gladbach) — Akanji (Dortmund)

Kimmich (Bayern) — Stindl (Gladbach)

Mangala (Stuttgart) — Arnold (Wolfsburg) — Nkunku (Leipzig)

Alario (Leverkusen) — Lewandowski (Bayern)

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Matchday 5

Stuttgart 1-1 Koln
RB Leipzig 2-1 Hertha Berlin
Mainz 2-3 Borussia Monchengladbach
Bayern Munich 5-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Union Berlin 1-1 Freiburg
Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Schalke
Wolfsburg 2-1 Arminia
Werder Bremen 1-1 Hoffenheim
Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Augsburg

Matchday 6

Schalke v Stuttgart — 3:30 pm ET Oct. 30
Augsburg v Mainz — 10:30 am ET Oct. 31
Eintracht Frankfurt v Werder Bremen — 10:30 am ET Oct. 31
Arminia v Borussia Dortmund — 10:30 am ET Oct. 31
Koln v Bayern Munich — 10:30 am ET Oct. 31
Borussia Monchengladbach v RB Leipzig — 1:30 pm ET Oct. 31
Freiburg v Bayer Leverkusen — — 9:30 am ET Nov. 1
Hertha Berlin v Wolfsburg — Noon ET Nov. 1
Hoffenheim v Union Berlin — 2:30 pm ET Nov. 2

Bundesliga schedule
FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY – OCTOBER 06: Joshua Sargent of SV Werder Bremen will meet fellow USMNT man Timothy Chandler and Eintracht. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images)

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Bundesliga: Takeaways from Week 5 originally appeared on NBCSports.com