They made difficult work of it, but at the final whistle in Frankfurt Bayern Munich equalled their club-record unbeaten run of 27 matches, moving into a share of first-place after two rounds of the 2013-14 season.
Joining them at the top of the table this weekend were Mainz, Bayer Leverkusen and Werder Bremen, who earned one-goal victories against Freiburg, Stuttgart and Augsburg, respectively.
There were also matches in Wolfsburg, Hamburg and Monchengladbach, where the final game of the day was contested.
Let’s take a brief tour of Saturday’s Bundesliga action.
(All statistics courtesy WhoScored.)
Coming off Week 1 draws both Hamburg and Hoffenheim were anxious to get into the win column, but going into the break they found themselves level at a goal apiece and heading for a share of the points.
Roberto Firmino had opened the scoring for Hoffenheim after just five minutes, but the guests were unable to take their lead into the second half thanks to Rafael van der Vaart, who found the back of the net with only a minute remaining in the first half.
After the restart it all went downhill for Hamburg.
First it was Kevin Volland putting Hoffenheim ahead in the 50th minute with a finish to the far corner after receiving the ball from Firmino, and in the 77th minute, Volland returned the favour by setting up Firmino for the final goal of the afternoon.
In between was a pair of tallies from summer signing Anthony Modeste, both of which were assisted by the excellent Firmino.
Shots: Hamburg 8-18 Hoffenheim
Passing: Hamburg 81%-74% Hoffenheim
Possession: Hamburg 59%-41% Hoffenheim
Augsburg started brightly at the Weserstadion, earning chances from Andre Hahn, Sascha Molders and Halil Altintop before their hosts found their footing and opened the scoring midway through the first half.
The goal, and it was the only goal of the encounter, came courtesy of Mehmet Ekici—the Munich-born Turkey international finishing expertly from outside the area after receiving a pass from Sebastian Prodl.
Augsburg defender Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker had at least two opportunities for a late equalizer, although his most notable second-half contribution was picking up a booking for a foul on Zlatko Junuzovic in the 89th minute.
Shots: Werder Bremen 5-20 Augsburg
Passing: Werder Bremen 70%-80% Augsburg
Possession: Werder Bremen 43%-57% Augsburg
A fiercely contested first half broke open for Wolfsburg after the restart as the hosts romped to a first win of the season—a result that kept Schalke winless after two matches.
The match also saw the Wolves debut for Luiz Gustavo, who joined the club during the week from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
The first goal of the contest came nine minutes into the second half when Robin Knoche, following Ivan Perisic’s corner, sailed up and over Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand.
It proved the match-winner.
Vieirinha doubled Wolfsburg’s advantage just six minutes later, and Naldo turned Diego’s corner into goal for the 3-0 advantage in the 67th minute.
Stefan Kutschke rounded out the scoring in first minute of second-half stoppage time.
Shots: Wolsfburg 20-6 Schalke
Passing: Wolfsburg 86%-81% Schalke
Possession: Wolfsburg 51%-49% Augsburg
Mainz scored twice in four minutes midway through the second half to build what proved to be an unassailable lead and move into a share of first place in the Bundesliga standings.
Denmark midfielder Niki Zimling began the double-salvo in the 64th minute when he beat Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann with a headed effort from Johannes Geis’ cross, and in the 68th minute the guests found themselves two goals to the good when Zimling turned provider for Nicolai Muller, who did well to find the back of the net from a difficult angle.
Sebastian Freis pulled one back for the hosts just three minutes later, but the goal came well against the run of play and would be the only bit of meaningful offense Freiburg would be able to muster from thereon in.
Shots: Freiburg 9-12 Mainz
Passing: Freiburg 82%-79% Mainz
Possession: Freiburg 58%-42% Mainz
It has the look of being a long season for Stuttgart, who opened their Bundesliga schedule with a loss away to Mainz last weekend.
This time around it was Bayer Leverkusen inflicting the damage, although Leverkusen weren’t actually able to find the back of the net on their own.
The only goal of this contest came with just a minute to play in the opening period when 24-year-old former Germany U-21 defender Daniel Schwaab turned the ball past his own ‘keeper.
Timo Werner and Martin Harnik had late chances for Stuttgart, but one was blocked and the other missed the target as Leverkusen were let off the hook in a match in which they didn’t play particularly well.
Shots: Stuttgart 17-13 Bayer Leverkusen
Passing: Stuttgart 84%-76% Bayer Leverkusen
Possession: Stuttgart 54%-46% Bayer Leverkusen
Borussia Monchengladbach were given the unenviable assignment of opening their 2013-14 schedule away to Bayern Munich last weekend, but back at home against Hannover, they were able to show their quality.
Max Kruse opened the scoring in the 19th minute with a low, hard shot to the left corner following a pass from Raffael, and while ‘Gladbach continued to force the issue, they wouldn’t double their lead until the 53rd minute, when Christoph Kramer beat Ron-Robert Zieler from in close.
Filip Daems rounded out the scoring shortly after the hour-mark when, following a penalty awarded for a Hiroki Sakai handball, the Belgium international converted from the spot for the 3-0 lead.
Shots: Borussia Monchengladbach 17-16 Hannover
Passing: Borussia Monchengladbach 87%-79% Hannover
Possession: Borussia Monchengladbach 61%-39% Hannover
The only goal of this match was a stunner—a volley from Mario Mandzukic that left goalkeeper Kevin Trapp with no chance following a Phillipp Lahm pass and Thomas Muller cross to the Croatia international.
But Eintracht settled quickly and nearly had an equalizer just 10 minutes later, only for Alexander Meier to gently send the ball to Bayern ‘keeper Manuel Neuer after being played through to the penalty spot.
The hosts also thought they had levelled the scoreline in the 41st minute when Meier was judged to have headed the ball into the back of the Bayern goal from an offside position following a dangerous break downfield.
Bayern, too, were left feeling aggrieved when substitute winger Arjen Robben put the ball past Trapp in the 81st minute. But he had run into an offside position upon Toni Kroos’ release and had his goal rightfully disallowed by the official.
Shots: Eintracht Frankfurt 9-15 Bayern Munich
Passing: Eintracht Frankfurt 72%-90% Bayern Munich
Possession: Eintracht Frankfurt 30%-70% Bayern Munich