Bundesliga Sunday Round-up: League Leaders Stumble, Freiburg Hammer Hertha

Hamburg and Leverkusen played to disappointing draws as Bayern, Hoffenheim, and Mainz remain within striking distance of the joint leaders.
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Hamburg
Hertha Berlin 0-4 Freiburg
Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Werder Bremen

Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Hamburg

After Thursday's disastrous performance against Rapid Wein, Hamburg wanted to quickly reverse their misfortune with a convincing showing in Frankfurt.

It all started well, with evergreen midfielder Ze Roberto scoring a rare header in the 8th minute. Hamburg were dominant over the first 20 minutes, but the hosts crept back into the game around the half hour mark. Their efforts paid off just after the half hour mark, when Marco Russ headed in the equaliser. Stunned, Hamburg failed to react before the end of the half.

In the second period, Hamburg finally hit stride, dominating in possession and proving a constant threat. The Frankfurt defence held strong, however, and held their opponents to primarily long-range efforts, which either missed the target or were claimed by goalkeeper Oka Nikolov. As a result, the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Hertha Berlin 0-4 Freiburg

Hertha played well, but Freiburg were ruthlessly efficient in the first half. As visitors in the intimidating Olympiastadion, Freiburg dropped back, relying on the break to provide opportunities. That idea worked a charm as the visitors scored on three of their seven first half chances. Goals scored by Ivica Banovic (5), Cedric Makladi (12), and Mohamadou Idrissou (42) left Hertha stunned, and with little hope of a comeback.

Hertha recovered well in the second half, and finally began to make use of their huge possession advantage. However hard they tried, however, Hertha were unable to beat Freiburg goalkeeper Simon Pouplin. Freiburg made it 4-0 in the 67th minute, as Banovic completed his brace. The scoreline held, and Hertha remain dead last after six matches.

Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Werder Bremen

What had promised to be an exciting, high-scoring match turned out to be a rather disappointing affair.  Werder had several opportunities in the first half thanks to an impressive Marko Marin, but were denied space after the break.  Leverkusen had their chances as well, especially in the second half, but missed out on a great opportunity to go clear of Hamburg.

Clark Whitney, Goal.com