BERLIN (Reuters) - Talking-points from the Bundesliga weekend:
POST-COVID RECORD OF 11,500 FANS AT DORTMUND, NONE AT BAYERN
Borussia Dortmund were watched by a crowd of 11,500 fans, the highest in the Bundesliga since the COVID-19 outbreak, for their 4-0 win at home to Freiburg, while Bayern Munich's 4-3 victory over visiting Hertha Berlin was behind closed doors.
Under Bundesliga rules for the new season, spectators are allowed to watch games with the number limited at 20% of stadium capacity. However, this can be lowered by local authorities, leading to widespread regional discrepancies.
Local authorities in Munich and Bielefeld barred spectators from watching matches at the weekend due to a relatively high rate of infections in the respective cities.
VfB Stuttgart’s match at home to Bayer Leverkusen was watched by 9,500 fans, while 8,000 saw Eintracht Frankfurt-Hoffenheim, 7,500 were at RB Leipzig-Schalke and 6,000 at VfL Wolfsburg-Augsburg.
NO END IN SIGHT TO SCHALKE’S MISERY
The Royal Blues were thumped 4-0 by RB Leipzig, leaving them with no points from three games and the remarkable tally of 15 goals conceded. They are winless in their last 19 Bundesliga games, a run stretching back to Jan. 17.
Poor management is widely blamed for the problems at a club which, despite fanatical support, have never won the Bundesliga and last bagged a major trophy in 2011 with the German Cup.
Baum did not hold back as he analysed his team’s display.
“We were too late to the ball when pressing, as you could see with the goals we conceded. It didn’t work. When we did win the ball, we gave it away again too quickly. We also weren’t courageous enough in possession,” he said.
“The players’ heads went down at 1-0 and they started to doubt themselves again. To be successful, we need to find a way to play with confidence and the players have to take responsibility on the pitch.”
But he is relishing the challenge, adding: “I’m excited to find ways of getting out of this situation with the players.”
BAYERN TOO COMPLACENT?
While Robert Lewandowski took the plaudits for scoring all four goals in Bayern Munich's 4-3 win over Hertha Berlin, some pundits were wondering how the usually ruthless titleholders had let slip a 2-0 lead. Are they becoming complacent?
“We must keep going when we’re two goals up,” said playmaker Thomas Mueller. “We want to do the things for which FC Bayern are admired. We did a few things well today but we must restore this aplomb when we’re in the lead.”
Midfielder Leon Goretzka agreed: “It was a workmanlike victory. At the moment, after the recent successes, maybe we eased off a little too early.”
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris
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