Freiburg lead the Bundesliga as giants Bayern and Leipzig stumble

Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann said on Saturday his side lacked their usual energy after being held to a second successive week draw at Union Berlin and losing top spot in the Bundesliga.

Union battled to a well-deserved 1-1 draw at home to Bayern as fellow top flight Freiburg cruised their way to top spot after beating Bayer Leverkusen in a five-goal thriller.

“In the end, it was a fair result. The energy I’ve been bragging about over the past few weeks wasn’t really there today,” Nagelsmann said, adding that his team would need to pull themselves together during their Champions League opener. against Inter on Wednesday.

“Union showed today what makes them so strong. In the end, it was a top-level clash in which both teams deserved to draw,” added Bayern striker Thomas Mueller.

After their impressive start to the season, Union had started the day on Bayern’s heels with just one goal difference separating the two sides.

It showed why at the start of the first half, taking the lead through Sheraldo Becker with a brilliantly worked free kick to stun the champions and send the home crowd into ecstasy.

Their celebrations were cut short minutes later when Bayern immediately turned the screws and Kimmich leveled the scores with a sparkling first finish from the edge of the box.

Bayern were repeatedly thwarted by Danish goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow as both teams had chances to win the match in a thrilling battle after the break.

Frankfurt outclasses Leipzig

Their second slip in as many weeks means the champions are now third, behind Borussia Dortmund and surprise leaders Freiburg, who beat Leverkusen 3-2.

Leverkusen took the lead in the 16th minute, Kerem Demirbay pushing the ball after a pinball in the penalty box.

Freiburg hit back with two quick goals after half-time, Matthias Ginter scoring the equalizer from an early corner before Michael Gregoritsch took advantage of a defensive error to turn the game around.

Chelsea on loan Callum Hudson-Odoi then set up Patrick Schick with a fine cross just minutes after coming off the bench on his Bundesliga debut.

But Ritsu Doan restored the lead a few minutes later to send Freiburg ahead and condemn Leverkusen to a fourth defeat in five games.

Leverkusen aren’t the only Champions League side to underperform this season.

RB Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg (L) in action with Eintracht Frankfurt’s Mario Gotze during a Bundesliga match, Frankfurt, Germany, September 3, 2022. (Reuters Photo)

RB Leipzig are also stuck in the bottom half of the table after losing 3-0 to Eintracht Frankfurt in Saturday’s final game.

Frankfurt toyed with the Leipzig defense in the build-up to Daichi Kamada’s opener, and Sebastian Rode doubled the lead minutes later.

Brazilian defender Tuta put Frankfurt out of sight with a second-half tap-in before Rafael Borre completed the rout from the penalty spot six minutes from time.

Elsewhere, former Bayern manager Niko Kovac’s rocky start to Wolfsburg continued with a 4-2 loss to Cologne.

Wolfsburg took the lead through Lukas Nmecha after just two minutes but were booed in the tunnel at half-time after Cologne stormed from behind to take control of the game.

Dejan Ljubicic leveled the scores with a fine finish at the end of a delightful passing move, before an own goal from Paulo Otavio and a penalty from Florian Kainz gave the visitors a deserved 3-1 lead at the break.

Nmecha gave the hosts late hope with a second-half goal before Sargis Adamyan restored Cologne’s two-goal lead.

Two goals from Niclas Fuellkrug propelled Werder Bremen to a 2-0 win over Bochum, while Schalke are still in search of their first win of the season after a 1-1 draw at Stuttgart.

Chris Fuehrich put Stuttgart ahead but Simon Terodde salvaged a point for Schalke with his first goal of the season.

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