BERLIN (Reuters) – Borussia Dortmund returned from the winter break with a 1-0 win at RB Leipzig to retain their six-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga standings.
Here are five talking points from the weekend’s action.
SLIPPERYSOSAHOOKED AT HALFTIME
VfB Stuttgart defender Borna Sosa is unlikely to forget his first Bundesliga start of the season when he was withdrawn at halftime of the 3-2 home loss to Mainz 05.
The 21-year-old Croat selected inadequate footwear for the slippery pitch on Saturday, leading to frustrated coach Markus Weinzierl’s decision to substitute the stumbling defender at the interval.
“Obviously I am angry. He must know these things, must be professional about it and choose the best possible equipment. I noticed it at halftime. The coach is not responsible for that,” Weinzierl said.
DORTMUNDSTARTECHOESTITLE-WINNINGSIDE OF 2011
Borussia Dortmund’s stellar start to the season can only be bettered by their 2010-11 title-winning side, who had amassed 46 points after winning 16 of their opening 18 matches.
This season, Dortmund are a point and a win worse off but remain six points clear of second-placed Bayern Munich after their 1-0 win at RB Leipzig.
BOSZBEATEN ON BUNDESLIGARETURN
Former Dortmund coach Peter Bosz suffered a losing debut in the Bayer Leverkusen dugout after his new employers lost at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach.
The Dutchman, who lasted just a few months at Dortmund in 2017, had hoped his trademark attacking brand of football would earn them a win, yet despite Leverkusen’s 21 shots on goal to Gladbach’s seven, they still lost 1-0.
SPEEDYMARTINEZSETSNEWMILESTONEFOR 100 WINS
Bayern Munich defensive midfielder Javi Martinez set a record for the fastest player to notch up 100 victories in the Bundesliga.
The 30-year-old Spaniard needed just 120 matches with the German champions to earn his century, improving on team mate Arjen Robben’s previous Bundesliga best of 126 matches.
ESSERHEROICS IN VAIN AS HANOVERLOSEAGAIN
Hanover 96 may be languishing in the relegation zone after their 1-0 defeat at home to Werder Bremen, but goalkeeper Michael Esser did get some joy after the 31-year-old set a Bundesliga record for saving 21 shots on goal in the game.
The Bundesliga confirmed that no keeper had saved more shots in a single game, but the record did little to lift Hanover, who remain mired in 17th place on 11 points, level with bottom club Nuremberg.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by John O’Brien)