Bundesliga

Bundesliga Top Five, Round Six: Plea proves a bargain and Havertz returns to form

Plus Coutinho and Gnabry combine for Bayern

 
6:03pm on Sunday 29th September 2019
By
Paul Macdonald

Bayern take their predictable spot at the top of the table as a series of surprise results, including a defeat for RB Leipzig and another draw for Dortmund, gives the Bavarian side the Bundesliga advantage.

Gladbach are hilariously unpredictable at the moment, but after their 4-0 humbling in the Europa League against Wolfsberger they have won two in two and Plea has proven to be a key man. His neat finish opened the scoring and he sealed the win by laying in Florian Neuhaus. He also created a further two big chances that were squandered that could have made the victory all the more impressive. A great outing from the former Nice frontman.

Hertha have had a shaky start to the season but have put worries behind them with two wins in a week, the second of which a thumping 4-0 victory in Koln. Former Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata was in imperious form. Defensively he made a round-most 10 clearances, won 4/4 aerials, made three interceptions and even popped up in the closing stages to power home a header to seal the deal. Hertha look better than their results suggest.

Germany's great young hope, Havertz has been as inconsistent as Leverkusen have so far this season, but in Augsburg he produced a reminder of the limitless talent he possesses. Always operating in the final third his pass completion was 90% (60/67), and though the assist he provided for Kevin Volland was somewhat fortuitous (the ball rebounded off his back), he rounded off the win by adding the finishing touch to a sweeping team move, one of the goals of the weekend.

Undervalued by Arsenal, Serge Gnabry continues to be an impressive attacking option for Bayern, and already looks to have built a strong rapport with Philippe Coutinho. The winger was on hand to slot home Coutinho's beautiful assist in the first half before he then laid on the on-loan Barcelona man for the easiest of finishes. He also had 12 touches in the opposition penalty area, three more than any other player in the Bundesliga this weekend.

Philippe Coutinho, as you would expect a player of his class to do, has hit the ground running at Bayern Munich following his summer loan from Barcelona and he looks set to prove all over the again the immense talent he has. Against Paderborn he opened things off with a divine, scooped assist for Gnabry to convert, then the winger returned the favour to the Brazilian, who rolled the ball over the line. Five completed dribbles, and notably, 8/9 duels won, not something that he is renowned for.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Marcus Thuram (8.5) was unlucky to miss out after providing a superb assist and great individual goal in the win away in Hoffenheim.Welcome back, Mario Gotze (8.1), producing one of his best performances in years though Dortmund once again slipped up, this time at home to Werder Bremen. Marcel Tisserand's (8) goal and overall superb defensive display was integral to Wolfsburg's hard-fought 1-0 win in Mainz.

ROUND TO FORGET

That honour could go to any one of a number of Augsburg players who were comprehensively outplayed by a Havertz-inspired Leverkusen.

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