Bayern blazing a trail
Italian striker Luca Toni maintained his goal-a-game form as Bayern Munich made Bundesliga history to keep their 100 percent record alive with a 3-0 home victory over Hanover on Saturday.
Bayern now have a perfect 10 goal difference and are yet to concede a goal this season after their opening three wins over Hansa Rostock (3-0), Werder Bremen (4-0) and now Hanover (3-0) leaves them top of the table.
The Munich club have made the best-ever start by a Bundesliga side after three games as World Cup winner Toni put Bayern 1-0 up at the break before midfielders Mark Van Bommmel and Hamit Altintop provided second-half scores.
But Bayern's experienced boss Ottmar Hitzfeld, who has twice coached Champions League winning teams, will be keeping his side's feet on the ground as they travel to Hamburg and face Schalke at home in the next fortnight.
"We played very well, but there are still some parts of our game we have to improve," said Hitzfeld.
"We haven't achieved anything yet, we are clear favourites for the Bundesliga title, but there is a long way to go and we have big games ahead with Hamburg and Schalke coming up.
"It is still early days."
Failing to score in the first two games might have cost Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger dearly as he lost a bet with his girlfriend and took to the field wearing black nail polish.
But Schweinsteiger had the last laugh and put a polished pass through the Hanover defence for Toni to bag his third goal in three games as the Italian continues to repay the 11 million euros he cost from Fiorentina.
The 30-year-old pulled his quad muscle scoring the 28th-minute goal and was replaced by 19-year-old striker Sandro Wagner, Bayern's only fit striker with Jan Schlaudraff, Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose all on the injured list.
Hanover were reduced to ten-men on the stroke of half-time as Albanian midfielder Altin Lala clattered Bayern's Franck Ribery to earn a yellow and then pole-axed Ze Roberto moments later to earn his second yellow and the following red.
In the second-half, Bayern dominated their guests until Schweinsteiger's pass saw Dutch hardman Van Bommel net in the 67th minute to make the result safe, before Altintop slotted home with four minutes left.
In his first game back from injury, German striker Mario Gomez scored a first-half goal to give Bundesliga champions VfB Stuttgart a much-needed 1-0 win over newly-promoted Duisburg as the champs bounced back from their shock defeat at Hertha Berlin.The three points leaves them eighth and Stuttgart coach Armin Veh was just glad of the points.
"In our situation, the three points were naturally very important," he said. "We did particularly well in the second half, you could see that some of our players aren't yet 100 percent fit, we can't play at full steam for the whole 90 minutes.
"But fortunately for us, Mario Gomez proved yet again that he alone can decide a game."
And Werder Bremen recovered from their 4-0 hammering against Bayern the week before as striker Martin Harnik netted in the 69th minute in their 1-0 win over Nuremberg.
Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Bernd Schneider, Germany's captain in the midweek win over England, was instrumental in his side's 3-0 win over last season's second division champions Karlsruhe to leave his side in sixth place.
Schneider's free-kick was deflected into the net by Karlsruhe defender Maik Franz for the first goal, before Manuel Friedrich made it 2-0 and then Greek striker Theofanis Gekas benefitted from a Schneider pass as it finished 3-0.
Borussia Dortmund enjoyed a 3-0 win over Energie Cottbus, while Armenia Bielefeld had few problems in their 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin which puts them second in the table.
On Friday night, goals by Stanislav Sestak and Daniel Imhof meant VfL Bochum are third in the table following their 2-1 victory over ten-man SV Hamburg, their opponents first defeat of the season.
Hamburg lost Vincent Kompany after 60 minutes before captain Rafael Van der Vaart converted a penalty with four minutes left.
On Sunday, Eintracht Frankfurt entertain Hansa Rostock, while Schalke 04 are at VfL Wolfsburg.