Berlin, Germany | AFP | Striker Mark Uth was Hoffenheim’s hero in their shock win over Bayern Munich while Borussia Dortmund’s goalless draw at 10-man Freiburg saw captain Marcel Schmelzer sidelined again.
Cologne are rock bottom and in low spirits after three morale-sapping defeats ahead of facing Arsenal in the Europa League on Thursday.
Volatile midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng showed his compassionate side while a wardrobe malfunction left Wolfsburg’s new forward red-faced.
Here are five things we learned from the third round of German Bundesliga matches:
Cologne wobble before Arsenal
Cologne play Arsenal away in Thursday’s Europa League group match with the Germans wobbling after three straight defeats, leaking seven goals and scoring just one.
Cologne’s defence was woeful in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Augsburg when Iceland striker Alfred Finnbogason hit a hat-trick.
“I’ve had a gut full. Everyone is in a bad mood. We have to sort this out as a team,” fumed Cologne midfielder Matthias Lehmann.
After a 25-year absence, Cologne are back in Europe and team manager Joerg Schmadtke blames the poor form on pre-match nerves with Arsenal looming.
But Cologne have also struggled to replace Anthony Modeste, who netted 25 league goals last season, following his loan move to China.
Game over. A tough day at the office.#FCAKOE // 3-0 pic.twitter.com/V96qsqXVSC
— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) September 9, 2017
Mark Uth scored both goals in Hoffenheim’s surprise win over Bayern, then it emerged the 26-year-old nearly left Hoffenheim twice in recent weeks.
“It was a wonderful evening for us,” beamed Uth, who scored after a quick throw-in caught out Bayern’s defence before slamming home a cross after the break to seal the 2-0 win in Sinsheim.
Uth, also on target in both legs of Hoffenheim’s Champions League play-off defeat to Liverpool last month, is out of contract in June.
Before the season started, he nearly signed for ex-club Cologne, according to reports, while Hoffenheim turned down an offer from Serie A.
“Three days before the transfer window closed, we had an eight-figure offer from Italy,” Hoffenheim director Alexander Rosen told Bild.
“But we’re hedging our bets that he will extend his contract.”
⚽️? #TSGFCB@mark_uth, twice: All about tonight’s #TSG home win against @fcbayern! ??
RECAP ? https://t.co/rviFCk4L74. pic.twitter.com/wWjSMrtR8j
— TSG Hoffenheim EN (@achtzehn99_en) September 9, 2017
Schmelzer sidelined again
Marcel Schmelzer will miss Wednesday’s Champions League group stage clash against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley after a horror tackle on his right ankle “hurt like hell” in Dortmund’s draw at Freiburg.
Midfielder Yoric Ravet earned a red card for a crunching tackle which tore the ligaments in Schmelzer’s right ankle — 27 minutes into his return after suffering the same injury in July.
“It hurt like hell, I knew straight away I couldn’t play on,” said Schmelzer, who now faces seven weeks out.
To make matters worse, Dortmund defender Marc Bartra could also miss the Spurs match with a groin injury.
? Move on, and channel the disappointment for @SpursOfficial #scfbvb https://t.co/gU1cbaW57M pic.twitter.com/CDrgvFWhjQ
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) September 10, 2017
Dimata forgets shorts
When Germany striker Mario Gomez twisted an ankle for Wolfsburg, his 20-year-old replacement Landry Dimata pulled off his tracksuit bottoms — and discovered he had forgotten his shorts.
The Belgian youth international dashed to the Wolfsburg dressing room to grab a pair, but it took five minutes from when Gomez came off until Dimata finally went on, leaving head coach Andries Jonker furious.
“I had wished that he would have been quicker,” said the Dutchman.
Dimata, who signed from Belgian side Oostende in July, did little to help his cause with a mediocre display in a 1-1 draw.
#WOBH96 To the game report ➡️ https://t.co/hFZ7A34gPs pic.twitter.com/bYKUHw1VqC
— VfL Wolfsburg EN (@VfLWolfsburg_EN) September 9, 2017
Boateng’s Nouri tribute
Kevin-Prince Boateng netted his first goal for Eintracht Frankfurt — and paid tribute to Ajax’s Abdelhak Nouri, who suffered permanent brain damage after collapsing in a pre-season game.
Boateng’s early goal fuelled Frankfurt’s 1-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach and the 30-year-old lifted his playing shirt to reveal a red top bearing “Nouri – 34” — the stricken 20-year-old’s playing number.
“He was an exceptional footballer, it’s a tragedy and his family should know that I pray for him,” said Boateng
“I will wear this shirt all