Germany: Bundesliga
FT
5 - 0
(3 - 0)
Stuttgart
Freiburg
C. Führich (8), S. Guirassy (17), S. Guirassy (19), C. Führich (62), E. Millot (75)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

15:30 Kickoffs: Stuttgart, Leverkusen, and Bremen pummel opponents, Wolfsburg lose first match

A wild set of 15:30 kickoffs on the 2023/24 German Bundesliga's third matchday saw Stuttgart, Leverkusen, and Bremen rout respective opponents Freiburg, Darmstadt, and Mainz. Leverkusen's perfect start to the season continues.

Xabi Alonso's Werkself rise to the top of the Bundesliga table with their third consecutive win. Bayern can still hope to catch up with a win over Gladbach tonight. 

Freiburg and Wolfsburg, meanwhile, saw their perfect starts to the campaign come to a halt. Wolfsburg's 1-3 loss to Hoffenheim enables the TSG to pull into the top six. Augsburg and Bochum also split the difference with a 2-2 draw.
Christian Streich's Freiburg have lost their first match of the season courtesy of a trip north to their Baden rivals that went horribly awry. Sebastian Hoeneß' Swabians maintain an undefeated record at home this season after dispatching their southern Baden natives 5-0 on Saturday afternoon. Two VfB attackers - Serhou Guirassy and Christ Führich - bagged braces in the win.

VfB trainer Hoeneß made one change to the XI that lost against Leipzig last Friday night. Angelo Stiller - signed from Hoffenheim just prior to kickoff in that match - entered on behalf of Lilian Egloff. SCF gaffer Streich also employed one personnel change from last week. Michael Gregoritsch was preferred to Ritsu Doan. Both sides lined up in 4-2-3-1 formations.

It was actually the much discussed Stuttgart keeper Alexander Nübel who was called upon first to make a big save in the 3rd minute. Nübel denied the southern Baden guests the opener when he rushed out to deny a totally free in-front-of-goal Michael Gregoritsch. Nübel looked strong on a pair of subsequent set-pieces as well. The Württemberg hosts then scored against the run-of-play.

Stiller did well to unlock Chris Führich on the left. After a nice cut-inside dribble, the VfB attacker finished off the 1-0 himself in the 8th. Stuttgart appeared content to sit back and defend their lead, but were gifted several counter chances by the disorganized SCF ranks. Serhou Guirassy scored on one such opportunity after a nice run from Silas in the 17th. Hoeneß' charges almost incidentally doubled the advantage.

Shortly after the 2-0 in the 17th, Guirassy would complete a scorer's brace. Hiroki Ito - recently rewarded with a lucrative new contract - played the role of set-up man this time. Everything went swimmingly at the Mercedes Benz Arena with the hosts up 3-0 before twenty minutes had been played. The hosts took their foot off the gas pedal for the duration of the half whilst the shaken Freiburg ranks couldn't manage much.

Sreich reacted to the deficit with a triple change at the half. Last week's hero Maximilian Philipp entered the fray, as did Doan and German youth international Kenneth Schmidt. The Breisgauer nevertheless couldn't manage to produce anything truly compelling. Führich effectively put the game to bed in the 62nd with his own scorer's brace. Führich's second goal also featured a fine solo dribble from the VfB attacker.

Enzo Millot added another tally in the 75th.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, Leverkusen were eventually able to open the floodgates against newly-promoted SV Darmstadt 98. The two sides remained deadlocked 1-1 following an intense first-half. A somewhat fluky double-defected goal ended up giving Xabi Alonso's Werkself in the 49th. After that, Germany's red company team never looked back. Victor Boniface scored another brace and registered an assist in what ended up being a 5-1 rout.

Matters didn't go quite so smoothly for Germany's green company team, VfL Wolfsburg. Niko Kovac's German Wolves incurred their first defeat of the season in their visit to Sinsheim to play Pellegrino Matarazzo's Kraichgauer. High-flying Wolfsburg were able to take the lead via the first VfL goal not scored by Jonas Wind this season. Wind did provide the assist on Tiago Tomas' 1-0. Hoffenheim charged back with three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 victory. Germany U21 international Maximilian Beier got on the scoresheet again with the what proved the game-winner.

Up north at the Weser Stadion in Bremen, Ole Werner's Hanseaten have their first win of the season thanks to a 4-0 stomping of Mainz at home. The match was actually more competitive than the scoreline would suggest. Bo Svensson's Rheinhessen fell apart late. Not unlike on the season's first match-day, there was a tense goal-laden affair involving FC Augsburg at the WWK Arena. An end-to-end affair again ended with Augsburg drawing their opponents. Bochum's Takuma Asano registered a brace in the 2-2 draw.

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