There was movement at both ends of the Frauen-Bundesliga table this weekend as promoted Köln picked up their first win of the year, at home to Jena after Freiburg had claimed their own 1-0 over title rivals, Wolfsburg.
Elsewhere, Frankfurt hit Werder for four as Munich came from behind to best Duisburg, as Hoffenheim grabbed a late win over Sand and Essen held Potsdam scoreless.
Given top billing, Freiburg claimed back-to-back home wins over Wolfsburg in the league this year as they leapfrogged the champions into first with a composed performance on Saturday.
On top in the first half, Carolin Simon picked Giulia Gwinn out with a superb diagonal early in the day, the teenager bright to take a touch to slip away from Babett Peter before lashing the ball behind Almuth Schult. Doing their best to grow into the game, Wolfsburg offered more in attack, Alex Popp sharp to pounce on a missed header by Carolin Schiewe, though her effort drifted wide before Hasret Kayikçi shanked her chance to double the advantage.
Far better after the break, the Wolves found their footing a little more and began to ask serious questions of the hosts though struggled for a final product good enough to beat Laura Benkarth and slipped to their first defeat of the season.
Yet to be beaten under new coach, Niko Arnautis, FFC have been going from strength to strength as was seen as they put four past a Bremen team who’ve been worthy opponents for the top teams so far this season.
Laura Störzel gave the hosts the perfect start when her direct free kick flew over the wall and arrowed into the top corner, leaving Anneke Borbe rooted to the spot and the visitors with it all to do eleven minutes in. Bright going forward but a little slacker than usual at the back, Werder found themselves two down just before the break when Ana-Maria Crnogorčević fed Jackie Groenen in the box. The Dutch midfielder’s neat nutmeg on Katharina Schiechtl capped off with a smooth low finish to the bottom corner.
With Bremen still finding good moments to attack the hosts put the game out of reach when Kathrin Hendrich poked home after her initial header had been blocked at a corner just after the hour. Full of confidence going forward, the Frankfurters struck a fourth and final time in the last knockings of the game when Lise Munk combined with her countrywoman to send Cecilie Sandvej’s cross beyond Borbe.
Hoffenheim continued their rise up the table with a narrow win over Sand, the Sport Club tied for them with points but a better goal difference keeping them one above TSG for the time being.
Both teams had their chances early on but both ends saw misses by the narrowest of margins, Judith Steinert fired just wide of the far post as the hosts cut forward before Laura Vetterlein came agonisingly close for the visitors. A scant minute after Steinert had missed, a routine corner saw Vetterlein’s header cannon off of the bar before being claimed by Friederike Abt as both sides scrapped for it two yards out.
The hosts seemed to be having little in the way of luck with the 620 strong crowd as frustrated as the players having seen Sharon Beck catch the bar twice from outside the box before the first half was over. Sand had a chance to win it late in the second half, though Laura Feiersinger could only fire at Abt’s feet when played through not long after Beck had just missed from outside the box once again.
The deadlock was finally broken in stoppage time when two substitutes combined for Hoffenheim, Emily Evels’ nippy run up and across from the left gave Stephanie Breitner plenty of time to get into position. Breitner composed as she ran behind Vetterlein to collect Evels’ lay-off before slipping the ball between Carina Schlüter and the near post for all three points.
Köln finally got off of the mark in their first season back in the top flight with a narrow win over fellow strugglers, Jena.
Karoline Kohr’s strike just before the break enough for all three points when the 21-year-old poked the ball home after Justien Odeurs had let Carolin Schraa’s initial effort slip from her gloves. Though USV continued to create and saw some of the better chances the team from Thuringia were undone by their own poor finishing and failed to trouble Anne-Kathrine Kremer.
The loss leaves Jena toiling in eleventh on a lone point, Köln having leapfrogged them with the win, both teams seriously struggling early in the season.
Still looking for their first win of the season, Duisburg were given a helping hand five minutes into their tie in Bavaria when Manuela Zinsberger passed the ball directly to Pia Rijsdijk, the new signing calm to lay the ball off to Sofia Nati who wrapped it around the ‘keeper.
The lead only lasted for twenty minutes however, Munich quick to turn on the style and move forward in numbers, Lucie Voňková bright to reach Fridolina Rolfö’s threaded ball and slip it past Lena Nuding for her first home goal for her new team. 1-1 fast became 2-1 when Sydney Lohmann rolled Rolfö’s square pass into the unguarded net after Voňková had scuffed her touch. The host’s dominance continued after the break and Jill Roord soon made it three, flicking Verena Wieder’s neat pass over Nuding and into the top corner just moments after Wieder had seen her own effort hit the woodwork.
The win wasn’t without its consequences for the Bavarians however, as they lost both first-half goal scorers to injuries on either side of the break. Lohmann, who wass only just back from injury replaced by the bright Wieder and Voňková replaced by fellow summer signing, Jovana Damnjanović who came on for her Bayern debut after overcoming her own injury problem.
There was little joy to be had in front of goal for either Essen or Potsdam when fifth and sixth clashed this weekend and the Turbines recorded their fifth successive draw of the season. Having the better chances throughout the visitors struggled to make it count, too obvious with their efforts, Lisa Weiß in solid form to keep a clean-sheet, her opposite number less troubled but alert from start to finish.