Round 6 of the Tipico Bundesliga was another incredible weekend of footballing entertainment, combining excellent attacking intent and woeful defending. The 5 games produced a cracking 25 goals. To put that into some kind of perspective, in 9 Bundesliga games in Germany, only 22 goals were scored. Here is the full round-up of results:
SK Sturm Graz 1-2 Wolfsberger AC
Red Bull Salzburg 5-0 SC Rheindorf Altach
SV Ried 2-2 SV Grödig
SC Wiener Neustadt 5-4 FC Admira Wacker
FK Austria Vienna 2-2 SK Rapid Vienna.
#1 Abd Al Rahman Osman Ali – Osman Ali, a free Summer signing for Neustadt from Kapfenberger SV in the Erste Liga, had a Bundesliga debut to remember. The 28-year old from Vienna, who plays predominantly on the right-hand side of midfield, achieved a goal and three assists. His goal was a beautifully taken strike following a Neustadt break-away from an Admira corner. Mario Ebenhofer had his shot excellently saved by Andreas Leitner, but the rebound fell to Osman Ali who rifled past the Admira goalkeeper from a seemingly impossible angle. His assists were also all well thought out and executed with precision. The first assist came from a training ground routine, as he combined with American Conor O’Brien from a corner. The American, from OB Odense in Denmark, nutmegged a defender and curled in a beauty to give Neustadt the lead. The second assist, again from a set-piece, highlighted Osman Ali’s composure as he laid off a simple pass for Kristijan Dobras to rifle home, on what was his first start of the season. His final assist, which allowed Herbert Rauter to get his third goal of the season, was the pick of the bunch. Osman Ali took the ball from his own half, raced down the right-hand side, left Thomas Ebner for dead and picked the 32-year old out for the simplest of finishes. Debuts don’t get much better than this!
#2 Alan Carvalho – Surprisingly, this is Alan’s first entry onto the blog, given last season he scored 26 goals in the league. The Brazilian native who has been hampered by illness and injuries this season, finally looked his old self. It was Alan who drew the foul from Jan Zwischenbrugger, inside the box, which got the ball rolling as Jonathan Soriano scored his 10th goal of the season from the spot. The 25-year old striker, who had been linked with clubs such as SS Lazio last season, finished off the scoring in the first half. Alan showed in this game why he shouldn’t be afforded any time or space around the box, as he struck home to make the score 3-0, leaving Martin Kobras no chance in the Altach net. The second half had a completely different pace to it, with Salzburg clearly having one eye on the second leg of the Champions League play-off game. The Brazilian though, who could have easily scored another one or two goals in this game, got his second from a corner. Valentino Lazaro, 18, a full Austrian international, whipped in a perfect corner which Alan despatched clinically with his head. Despite the game clearly being over, neither Alan or Lazaro were finished. With the final action of the game Alan’s blocked shot rebounded to Lazaro to fire in his second goal of the season. The Bulls have now scored 29 goals in 6 games, conceding only once and it appears no-one will stop them!
#3 Herbert Rauter – The 32-year old attacking midfielder, who can play as a second striker, has been in fine form for Wiener Neustadt this season, with 5 goals and 1 assist in all competitions. Rauter was once again on-song as he was an influential figure in the 5-4 victory for Heimo Pfeifenberger’s men. Rauter, who started his career in Graz, got on the scoresheet with a simple finish, as mentioned above, following great work by Osman Ali. His assist was another piece of great team play as he combined with Mario Ebenhofer, 10 years his junior, with a quick-thinking ‘doppelpass’. Ebenhofer duly smashed the ball home to give the home side a 4-3 lead, having been 3-2 down after 66 minutes. Although there were other candidates for getting into the top 3 such as Conor O’Brien, Lukas Thürauer and Eldis Bajrami, it was Rauter’s efficiency on the ball that gives him the nod. Rauter attempted 30 passes during the 90 minutes, achieving a whopping 86.7% successful passing rate, with an 87% success rate coming in the opposition’s half. In comparison, Thürauer, for Admira, achieved a 79.2% success rate and 68.8% success rate in the opposition’s half, albeit, he attempted 48 passes. Regardless, it was the best attacking display I have seen from Wiener Neustadt in the past year or so, and much of that credit has to go to Rauter.
A week to forget for:
Both Vienna sides – Another round, another week without a win. The Vienna-Derby provided a great chance for both sides to finally get themselves out of their terrible league positions. However, a 2-2 draw helped neither side. It means that Rapid have not won a game since their 1-0 victory over SV Ried in round 2, and the Violets are still looking for their first victory of the season. They lie 5th and 7th respectively, a whopping 12 and 13 points behind the league leaders.
Tipico Bundesliga goalkeepers and defenders – As much I love the league for all the drama and goals, the defending (or lack of) was eye-opening this weekend. It is likely to be a busy week for the defensive coaches on the training grounds, whilst the attacking and shooting coaches will be getting a pat on the back from their managers.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment and vote in the poll below (Sandi Lovric was my favourite nominee last week!)