With so much still up in the air going into the winter break, there were notable clashes across the board this weekend. Borussia Dortmund finally claimed a win on Tuesday evening in Mainz, but would they be able to turn that into form? Bayern were largely unimpressive at home to winless Cologne, but was that just a blip? Schalke have cranked up the pressure on the league leaders lately, but would they give Bayern something to stress about over Christmas? Stefan Ruthenbeck had his first game in charge of Cologne last week and his side threw away a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 to Freiburg, but would they be able to recover? With an incredible 34 goals scored across this weekend’s eight games, it would prove to be an unbelievable round of Bundesliga games.
Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-1 Hamburg
Both of these were on the losing end of their respective fixtures in midweek. Hamburg were beaten 2-1 by Eintracht Frankfurt at home, while Gladbach lost narrowly 1-0 in Freiburg. They would get off to a good start in this home game though when Thorgan Hazard gave them the lead in just 9 minutes. However, the lead wouldn’t last and Andre Hahn equalised shortly after half-time.They game would slip away from Hamburg in five nightmarish minutes though. Raffael would put Gladbach ahead on 74 minutes and sealed the win on 79.
Cologne 1-0 Wolfsburg
Cologne continued their winless streak on Wednesday, losing 1-0 at the Allianz Arena despite a battling display against Bayern. Wolfsburg were also unable to claim all the points, although they did gain one against Red Bull Leipzig thanks to a 1-1 draw at the Volkswagon Arena. It would only take one goal to win it here and it would be a long-awaited one for Stefan Ruthenbeck’s side. Christian Clemens scored on 67 minutes to secure Cologne’s first league win of the season.
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 Schalke
Frankfurt were able to continue their impressive season in midweek with a 2-1 win in Hamburg. Schalke have also had a very good season and their entertaining 3-2 win over Augsburg at the Veltins Arena saw them move up to second place in the Bundesliga. Things did not start well for Domenico Tedesco’s boys here though when Luka Jovic put the home side ahead within 2 minutes. The game proved to be a tight one but looked to be over when Sebastien Haller doubled Frankfurt’s lead on 65. Schalke weren’t dead yet though and Breel Embolo pulled one back with 8 minutes to go. As the clock ticked down and it looked as Niko Kovac and his team would hold out for the win, Naldo popped up in the 5th minute of time added on, for the second time this season, to claim a vital point for Schalke.
Augsburg 3-3 Freiburg
Augsburg were unlucky to lose 3-2 to Schalke in Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday night, while Freiburg were able to beat Gladbach at home – just. Augsburg came out looking to make up for the loss to Schalke and Alfred Finnbogason scored within the first minute to put them on track to do so. The lead wouldn’t last though and Christian Gunter levelled on 20 minutes. Things began to unravel for the home side after half-time and Nils Peterson put Freiburg ahead on 48 minutes, before extending that lead on 65 minutes. It looked as if Freiburg would hold on for a precious win, despite Finnbogason’s second goal of the game a minute into stoppage time. But Finnbogason wasn’t done yet and he claimed his hat-trick goal, and the equaliser, with practically the last kick of the game.
VfB Stuttgart 0-1 Bayern Munich
Stuttgart lost narrowly in Hoffenheim on Tuesday, while Bayern were less than impressive during their 1-0 home win against Cologne. They were again underwhelming here and it took until the 79th minute for Thomas Muller to score what would be the winner. There was a last minute scare for Bayern when they conceded a penalty. Chadrac Akolo stepped up but former Stuttgart ‘keeper Sven Ulreich was equal to his spot kick and preserved a point for the team looking like champions-elect at the minute.
Werder Bremen 2-2 Mainz
Bremen were unable to follow their shock win over Dortmund last week with a similar result and went down 1-0 in Leverkusen. Mainz faced Dortmund themselves and suffered a 2-0 loss to BVB in Peter Stoeger’s first game in charge. Bremen were keen to make amends and Phillip Bargfrede put them ahead within 2 minutes. Ishak Belfoldil made it 2-0 on 17 minutes and it looked as if Bremen may just coast to victory here. Mainz finally woke up in the second half though and Robin Quaison pulled a goal back with 20 minutes to go. When it looked as if Mainz would heroically lose, Fabian Frei was able to put speculation surrounding his future behind him to equalise with the last kick of the game.
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Hoffenheim
Dortmund were finally able to get three points on the board on Tuesday night when they gave Peter Stoeger the perfect start to his career at Signal Iduna Park with a 2-0 win in Mainz. Hoffenheim were also able to get 3 points with a 1-0 win over Stuttgart. The away side were able to take the lead in this one and it was Mark Uth who got the goal on 21 minutes. Hoffenheim were able to go in ahead at the break but Dortmund would finally show up in the second half. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was able to convert a penalty on 65 minutes after Stefan Posch clatter Shinji Kagawa in the area. It looked as if the game would end all square – until Christian Pulisic popped up in the 89th minute to win it at the death for the home side.
Hannover 4-4 Bayer Leverkusen
Hannover were not able to overcome Hertha Berlin on Wednesday, going down 3-1 in the capital. Leverkusen were much more fortunate when they beat Bremen 1-0 at the BayArena. This game would start as it meant to go on. Julian Brandt put Leverkusen 1-0 up but Ihlas Bebou equalised just a minute later. Jonathan Tah gave away a penalty to Hannover when he fouled Felix Klaus in the area. After confirmation from the video referee, Nikolas Fullkrug stepped up to convert and put Hannover ahead. However, that lead would only last four minutes and Admir Mehmedi levelled the scored again on 25 minutes. Klaus would then put the home side ahead again on the stroke of half-time, in what was turning out to be a topsy-turvy game. Despite going in behind at the break, Leverkusen came back and Leon Bailey made it 3-3 on 47 minutes. He would score again on 67 to give Heiko Herrlich’s side the lead but Julian Korb would deny Leverkusen victory when he made it 4-4 on 83 minutes, to round off the scoring in a quite remarkable game.
Red Bull Leipzig 2-3 Hertha Berlin
Hertha claimed an emphatic 3-1 win over Hannover on Tuesday. Leipzig, on the other hand, were unable to claim all three points from their encounter with Wolfsburg, only managing a 1-1 draw. Things didn’t start well for them here when former Leipzig man Davie Selke put his new side ahead in the 5th minute. Hertha’s task to hold onto that lead was made even more difficult just two minutes after that goal when Jordan Torunarigha was shown a red card for a dangerous foul. That didn’t deter Pal Dardai’s side though and Salomon Kalou made it 2-0 on 31 minutes. Shortly after the break, Selke got his second and Hertha’s third to add embarrassment to the scoreline for Ralph Hassenhutl. However, this proved to be the shock his team needed. Willi Orban pulled one back on 68 minutes and Marcel Halstenburg scored again three minutes into stoppage time. It would prove to be too little too late though and Hertha would hold on for the win.
Round 18 Fixtures
Friday 12th January
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich (19.30)
Saturday 13th January
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Freiburg (14.30)
Augsburg vs. Hamburg
Hannover vs. Mainz
VfB Stuttgart vs. Hertha Berlin
Werder Bremen vs. Hoffenheim
Red Bull Leipzig vs. Schalke (17.30)
Sunday 14th January
Cologne vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach (14.00)
Borussia Dortmund vs. Wolfsburg (17.00)