We are now week 23 of the Bundesliga season and things are beginning to hot up. Now we have a clear idea of who will win the league, who will finish in the all-important European places and who is likely to lose their place in Germany’s top flight. Cologne have improved under Stefan Ruthenbeck but are still some way off safety. They were looking to keep up their quest for survival against Eintracht Frankfurt this week. Werder Bremen have improved a lot lately too. They welcomed Wolfsburg, who sem sleepwalking towards relegation. At the other end of the table, Bayern Munich looked to strengthen their hold on the Bundesliga title at home to inconsistent Schalke. Things are starting to get serious.
Red Bull Leipzig 2-0 Augsburg
Both these sides were victorious last weekend, with Leipzig recording a last-gasp win over Gladbach and Augsburg going over Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0. Things wouldn’t go as well for Manuel Baum and his team here though. It started in the 17th minute when Dayot Upamecano put the Leipzig ahead. Augsburg tried to steal an equaliser but, on the balance of play, it would have been underserved. The home side’s win was confirmed in the 70th minute when Liverpool bound Naby Keita doubled the lead and ensure Ralph Hassenhutl’s boys took all the points.
Bayer Leverkusen 0-2 Hertha Berlin
Both these teams were only able to claim a point last week, Leverkusen drew 0-0 in Freiburg while Hertha Berlin held Hoffenheim 1-1 at home. This was expected to be an easy home win but Valentino Lazaro hadn’t read the script and put Pal Dardai’s team ahead on 43 minutes. Leverkusen took the initiative from there and forged ahead looking for an equaliser. Their attempts would be in vain though as Salomon Kalou sealed victory for Hertha on 58 minutes to ensure all the points went back to the capital.
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Hamburg
Peter Stoeger took his new club to his old club last weekend and came away from Cologne with a well-earned 3-2 win. Hamburg’s results have picked up slightly since Bernd Hollerbach took charge but they are still without a win in 9 games, a run which was extended last time out thanks to a 1-1 home draw with Hannover. The optimism for Hamburg lasted for 49 minutes in this game though and was ended when Michy Batchuayi scored his third goal in two games to put give BVB the lead. Hamburg looked like they would keep the score down until Mario Gotze doubled the home sides lead in the second minute of stoppage time.
Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 Cologne
Frankfurt were brought back down to earth with a bump in Augsburg last week, going down 3-0. Cologne have looked a much better proposition under Stefan Ruthenbeck but were unfortunate to be beaten 3-2 at home by Dortmund last Friday. This game turned out to be a goal-fest and the scoring was kicked off by Ante Rebic, who put Frankfurt 1-0 up on 15 minutes. Cologne would come back into it though when Simon Terrode equalised on 57 minutes from the penalty spot. They wouldn’t be on parity for long though as Marco Russ put the home side back ahead 2 minutes later. Simon Falette would make it 3-1 on 65 and Marius Wolf ended the game as a contest on 67 making it 4-1. Terrode would score again for Cologne on 74 but it proved to be no more than a consolation as Niko Kovac’s side got back on track.
Hannover 2-1 Freiburg
Hannover were held by lowly Hamburg last week while Freiburg also drew at home with Bayer Leverkusen. Both teams are relatively safe although Freiburg will be looking over their shoulder, especially following this result. Waldemar Anton put the home side ahead on 28 minutes and Felix Klaus scored what would be the winner on 54 minutes. Manuel Gulde pulled one back 2 minutes from time but it wasn’t enough to inspire a comeback and Hannover walked away with the win.
Hoffenheim 4-2 Mainz
Julian Nagelsmann will have been disappointed with his team’s inability to put Hertha Berlin to bed last, only managing a 1-1 draw in the capital. Mainz performed to expectations though – getting beaten 2-0 at home by Bayern Munich. This would be another entertaining encounter. Adam Szalai opened the scoring on 27 minutes but Emil Berggreen equalised just a minute later. The half would end with both teams level and it would take until the 67th minute for someone to take the lead. That would be Hoffenheim and Andrej Kramaric would put them ahead. On 74 minutes Szalai scored his second of the game to make it 3-1, but Berggreen would double his own tally on 80 minutes to give Mainz hope. The game would be over on 88 minutes though when Kramaric completed his brace.
Bayern Munich 2-1 Schalke
Bayern unsurprisingly beat Mainz away last week comfortably, while Schalke were beaten 2-1 at home by a resurgent Werder Bremen. Saturday’s late kick-off would see all the goals come in the first half and the deadlock was broke inside 6 minutes by Robert Lewandowski. Franco di Santo pulled Schalke level on 29 minutes but Thomas Muller scored what was ultimately the winner on 36 minutes to consign Domenico Tedesco’s boys to their second defeat in as many games.
VfB Stuttgart 1-0 Borussia Moenchengladbach
VfB Stuttgart were able to draw 1-1 with Wolfsburg last while Gladbach were unfortunate to be beaten in Leipzig thanks to a last-minute goal from debutant Ademola Lookman. This was another game which only needed one goal to win it – and that goal would come for the home side. Daniel Ginzcek was the hero of the piece when he scored what would be the winner in only the 5th minute of the game.
Werder Bremen 3-1 Wolfsburg
Werder Bremen heroically beat Schalke 2-1 at the Veltins Arena to continue their great escape from the clutches of relegation. Wolfsburg are another of those teams nervously teetering on the edge of a dogfight, a situation intensified by their draw in Stuttgart last weekend. Bremen got off to a great start here when left-back Ludwig Augustinsson put them ahead within 4 minutes. Florian Kainz made sure the home side went in 2-0 up when he doubled the lead on 40 minutes. On 49 minutes Paul Verhaegh pulled one back for Wolfsburg to give them hope, converting the rebound from his missed penalty. Kainz would double his tally and score Bremen’s third to win the game on 74 minutes, deepening Wolfsburg’s woes and strengthening Bremen’s cause for survival.
Game Week 23 Fixtures
Friday 16th February
Hertha Berlin vs. Mainz (19.30)
Saturday 17th February
Cologne vs. Hannover (14.30)
Hamburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Freiburg vs. Werder Bremen
Wolfsburg vs. Bayern Munich
Schalke vs. Hoffenheim (17.30)
Sunday 18th February
Augsburg vs. VfB Stuttgart (14.30)
Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund (17.00)