With the Bundesliga now in its second week back in action following the Christmas break, most teams were now in full swing to kick on for the second half of the season. Dortmund are still finding their feet under Peter Stoeger and recent results have become inconsistent. Would they be able to find a way past Hertha Berlin in the capital? Bayern have been irresistible under Jupp Heynckes since his return and sit comfortably at the top of the table. Could they extend their lead at home to Werder Bremen on Sunday? Cologne have managed to find six points in the three games Stefan Ruthenbeck has been in charge and now have a real chance of survival. Could they help themselves further by beating Markus Gisdols Hamburg on Saturday? All these questions would be answered on matchday 19.
Hertha Berlin 1-1 Borussia Dortmund
Following a 1-0 defeat in Stuttgart last week Hertha Berlin were looking to get back on track against Borussia Dortmund, who endured a goalless draw against Wolfsburg last Saturday, on Friday night. After a goalless first-half, the deadlock was finally broken by Davie Selke on 46 minutes, who capitalised on some poor defending to stroke home from 6 yards. Dortmund would salvage something though. With 14 minutes to go, Jadon Sancho chipped to the back post for an unmarked Shinji Kagawa to nod home an equalise and save a point for the BVB.
Hoffenheim 1-4 Bayer Leverkusen
Hoffenheim’s up and down season continued last week with a 1-1 draw in Bremen. Leverkusen were also unsuccessful in their travails, going down 3-1 at home to leaders Bayern. This game also almost had a baron first period until Leon Bailly fired Leverkusen into the lead on 43 minutes. Julian Baumgartlinger doubled the lead on 51 minutes and Lucas Alario made it 3-1 on 70 minutes. Recent Hoffenheim arrival Adam Szalai pulled one back on 86 minutes, but Alario would get his second on 91 minutes to reinforce the humiliation Julian Nagelsmann’s side.
Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 Augsburg
Gladbach were disappointingly beaten 2-1 by bottom side Cologne last week, while Augsburg beat Hamburg 1-0 at home. Things would go to plan for Manuel Baum’s side here though and Matthias Ginter put Gladbach ahead within 10 minutes. The game would become tight and Augsburg began to come back into it. The game was ultimately put beyond them in the last minute though when Thorgan Hazard made it 2-0 and sealed the points.
Mainz 3-2 VfB Stuttgart
Mainz are in real trouble and were not helped by their 3-2 defeat at the hands of Hannover last week. VfB Stuttgart were much more successful, coming away from their home game against Hertha with a 1-0 win. Stuttgart would take the lead here, Holger Badstuber being the unlikely scorer. It would take Mainz until the stroke of half-time to equalise and it was Yoshinori Muto who got the goal. Muto would get his and Mainz’s second on 54 minutes to put his side ahead. Gerrit Holtmann would make it 3-1 on 64 minutes and it looked like Mainz were home and dry. However Daniel Ginzcek scored a minute into time added on to set up a nervy finish, but his goal only proved to be a consolation as Mainz walked away with the points.
Freiburg 2-1 Red Bull Leipzig
Freiburg were unfortunate to only draw 1-1 in Frankfurt last week, whereas Leipzig put in a devastating performance to dispatch of Schalke 3-1 at home. A surprisingly tight game finally had its first goal on 65 minutes when Timo Werner fired Leipzig into the lead. Ralph Hassenhutl’s side would falter though and Janik Haberer equalised on 72 minutes. Just 4 minutes later Robin Koch scored what would be the winner to aid their survival cause.
Wolfsburg 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt travelled to Wolfsburg looking to do better than the point they picked up at home to Freiburg last weekend. Wolfsburg themselves gained a draw, a credible goalless one at Signal Iduna Park. They would fall behind here though when Sebastien Haller continued his impressive maiden Bundesliga season with goal number 9 on 18 minutes. Timothy Chandler made it 2-0 just 4 minutes later and it looked like the game was getting away from Wolfsburg early on. Max Arnold pulled on back on 66 minutes but Landry Dimata was sent off a minute later to make their task even more difficult. Luka Jovic secured the win on 85 minutes to send Niko Kovac’s side home with maximum points.
Hamburg 0-2 Cologne
Hamburg went into this game in the bottom two following their 1-0 defeat in Augsburg, while Colognes 2-1 win over Gladbach gave them some real hope for survival. Simon Terrode would put the home side ahead on 27 minutes and double that lead on 67 minutes to put Cologne just 4 points off the relegation play-off place. Result proved to be too much for the Hamburg board though who sacked Markus Gisdol after the game.
Bayern Munich 4-2 Werder Bremen
Bayern 16 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga last week when they beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 at the BayArena. Bremen are currently in the relegation play-off place and did their survival bid no harm with a 1-1 draw at home to Hoffenheim last week. They would take the lead here though when Jerome Gondorf punished some poor defending on 25 minutes. Bayern would equalise before half-time though and it would be Thomas Muller who would volley past Jiri Pavlenka on 41 minutes. Robert Lewandowski would put Bayern ahead on 63 minutes but an own goal from Niklas Sule would surprisingly restore parity 10 minutes later. Bremen never looked like holding out though and Lewandowski got his second to make it 3-2 on 76 minutes. Muller would score again on 84 minutes to put the game beyond Bremen and restoreBayern’ss lead at the summit.
Schalke 1-1 Hannover
Schalke put in a lacklustre display last week during their 3-1 defeat to Red Bull Leipzig, while Hannover battled to a 3-2 win over Mainz. Schalke would start well here though and were rewarded when loanee Marco Pjaca put them ahead on 16 minutes. They would have plenty of chances to extend that lead but never did. Domenico Tedesco’s side would be punished when Niklas Fullkrug equalised on 84 minutes to save a point for Hannover.
Matchday 20 Fixtures
Friday 26th January
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach (19.30)
Saturday 27th January
Bayern Munich vs. Hoffenheim (14.30)
Borussia Dortmund vs. Freiburg
Cologne vs. Augsburg
Red Bull Leipzig vs. Hamburg
VfB Stuttgart vs. Schalke
Werder Bremen vs. Hertha Berlin (17.30)
Sunday 28th January
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Mainz (14.30)
Hannover vs. Wolfsburg (17.00)