With Bayern seemingly having the Bundesliga sewn up this season thanks to their 18 point lead at the top of the table, the race for second place now looks to be where most of the entertainment will come from this season in Germany. There are just 4 points separating Bayer Leverkusen, currently in the runners-up spot, and Borussia Moenchengladbach in 8th. There is also plenty to play for at the bottom of the table. Cologne currently sit 7 points from safety but have put up a valiant effort save themselves since Stefan Ruthenbeck took charge in early December. Hamburg are one place above them in the table and have recently made a managerial change of their own which looks like it may slowly pay dividends. Let’s see how Bernd Hollerbach, and his Bundesliga counterparts, got on this week…
Cologne 2-3 Borussia Dortmund
Both of these sides could only manage home draws last week, Dortmund 2-2 with Freiburg and Cologne 1-1 with Augsburg. Having lost Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on deadline day, it was down to new boy Michy Batshuayi to lead the Dortmund line – and what a job he did. He opened the scoring on 35 minutes to give the away side the lead and, after Simon Zoller equalised on the hour mark, he put his new team back into the lead 2 minutes later. On 69 minutes Jorge Mere looked like he had spoilt Batshuayi’s debut heroics with another leveller. But the Belgian wouldn’t be denied and he set up Andre Schurrle to score the winner on 84 minutes, ensuring a happy return to Cologne for Peter Stoger.
Hertha Berlin 1-1 Hoffenheim
These two sides suffered disappointing results last weekend. Pal Dardai took his side to Bremen but were only able to come away with a point from a goalless draw. Julian Nagelsmann and Hoffenheim were on the wrong end of a 5-2 scoreline in Munich having taken the lead against Bayern. They would take the lead here too, through Andrej Kramaric from the penalty spot on 38 minutes. It wouldn’t last though and Salomon Kalou salvaged a point for the home side on 58 minutes.
Mainz 0-2 Bayern Munich
Mainz will have been unhappy with how comfortably Leverkusen beat them 2-0 last week, while Bayern will have been delighted with another comeback against Hoffenheim at the Allianz Arena. This was a lot more comfortable for the league leaders than their last two games though. Franck Ribery gave them the lead on 33 minutes and James Rodriguez effectively sealed the points on the stroke of half-time, extending Jupp Heynckes’ sides lead at the top of the Bundesliga.
Freiburg 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Freiburg put in a fantastic performance at Signal Iduna Park last week during their 2-2 draw against a Dortmund team slowly finding their feet under Peter Stoeger. Bayer Leverkusen could and should have scored more though in their 2-0 home win over Mainz. Neither side was able to break the deadlock here though and would be forced to share a point each.
Schalke 1-2 Werder Bremen
Schalke have been one of the sides of the season so far in the Bundesliga. After a stuttering return to action in the new year, they managed to beat VfB Stuttgart at the Mercedes Benz Arena last week. Bremen have crept out of the bottom following some impressive performances as of late, although they could only manage a 0-0 draw at home to Hertha Berlin last weekend. Things didn’t start well for the away side here though as Yehven Konoplyanka put Domenico Tedesco’s boys ahead on 24 minutes. However, on 78 minutes, just when it looked like Schalke were comfortable, Matija Nastasic was sent off and the game changed. A minute later Max Kruse equalised for Bremen and, in the third minute of stoppage time, Zlatko Januzovic scored their winner.
Wolfsburg 1-1 VfB Stuttgart
Wolfsburg’s inconsistent season continued last week with a 1-0 away win in Hannover, while Stuttgart came a cropper 2-0 at home to Schalke. They fell behind here as well when Divock Origi scored on 24 minutes to give Wolfsburg the lead. But it would be an old hero that would save Stuttgart when Mario Gomez equalised on the hour mark to claim a point.
Borussia Moenchengladbach 0-1 Red Bull Leipzig
Gladbach were Eintracht Frankfurt’s latest victims last week, going down 2-0. Red Bull Leipzig were also disappointed, only managing a 1-1 draw against lowly Hamburg. It looked as if Leipzig would only be able to claim another point here, this time in a goalless draw. That was until loanee Ademola Lookman scored the winner in the 88th minute to give Ralph Hassenhutl’s side all three points.
Augsburg 3-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Augsburg will not have been happy with their 1-1 draw in Cologne last week, while Niko Kovac will have been delighted with his side’s 2-0 home win over Dieter Hecking’s Gladbach. They would be brought back down to earth with a bump here though and that started on 19 minutes when Koo-Ja Cheol put the home side ahead. Things would get worse on 76 minutes when Michael Gregoritsch effectively sealed the points for Manuel Baum’s side and Marco Richter added gloss to the scoreline two minutes from time.
Hamburg 1-1 Hannover
Hamburg kicked off the Bernd Hollerbach era with a credible 1-1 draw in Leipzig last week. Hannover were far less fortunate, going down 1-0 at home to Wolfsburg last Sunday. The new manager’s home debut didn’t get off to the best start when Iver Fossum gave Hannover the lead on 37 minutes. It looked like the away side would hold out for the win – that was until Filip Kostic equalised with 4 minutes on the clock to save a point for Hamburg. Kyriakos Papadopoulos was sent off in the 4th minute of stoppage time, but that didn’t change the result and both sides had to settle for a draw
Game Week 22 Fixtures
Friday 9th February
Red Bull Leipzig vs. Augsburg (19.30)
Saturday 10th February
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin (14.30)
Borussia Dortmund vs. Hamburg
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Cologne
Hannover vs. Freiburg
Hoffenheim vs, Mainz
Bayern Munich vs. Schalke (17.30)
Sunday 11th February
VfB Stuttgart vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach (14.30)
Werder Bremen vs. Wolfsburg (17.00)