Uberprufung der Bundesliga: Thriller in Gladbach, Wolfsburg lose late, Cologne still alive
There would be just 7 game weeks left in the Bundesliga upon completion of this weekend’s action. We are close to having key issues in the season being decided, such as who will be the 2017/18 Ligameister. Bayern Munich look almost certain to have the title wrapped up and travelled to Leipzig this weekend looking to put themselves within 3 points off doing just that. At the other end of the table, Cologne were in danger of being cut adrift and welcomed Bayer Leverkusen to The RheinEnergie Stadion with the aim of keeping the tether attached. Relegation rivals Hamburg are in freefall and look certainties for the drop. They took on Hertha Berlin at home on Saturday looking to stave off the inevitable for another week at least.
Freiburg 1-2 VfB Stuttgart
Both of these sides were unable to breach their opponents net last week, taking respective goalless draws. Freiburg’s game in Berlin drew a blank, as did Stuttgart’s at home to Leipzig. The away side got off to a flier here when Mario Gomez gave them the lead in just 4 minutes. A predictably tight game did have a leveller though, although it took Nils Peterson until the 53rd minute to restore parity. It wouldn’t even, 1-1 however, as Gomez would have the final say. He scored the winner for Tayfun Corkut’s men in the 75th minute to practically seal their survival.
Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 Mainz
Both of these teams suffered defeat last time out. Frankfurt were unlucky to come away from Dortmund with nothing for their efforts, despite equalising twice. Mainz hosted Schalke last Friday night and were the latest of their 1-0 victims. This was a result many saw coming and Kevin-Prince Boateng gave Niko Kovac’s men an early lead on 4 minutes. The lead was doubled by Ante Rebic on 23 minutes before Luka Jovic rounded off the scoring on 41 minutes to seal the points for Frankfurt.
Augsburg 1-3 Werder Bremen
Each of these teams were 3-1 victors last week, Augsburg in Hannover and Bremen against Cologne. Bremen have been resurgent since the turn of the year and continued to be so here when Ishak Belfodil gave them the lead within 4 minutes. He wasn’t done though and doubled his side’s lead on 40 minutes. Rani Khedira pulled one back on 63 but Max Kruse secured the win on 82 minutes, heaving his side 8 points clear of the relegation play-off place in doing so.
Hamburg 1-2 Hertha Berlin
Hamburg’s relegation is looking increasingly likely and their 6-0 defeat at the Allianz Arena last was a new low. Berlin are now safe and their 0-0 draw at home with Freiburg epitomised their mediocre season. Despite the obviously low morale among Hamburg though, they were able to take the lead here through Douglas on 25 minutes. It was never going to last though and Valentino Lazaro equalised shortly before the break. Poor Bernd Hollerbach just hasn’t had the desired effect since his appointment in January and his side threw away another game when Salomon Kalou won the game for Pal Dardai’s boys on 63 minutes. Hamburg, like Cologne, now seem just games away from being a 2.Bundesliga side next season.
Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-3 Hoffenheim
These two had contrasting fortunes last week. Dieter Hecking will have disappointed with his team’s performance during their lacklustre 2-0 defeat in Leverkusen last week. Julian Naglesmann, however, will have been delighted with his side’s convincing 3-0 win at home against Wolfsburg. This game turned out to be an absolute barnstormer and had its first goal through Benjamin Hubner, who put Hoffenheim ahead within 13 minutes. Gladbach wouldn’t be behind for long though and were level within 20 minutes thanks to Josip Drmic. On 58 minutes Hoffenheim were back ahead thanks to an Andrej Kramaric penalty. Gladbach would equalise again through, Lars Stindl on 72 minutes, but Florian Grillitsch gave Hoffenheim the lead again just a minute later. It looked as if the points would be going to Sinsheim, that was until Matthias Ginter made it 3-3 in stoppage time to round off a superb game.
Wolfsburg 0-1 Schalke
Wolfsburg’s slide towards the drop zone continued last week thanks to a 3-0 away defeat to Hoffenheim. Schalke’s march towards next season’s Champions League went on though due to another 1-0 win, this time over Mainz. This game was level for a long time and looked like it was heading for a surprise draw. However, Domenico Tedesco’s side have become the master of the 1-0 win and would get that again here, though it wouldn’t be one of their own who would be the hero. Unfortunately for Robin Knoche, it would be he who would be the Schalke hero scoring an own goal on 86 minutes to draw Wolfsburg further into the mire.
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Hannover
Borussia Dortmund had to win their game against Eintracht Frankfurt twice last week, eventually the 3-2 result was enough to suffice. Andre Breitenreiter will not have been happy with his sides poor performance during their 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Augsburg. It would take just one goal to settle this one though and it would be that man – or should I say Batman – again. Michy Bayshuayi proved to be the Dortmund hero, scoring what would be the winner on just 24 minutes.
Cologne 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen
While there is still hope mathematically for Cologne their relegation seems not far from being confirmed, and they took another step towards 2.Bundesliga with their 3-1 defeat in Bremen last week. Leverkusen are fighting hard for Champions League qualification and showed their class during their 2-0 home win over Gladbach. That class was lacking in the first 9 minutes of this game though when Yuya Osako put Cologne ahead. Things went from bad to worse for Leverkusen on 33 minutes when Lucas Alario was sent off for a foul on Dominic Maroh which was deemed violent conduct. The nail in the coffin for Heiko Herrlich’s side was delivered on 69 minutes by Simon Zoller, who scored the goal which put Cologne 18th in the Bundesliga and now only 5 points off the relegation play-off place. Maybe Stefan Ruthenbeck’s side aren’t dead just yet.
Red Bull Leipzig 2-1 Bayern Munich
Before progressing in Europe, Red Bull Leipzig had to travel to VfB Stuttgart last week but could only come away with a point from a 0-0 draw. Bayern went into this one needing just two wins from their final eight games to claim their twenty-eighth Bundesliga title. Things started well for Jupp Heynckes’ boys when Sandro Wagner gave them the lead inside 12 minutes. However, they couldn’t see the half out and Naby Keita equalised on 37 minutes. Keita would be involved again, assisting Timo Werner to score what would be the winner on 56 minutes and delay the Bayern victory parade until the second week of April at least.
Game Week 28 Fixtures
Saturday 31st March
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Augsburg (14.30)
Hannover vs. Red Bull Leipzig
Hoffenheim vs. Cologne
Schalke vs. Freiburg
VfB Stuttgart vs. Hamburg.
Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund (17.30).
Hertha Berlin vs. Wolfsburg (19.30).
Sunday 1st April
Werder Bremen vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (14.30).
Mainz vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach (17.00).