Callum Connolly reviews matchday 13 of the Bundesliga in a week where Borussia Dortmund drop to bottom of the table while Bayern Munich continue their dominance at the top.
Jürgen Klopp must be feeling the warm breath of the Dortmund board on the back of his neck after Sunday’s 2-0 loss in Frankfurt. Qualification to the last 16 of the Champions League has been achieved, yes, but they still languish bottom of the league.
The Eagles’ captain and the Bundesliga’s leading goalscorer Alexander Meier put the home side in front with his eight goal of the season in the opening five minutes and in the closing stages a mistimed Matthias Ginter header allowed Haris Seferovic to intercept the ball and round custodian Roman Weidenfeller to finish BVB off.
Their closest rivals in the relegation zone, Werder Bremen and VfB Stuttgart, both picked up outstanding wins to pile the pressure on Die Borussen. Viktor Skrypnyk’s reign has begun well and another win steers them further away from trouble. A surprise 4-0 rout of SC Paderborn thanks to goals from Zunuzovic, Selke, Bartels, and Aycicek.
Stuttgart won the curtain raiser of the Bundesliga weekend in a 4-1 triumph away to SC Freiburg, who will be nervously looking over their shoulder after dropping into 15th.
Vladimir Darida cancelled out Martin Harnik’s goal midway through the first half but Gruezo, teenage starlet Timo Werner and a second from Harnik won the game for managerless Stuttgart, though Stefan Mitrovic’s red card after seventy minutes undoubtedly helped.
Bayern Munich narrowly beat Hertha BSC at the Olympiastadion thanks to Arjen Robben’s goal but still have to keep up their incredible pace at the top as Wolfsburg triumphed over third placed Mönchengladbach, Robin Knoche’s (slightly) fortunate goal early into the game proved decisive, Diego Benaglio producing an outstanding save from an Andre Hahn header and Kevin de Bruyne had a goal disallowed before a late scramble in the Wolfsburg box proved fruitless in Die Fohlen’s attempts to salvage a point.
Highlights of the game can be viewed here:
Here’s what André Hahn had to say after the game, courtesy of the Borussia site:
“That’s our third Bundesliga defeat in a row. It was unlucky and consequently we are annoyed. We didn’t put in a bad performance but we need to be more clinical in front of goal. We struggled in that regard today. There’s a lot of work to be done in front of us but I’m optimistic that we will return to form sooner rather than later.”
Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke romped to resounding victories over Köln and Mainz. Both Champions League sides went into their games on the back of disappointing results in mid-week, but both would have delighted their managers.
Leverkusen fell behind due to Andreas Lehmann’s early penalty but the Billy Goats’ false start was reversed as braces from Karim Bellarabi and Josip Drmic, a summer signing from Nuremberg, who will hoping to kickstart his season from here, and another absolutely sumptuous free kick from Calhanoglu, which can be seen below, won the game for Roger Schmidt’s men 5-1. This young man is among the best in Europe, certainly at set pieces.
Schalke’s Klaas Jan Huntelaar made it 100 goals in the Bundesliga to set a personal milestone for the Dutch forward. The Royal Blues led 2-1 at half time, Shinji Okazaki’s goal an attempt to claw the 05’ers back into the game after Die Hunter had put his team 2-0 ahead.
Huntelaar notched another to complete his hat-trick in the second half after Tranquillo Barnetta had extended Schalke’s lead nine minutes after the break.
Augsburg also continued their impressive form with a 3-1 win over Hamburg, Rafael van der Vaart’s well placed effort from Rudnevs’ pass gifting the visitors the lead on the stroke of half time, but Halil Altintop equalised soon into the second half.
Raul Bobadilla put Weinzierl’s side in the lead just after the hour and captain reliable Paul Verhaegh smashed home a penalty to kill Hamburg off, who again find themselves struggling after narrowly escaping relegation following a play off win over Greuther Fürth.
Augsburg, on the other hand, had a fantastic season in 2013/14, finishing 8th, and despite losing stars like Hahn and Ostrzolek find themselves in a Champions League spot in December.
The game of the weekend however was at Hoffenheim who faced Hannover. Pirmin Schwegler scored a fantastic, low-drilled free kick before a superb squared ball from Jin-Su Kim was met by Kevin Volland, who fired past Ron Robert Zieler.
A poor misjudgement on Oli Baumann’s part let the ball bounce over his head and allowed Lars Stindl to nod home, before Joselu met Jimmy Briand’s pass and sweetly lofted the ball into the top corner, not worrying about respect towards his former team in terms of celebration.
Eugene Polanski scored arguably the goal of the weekend to restore Hoffenheim’s lead before Niklas Süle headed home Polanski’s free kick, though awful marking didn’t help Zieler. Lars Stindl got his second of the game to give Korkut’s side some hope but Hoffenheim held out.
Callum Connolly, Pundit Arena