Week 26 saw a head coach sacked, Bayern Munich make it 20 goals in three games, but Dortmund trumped that by extending their run to 20 games without defeat. That is before we even come to Derby Day at the BayArena.
BAYER LEVERKUSEN 1 BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH 2
A win on derby day for Gladbach but one that due to their recent run of poor form was probably celebrated more for the three points that cemented their place in a Champions League qualification spot, than for retaining any faint title hopes.
They probably deserved this win with Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno undoubtedly the man of the match, but it was only a late, late winner scored by Igor De Camargo after a terrific through ball from Marco Reus, which gave them the victory. Reus had himself given the visitors the lead early on but the Leverkusen equaliser was visual proof of why Gladbach are no longer in the title race as a set-piece pinballed around in the area before Stefan Kieβling slotted home.
KAISERSLAUTERN 1 SCHALKE 4
That Leverkusen defeat was cheered loudly in Gelsenkirchen helping extend the gap between Schalke on Leverkusen to ten points. However, they had a scary moment as they did something that any defence should find embarrassing – conceding to Kaiserslautern, defender Rodnei giving them the lead.
However, once a Lewis Holtby thunderbolt had the visitors’ level, Kaiserslautern went back to looking toothless, nigh on useless and frankly second tier standard. Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar, Raúl and Jefferson Farfan took advantage and handed Kaiserslautern coach Marco Kurz the sack with his side rooted to the bottom.
HERTHA BERLIN 0 BAYERN MUNICH 6
After two 7-0 victories, Bayern are suddenly raining goals on everybody and a trip to the capital was always going to be seen as a chance to continue that streak against Hertha who appear to be in the process of imploding and heading straight back to the second tier.
So it proved too as they shared the goals out – three in each half and three against each goalkeeper as former Bayern stopper Thomas Kraft did not return for the second period through injury. It also contained three penalties as the hosts found fouling the only effective way to stop the onslaught. Arjen Robben slotted home all three for a penalty hat-trick.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1 WERDER BREMEN 0
A sombre moment before the game as there was a minutes silence for former Dortmund player, Timo Konietzka, who scored the first goal in Bundesliga history. After that, it was a stroll to what was a record-breaking twentieth game without defeat and unless someone stops them soon it will be a stroll to the title too.
They may even be slightly disappointed to only come away with the one goal from a game they dominated, with Shinji Kagawa scoring the winner after eight minutes, but that is what 20 games without defeat will do to you, it will make you disappointed with wins!
HAMBURG 1 FREIBURG 3
It is safe to say that all comments saying that the Hamburg flirtation with relegation was over are being retracted. It is now three consecutive defeats and this one pushes their opponents Freiburg up to the play-off spot with Hamburg sitting just two points above them.
Tolgay Arslan missed an empty net at 0-0 and Mladen Petric did the same after Johannes Flum and Daniel Caligiuri had put Freiburg 2-0 up and by the time Ivo Ilicevic did find the net for the home side, Cedric Makiadi had added a third and it was never any more than a consolation.
AUGSBURG 2 MAINZ 1
So the incredible scoring run of Mohamed Zidan is over with this the first game since his return to Mainz where the Egyptian has failed to score. It did not look like it would matter though when Sami Allagui gave Mainz the lead in the first half.
This Augsburg side though is willing to scrap for everything and hit their opponents with a sucker punch on the stroke of half-time with a stunning strike from Ja-Cheol Koo. Mainz came out after the break shell-shocked and Sebastian Langkamp took advantage to give Augsburg a lead they never relinquished and a run of four games without defeat has now seen them fly out of the drop zone.
HANNOVER 4 KOLN 1
This result flattered the home side slightly as Kӧln were dangerous on the break. If you fail to finish you will be punished and this was highlighted in a ten minute period around the hour mark. After a 1-1 first half - Lars Stindl and Kevin Pezzoni scoring - Kӧln had several chances with Novakovic missing an open goal among them, Hannover went straight up the other end, won a penalty with Jan Schlaudraff scored and Kӧln did the same again just after and Mame Biram Diof repeated the dose to make it 3-1. Diouf then added a late fourth to put even more gloss on the scoreline.
NURNBURG 1 WOLFSBURG 3
These two sides went into the game level on points but Nürnburg were favourites due to Wolfsburg having the worst away record in the league with just five points on their travels. Daniel Didavi made it look like that stat would stay the same after just nine minutes but Mario Mandzukic had the Wolves level by the quarter-hour mark.
It was then Patrick Helmes showed why he has been brought back in from the cold in recent weeks by Felix Magath, showing the form that has previously won him national caps by getting his fifth and sixth goals of the season to help grab a much needed away win for the Wolfsburg side.
HOFFENHEIM 1 STUTTGART 2
Hoffenheim boss Markus Babbel was hoping for a reaction to their 7-0 drubbing in Munich the previous week, but the biggest reaction in this game was from Vedad Ibisevic, the striker former manager Holger Stanislawski let go to Stuttgart in the winter break.
His two first half goals were reward for a terrific performance from Stuttgart. Sejad Salihovic scored a penalty to give the home side hope for a comeback which would have made it an eighth consecutive home win but never really looked like levelling.
Tags: Arjen Robben, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga, Kaiserslautern, Marco Kurz