Snow started falling across the Bundesliga this weekend and, as if to mark the occasion, it froze Bayern Munich’s winning run at eight as they fell at home to Bayer Leverkusen to give the rest of the league hope.
BAYERN MUNICH 1 BAYER LEVERKUSEN 2
Stefan Kieβling’s late first half goal brought cheers across Germany as Leverkusen took a half-time lead. The visitors then proceeded to waste countless chances after the break and everyone watching could see exactly what was going to happen next.
Mario Mandzukic pounced with 13 minutes left and it appeared the home side would certainly score again to stretch the winning run to nine. Sidney Sam, however, had not read the script, and with everyone waiting on the Bayern winner, he secured all three points for Leverkusen instead.
VFB STUTTGART 2 EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 1
With Bayern’s defeat, a win for promoted Frankfurt would have seen them reduce the gap to just two points. It was therefore typical that just when such an opportunity presents itself, Frankfurt would falter against a Stuttgart side who have struggled following a good end to last season.
A late winner by Vedad Ibisevic in this one made it 10 points from the last 12 for VFB and they move back into the top half.
SCHALKE 1 NURNBURG 0
It took all of 77 minutes before Jefferson Farfan finally broke the deadlock against a Nurnburg side who are goal-shy and slipping down towards the relegation zone quickly.
A poor performance it may have been by the home side but the important thing is that they won, and it catapults Schalke back up to second to complete a good week after outclassing Arsenal in midweek.
FREIBURG 0 BORUSSIA DORTMUND 2
While winter arrived across the country, nowhere was as blanketed by the white stuff as the barrage suffered in the Black Forest. Therefore, while it may not have been the same fluid performance that saw Dortmund claim the scalp of Real Madrid in midweek, it was good enough to account for Freiburg and reduce the gap to the top to single figures.
As manager Jurgen Klopp said after the game, ‘the ball’s got to fly when it can’t roll’.
FORTUNA DUSSELDORF 1 WOLFSBURG 4
I don’t know whether the saying ‘you should never go back’ is popular in Germany, but if it is then Felix Magath would have been best advised to have taken that advice. Where his first spell in charge of Wolfsburg included the Bundesliga title, his second was a complete mess, with huge squads and crazy stories emanating out of the camp.
Despite this, his replacement Lorenz-Gunther Kostner would come under the same category having been in the Wolfsburg dug-out on a short-term relegation survival mission back in 2010. The second half of his first game went rather well though as they obliterated Fortuna in a terrific four-goal display that takes the Wolves off the bottom.
MAINZ 3 HOFFENHEIM 0
Thomas Tuchel continues to work his magic on a minimal budget as an Adam Szalai hat-trick disposed of Markus Babbel’s side and took little Mainz up to sixth.
HANNOVER 2 BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH 3
This game saw the best half of football played over the weekend and the best ten minute spell that Monchengladbach have produced all season. After a dull first period, Hannover came out of the traps flying and went two up within 10 minutes as Jan Schlaudraff and Mame Biram Diouf both found the net.
It was not until the 70th minute mark when Alvaro Dominguez netted that the visitors played with any belief. Roel Brouwers equalised seven minutes later and before Hannover had even caught their breath, Juan Arango produced one of his typical stunners to steal the match.
GREUTHER FURTH 1 WERDER BREMEN 1
Once again Furth showed their battling qualities despite finishing the weekend bottom of the pile. Whereas last week against Hoffenheim they kept scoring equalisers, this week they showed defensive grit under pressure.
They had taken an early lead but with Nils Petersen scoring just on the stroke of half-time they could have easily crumbled after the break. However, they did not and grabbed a well deserved point as a result.
AUGSBURG 0 HAMBURG 2
More grit from the Cloverleaves in future weeks will undoubtedly leave Augsburg in their rightful position at the bottom. Augsburg only avoid that honour right now due to a goal difference that is better by one, but once again they were completely outclassed and made to look like a side out of their depth by a Hamburg side that should be happy to finish mid-table come May.
Tags: Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Bundesliga, Eintracht Frankfurt, Sidney Sam, VFB Stuttgart