Bundesliga Bulletin: Bayern Munich take top spot back off Borussia Dortmund | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW


Good week for: Alexander Nübel, scrappy wins, Werder Bremen, Augsburg, Roman Bürki, Kingsley Coman, Düsseldorf

Bad week for: Stuttgart, Hannover, Santiago Ascacibar, Frankfurt

The lowdown:

– Bayern Munich responded to Borussia Dortmund’s win with a comfortable win over Fortuna Düsseldorf inspired by Frenchman Kingsley Coman. Two goals from the 22-year-old ultimately turned the tide, but a calf injury to Manuel Neuer spoiled the day somewhat. Bayern return to the top of the Bundesliga by one point, but have a +17 goal difference over Dortmund. With five games to go, the title race remains as exciting as ever. Fortuna Düsseldorf didn’t care that much though, having had their Bundesliga status confirmed a day earlier when Stuttgart failed to win. Well done, Friedhelm Funkel.

Borussia Dortmund endured a nerve-wracking afternoon against Mainz. Leading 2-0 thanks to a brace from Jadon Sancho, the Black and Yellows suddenly spent the last 15 minutes wobbling like a side living in fear. Mainz got one back but, thanks to a treble save from Roman Bürki, Dortmund remained in the title race. But it leaves a lot of people still very worried about them.

Bundesliga - Borussia Dortmund - 1. FSV Mainz 05 (picture-alliance)

On the line! Roman Bürki saved Borussia Dortmund with a triple stop.

– Turns out, not even Huub Stevens can save Schalke from playing poorly. Matija Nastasic spared the Royal Blues’ blushes with a goal just two minutes after Nuremberg had taken the lead. The side further down the table looked the more likely to win and, were it not for an outstanding Alexander Nübel in goal for Schalke, they might have done. That says everything about Schalke’s season.

– It was a hard-working set of Saturday afternoon games as the teams seemed to take a breath before the final push. Borussia Mönchengladbach nicked a fortunate but much needed win over Hannover thanks to a deflected strike from Raffael. Bayer Leverkusen also won by one goal against Stuttgart, Kai Havertz’s penalty giving the Werkself the three points they deserved. It’s true that sometimes, all you need is one goal to win the game.

Werder Bremen kept their European dreams alive with a solid win against Freiburg. Davvy Klaassen’s effort was deflected, Theo Gebre Selassie’s powerful – but both added up to move Florian Kohfeldt’s team up the table. In a week when both Johannes and Maxi Eggestein renewed their contracts, Bremen just keep making positive headlines.

Fußball Bundesliga SV Werder Bremen - SC Freiburg (Getty Images/Bongarts/S. Franklin)

Theodor Gebre Selassie was on target for Werder Bremen

– The only reason Bremen didn’t hold onto their European spot was because of Hoffenheim, whose 2-0 win against Hertha Berlin continues their late-season charge towards a European spot. Goals from Nadiem Amiri and a VAR-approved one from Reiss Nelson (his first in 2019) made the difference and sentenced Hertha to their fifth straight defeat, piling the pressure on coach Pal Dardai. Hoffenheim are now one point clear in sixth in a tight European race.

RB Leipzig saw off Wolfsburg in yet another comfortable display from Ralf Rangnick’s men. Timo Werner now has four goals in his last five games in all competititions and the Red Bull-backed side have not lost this season when he has scored. After a slow start to the season, Werner has come good and now Leipzig are even daring to put pressure on Dortmund.

– Martin Schmidt’s debut as Augsburg head coach went better than planned as they upset Eintracht Frankfurt to hand them their first Bundesliga defeat of 2019. A brace from the inspired Marco Richter proved the difference in a game where Frankfurt were perhaps guilty of having more than one eye on the second leg of their Europa League quarterfinal against Benfica next week. An injury to Martin Hinteregger soured Frankfurt’s day even further.

Fußball Bundesliga Eintracht Frankfurt - FC Augsburg (Getty Images/Bongarts/A. Grimm)

Augburg won 3-1 away at Frankfurt in Martin Schmidt’s first game in charge.

The quotes:

“We don’t need people like that in the Bundesliga.”
Kevin Volland on Santiago Ascacibar

“In football, it’s the worst thing you can do.”
Peter Bosz on Ascacibar spitting

“It’s well-known that we want to keep hold of him and extend his contract, but he has indicated that he does not want to sign an extension.”
– RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff on striker Timo Werner

“We won. That’s all that matters.”
– Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre

“We’ve come quickly out of the blocks and we’ve got the first 50 meters behind us. Now we have another 50 meters which we have to overcome. Then we’ll see if we are like Usain Bolt at the end or someone further back.”
– Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann on his team’s charge towards Europe

“I didn’t say that Hertha is a development club for nothing. What we do here is a huge job but the expectations are massive. We work with young players and when they make mistakes, you just have to have patience.”
– Hertha Berlin coach Pal Dardai on his club’s difficult period

“It’s fun. We’ve chosen our philosophy out of necessity. You have to accept that and respect it. But I’ve always said: if I’m the one stopping or blocking that development, then they have to tell me … then we’ll see where the journey goes.”
Pal Dardai on his future

“You don’t celebrate anymore at my age.”
Rudi Völler on celebrating his 59th birthday on Saturday

“Anxiety is a bad advisor and we had anxious moments.”
– Schalke head coach Huub Stevens after the 1-1 draw with Nürnberg

“Schalke are important for the Bundesliga but they don’t have anything to do with football. No build-up play, no positional play. It’s like children’s football. There’s no finesse or creativity.”
– Former Dresden and Dortmund player Matthias Sammer on Schalke

Fußball Bundesliga VfL Wolfsburg - RB Leipzig (Getty Images/AFP/O. Andersen)

Timo Werner’s RB Leipzig future is in doubt

The stats:

Kai Havertz made his 100th appearance for Bayer Leverkusen, scoring his 13th goal of the season in the process. In total, Havertz now has 24 goals and 22 assists in all competitions for the club. Not bad for a 19-year-old.

Jadon Sancho played his 50th game for Borussia Dortmund, and scored twice to mark the occasion. He is also the youngest player in Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga history to score 10 goals.

Werder Bremen have now gone 14 games without defeat, something they last managed in 2009.

With 14 points after 29 games, Hannover are the worst Bundesliga team in 44 years. Wuppertaler SV were the last team to be this bad, statistically, and that was back when points were calculated differently.

Roman Bürki made a season’s best 9 saves against Mainz.

For the first time since Pal Dardai was made head coach, Hertha lost 5 straight games in the Bundesliga.

Bayern Munich have scored in their 22nd straight Bundesliga game, which is their longest streak in 5 years.

Fußball - Bundesliga - Borussia Dortmund vs 1. FSV Mainz 05 (Getty Images/A. Grimm)

Jadon Sancho was on target again for Borussia Dortmund

The weird:

In Stuttgart’s one-goal defeat to Leverkusen, Argentinean midfielder Santiago Ascacibar spat at Kai Havertz. Ascacibar was promptly sent off, but still tried to lash out at Havertz. Referee Tobias Stieler stepped in to prevent any further incident.

Stuttgart’s chairman of sport Thomas Hitzlsperger spoke clearly on Sunday. “He clearly overstepped the mark in this situation. We won’t tolerate this and there will be an internal punishment.” Head coach Markus Weinzierl added that Ascacibar had to get control of his emotions.

Ascacibar is likely to receive a lengthy ban, and may miss a crucial part of the season for Stuttgart. His actions may also have put his long-term future in doubt.

The fans:

After an impressive joint display when the two teams met in Gelsenkirchen earlier this season, Nuremberg and Schalke fans once again celebrated their unique “friendship” with a joint choreography at the Max-Morlock-Stadion on Friday night. 

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