The notorious “English week”. Not since 1990 has a German champion been crowned in an English week but since Bayern Munich are in the mood to break records and rewrite the history books that’s exactly what they did following their win against Hertha Berlin. Schalke and Borussia Dortmund battled it out in an intense yet goalless Revierderby while the relegation battle heated up with several of the bottom sides playing each other.
Ralf Fahrmann: Not for the first time, Fahrmann has shown that he deserves to be Schalke’s No. 1. And finally Schalke have a proper long-term replacement for Manuel Neuer three years after leaving them. Fahrmann was the biggest reason Dortmund did not walk away with a win.
Kaan Ayhan – He was thrown to the wolves in Schalke’s Champions League game against Real Madrid but coach Jens Keller put his trust in the young defender for a reason. Against Dortmund, he got the start in a big derby and proved what great potential he has. And only in his second-ever Bundesliga game.
Sokratis – Like Ayhan, Sokratis delivered a near-flawless performance in a heated and high-tempo derby. The Greek center-back was tasked with marking the in-form Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and did so flawlessly. The Dutch striker was rarely in the game. All the while, his grit and good timing on tackles helped Dortmund to a point against the most in-form team in the league next to Bayern.
Constant Djakpa – One of the unexpected standout performances of the round goes to Frankfurt fullback Djakpa. He was Frankfurt’s insurance policy on the left and never let his opponents get past him. With so many injuries at the back, Frankfurt have struggled defensively compared to last year but Djakpa has shown he can be a more than adequate replacement.
Jannik Vestergaard – It has been a while since a Hoffenheim defender appeared in a TOTW. Strong defensive performances are not usually associated with them this season but Vestergaard was excellent in Hoffenheim’s win against Hannover. He won 12 of his 14 duels, amongst them being every one of the 10 aerials contested.
Maximilian Arnold – One of the breakthrough players in the league this season. Even with De Bruyne on the team, Arnold is Wolfsburg’s key attacking player. He set up Ivan Perisic brilliantly for his goal and scored one of his own to finish the game. Arnold has future German national team player written all over him.
Philipp Lahm – It was only a matter of time before Lahm returned to the TOTW. The Bayern Munich skipper came, he saw and he conquered in Berlin. He completed 134 of his 134 passes, won 80% of his duels and lifted the league title at the end of the day, reminding everyone that he has been this season’s best player.
Mario Gotze – Like Lahm, Gotze was the key difference-maker against Hertha Berlin. He scored the first with his second header of the season and set up Ribery in brilliant fashion. That makes it three league titles for Gotze already and he is only 21 years old. Many more are sure to come.
Domi Kumbela – Braunschweig pulled the upset of the round with their win against in-form Augsburg and Kumbela was the star of the show. His two goals gave them another lifeline in the relegation battle, one of which will surely be a goal of the season contender.
Josip Drmic – Nurnberg’s lifeline, pure and simple. He has been involved in 76% of his team’s goals in 2014. He is the league’s top goalscorer since the restart. What more needs to be said? He is simply one of the hottest prospects in the Bundesliga at the moment and Nurnberg’s biggest hope for survival.
Stefan Kiessling – Finally Kiessling got on the scoresheet again. More importantly, Leverkusen finally came away with a win. Thanks to Kiessling’s efforts, they can aim for a Champions League spot again. Kiessling won 20 of his 38 duels and scored the first of the game.
Emmanuel Pogatetz, Benjamin Kessel, Marwin Plattenhardt, Ricardo Rodriguez, Ermin Bicakcic, Jerome Boateng, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mirko Boland, Emre Can, Gonzalo Castro, Eugen Polanski, Sebastian Rudy, Jose Campana, Mike Frantz, Toni Kroos, Stefan Aigner, Arjen Robben, Joselu, Heung-Min Son, Thomas Muller, Havard Nielsen, Roberto Firmino, Pierre-Michel Lasogga
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