Team of the week – Match Day 12

Schalke averted a crisis by beating Wolfsburg 3-2 at the Veltins Arena and Bayern are now 7 points clear at the top of the table despite their injury worries. The 12th match day of the season offered goals galore and plenty of surprising results. Here’s our team of the week.

Goalkeeper

Sven Ulreich – The relationship between Armin Veh and the shot stopper has been difficult. Ulreich was dropped to the bench by the coach after Stuttgart couldn’t stop conceding at the start of the season, but against Augsburg he was back in between the sticks. Six solid saves and a decent performance through and through by the man whom Veh didn’t consider to be good enough, although that wasn’t enough to see Stuttgart through to a result.

Defenders

Jens Hegeler – Hertha’s new signings have been criticised by the press and fans alike, because of the Old Lady’s poor performances so far this season. Against Köln Jens Hegeler was finally given a chance to start, however, this time around he was playing out of position. The former Bayer Leverkusen man made no mistakes and had a good performance against the Billy Goats while the former Dutch national team player Johnny Heitinga was watching from the bench.

Stefan Bell – The defender won 75% of his tackles, 83% of his aerial duels, had 2 interceptions and 4 clearances. Those numbers alone would warrant a closer look for a spot on the team of the week, never mind the fact that he also scored Mainz’s 2-2 equaliser against SC Freiburg.

Johan Djourou – The 101st edition of the Nordderby wasn’t a classic, but the Swiss international managed to be among the few players who had outstanding performances on the day. Werder Bremen really never threatened Hamburg’s goal in large part due to the fact that Djourou managed to keep the HSV defence well organised throughout the entire 90 minutes.

Midfielders

Arjen Robben – It surely wasn’t a classic Bayern performance against Hoffenheim, but Arjen Robben had his moments out there on the pitch of the Allianz Arena. The Dutchman created four chances for his teammates in addition to scoring one of the round’s finest goals.

Jonathan Schmid – Many players have left Freiburg over the years, but the Frenchman has decided to stick it out in the Breisgau, getting used to an ever changing cast of players. Against Mainz Schmid was once again among the best players on the pitch and scored his second goal of the season (and 18th Bundesliga career goal) from a header..

Takashi Inui – Remember the last time Inui scored a goal? Well, he wouldn’t have probably not been able to tell you either since it had been 20 months since the Japanese last tallied. Against Gladbach Inui had one of his better performances this season and to top it all off he scored a lovely goal with a long distance shot.

Lars Bender – The midfielder had once again his running boots on, running for 12.6 kilometres. This time around he didn’t manage to shine in attack, but his defence contributions were vital to Roger Schmidt’s team. Bender won a total of 77.7% of the duels within Bayer Leverkusen’s own half, helping his team to stop Hannover’s attacks before they could get dangerous.

Strikers

Stefan Kiessling – After 859 minutes the striker finally managed to end the longest goal drought in his career. Leverkusen hadn’t won on the road since the last time Kiessling managed to get on the score sheet (in the 2-0 away win against Dortmund on match day 1). Kissling’s form is going to be crucial if Bayer Leverkusen once again want to qualify for the Champions League.

Alexander Meier – At the start of the season the press in Frankfurt wrote many column inches about the striker being unhappy under his new coach Thomas Schaaf. However, Meier has managed to gain a better understanding of what Schaaf wants him to do on the pitch and in return the striker has blossomed. Against Gladbach the 31-year-old scored his 7th goal of the season (last season he scored a total of 8 goals).

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – What would Schalke do without the Cameroonian international? Most Schalke fans wouldn’t like to know the answer. The Royal Blues top scorer added another 2 goals to his tally in the match between Schalke and VfL Wolfsburg. Despite many poor performances so far this season the team from Gelsenkirchen aren’t too far off the beat, being only 3 points behind a Champions League place.

Honourable mentions: Robert Lewandowski, Sebastian Rode, Mario Götze, Manuel Neuer, Kevin Vogt, John Anthony Brooks, Kevin Prince Boateng, Christian Fuchs, Nicklas Bendtner, Felix Wiedwald, Marc Stendera, Joo-Ho Park, Lukas Rupp, Marco Reus, Ilkay Gündogan, Jaroslav Drobny, Timo Baumgartl, Ragner Klavan, Paul Verheagh

Goal of the week

Mario Götze is now topping the goal scorer charts all by himself after his goal against Hoffenheim. The Bayern player has scored the first goal of the match a total of four times so far this season. His goal against Hoffenheim was a peach as well.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2atb3x_mario-gotze-goal-bayern-munich-1-0-hoffenheim-11-22-2014_sport

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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