Wow! What a weekend of Bundesliga action that was! The Revierderby alone provided more than enough drama and excitement to satiate any football fans regardless of your allegiance and it will surely go down as one of the best clashes between Dortmund and Schalke for many a year.
Elsewhere Jupp Heynckes suffered his first defeat since his return to Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig kept up their winning ways, Freiburg grabbed a rare win, but Werder Bremen and Köln continued to struggle. So, just who were the winners and losers of matchday 13?
Where do you start with Saturday’s Revierderby? If you had offered the Königsblauen the chance to end it at half-time and leave the Signal-Iduna Park with just a 4-0 defeat, they may have seriously considered it given Dortmund’s first-half display. The Schwarzgelben were totally dominant and seemed to score with each and every attack while it looked like Schalke’s frustration was going to end up with someone being sent-off.
Fast-forward to the tumultuous scenes as Naldo headed in the injury time equaliser and you have one of the best Revierderbies ever and also one of the greatest comebacks in Bundesliga history. The introduction of Amine Harit and Leon Goretzka was the catalyst and second half goals from Guido Burgstaller, Harit, Daniel Caligiuri and Naldo sent Schalke fans into ecstasy and BVB supporters into a pit of despair.
It may have only ended as a draw, but for Dortmund it will feel like a loss while Schalke will be feeling like they’ve won. Pick your own superlative for that second half fightback.
The Foals became only the second side this season to beat Bayern Munich in the league and the first to inflict a defeat on returning trainer Jupp Heynckes. While Bayern were at their absolute best and were missing a few key players, Gladbach should nevertheless be very pleased with their first-half display in particular.
They had to reshuffle with Christoph Kramer’s early injury and then had to substitute the substitute when Tony Jantscke was unable to come out for the second 45 minutes. The three attacking players Thorgan Hazard, Lars Stindl and Raffael were on top form, while young summer signing Dennis Zakaria showed just why he is becoming such an important player in Borussia’s system with another imposing display.
The win takes Mönchengladbach up to fourth in the table and coach Dieter Hecking will be looking for a positive finish to the Hinrunde with four games to go before the Winterpause.
Freiburg’s hard-fought 2-1 win over Mainz sees them climb out of the bottom two (albeit perhaps only temporarily). The Nullfünfer were the better side in the first half exposing the Breisgauer defence on a number of occasions, but it was an atrocious backpass from Danny Latza than handed Freiburg the lead with Petersen showing he can score as a starter and not just from the bench.
Florian Kath added a second in stoppage time before Emil Berggreen pulled back an even later consolation. Not much has gone right for coach Christian Streich this season with VAR decisions, red cards, and injuries, but on Saturday he finally had something to cheer about.
Before matchday 13 Eintracht Frankfurt had one of the meanest defences in the Bundesliga having only conceded twelves goals (2nd best in the league) so Bayer Leverkusen knew they’d have a tough afternoon at the Commerzbank Arena.
Volland though was able to find a way through scoring the only goal of the game to secure a valuable three points. After Lucas Alario had twice hit the post and Frankfurt had taken control, Volland finished clinically on 76 minutes with his eighth goal of the season. Remove Robert Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the equation and he is the league’s top-scorer.
Yann Aurel Bisseck
Despite losing yet again and remaining bottom of the table without a single win, there was one bright spot with the debut of 16-year-old Yann Aurel Bisseck. With an injury and suspension nightmare on his hands, Köln coach Peter Stöger had to call up the teenager for a shock debut.
Bisseck, who appeared alongside Hamburg’s Jann Fiete Arp at the recent U17 World Cup becomes the second youngest player to ever appear in the top division behind Nuri Şahin. The centre-back looked pretty assure in spite of Köln’s woes as Vedad Ibisevic scored twice to heap more woe on the Geißböcke.
A second appearance for Hannover keeper Tschauner in the ‘schlechte Woche’ column. It may have been a good week on a personal level with the birth of his son Lennart in midweek, but the new-born must be keeping the new father awake as the goalie clearly wasn’t fully alert as he faced Stuttgart on Friday.
The Swabians are getting used to being gifted goals at the moment and Tschauner duly obliged with a howler to give them a first-half lead at the AWD Arena. A fairly harmless looking long shot from distance was spilled by the Hannover number one allowing Takuma Asano to slot home the loose ball. Another one for the end of season bloopers DVD!
Borussia Dortmund/ Peter Bosz
The first half against Schalke: Excellent. The second half against Schalke: Total capitulation. While not wanting to beat up on a Dortmund side/ trainer going through an awful time, there is very little excuse to not winning a game of football when you are 4-0 up after 25 minutes and still 4-0 up with an hour played.
There was already more than a little unrest under the surface prior to the Revierderby, and the collapse against their fierce rivals will only make those voices louder. Dortmund staged their member’s assembly on Sunday and CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke will have faced an uncomfortable time one suspects.
Benjamin Stambouli/ Pierre Emerick Aubameyang
Still on the subject of the Revierderby (I make no excuses!), both Schalke’s Benjamin Stambouli and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will want to forget their personal contributions to some extent.
Stambouli it was whose acrobatic own-goal handed Dortmund their second goal on 18 minutes as he spectacularly failed in his attempt to cut out Nuri Sahin’s cross. Minutes later he was left looking like the tortoise catching the hare as Aubameyang left him for dead before setting up Mario Götze for BVB’s third.
Aubameyang may have scored one and provided an assist, but his totally needless sending off gave Schalke added impulse just when they didn’t need any further encouragement. It was an odd foul for his second booking and symptomatic of an uneasy mood surrounding him at the club. Suspended last week for internal disciplinary reasons and he’s now suspended next week. Increasing rumours of him wanting away just add to the air of woe at BVB.
The honeymoon is over and it had to be back at his old club that the Bayern/Heynckes bubble had to burst didn’t it? Returning to the club where he ruled the scoring charts in the 1970’s Heynckes suffered his first defeat in this his latest spell in charge of the Bavarians.
Injuries deprived him of key players such as Arjen Robben and Thiago, but others under-performed in what was a bad day at the office for Bayern. “We lost the match in the first half, we invested far too little then” Heynckes admitted after the match. “We were too slow, failed to up the pace and didn’t really find our rhythm.”
Hoffenheim’s 3-0 loss away at Hamburg on Sunday means trainer Julian Nagelsmann is now in the midst of his worst run in charge of the club. The Sinsheim club have now won just once in their last seven Bundesliga outings with their only victory coming against hapless Köln. In midweek they were dumped out of the Europa League after defeat to Braga.
Kevin Akpoguma scored the 1000th own goal in Bundesliga history to give HSV the lead at the Volksparkstadion and with Nagelsmann throwing four recognised strikers forward-looking for the equaliser, TSG were punished with further goals to make it a rather flattering 3-0 at the final whistle.
A genuine candidate for Bayern trainer? Not on current form you’d have to say.
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