Champions Bayern Munich showed they are not going to let up now that that their sixth successive Bundesliga title is in the bag. Jupp Heynckes’ enjoyed another big win over his former side, while Schalke claimed the bragging rights in the Revierderby.
Down at the bottom, neither Köln nor Hamburg could garner any points with Wolfsburg also doing themselves no favours. We had plenty of goals, hat tricks, Doppelpacks, red cards, inter-club strife, a memorable derby and the most bizarre VAR incident of the entire season.
So just who were the winners and losers of matchday 30?
If German national team coach Joachim Löw is still undecided as to which strikers to take to Russia for this summer’s World Cup, then Kevin Volland will have given him a firm nudge to scribble his name on his list of 23 men to make the squad for the finals tournament.
Bayer Leverkusen were once again amongst the goals beating Eintracht Frankfurt 4-1 at the Bay Arena and Volland took his season’s tally to 14 with a hat trick. All three of his goals were put on a plate for him to convert with Julian Brandy and Karim Bellarabi providing exquisite assists.
If Löw goes on goals alone then Volland will get a place in the squad as he is currently the highest scoring German in the Bundesliga. It may be a big ask still, but the 25-year-old agonisingly cut from the 2014 World Cup squad is doing himself no harm with his display on matchday 30.
A Doppelpack of Doppelpacks
Kevin Volland may have bagged himself a hat trick against Frankfurt, but both Sandro Wagner and Davie Selke managed to score braces in their respective matches.
As Bayern recovered from going behind at the Allianz Arena, Sandro Wagner did his World Cup hopes no harm with two goals against Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The winter signing from Hoffenheim tapped in the equaliser on 37 minutes from close range after being teed-up by Thomas Müller. He then put Bayern ahead before half time when he headed home a looped cross once again from Müller.
Since arriving at the Allianz Arena, the 30-year-old has now scored seven goals with five coming in his last four games. But playing for Bayern is no new thing for Wagner — he was in the club’s youth system from 1995 to 2006, playing 44 matches for the club’s reserve side and making four appearances for the Bayern senior squad before leaving for MSV Duisburg.
Over in Berlin Davie Selke also bagged himself two goals as Hertha piled yet more woe on poor Köln. The former Werder Bremen and RB Leipzig forward helped the Old Lady to all three points at the Olympiastadion with two second half strikes to cancel out the visitor’s first period opener from Leonardo Bittencourt.
Four minutes after the restart Selke chested down a poor clearance from a Marvin Plattenhardt cross before drilling pat Timo Horn. He then doubled his tally three minutes later when he got himself on the end of a Plattenhardt shot that was going well wide to redirect the ball into the Köln net for Hertha’s 1000th Bundesliga home goal.
The 92nd Revierderby saw Schalke strengthen their hold on second place in the Bundesliga with a well-deserved 2-0 win against fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund.
The Königsblauen were hungrier throughout the clash at the Veltins Arena and sent their passionate supporters home with a massive smile on their faces as goals from Yevhen Konoplyanka and Naldo saw them ease to a 2-0 victory.
Schalke trainer Domenico Tedesco showed once more that the faith instilled in him at the start of the season was more than justified. He recalled Ukrainian Konoplyanka to the starting XI and was rewarded with a goal from the number 11 five minutes into the second half.
Talismanic defender Naldo then produced a thunderbolt of a free-kick eight minutes from the end to seal the win. Measured at 120 kmh, the Brazilian put all his effort, passion and desire into striking an unstoppable shot past Roman Bürki.
On a side note, Leon Goretzka, who leaves for Bayern Munich at the end of the season was finally able to claim a win in the Revierderby at the final time of asking after failing to do so in his previous encounters.
Bayer Leverkusen’s 4-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt cemented their place in the top four, but the match also provided quite a landmark for midfielder Kai Havertz. As well as providing the assists for both Julian Brandt and Kevin Volland’s first, he became the youngest player in Bundesliga history to chalk up 50 top flight appearances. At 18 years and 307 days, he surpassed previous record holder Timo Werner.
The Nullfünfer ended their six game winless streak and secured an important three points against relegation rivals Freiburg in the Monday match, which was filled with controversy.
Protests delayed the kick-off of both halves, but the real drama came right at the end of the first period. A handball from Marc Oliver Kempf wasn’t called by referee Guido Winkmann at first and he blew his whistle and took the sides in for the break. However, after being informed by VAR, the referee brought the teams back out for Mainz to be allowed the chance to score from the penalty spot.
Friend of the Fanatic Pablo Di Blasis duly dispatched the spot kick to cause uproar from the Freiburg contingent. A second goal in the second 45 minutes again from Di Blasis following a howler from Alexander Schwolow sealed a 2-0 win as saw Sandro Schwarz’s side leapfrog the Breisgauer into 15th place.
Köln and HSV
The Bundesliga’s bottom two both had a weekend to forget as they failed to pick up the potentially vital points they need to prise themselves out of the bottom two.
As in their last game against Mainz, the Geißb cke took the lead against Hertha Berlin at the weekend but were unable to prevent the ensuing collapse and ended up losing 2-1. Time is very much running out for Stefan Ruthenbeck and his side and the worrying thing is they are not picking up points against teams they have a realistic chance against (Mainz/Hertha).
Next up is a clash with Schalke at home, while their final home game sees Bayern the visitors.
HSV also failed to garner any points from their trip south to Hoffenheim. Poor defending and an in-form Serge Gnabry saw them slump to a 2-0 defeat at the Rhein-Neckar Stadion.
To be fair it could and should have been a lot worse for the Rothosen with Hoffenheim failing to convert a whole host of chances they created in the match.
All in all, a pretty abysmal week for the Adler. On Thursday came the unwanted news that trainer Niko Kovac had been lured away by Bayern Munich and would be leaving the Commerzbank Arena at the end of the season to succeed Jupp Heynckes with the newly crowned Bundesliga champions.
The timing of the announcement didn’t go down well with Director of Football Fredi Bobic, who didn’t hold back on his criticism of the Bavarians. “The timing is unfortunate, and the fact information has leaked to the public – certainly not from Frankfurt, but from Munich – is disrespectful, unprofessional” he moaned.
“We have a very important match tomorrow in Leverkusen and next week in the cup against Schalke, which should actually be the topics today. The procedure, I think, is extremely questionable, as I said before. Bayern have thought of themselves and not for a second about Eintracht Frankfurt.”
The match he mentioned against Bayer Leverkusen then proceeded to heap more woe on an already bad week. A 4-1 defeat meant that the Eagles had lost ground on a direct contender for one of the Champions League places
VfL Wolfsburg/ Divock Origi
The Wölfe continue to struggle and flit with an unthinkable relegation to the second tier after a drab goalless draw on Friday at home to Augsburg.
Bruno Labbadia’s side had the chance to put some air between themselves and Mainz below them, but despite playing with a man extra for most of the second period, just couldn’t find the breakthrough against Augsburg.
Divock Origi was once again forced to settle for a place on the bench with Landry Dimata favoured, and once again he missed an absolute sitter after being sent on as a substitute.
Dieter Hecking’s Gladbach have been on the end of a few hammerings this season and there was another capitulation on Saturday as they went down to a 5-1 defeat at the Allianz Arena to a rampant Bayern Munich.
Trainer Dieter Hecking was far from pleased with the capitulation after taking the lead through Josip Drmic. “I’m angry today. Everyone knows Bayern can always dominate their matches, but what happened after their third goal is unacceptable” he moaned.
“We defended very poorly and just let them play. They played with spirit too, which we wanted to avoid. It simply wasn’t good enough today.”
Matthias Ginter had a game to forget with a couple of defensive lapses, while Yann Sommer was also questionable for two of Bayern’s goals. Now in eighth place, the Fohlen have only a very slim chance of qualifying for Europe.
As if losing to their fierce local rivals in the Revierderby was not bad enough, there was the added blow for Borussia Dortmund as striker Michy Batshuayi was stretchered off in the 91st minute with a serious injury.
Initial fears that he had broken his ankle after being caught by Benjamin Stambouli have proved unfounded, but a statement from Dortmund has said his season is probably over — and there are now doubts about his ability to be healthy in time for the World Cup.. It also remains to be seen whether he has played his last game for the Schwarzgelben as his loan from Chelsea is by no means certain of being made permanent.
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