November 24, 2017

Another Strong European Week for Bundesliga Clubs

While this week’s performances of Bundesliga clubs didn’t quite match the mighty showing by Bundesliga clubs in European competitions two weeks ago, it wasn’t a bad encore at all.  While Tuesday saw Borussia Dortmund share points with Real Madrid on a late comeback from the Madristas and Schalke have to man up to draw level after Arsenal at taken a 2-0 lead, Bayern München made amends for their lukewarm showing against Lille in France by embarrassing the Frenchmen 6-1 at the Allianz on Wednesday while Hannover, Bayer Leverkusen and VfB Stuttgart registered Europa League wins Thursday, with Borussia Mönchengladbach earning a late draw away to Marseille from a Juan Arango goal in stoppage time.  The Bavarians joined Dortmund and Schalke atop their respective Champions League groups, (although all three lead by the narrowest of margins) as Bundesliga teams this week captured 15 of 21 possible points on aggregate this week in Europe.

Bayern München 6-1 Lille OSC

It took little over a half hour for Bayern München to put an incredible five goals past Lille goalkeeper Mickael Landreau as the Bavarians cruised to a 6-1 win over Lille and gained the top spot in the Group F Champions League standings with two group matches remaining.

Bastian Schweinsteiger opened the Bayern barrage with a 5th minute free kick goal that landed in the bottom corner of the Lille goal.  The French side looked to respond from Nolan Roux and Salomon Kalou, but Bayern returnee Claudio Pizarro doubled the red lead in the 18th minute with assistance from Franck Ribery.

Five minutes later Bayern had a third goal from Arjen Robben from another Schweinsteiger free kick, with Pizarro knocking in two more by the 33rd minute to widen the Bayern rout, provided both times by Philipp Lahm.  The second half saw Kalou ruin Manuel Neuer’s clean sheet and substitute Toni Kroos adding a sixth Bayern goal as the result brought Jupp Heynckes’ team level with Valencia on nine points, with Bayern holding the lead courtesy of their earlier CL win over Valencia.  The two clubs meet again in Spain on November 20.

Bayern: Neuer – Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba – Martinez, Schweinsteiger (Tymoschchuk, 67‘) – Robben, Müller (Kroos, 61‘) Ribery (Shaqiri, 72‘) – Pizarro  Lille: Landreau – Debuchy, Basa, Chedjou, Beria – Rozehnal (Mavuba, 46’), Balmont, Pedretti – Kalou (Martin, 72’), Payet (Tulio de Melo, 46’), Roux

FC Copenhagen 0-2 VfB Stuttgart

Although it took 75 minutes to register their first goal, Bruno Labbadia’s Stuttgart side pulled off a 2-0 win at the Parken in Denmark to give themselves a chance to advance into the next Europa League stage.  Thursday’s win was the first in group play for the Swabians, who now stand at 1-2-1 with matches against Molde and Steaua Bucharest remaining.

Despite a total of 23 shots in the match (15 for the Swabians), the first 45 minutes looked like a repeat of the team’s scoreless draw two weeks ago as Andreas Cornelius of Copenhagen saw two efforts saved by Sven Ulreich while both Ibrahima Traoré and Martin Harnik were off-target with their opportunities for Stuttgart.  Early in the second half, Stuttgart’s leading scorer Vedad Ibišević looked to break the game open but was denied by Copenhagen goalkeeper Kim Christensen.  Former Leverkusen man Nicolai Jorgensen added threat for Copenhagen when he was subbed in just prior to the hour mark, but it was Bosnian international Ibišević who finally broke the deadlock in the 75th minute when he headed in a ball from Artur Boka, who had come in earlier for Traoré.  FC Copenhagen, who again displayed a very organized defense, looked to equalize but another Cornelius header was off-target.  Stuttgart’s Austrian international Martin Harnik gave his team a 2-0 margin in stoppage time on a fine shot after just missing earlier in the half.

Except for an away loss to Molde in Europa League play, Stuttgart now have only lost once in their last nine matches in all competitions since being beaten by Hoffenheim in late September. The sluggish start that seemed to threaten Labbadia’s job security is ended, and the Swabians will look to improve their chances of advancing on November 22 when then meet Group E leader Steaua in Bucharest.

Copenhagen: Christensen – Jacobsen, Stadsgaard, Sigurdsson, Bengtsson – Grindheim (57′ Jörgensen), Claudemir, Kristensen (80′ Bolanos), Delaney – Santin, Cornelius.  Stuttgart: Ulreich – Sakai, Tasci, Niedermeier, Molinaro – Kvist – Harnik, Gentner, Traore (63′ Boka) – Okazaki (87′ Kuzmanovic), Ibisevic

OL Marseille 2-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach

After defeating Marseille 2-0 at Borussia Park last time out in the EL tournament, an early 1-0 lead provided by Mike Hanke seemed to indicate that another victory was in store for the Foals, but instead they had to rely on the stoppage time magic of Juan Arango to earn a point at the  Stade Vélodrome Thursday evening.  The point earned late leaves Gladbach even with Marseille in Group C, both trailing leader Fenerbahce, who travel to Marseille in the next group matches while Die Fohlen will host Cypriots’ AEL Limassol FC.

Swedish defender Oscar Wendt was the early hero for Gladbach, as his excellent clearance off the goalline of a Loic Remy chance kept the French side from taking the lead.  Instead it was the Foals who scored first, against the run of play, with Arango taking advantage of a Benoit Cheyrou miscue to feed Hanke for an easy goal in the 20th minute.  Gladbach were able to hold onto their lead through the first half and had shut out the Marseille for 135 minutes of play though Marseille were full of threat at home.

Marseille found their equalizer, though, in the 54th minute when English bad boy Joey Barton lifted an amazing inswinging corner kick over the head of Gladbach’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen to level the game at a goal apiece.  Marseille took the lead 13 minutes later when a Gladbach defensive lapse allowed a turnover which Jordan Ayew took full advantage of.  In a match that totaled only eleven shots by both clubs but eight yellow cards, Juan Arango was once again a savior for Lucien Favre’s side.  The talented 32 year-old Venezuelan netted from a Lukas Rupp on a half volley in stoppage time, his shot enough to draw his team level and give them renewed life in what has been a disappointing season thus far both domestically and in Europe.  Gladbach, in the 11th berth of the Bundesliga table, will play away to 17th place Greuther Fürth on Sunday.

Marseille: Mandanda – Fanni, Diawara (Kabore, 82′), Lucas Mendes, Morel – Barton, Cheyrou, Amalfitano (Valbuena, 68′) – A. Ayew, Remy, J. Ayew (Abdallah, 87′)  Gladbach: ter Stegen – Jantschke, Brouwers, Dominguez, Wendt – Rupp, Marx (Xhaka, 74′), Nortveit, Arango – Herrmann (Mlapa, 71′), Hanke (de Camargo, 74′)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3-0  Rapid Wien

Bayer Leverkusen have been in good form as of late, and Thursday booked their advance to the Round of 32 in the Europa League with a 3-0 squashing of a youngish Rapid Wien side at the Bay Arena.  Leverkusen now have three wins and a draw in Group K play, co-leading the group with Metalist Kharkiv while being only two points from second place domestically.

The Viennese have had their fill of Die Werkself, surrendering seven goals and scoring none in their two Group K matches this year.  Jens Hegeler brought Leverkusen to the fore in the fourth minute Thursday, heading in from a Sidney Sam cross that Chilean Junior Fernandes had originally headed off the Rapid crossbar.  The visitors showed some fight in the match, though, with Christopher Trimmel almost equalizing immediately and Stefan Kulovits just missing wide in the 35th minute as Leverkusen nursed their 1-0 lead into halftime.

Andre Schürrle eased the tension for Leverkusen supporters in the 53rd minute when he volleyed into the Rapid goal, and veteran defender Manuel Friedrich erased any doubts of the outcome in the 66th minute with a headed goal.  For the match, Leverkusen narrowly edged Rapid in shots taken, 12-11, while earning six corner kicks to four for the visitors, with former Bayern and Köln goalkeeper Michael Rensing earning the shutout.  Coach Sami Hyypiä’s club will face Metalist on November 22.

Leverkusen: Rensing – Carvajal (74′ Carlinhos), Friedrich, Toprak, Hosogai – Hegeler, Reinartz – Rolfes – Schürrle (62′ Renato Augusto), Sam (46′ Castro) – Junior Fernandes  Rapid: Königshofer – Schimpelsberger, Sonnleitner, Gerson, Schrammel – Kulovits, Pichler – Trimmel, Wydra, Grozurek – Boyd (86′ Prokopic)

Hannover 3-2 Helsingborgs IF

Mame Biram Diouf, acquired last January from Manchester United, has been a valued weapon in a talented attack arsenal for Hannover Coach Mirko Slomka.  Diouf scored twice to give the 96ers a 2-0 lead before the Swedes rallied to draw level, only for a Szabalos Huszti penalty kick to decide the match in favor of Hannover, advancing the club for a second consecutive season into the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Diouf scored in the third minute, heading from a Huszti cross.  He added his second goal five minutes after halftime, after some fine work from Lars Stindl, to put Hannover up 2-0 with forty minutes remaining.  Helsingborg rallied, though, as Serbian striker Nikola Đurđić pulled a goal back just prior to the hour mark and midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, who has 13 caps for the U.S. national team, notched the equalizer in the 67th minute.  Both teams had chances to take the lead before a late penalty call against Matthias Lindstrom on Artur Sobeich led to two Helsingborg red cards and the opportunity for Huszti to advance Hannover.  The Hungarian converted and Hannover had the three points in hand to advance.  Slomka’s side will try to take advantage of their momentum from Thursday and rise up from their sixth spot in the table Sunday away to Stuttgart.

Hannover: Zieler – Cherundolo, Eggimann, Haggui, Rausch – Schmiedebach, C. Schulz – Stindl, Huszti – Ya Konan, Diouf  Helsingborg: Hansson – Andersson, Atta, P. Larsson, Uronen – Mahlangu, Gashi – Lindström, Bouaouzan (Alvaro 46′) – Bedoya – Djurdjic

 

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Gerry Wittmann

Gerry is the founder of the Bundesliga Fanatic. Besides loving German football, he also enjoys the NBA, collecting jerseys and LPs, his pets and wishes he had more time for fishing, bicycling and learning the bass guitar.

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