As the Bundesliga stops for a Winterpause break, it is time to look back on the month of December and decide on the Bundesliga Fanatic Player of the Month and Goal of the Month awards.
Bayern finished as Herbstmeister, Köln finally won a game and the rest of the Bundesliga spent December trying to accumulate as many points as they could before a well-deserved holiday over the Christmas period. So just who has won the Player and Goal of the Month awards for December?
Player of the Month: Nils Petersen
For so long he’s been labelled Freiburg’s supersub, but in December Nils Petersen showed that there is much more to his game than simply coming on late and scoring. For the first ten games of the Hinrunde the 29-year-old was used solely as a highly – valued substitute in the joker role. But when Coach Christian Streich decided he could no longer afford the luxury of such a game-changer coming off the bench following serious injury to SCF leading scorer Florian Niederlechner, Petersen came through in a starting role leading Freiburg’s attack.
During December Petersen banged in six goals in the space of just three games to help propel a struggling Freiburg out of the bottom three. He notched up a hat trick against Köln in their basement battle, scoring just before half-time to make it 3-1 before converting two injury time penalties to complete a huge comeback.
The next game saw him score the only goal of the game (another penalty) to beat Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Schwarzwaldstadion. Petersen then grabbed another two goals in the 3-3 draw with Augsburg- this time both from open-play. He first a header at the back post and the second a clinical finish after rounding keeper Marwin Hitz.
The Freiburg striker now has 8 goals for the season and can look forward to more starting berths in the Rückrunde. And Streich may be his biggest fan
Nils has made another real development in the last two years and is a huge role model for all young players and for those who are impatient – seeing how he helps the team
Honourable mentions for the Player of the Month award go to Leon Bailey (the winner of the October award) for his continued stunning form for Bayer Leverkusen and Werder Bremen’s Philipp Bargfrede. Alfred Finnbogason grabbed his second hat trick of the season against Freiburg, while his team-mate Philipp Max laid on four assists in four matches in December. Kingsley Coman at Bayern Munich also enjoyed a great month.
Goal of the Month: Serge Gnabry
Take a bow Serge Gnabry. That was something from the top drawer and worthy of all the accolades that come its way. When Hoffenheim beat RB Leipzig on matchday 14, the talk after the match was all about one moment- Gnabry’s stunning strike to make it 3-0.
Having already scored to make it 2-0 to Julian Nagelsmann’s side, the loan signing from Bayern Munich went one better with a stunning goal ten minutes later. Receiving the ball just inside the Leipzig half from Nadiem Amiri after Leipzig had lost possession, the 22-year-old controlled the pass with his right foot while looking towards the goal at the same time.
Spotting Peter Gulacsi off his line, the French midfielder let fly from all of 45m and sent a perfectly executed shot sailing over the stranded keeper and into the back of the net. Simply outstanding!
Honourable mentions for the Goal of the Month award go to Eintracht Frankfurt’s Kevin-Prince Boateng for his strike against former club Hertha, and Wolfsburg midfielder Josh Guilavogui for his long-range strike against Borussia Mönchengladbach.
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