German Bundesliga MatchdayDay 13 Round-up
RB Leipzig 2-1 FC Schalke 04
Another matchday, another win and another game unbeaten for newcomers RB Leipzig. The east German club, still undefeated in the top flight, have now won an astonishing eight games in a row and, more importantly, reclaimed top spot in the table from FC Bayern München. Leipzig were second on goal difference heading into this game, but as has so often been the case, an early goal put them on the road to victory. Timo Werner dispatched the second-minute penalty and though Sead Kolasinac equalised for FC Schalke 04, the Bosnia-Herzegovina international then put through his own net straight after the restart. Led by the indefatigable Naby Keita – a strong contender for player of the season so far – Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men showed tremendous resilience to see out the
win and once again move three points clear at the summit.
Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Billed as the battle of the Borussias, this match was rather more one-sided than many observers might have predicted. Mönchengladbach started brightly and took a sixth-minute lead through Raffael’s well- taken strike, but from then on it was all Dortmund.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised a minute later, Lukasz Piszczek added a second and Ousmane Dembele made it 3-1. Aubameyang then provided a final flourish – his 15th goal of the season – after a sumptuous backheel by Marco Reus, capping a fine afternoon’s work for Thomas Tuchel’s men.
1. FSV Mainz 05 1-3 FC Bayern München
The champions were under some pressure going into the weekend’s opening match. Newcomers Leipzig were top of the standings when the Reds kicked off against 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Carlo Ancelotti was a picture of concern when Jhon Cordoba fired the 05ers into an early lead. The Bavarians responded immediately, however, with
Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben – making his 150th Bundesliga appearance – scoring to turn the tables by half-time. Lewandowski then curled in a delightful third to secure an impressive win, and sensationally make it a brace on each of his last four league appearances away at Mainz. Ultimately,
however, they finish the weekend in second after Leipzig's victory over Schalke.
VfL Wolfsburg 2-3 Hertha Berlin
VfL Wolfsburg coach Valerien Ismael made a big call in leaving Julian Draxler, Luiz Gustavo and Daniel Didavi on the bench for this one, and his gamble appeared to pay off when Spanish striker Borja Mayoral netted on his first Bundesliga start. Hertha Berlin's Marvin Plattenhardt restored parity shortly afterwards, but Paul Seguin’s goal had the home fans in buoyant mood at the break. The Berliners had only lost twice all season, however, and Alexander Esswein put them back in it at 2-2,
before Seguin was sent off for a second bookable offence. The numerical disadvantage then counted against the home side, as a foul on Plattenhardt
allowed Salomon Kalou to convert from the penalty spot and Hertha to take all three points back to the capital.
Click here for the full match report
SV Darmstadt 98 0-2 Hamburger SV
We’re yet to reach the halfway stage of the season but this was still a relegation six-pointer between SV Darmstadt 98 in 16th place and bottom side Hamburger SV. Both sides knew they could not lose this one and it showed in their nervous build-up play with few chances in the opening stages. The breakthrough, however, came after half an hour when Michael Gregoritsch converted a Filip Kostic cross. Darmstadt continued to try their luck going forward and grab an equaliser, but to no avail. The game was eventually decided in the 90th minute
when Matthias Ostrzolek’s first goal in 132 Bundesliga games secured HSV’s first win of the season to move them off the bottom.
FC Augsburg 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Given that prior to this match Augsburg had not conceded a goal in 312 minutes of play and Frankfurt had the third-meanest backline in the division, you could have been forgiven for expecting this to be a tactical, defensive-minded
battle. The reality, however, was quite the opposite, with both sides eager to attack at every opportunity. The points were ultimately shared in an open, engaging encounter in which Frankfurt's Branimir Hrgota and Augsburg's Dong-Won Ji both
scored their eighth career Bundesliga goals with excellent strikes from outside the box.
SV Werder Bremen 2-1 FC Ingolstadt 04
For both teams, few games represented as big an opportunity as this to steal a march in the race to avoid the drop, and it was a typically full-blooded affair from start to finish at the Weser Stadium.
Max Kruse’s first Bundesliga goal for SV Werder Bremen – a beautifully taken half-volley from close range – got the home fans in full voice, but Markus
Suttner’s free-kick brought the visitors back on level terms. Werder had too much firepower going forward, however, and after Izet Hajrovic and
Claudio Pizarro were denied, Fin Bartels popped up to win it with 15 minutes remaining.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 4-0 1. FC Köln
This was only 1. FC Köln’s second defeat of the season, but it was as clear as they come and never looked in doubt from the moment Sandro Wagner
fired TSG 1899 Hoffenheim into an eighth-minute lead. Jeremy Toljan’s neat finish had Julian Nagelsmann’s two goals up by the interval, before Wagner grabbed another and Cologne-born Mark Uth completed the visitors' misery late in the second half. Peter Stöger’s men should not be too concerned by the result – they are still well positioned in seventh in the standings – but this
was another very impressive performance from Hoffenheim. They remain unbeaten and could yet
keep their place in the top four after this weekend.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1-1 SC Freiburg
They may have qualified for the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League, but domestically,
Bayer 04 Leverkusen are yet to hit their stride this term. They were largely stifled by a determined SC Freiburg here, and though they fought back from a goal down to take a point, it should have been three. Unfortunately for them, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez cannot seem to buy a goal at present,
having now gone 11 matches without one. His weak spot-kick, saved by Freiburg’s Alexander Schwolow,
with just two minutes of normal time remaining rather summed up his and his team’s frustrations in the league this season.