Writing this post before catching up on the others means my Bundesliga posts will be out of order but that doesn’t matter. The only person it bothers is me and I’m being an idiot about it, as I am with most things. I can’t put it off forever after all. MD24 was of course “die englische Woche” and it wasn’t short on drama. Two matches on Tuesday night and then seven on Wednesday. The big result of Tuesday night was Wolfsburg beating H96 4-0 with Andre Schürrle getting his first Bundesliga hat-trick. The fourth goal was scored by Julian Draxler and was nothing less than they deserved. I got a kick out of the result because the day after Freiburg beat Arminia Bielefeld 4-1. I like it, that Freiburg win by 4 and H96 lose by 4. H96 seeming to be rooted to the bottom of the table with just ten games left to play. Their chances of being relegated looking increasingly likely despite the bringing in of experienced coach Thomas Schaff. I wonder if at this point he wishes he’d stuck with Eintracht Frankfurt. No doubt they too are similarly ruing their bad luck in not being able to hold onto him. For the first time all season they’ve slipped into the bottom three thanks to Bremen beating Leverkusen 4-1 thus repeating their feat of defeating them in the quarter finals of the DFB Pokal. One fact worth mentioning about Bremen is they haven’t managed to keep a clean sheet all season, they are the only team in the Bundesliga to not have done so. This is particularly important in light of this week because were it not for an own goal by Papy Djilobodji they would have likely kept their first clean sheet of the season.
With Hoffenheim continually improving under new coach Julian Nagelsman it’s not at all difficult to picture Eintracht Frankfurt falling into 17th place and getting stuck there. As far as Bremen goes I wouldn’t dare to make any such predictions, I could see them getting stuck in the relegation battle as easily as I could see them just scraping through again.
I know some people think the Bundesliga is kind of boring, that it’s just a case of watching Bayern win yet another title. This season it’s a case of Bayern v Dortmund and then the best of the rest, Dortmund have a 15 point lead on third placed Hertha. This season it’s looked like a case of Bayern well on their way to yet another title. But this week has added a little bit of intrigue to the story. For the first time all season Bayern lost at home, losing 2-1 to Mainz. The game went as you would expect it to, Bayern completely dominating yet unable to make the most of their considerable chances. Mainz being forced to pretty much defend for close to 90 minutes on the other hand did make the most of their limited chances. Elsewhere in the league Dortmund ground out a 2-0 win away at Darmstadt, meaning the gap between them and Bayern is reduced to just five points. The final twist in the tale is that this weekend der Klassiker round two takes place with Bayern visiting Dortmund who will be looking to defend what Bayern just lost, an unbeaten home record. Dortmund unlike Bayern still remain unbeaten at home, given the 5-1 thrashing Bayern handed out in the reverse of the fixture there’s a good chance that will no longer be the case come Saturday.
I wonder who’s going to start in goal for Dortmund on Saturday, the last time round Bürki played as he’s done for every league game so far baring Thursday night. But he did not have a great game, that’s putting it mildly, it was awful in truth. It’s kind of ironic I got Roman’s sticker today, Bürki that is. Weidenfeller isn’t in this season’s album. Ironic because it’s the day after the one league game Bürki didn’t play. I also got Thomas Müller’s sticker:
Videos, post-match interviews from both Bayern and Dortmund’s games with Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski, Erik Durm and Thomas Tuchel:
Pictures from Bayern’s game, first two GIFs of a very angry Manuel Neuer: