DFB Cup, Misc part II

Bayern München defeated Borussia M’gladbach on penalties in a hard fought semi-final of the DFB Cup. They’ll now face Borussia Dortmund in Berlin for the Cup.

The match was pretty hard fought, and in general Bayern had the edge. Gladbach was dangerous on counterattacks, but for the most part it was Bayern providing the pressure. Gladbach’s GK ter Stegen was in fine form as he came up with some excellent saves to preserve the goal-less draw. His counterpart Manuel Neuer had much less to do, but had a couple of good stops of his own.

When it came to penalties, Bayern was clinical, putting home all, and Gladbach choked. After Daems and Hermann (first game back after injury) easily scored, Dante started the collapse by blasting 50 feet over the goal. Nordveidt had to score to keep the faint hope alive, but Neuer made the stop, and it was all over.

In fairness, I suppose the outcome is OK, as Bayern looked the stronger team throughout the match.

In another 3.Liga makeup, Regensburg got stunned 0-3 at home to VfL Osnabrück. This was an important match for Jahn, as they could have strengthened their hold on 3rd place. Instead, they get slapped at home (although less than 2,700 showed up) and drop into a three-way tie with Burgahsuen and Chemnitz. Heidenheim is 2 points behind, Erfurt down 3. Even Osnabrück has a slight hope, as they are only 5 points away.

Stuttgart’s Dutch defender Khalid Boulahrouz had a nice game against Hoffenheim, it was his crosses that gave Vedad Ibisevic both goals. But he got some bad news in training yesterday, as he broke his toe and might miss four weeks. That sucks because he’s been in good form and his contract is expiring, so some more good performances could have raised his price. As it is, Stuttgart is said to want to renew the defender’s stay.

DFB Cup, misc

Borussia Dortmund beat Greuther Fürth 1-0 in the semi-finals of the DFB Cup. The match was played at a sold out (15,500) Trolli-Arena in Fürth. It was largely a boring match, with not too many chnces, although Dortmund as usual wasted a few good ones. Just when the match looked to go into penalties, Ilkay Gündogan blasted from just outside the box. His shot rocketed off the lower post and hit the back of diving Greuther Fürth GK Max Grün (who had earlier made a brilliant diving save off a header)…and bounced into the goal. Win for Dortmund, heartbreak for Greuther Fürth, who would have essentially qualified for the Euro-Liga with the win…

Wednesday id the 2nd semi-final, Gladbach hosting Bayern. Gladbachers try and make it 3 wins over Bayern, but the latter have been on fire lately. Hopefully more interesting than today’s snoozer.

In 3.Liga makeup match, Kickers Offenbach disappointed with a 1-1 against Carl Zeiss Jena. Actually the struggling Easterners looked to have a win, as they jumped out too an early lead and then held on until the final seconds of injury time. Result really helps neither side, in terms of promotion (Offenbach) or survival (Jena). The 5,452 fans at the Bieberer Berg (now ridiculously known officially as “Sparda-Bank-Hessen-Stadion am Bieberer Berg”) were clearly not too happy at the blown opportunity for Kickers.

Head coach Marco Kurz was fired by 1.FC Kaiserslautern. No real surprise here, as FCK basically has sucked. Not sure it’s his fault though, because it’s not as if the talent is flowing from a spigot at the pub. They’ve only managed a pathetic 17 goals in 26 matches. How do you expect to stay up? (Well, at least they’re better than last place Greek Super-Liga side Doxa Drama, having only tallied 9 times in 25 matches…) No word on who will be the successor, most likely it will be somebody recently fired like Stanislawski or Skibbe, Pick the former if you want to rebuild in the 2.Liga, the latter if you want to visit towns in the 3.Liga, hehehe. One rumour is ex-Stuttgart great Krassimir Balakov. No serious, no announcements, except that GM (FCK legend) Stefan Kuntz says they’ll do everything possible to avoid relegation. (Tip: Check out those Bundesbahn train schedules for the 2.Liga cities…)

Schalke continues to wrestle with contracts. GM Horst Heldt is expected to offer big money to extend Klaas-Jaan Huntelaar‘s deal, which ends in 2013. Huntelaar was hot stuff, but then went off to Spain and sucked. But he’s really got back on target at Schalke. Despite a broken nose and other injury problems, he’s managed 38 goals in 38 league and Cup matches over two seasons. On the other hand, the betting is on Schalke to let Peruvian winger Jefferson Farfan go. Obviously the Blues would like to keep him, but Farfan apparently has his eyes on a big move. A contract through 2013 has been offered to Spanish legend Raul. He’s immensely popular with the fans, but he hasn’t committed. Overall, Schalke’s turnover last season was some 200 million euros, and player’s cost was about 95 million. Given the heavy debt from building the stadium, they really can’t afford to go crazy, so they can’t go too much higher.

2.Liga, Round 26

Lots of bitch-slaps this week!

	
Alemannia Aachen	 -    1. FC Union Berlin      1:3 (1:2)   15,165

                        0:1  Ede (23., Mattuschka)
                        1:1  Achenbach (28., Uludag)
                        1:2  Terodde (41., Kohlmann)
                        1:3  Zoundi (46., Pfertzel)

Eintracht Braunschweig	 -    FSV Frankfurt	      0:0 (0:0)   19,950

Eintracht Frankfurt	 -    Dynamo Dresden	      3:0 (3:0)   37,100

                        1:0  Meier (3., Djakpa)
                        2:0  Schuppan (14., own goal, Idrissou)
                        3:0  Idrissou (34., Rode)

1860 München	         -    SpVgg Greuther Fürth    1:4 (1:2)   29,600

                        0:1  Occean (14., Klaus)
                        1:1  Bierofka (19., penalty, Volland)
                        1:2  Fürstner (27., Sararer)
                        1:3  Occean (46., Nehrig)
                        1:4  Klaus (52.)

FC Ingolstadt 04	 -    SC Paderborn 07	      4:0 (1:0)    6,500

                        1:0  Alushi (15., own goal, Caiuby)
                        2:0  Görlitz (64.)
                        3:0  Ikeng (80., Leitl)
                        4:0  Akaichi (89., F. Heller)

Erzgebirge Aue	        -     FC St. Pauli	      2:1 (0:1)   11,500

                       0:1  Bruns (21., Pliquett)
                       1:1  König (55.)
                       2:1  E. Kern (90. + 1, Curri)

MSV Duisburg	        -     VfL Bochum	      2:1 (1:1)   15,727

                       0:1  Inui (19., Azaouagh)
                       1:1  Gelashvili (25., owngoal, Gjasula)
                       2:1  Exslager (78., Baljak)

Karlsruher SC	        -     Hansa Rostock	      2:2 (1:1)   15,055

                       0:1  Staffeldt (36., own goal, Jänicke)
                       1:1  Iashvili (45. + 1, P. Groß)
                       1:2  Borg (61., Mintal)
                       2:2  Iashvili (79., penalty, Linksschuss)


Monday Night:

Energie Cottbus	        -     Fortuna Düsseldorf      1:1 (1:0)    7,819

                       1:0  Sörensen (26., Adlung)
                       1:1  Matuschyk (81., Jovanovic)



 1  SpVgg Greuther Fürth	26   17   5   4     60:21  +39 	   56 
 2  Eintracht Frankfurt (A)	26   16   7   3     61:27  +34 	   55
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Fortuna Düsseldorf	  	26   14  10   2     55:26  +29 	   52
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  FC St. Pauli (A)	  	26   15   5   6     45:27  +18 	   50 
 5  SC Paderborn 07	  	26   14   8   4     42:30  +12 	   50 
 6  1860 München	  	26   13   4   9     48:37  +11 	   43 
 7  1. FC Union Berlin	  	26   11   6   9     45:42  +3 	   39 
 8  Eintr. Braunschweig (N)	26    9  10   7     31:28  +3 	   37 
 9  Dynamo Dresden (N)	  	26    9   6  11     42:44  -2 	   33 
10  VfL Bochum	  	        26    9   4  13     35:44  -9 	   31 
11  Energie Cottbus	  	26    7   8  11     25:38  -13 	   29 
12  Erzgebirge Aue	  	26    6   9  11     25:43  -18 	   27 
13  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	26    5  10  11     32:45  -13 	   25 
14  FSV Frankfurt	  	26    5  10  11     30:50  -20 	   25 
15  MSV Duisburg	  	26    6   6  14     30:40  -10 	   24
---------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Alemannia Aachen	  	26    3  12  11     21:35  -14 	   21
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17  Karlsruher SC	  	26    5   5  16     26:54  -28 	   20 
18  Hansa Rostock (N)	  	26    2  11  13     24:46  -22 	   17

Impressive win for Greuther Fürth as they ripped 1860′s ass. The leaders controlled the match and ran rampant, ending the Lions promotion hopes. Canadian international Olivier Occean was once again the wrecking ball, as he notched a pair. Greuther Fürth has made runs towards the Bundesliga in the past, but inevitably run out of gas. This year they seem more determined, and it would be a grievous wound if they failed again. Still, it’s a close battle and there is still alot to play. For 1860, after a lot of hard work to get back into the race, they’ve come with back-to-back stinkers and pretty much can take the rest of the season off.

Also stinking was Paderborn. Ingolstadt has been fighting their way back from the depths, but they really didn’t have to do that much to kick Paderborn’s ass. The previous contenders had no clue what they were doing out there, and when they heard the point of the game is to put the ball into the net, they kicked an own goal. So FCI smelled blood and proceeded to rip the Westfalen a new orifice. well, hardly an impressive performance, but since Paderborn was so crap, you can’t really hold it against Ingolstadt. This gives them some breathing room from relegation. For SCP, they’re not out of the race yet, but they really need to look in the mirror and figure out what’s wrong, lest they ruin a marvelous season.

Ho-hum, Eintracht Frankfurt back on course, kicks Dresden’s ass. Actually, the interesting thing is that this was what I’d call a 50% Geisterspiel (“ghost match”). As continued punishment, Dynamo fans were banned from this match. However, some 500 managed to sneak in. Hilarity ensued? Rockets, fire-bombs? nah, nothing of the sort. In fact, they probably wished they hadn’t bothered, as Frankfurt started quickly, finished off the match and took the 2nd half off to go down to the pub to have some brews and Äppelwoi, which Frankfurters are famous for. I guess the only positive for Dynamo is that I think their ban is now over.

St.Pauli was on the receiving end of a b-slap, although they didn’t get routed, it was a huge loss. The Paulistas took the lead against Aue, who remained packed in the defensive and prayed for a counter. In the second half, they got it, and Erzgebirge came out of their shell and began to seek opportunities. St.Pauli looked flat and without ideas, as they probably had expected their opponents to roll over and play dead. In injury time Enrico Kern snatched the win for Aue, which is huge in their relegation struggle. While it doesn’t end it, it ends their skid and gives some breathing room. For St.Pauli, this causes them to lose ground, especially if Fortuna wins on Monday.

Ouch, Aachen gets reamed at home. Hard to beleive, but Alemannia is a clear relegation candidate. The Potato-bugs started OK, but Union demonstrated that their nickname Eisern (“iron”) is well deserved, and firmly seized control when they needed.

Duisburg picked up a huge win in the Ruhr derby with Bochum. The Zebras were more engaged, playing to win. Bochum was lazy and satisfied with whatever the MSV mistakes would give them. So after falling behind against the run of play, Duisburg continued to press and push forward. Of course, they’re relatively crap, so it took a while to win the match, but they deservedly end up with all the points, and a critical gain against relegation. Not sure why Bochum even bothered to show up if they were going to phone it in…

They love their team in Braunschweig, so they fill up the park. Unfortunately the team is ho-hum, and has a way to go. Neither Eintracht nor visiting FSV looked too interested in going forward, and the Lions wasted their few chances. So things petered out to a scoreless draw. Good point for FSV in their relegation battle.

Tailenders Karlsruhe and Rostock battled in an exciting relegation battle. Both teams fought hard for the win, and especially Hansa has to be happy with their much improved performance. On the balance, KSC had a slight edge, but can’t complain as Hansa gave them all they could handle, so this is a fair result. However, the draw basically leaves both in the toilet, not helping at all.

Monday night witnessed a hard fought struggle between Cottbus and Düsseldorf. Energie was inferior in terms to technical skill, but made up via hustle and fighting spirit. Fortuna fell behind but constantly pressured the stubborn hosts, and were finally rewarded with a deserved equalizer.

Bundesliga, Round 26

Dortmund defends the lead, huge away win for Freiburg. Bayern embarasses Hertha in Berlin.

1899 Hoffenheim	     -    VfB Stuttgart	         1:2 (0:2)    30,150

                    0:1  Ibisevic (8., Boulahrouz)
                    0:2  Ibisevic (43., Boulahrouz)
                    1:2  Salihovic (74., penalty, Johnson)

Borussia Dortmund    -    Werder Bremen	         1:0 (1:0)    80,720

                    1:0  Kagawa (8., Gündogan)

FC Augsburg	     -    1. FSV Mainz 05	 2:1 (1:1)    30,025

                    0:1  Allagui (36., Choupo-Moting)
                    1:1  Koo (43., Oehrl)
                    2:1  S. Langkamp (51., Bellinghausen)

Hamburger SV	     -    SC Freiburg	         1:3 (0:2)    52,440

                    0:1  Flum (20., Schmid)
                    0:2  D. Caligiuri (43., Mujdza)
                    0:3  Makiadi (72., Schuster)
                    1:3  Ilicevic (75.)

1. FC Nürnberg	     -    VfL Wolfsburg	         1:3 (1:2)    39,320

                    1:0  Didavi (9., Esswein)
                    1:1  Mandzukic (15., M. Schäfer)
                    1:2  Helmes (24., Mandzukic)
                    1:3  Helmes (53., Mandzukic)

Bayer Leverkusen     -    Borussia M'gladbach	 1:2 (0:1)    30,210

                    0:1  Reus (7.)
                    1:1  Kießling (75.)
                    1:2  de Camargo (88., Reus)

Hertha BSC Berlin    -    Bayern München 	 0:6 (0:3)    75,244

                    0:1  T. Müller (9., Ribery)
                    0:2  Robben (12., T. Müller)
                    0:3  Robben (19., penalty, T. Müller)
                    0:4  Gomez (50., penalty, Ribery)
                    0:5  Kroos (51., Robben)
                    0:6  Robben (67., penalty, Ribery)

Sunday matches:

1. FC Kaiserslautern  -    FC Schalke 04         1:4 (1:2)    49,780
                     
                     1:0  Rodnei (3., Tiffert)
                     1:1  Holtby (39., Huntelaar)
                     1:2  Huntelaar (45., Fuchs)
                     1:3  Raul (51., Draxler)
                     1:4  Farfan (81., Holtby)



Hannover 96	      -    1. FC Köln            4:1 (1:1)    45,000

                     1:0  Stindl (19., Schlaudraff)
                     1:1  Pezzoni (43., Clemens)
                     2:1  Schlaudraff (61., penalty, Rausch)
                     3:1  M. Diouf (67., Ya Konan)
                     4:1  M. Diouf (83., Stindl)


 1  Borussia Dortmund (M)	26    18   5 	3 	53:16  +37 	59 
 2  Bayern München	  	26    17   3 	6 	64:17  +47 	54 
 3  Borussia M'gladbach	  	26    15   6 	5 	39:16  +23 	51
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  FC Schalke 04 (P)	  	26    16   2 	8 	58:34  +24 	50
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  Bayer Leverkusen	  	26    11   7 	8 	39:34  +5 	40 
 6  Werder Bremen	  	26    11   6 	9 	40:39  +1 	39
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Hannover 96	  	        26     9  11 	6 	34:36  -2 	38 
 8  VfB Stuttgart	  	26    10   6   10       43:34  +9 	36 
 9  VfL Wolfsburg	  	26    10   4   12 	34:47  -13 	34 
10  1. FC Nürnberg	  	26     9   4   13 	25:37  -12 	31 
11  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	26     7   9   10 	38:41  -3 	30 
12  1899 Hoffenheim	  	26     7   9   10 	29:37  -8 	30 
13  1. FC Köln	  	        26     8   4   14 	33:50  -17 	28 
14  Hamburger SV	  	26     6   9   11 	30:48  -18 	27 
15  FC Augsburg (N)	  	26     5  11   10 	27:40  -13 	26
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
16  SC Freiburg	  	        26     6   7   13 	33:53  -20 	25
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)	26     5   8   13 	26:47  -21 	23 
18  1. FC Kaiserslautern        26     3  11   12 	17:36  -19 	20

Leaders Dortmund dominated against Bremen, missing GK Tim Wiese who broke his face or something in training. Shinji Kagawa scored quickly, and the rout looked on, with Kagawa and Kehl hitting the post and and crossbar. But then the Neons basically went to sleep, wasting chances and dicking around. Werder did absolutely zilch, so the victory was never in doubt, but Borussia could have easily won 5-0 and Bremen couldn’t have complained. The Neons really need to start slapping in the goals though.

Bayern had a cake walk as they blasted hapless Hertha 6-0 away. It was a laughable match, Bayern could have scored 10 if they pressed really hard. Basically the only defense Hertha had was fouling folks in the box. Their attack was basically non-existant, the only real “offense” consisting of that wanker Rukavytsa trying to win penalties by flopping like a fairy. Otto Rehagel must be thinking “F%^$ing A!!! I can out of retirement for this?!” In such a lame display, there’s no way Hertha stays up. Rehagel is going to really have kick some asses for Berlin to recover. On the plus side, there’s still time. For Bayern, things are clicking nicely and they padded their stats. Robben was on fire, but probably could have had a couple of more goals. Neverthless, they really don’t gain any ground on Dortmund.

Gladbach got back on track with their 200th away win in their Bundesliga history. Marco Reus was the key player with a goal and assist. Another slap-in-the-face for Luserkusen, still smarting after their glorious (not) showing in Barcelona. Well actually, that’s not fair. After Reus gave Gladbach the blitz lead, the Aspirins got increasing pressure as they chased the lead. However, perhaps all the effort drained them too much, as after Stefan Kiessling equalized, they began to relax. And of course Gladbach pounced and snatched the win at the end.

Kaiserslautern set a new team record, but not one they’ll be too proud of. 16 straight matches without a win. In front of a sold old home crowd, FCK managed a blitz-lead, Rodnei’s diving header their first goal in some 300 minutes. But Schalke wasn’t fazed, but it took a while to shake off Thursday’s Europa-liga effort. Once things settled down, they dominated the rest of the match. FCK relied on their pretty decent defense, but as Schalke’s pressure increased, it was only a matter of time.

Two much improved squads met in Augsburg. Mainz and FCA played kickabout in midfield for most of the first half, until goals woke them up. In the 2nd half, it was homeside Augsburg that seized the initiative and pressed for the win. Mainz was cuaght a it off guard and started to fight back only after they fell behind. Huge win for Augsburg. First game since his return that Mohamed Zidan didn’t score for FSV.

Freiburg is not dead – but Hamburg wish they were! HSV sucked and stunk up the joint and SCF took advantage to record a huge victory. Their defense was solid, and they used dangerous counters to run HSV ragged. The hosts were reduced to desperate long balls and crosses into the box, which the disciplined Breisgauer defense fended off. Needless to say, Hamburg’s feeble effort was serenaded with a deserved chorus of whistles and boos.

Wolfsburg had perhaps their best performance of the season, and it was due to improved play of two players that have seemingly been in Felix Magth’s doghouse, Mario Mandzukic and Patrick Helmes. Der Club, despite the early lead, was too lazy and somewhat chaotic in defense.

Hannover had no problem beating Köln like a dead horse. The 96ers dillied around aimlessly after the lead, and let Köln back in the match near the end of the 1st period. However in the 2nd half they were all business and proceeded to wrap things up with an ass-kicking. Köln were without Podolski (banned for his throat grabbing incident), so you figured they would go down in flames, perhaps a preview of what things will be like next season.

Vedad Ibisevic took revenge against his old club as he shot Stuttgart to the win against Hoffenheim. After getting blasted at Bayern disgracefully last week, the Hoppers had something to prove to the sold out Rhein-Neckar-Arena. Well, not in the 1st half, as Stuttgart ran rings around them and Ibisevic laid down the double bitch-slap. At least in the 2nd half the Hoppers came storming out and fighting, pulled a goal back and had some chances. But in the end they failed, as they have in all previous 7 tries to get a win against VfB.

WSV blog: Derby day in Essen

Actually, when did this become a derby? Perhaps in the early 70s, when both teams went crazy in the then 2nd division Regionalliga West, each scoring over 100 goals. That year, WSV won a famous 5-0 away win in Essen, hehehe. Of course, WSV has always had rivalries with the likes of Fortuna Düsseldorf and VfL Bochum, also going back to those days. And with Aachen. But I guess the RWE one rings true even now, because both clubs have stunk at the same level and play each other often, whereas the others have moved on to better things.

Nevertheless, a decent crowd for 4th division standards watched a hard fought match as the teams drew 1-1. Essen was stronger in the 1st half, controlling the pace and pressing against WSV. A header by Thomas Denker gave the red-whites the lead. WSV was too passive, and although Daniel Flottmann had a superb chance to equalize, they couldn’t complain about the deficit.

In the 2nd half, it was a different story. WSV was strong and aggressive, and RWE was holding back and absorbing the pressure. But near the end, Wuppertal broke through and got the deserved equalizer.

Both sets of fans behaved badly, mostly scuffling with the police rather than each other. The match was stopped for 8 minutes as stadium orderly was hauled to the hospital after getting bopped on the head with a bottle.

Rot-Weiss Essen - Wuppertaler SV 1:1 (1:0)

Attendance: 8,713 in Georg-Melches-Stadion (Essen)	

Soring:
1:0 Denker (31.)
1:1 Flottmann (84.) 

ESSEN:
Lamczyk -
Brauer , Denker     , Wagner , Guirino -
Grummel       , Heppke    -
Lemke , K. Avci , Grund -
Kaya

Subs:
Koep (70., Heppke)
Lenz (80., Kaya)
K. Lehmann (85., Grummel)

Trainer: Wrobel

WUPPERTAL:
Semmler -
El Hammouchi , Fleßers , Schlieter , Flottmann     -
Landers    , Zieba , F. Haas       , Moosmayer -
Quotschalla       , Knappmann

Subs:
Zimmermann (75., Landers)
Baltes (75., Quotschalla)
B. Abelski (85., F. Haas)

Trainer: Bruns

3.Liga, Round 30: Aalen back on top

Aalen once again goes top as Sandhausen crashes

	
VfB Stuttgart II      -    Chemnitzer FC	 0:1 (0:0)    ?
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	      -    SV Sandhausen	 4:2 (3:0)    6,436
Arminia Bielefeld     -    Preußen Münster	 2:2 (1:1)   21,203
SV Wehen Wiesbaden    -    1. FC Saarbrücken	 3:2 (2:1)    3,498
Jahn Regensburg	      -    Wacker Burghausen	 0:1 (0:0)    6,621
SV Babelsberg 03      -    Carl Zeiss Jena	 0:0 (0:0)    6,853
Werder Bremen II      -    Rot-Weiß Oberhausen	 0:1 (0:1)      533
VfL Osnabrück	      -    SpVgg Unterhaching	 4:1 (3:0)    6,800
VfR Aalen	      -    Kickers Offenbach	 2:1 (1:0)   10,021
SV Darmstadt 98	      -    1. FC Heidenheim	 2:1 (2:0)    ?


 1  VfR Aalen	  	        30    16    7 	 7    41:30  +11    55 
 2  SV Sandhausen	  	30    15    8 	 7    45:35  +10    53
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Jahn Regensburg	  	29    12   11 	 6    45:29  +16    47
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Wacker Burghausen	  	30    11   14 	 5    47:38  +9     47 
 5  Chemnitzer FC (N)	  	30    13    8 	 9    40:32  +8     47 
 6  1. FC Heidenheim	  	30    12    9 	 9    37:29  +8     45 
 7  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	29    11   11 	 7    39:32  +7     44 
 8  Kickers Offenbach	  	28    11    7 	10    35:29  +6     40 
 9  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	30     9   12 	 9    50:44  +6     39 
10  VfL Osnabrück (A)	  	28     9   12 	 7    32:26  +6     39 
11  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	29    10    7 	12    38:39  -1     37 
12  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	30     8   13 	 9    42:46  -4     37 
13  VfB Stuttgart II	  	30     8   12 	10    30:39  -9     36 
14  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	30    10    5 	15    48:49  -1     35 
15  Preußen Münster (N)	  	28     7   13 	 8    29:32  -3     34 
16  SV Babelsberg 03	  	29     8   10 	11    35:43  -8     34 
17  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	30     8   10 	12    32:41  -9     34
----------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Rot-Weiß Oberhausen (A)	30     7   11 	12    28:36  -8     32 
19  Carl Zeiss Jena	  	28     5   10 	13    27:45  -18    25 
20  Werder Bremen II	  	30     4   10 	16    27:53  -26    22

The battle for promotion has really heated up. Aalen and Sandhausen continue to trade spaces at the top, but the battle for 3rd is now a 3 way tie.

Aalen drew a big crowd for the battle against Offenbach, and it was a tough win. A free kick by Sascha Traut provided the edge, and although Kickers battled back, Aalen was good for the win. Since Sandhausen went down, Aalen moves back on top, still comfortable for auto-promotion. For Offenbach, they desperately need to win their makeups to remain firmly in the hunt for promotion.

Marcel Reichwein was the hero for Erfurt, as he banged in all 4 goals to dump leaders Sandhausen. This keeps Erfurt’s hopes alive. It was a pretty exciting match, with RWE jumping out to a 3-0 halftime lead. Sandhausen woke up and came storming back int the 2nd half, until Reichwein finished them off.

A Bavarian derby saw Regensburg crash and lose to Burghausen, making the race for 3rd wide open. Jahn pretty much dominated and had the better chances, but dilly-dallied. Wacker had one good chance and grabbed it, valuting them into a tie for 3rd.

Heidenheim has started stumbling and dropping points, just after they had fought themselves into the promotion discussion. They hardly looked the favorite and disappointed against Darmstadt, which gets the win that keeps them about the relegation hassle, a deserved victory for the 98ers.

Wehen got a huge win against Saarbrücken, with Bosnian Zlatko Janjic notching two. He’s been carrying the villagers for the last couple of matches.
A goal just before half by ex-Wuppertaler Mike Terranova was enough for Oberhausen to take home another critical win, and gives them hope for staying up.

Nothing but pride was really at stake in the Westfalen derby, but 21,000 packed the Alm to see Bielefeld and Münster battle it out. A typical derby match, hard fought and full of action, with Arminia having the upper hand throughout. However Preussen salvaged a valuable point just before the whistle. This may come in handy, because the relegation battle has heated up, and folks are scrambling to avoid the last drop spot.

Europa League: Schalke, 96ers advance

Good results in the return matches for the German clubs. Schalke 04 defeated FC Twente 4-1 to reverse the 0-1 first leg defeat and advance. Hannover beat Standard Liege 4-0 and advances as well, having drawn 2-2 away.

Schalke pleyed an aggressive attacking match, but the Dutch did not hide, and indeed scored first on a nice combo. However, the Blues had lots of chances before finally breaking through. Outstanding was Klaas Huntelaar, with 3 goals, and Jermaine Jones, who provided steel and a sharp edge supporting the attack.

Hannover had a relatively easy time as they waltzed to an easy win, as Liege defender Kanu scored two own goals (although one was with his face, not really his fault). He also missed an open net that could have got Standard back into the match.

FC Schalke 04 - Standard Liege 4:1 (1:1)

0:1 Janssen (14., Chadli)
1:1 Huntelaar (29., Draxler)
2:1 Huntelaar (57., penalty)
3:1 J. Jones (71., Raul)
4:1 Huntelaar (81., J. Jones)

Attendance: 54,142 in the Veltins-Arena

SCHALKE:

Hildebrand -
Uchida, Papadopoulos, Matip, Fuchs    -
J. Jones, Holtby    -
Farfan, Draxler    -
Raul     -
Huntelaar               

Subs:
86. Marica for Farfan
88. Moritz for J. Jones
90. + 2 Obasi for Draxler

TWENTE:
Mihajlov -
Rosales, Bengtsson , Douglas , Tiendalli    -
Brama, Janssen, Leugers       -
Bajrami, de Jong, Chadli

Subs:
51. Fer for Leugers
58. John for Bajrami
76. Plet for Brama

Hannover 96 - Standard Liege 4:0 (2:0)

1:0  Abdellaoue (4., Schlaudraff)
2:0  Kanu (21., pwn goal, Pinto)
3:0  Kanu (73., own goal, Ya Konan)
4:0  Pinto (90. + 2, Ya Konan)

Attendance: 43,000 in AWD-Arena

HANNOVER:
Zieler -
Cherundolo, Haggui, Eggimann, Pander    -
Schmiedebach, Pinto     -
Stindl , Schlaudraff , Rausch -
Abdellaoue       

Subs:
46. C. Schulz for Pander
70. Ya Konan for Abdellaoue
85. Lala for Schmiedebach

STANDARD:
Bolat -
Ciman, Kanu, Felipe , Pocognoli -
Buyens , Vainqueur -
Gakpe, van Damme   -
Tchité, Cyriac   

Subs:
24. Opare    for Ciman
71. Seijas for van Damme
82. Batshuayi for Cyriac

Midweek makeups

In the 2.Liga, Erzgebirge Aue held 1860 München 0-0 in front of 7500 fans in Sparkasse Erzgebirge Stadion. It was a hard fought match, but with few real scoring opportunities. 1860 disappointed and really needed a win to move into the promotion race. This is a good result for Aue though, struggling in the relegation battle.

There were several matches in the 3.Liga. Suprises included Saarbrücken sending Aalen to their second straight loss, and Oberhausen getting a huge away win at Unterhaching. A loss would have probably finished them off, but now they have a fighting chance to stay up. Werder Bremen II also stunned Heidenheim, who were hoping to solidify their promotion credentials. Werder scored twice in injury time to win the match. Epic fail, Regensburg being the primary benficiary.

	
Jahn Regensburg	         -  	SV Darmstadt 98	        2:1 (0:1)   2,104
VfB Stuttgart II	 -  	Preußen Münster	        1:1 (1:1)     480
1. FC Saarbrücken	 -  	VfR Aalen	        4:2 (2:0)   3,408
SpVgg Unterhaching	 -  	Rot-Weiß Oberhausen	1:2 (1:1)   1,150
Werder Bremen II	 -  	1. FC Heidenheim	2:1 (0:0)     420


 1  SV Sandhausen	  	29    15    8 	 6    43:31  +12    53
 2  VfR Aalen	  	        29    15    7 	 7    39:29  +10    52
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Jahn Regensburg	  	28    12   11 	 5    45:28  +17    47
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  1. FC Heidenheim	  	29    12    9 	 8    36:27  +9     45
 5  Wacker Burghausen	  	29    10   14 	 5    46:38  +8     44
 6  Chemnitzer FC (N)	  	29    12    8 	 9    39:32  +7     44
 7  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	28    10   11 	 7    35:30  +5     41
 8  Kickers Offenbach	  	27    11    7 	 9    34:27  +7     40
 9  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	29     9   12 	 8    48:41  +7     39
10  VfL Osnabrück (A)	  	27     8   12 	 7    28:25  +3     36
11  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	29     8   12 	 9    40:44  -4     36
12  VfB Stuttgart II	  	29     8   12 	 9    30:38  -8     36
13  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	29    10    5 	14    47:45  +2     35
14  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	28     9    7 	12    36:38  -2     34
15  Preußen Münster (N)	  	27     7   12 	 8    27:30  -3     33
16  SV Babelsberg 03	  	28     8    9 	11    35:43  -8     33
17  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	29     7   10 	12    29:39  -10    31
----------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Rot-Weiß Oberhausen (A)	29     6   11 	12    27:36  -9     29
19  Carl Zeiss Jena	  	27     5    9 	13    27:45  -18    24
20  Werder Bremen II	  	29     4   10 	15    27:52  -25    22

Bayern blasts Basel

Bayern München blasted Swiss side FC Basel 7-0 in the return match of the Champions League. After losing the first leg 0-1 in Basel (with a rather lackadaisical performance), there were some doubts about Bayern’s ability to advance, but no problems here.

66,000 packed the Allianz-Arena (less capacity for Euro matches) and Bayern quickly dominated, Robben scoring after only 10 minutes. They continued to control the match against the harmless Swiss, and then a double just before half from T. Müller and Mario Gomez basically put the match away.

After the restart, Bayern really got rolling, and Gomez quickly added to his tally, ending with four goals, and Robben finished with another as well. Franck Ribery ended up with another 3 assists.

Bayern München:
Neuer - 
Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba - 
Luiz Gustavo, Kroos - 
Robben, T. Müller, Ribery    - 
Gomez                

Subs:
70. Schweinsteiger for T. Müller
79. Pranjic for Ribery
82. Tymoshchuk füorr Robben

Trainer: Heynckes

FC Basel:
Sommer - 
Steinhöfer, Abraham, Dragovic, Park - 
Cabral, G. Xhaka - 
Shaqiri, F. Frei    - 
A. Frei , Streller       

Subs:
62. Stocker for F. Frei
70. P. Degen for Steinhöfer
80. Zoua for Shaqiri

Trainer: Vogel

Scoring:
1:0  Robben (10., Kroos)
2:0  T. Müller (42., Robben)
3:0  Gomez (44., Badstuber)
4:0  Gomez (50., Ribery)
5:0  Gomez (61., Ribery)
6:0  Gomez (67., Ribery)
7:0  Robben (81., Schweinsteiger)

Misc Bundesliga news

1. FC Köln is all a-flitter (or maybe I should say “a-twitter”) over the weekend events. Of course, the Lukas Podolski saga weighs heavily on the fans and club. The fact of the matter is that Podolski is ambitious, and having failed at Bayern, wants to try and move to a bigger club again. The hottest rumour is that he’s going to EPL side Arsenal. (Although he won’t win any silverware there either, hehehe). No one can accuse him of not giving all for Köln, as he’s almost single-handedly kept them up so far. However, getting red carded in the critical win over Hertha led to further crisis in the club. Then suddenly,  Volker Finke has  been forced out as “Director of Sport”. Finke is a legend in German football, having steered SC Freiburg’s rise from obscurity into the Bundesliga over a 16 year reign in the Breisgau. (A German coaching record) For some reason he was forced out in SCF (perhaps they expected Freiburg to win the Champions League) and he tried his hand in Turkey, but only lasted one season. He returned to Germany to  1. FC Köln in a management position in 2010, but as of Sunday, he’s gone…differences of opinion with the board. He’s also rumoured to have feuded with coach Stale Solbakken, but I’m not sure over what..

Claudio Pizarro is in hot water again. The ref may have missed it, but cameras caught him slapping 96er Austrian defender Emanuel Pogatetz in the face. Claudio says he just wanted Pogatetz hand out of the way, and he apologized. However, he will probably get punished by the DFB court, as he’s a repeat offender, having been caught ellbowing Holger Badstuber 3 years ago in a similar situation. In more positive news, Werder Bremen indicated it’s “up to Claudio” whether there is a contract extension. GM Klaus Allofs would like to bind the 33 year old Peruvian till 2014, but would also give him a 1 year deal if preferred. Pizarro is not only the all-time leading foreigner, but is the top rated striker in the Bundesliga this season. He says he’ll decide by the end of the month…

Timo Konietzka has died at age 73. He’s most famous for scoring the first every Bundesliga goal in 1963 (1st minute of match for Dortmund against Werder). He played some 100 Bundesliga matches for Borussia Dortmund and 1860 through 1967, scoring 72 times. He was also capped by Germany 9 times, with 3 goals. He then wandered off to Switzerland, playing for FC Winterthur before retiring in 1971. He then was a successful coach in Switzerland, his best times with FC Zürich, winning 3 straight titles and making the semis of the European Cup. He also bounced around with a few teams in Germany. After retirement from soccer, he owned and operated an inn off Lake Luzern.

Konietzka had cancer, and the rumour is that he committed assisted-suicide, which is legal in Switzerland.

Top scorers

Huntelaar continues his fine season for Schalke, and Gomez gets busy against Hopelessheim. Pizarro also had a good outing…

                                       Gms    Goals  Assists    TOTAL
 1  Huntelaar, Klaas Jan (Schalke)	23 	19 	9 	28
 2  Gomez, Mario 	(Bayern)	24 	21 	3 	24
 3  Pizarro, Claudio 	(Bremen)	22 	16 	8 	24
 4  Lewandowski, Robert (Dortmund)	25 	16 	8 	24
 5  Ribery, Franck 	(Bayern) 	24 	11 	13 	24
 6  Harnik, Martin 	(Stuttgart)	25 	14 	7 	21
 7  Podolski, Lukas 	(Köln)	        21 	16 	5 	21
 8  Reus, Marco 	(M'gladbach)	23 	13 	7 	20
 9  Kagawa, Shinji 	(Dortmund)	22 	8 	8 	16
10  Raul 	        (Schalke)       24 	11 	5 	16