Champions League: Bayern edges Real

The first leg of the Champions-League semi-final saw Bayern München defeat Real Madrid 2-1. This probably puts the Spanish leaders in the drivers seat for the return match at the Bernabeu, although Bayern has a chance.

In general, Bayern pressured and had more possession, but Real was dangerous at times going forward. Franck Ribery put Bayern ahead after 17, and with Arjen Robben raiding down the right, Bayern had the edge. However, Real got the precious away goal from Mesut Ozil after 53 minutes. Basically a promising Bayern attack broke down when Schweinsteiger lost the ball, and an RM attack basically saw the visitors pass the ball around in the box as the Bayern defenders ran around aimlessly. Cristiano Ronaldo finally squared for an Ozil tap-in. For the rest of the game, Bayern pressed, but didn’t get much except Mario Gomez wasting some decent chances. He did get the last laugh though, as he got the winner right and the end.

In this form, Bayern clearly has a decent chance to get a result in Madrid, but I would expect Real to play more aggressively and attack. At times the München defense dicked around, and the RM attackers had some promising positions. In Madrid, they would probably follow through. Seems pretty clear that Bayern will not be able to catenaccio their way to the finals, and they’ll need to come out and attack Madrid like they did here, and hopefully not waste their chances. It would be nice for the Bundesliga to get some measure of revenge after the collapse of Schalke and Hannover in the Europa-liga against La Liga opponents. (Not to mention Dortmund and Luserksuen disgraceful CL performances).

2.Liga, Round 31

Good day for the Frankfurters, both jumbos (Eintracht) and minis (FSV)…

Due to Düsseldorf’s loss on Monday night, Greuther Fürth is officially promoted!

SpVgg Greuther Fürth	 -    FC St. Pauli	      2:1 (1:0)    15,500

                        1:0  Schmidtgal (6., Fürstner)
                        2:0  Asamoah (65., Schmidtgal)
                        2:1  Saglik (90., Bruns)

Hansa Rostock	         -    FSV Frankfurt	      0:5 (0:1)    16,500

                        0:1  Yelen (5., Micanski)
                        0:2  Micanski (57., Teixeira)
                        0:3  Micanski (64., Yun)
                        0:4  Yun (69., Micanski)
                        0:5  Yun (75.)

1. FC Union Berlin	 -    Eintr. Braunschweig     1:0 (1:0)    15,000

                        1:0  Terodde (30., Rechtsschuss, Ede)

Eintracht Frankfurt	 -    Erzgebirge Aue	      4:0 (2:0)    44,000

                        1:0  Meier (28., Schildenfeld)
                        2:0  Kittel (44.,  Meier)
                        3:0  S. Jung (54.,  Rode)
                        4:0  Köhler (83.)

MSV Duisburg	         -    Alemannia Aachen	      2:0 (0:0)    15,127

                        1:0  Brosinski (74., Exslager)
                        2:0  Gjasula (83., Exslager)

SC Paderborn 07	         -    Energie Cottbus	      3:1 (2:0)    10,363

                        1:0  Kara (2., Wemmer)
                        2:0  Brandy (34., Kara)
                        3:0  Brandy (54.)
                        3:1  Rangelov (72.)

VfL Bochum	         -    1860 München	      2:2 (1:0)    10,132

                        1:0  Ginczek (18.)
                        1:1  Rakic (49., Aigner)
                        1:2  Lauth (60.)
                        2:2  Vogt (90. + 3, Gelashvili)

FC Ingolstadt 04	 -    Karlsruher SC	      2:1 (1:0)     8,328

                        1:0  Akaichi (14., Caiuby)
                        1:1  Terrazzino (75., Iashvili)
                        2:1  Biliskov (86., Leitl)


Monday: 	
Dynamo Dresden	         -    Fortuna Düsseldorf      2:1 (1:1)    26,367

                        1:0  Dedic (6., Koch)
                        1:1  Bröker (44.)
                        2:1  Poté (70., Savic)



 1  SpVgg Greuther Fürth	31    20    7 	 4     69:23  +46    67
 2  Eintracht Frankfurt (A)	31    19    8 	 4     73:30  +43    65
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SC Paderborn 07	  	31    16   10 	 5     50:35  +15    58
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Fortuna Düsseldorf	  	31    15   12 	 3     59:31  +28    57
 5  FC St. Pauli (A)	  	31    16    8 	 7     51:33  +18    56 
 6  1860 München	  	31    15    6 	10     55:43  +12    51
 7  1. FC Union Berlin	  	31    13    6 	12     48:50  -2     45 
 8  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	31     9   14 	 8     34:32  +2     41 
 9  Dynamo Dresden (N)	  	31    11    7 	13     47:50  -3     40
10  MSV Duisburg	  	31     9    7 	15     38:44  -6     34 
11  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	31     7   13 	11     40:51  -11    34 
12  FSV Frankfurt	  	31     7   12 	12     41:56  -15    33 
13  VfL Bochum	  	        31     9    6 	16     37:52  -15    33 
14  Energie Cottbus	  	31     7   10 	14     27:46  -19    31 
15  Erzgebirge Aue	  	31     7   10 	14     27:51  -24    31
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Karlsruher SC	  	31     7    6 	18     31:59  -28    27
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Hansa Rostock (N)	  	31     5   11 	15     28:53  -25    26 
18  Alemannia Aachen	  	31     4   13 	14     27:43  -16    25

Greuther Fürth is going up, and St.Pauli may have missed the boat. Ironically, it was veteran Gerald Asamoah, with St.Pauli last year, who stabbed the Paulistas in the heart.

Let the riots begin. (Well, I suppose they’ve been ongoing in Rostock). With Hansa showing some signs of life, Rostock and their fans certainly could expect a good effort and high probability of a win against fellow relegation struggler FSV Frankfurt. BZZZZT! Biatch-slap!!! Hansa ran around aimlessly like chickens with their heads cut off, but FSV was determined and ruthless. The Bornheimers must have felt like shooting fish in a barrel, as they romped home to a famous victory.

Seeing what their little cousins did to Rostock, Eintracht was in the mood to do the same to another eastern team. Erzgebirge Aue tried, but was inferior across the board, so it was only a question of when and how much. Alex Meier, probably the top player in the 2.Liga, opened up the scoring under a half hour, and it was one way football for the whole match. Easy win for Eintracht, probably sealing their immediate return to the Bundesliga. Aue might as well just forget this one and concentrate on avoiding relegation.

Aachen could have won in Duisburg, but they didn’t take their chances. The Zebras did, and took a big step towards eliminating their relegation worries.

Bochum needed a win, but once again was feeble. On the plus side, they finally scored a goal, but they were outplayed by 1860 for most of the match, and were on the way to another deserved loss. However deep into injury time Kevin Vogt scored the equalizer and gained what might be a precious point.

Ingolstadt remains unbeaten since the winterbreak, and the win over Karlsruhe basically ensures the Schanzer stay up. Somewhat umlucky match for KSC, as they fell behind early, but worked very hard to get back into the match. They chased the lead for a hour and then got the equalizer, but near the end they conceded the bitter goal that leaves them in the relegation zone. They might still have a chance against Cottbus and Aue, since those clubs are sinking like a stone, but most likely their only hope is to defend the relegation playoff spot against Rostock and Aachen.

WSV blog: That’s what I’m talking about!!

WSV travels to leaders Lotte and beats them up! Shows what Wuppertal is capable up when they just focus.

Lotte is the likely promotion favorite, and certainly expected a win. (Not that anyone cares, since they have zero fans and nobody has ever heard of them). And they grabbed the lead and seemed to be on their way. But WSV wasn’t phased and soon the outstanding Maciej Zieba equalized, after the combo with Ben Baltes and Tom Moosmayer. WSV then stunned their hosts by taking the lead when Marcel Landers floated in a freekick – meant as a cross – that ended up in the net. In the 2nd half, it was the Zieba show, as first his inside pass could only be knocked in for an own goal, and then he put home another cross from Mossmayer. 1-4 and the rout was on…not. This is WSV, and they can never make things easy. Soon after Felix Haas got his ass red carded, giving Lotte some hope. The leaders threw everything into attack and came storming back. WSV defended desperately for a while, and then in injury time, a couterattack by Marco Quotschalla finished the match.

Despite scoring 5 times, it’s a bit surprising that Christian Knappmann didn’t notch one. Perhaps he shot his wad midweek at Kaiserslautern…

A nice win for WSV, but mostly as a reminder of what could have been. If they hadn’t been dicking around mid season (and early season and for the most part late season too…hey, all season), this could have been a promotion decider – with Wuppertal at least returning to the 3.Liga. As it is, Lotte could probably care less, as their promotion rivals Dortmund II and Gladbach II also lost.

WSV has a makeup home match Tuesday against Bayer Alka-Seltzer Light (Luserkusen II), who basically suck in 17th place. So if the pattern continues, WSV will probably stink and lose disgracefully, and the fans will only console themselves with “Runge raus!!” chants.

Sportfreunde Lotte - Wuppertaler SV 3:5 (1:2)

Attendance: 920 (connectM-Arena)

1:0 Wingerter (7.)
1:1 Zieba (21.)
1:2 Landers (25.)
1:3 M. Lorenz (49., own goal)
1:4 Zieba (53.)
2:4 Kotuljac (74.)
3:4 Engelmann (76., penalty rebound)
3:5 Quotschalla (90. + 3)  

LOTTE:

Buchholz -
Grieneisen, Dal. Gataric, Czyszczon, Zinke -
Wingerter, Zech       -
Loose , M. Lorenz    -
Engelmann, Kotuljac    

Subs:
Schlösser (46., Dal. Gataric)
Assauer (67., Zech)
Maddente  (71., Wingerter)

Trainer: Walpurgis

WUPPERTAL:

Semmler -
El Hammouchi, Flottmann, F. Haas, Herzenbruch    -
Landers, Fleßers, Moosmayer, Baltes    -
Zieba         -
Knappmann  

Subs:

Schlieter (58., Baltes)
Quotschalla (74., Landers)
Meier (86., Knappmann)

Trainer: Bruns

Bundesliga, Round 31

Dortmund marches towards the title, Kaiserslautern does a Google-Maps search to find Sandhausen…

VfB Stuttgart	        -    Werder Bremen	 4:1 (2:1)    59,000

                       0:1  Rosenberg (25., Marin)
                       1:1  Gentner (37., Molinaro)
                       2:1  Harnik (45. + 1, Niedermeier)
                       3:1  Harnik (53., Ibisevic)
                       4:1  Cacau (89., Sakai)

FC Schalke 04	        -    Borussia Dortmund	 1:2 (1:1)    61,673

                       1:0  Farfan (9.)
                       1:1  Piszczek (17.)
                       1:2  Kehl (63.)

Hamburger SV	        -    Hannover 96	 1:0 (1:0)    57,000

                       1:0  Son (12.)

1. FC Kaiserslautern	-    1. FC Nürnberg	 0:2 (0:1)    42,000

                       0:1  Didavi (42., Frantz)
                       0:2  Pekhart (73., Didavi)

VfL Wolfsburg	        -    FC Augsburg	 1:2 (1:1)    25,143

                       0:1  Oehrl (13.)
                       1:1  Helmes (27., Mandzukic)
                       1:2  S. Langkamp (88., Bellinghausen)

Bayer Leverkusen	-    Hertha BSC Berlin	 3:3 (1:0)    27,000

                       1:0  Schürrle (44., Barnetta)
                       2:0  Kießling (51., Rolfes)
                       2:1  Lasogga (62., Lell)
                       2:2  Torun (71., Rukavytsya)
                       2:3  Torun (77., Raffael)
                       3:3  Kießling (84., Castro)

Bayern München	        -    1. FSV Mainz 05	 0:0 (0:0)    69,000

Sunday:

Borussia M'gladbach	-    1. FC Köln	         3:0 (1:0)    52,990

                       1:0  Arango (19.)
                       2:0  Jantschke (53., Reus)
                       3:0  Reus (55., Arango)

SC Freiburg	        -    1899 Hoffenheim	 0:0 (0:0)    23,500



 1  Borussia Dortmund (M)	31    22    6 	 3    69:23  +46    72
 2  Bayern München	  	31    20    4 	 7    69:20  +49    64 
 3  FC Schalke 04 (P)	  	31    18    3 	10    66:41  +25    57
 4  Borussia M'gladbach	  	31    16    8 	 7    46:22  +24    56
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  VfB Stuttgart	  	31    14    7 	10    59:41  +18    49
 6  Bayer Leverkusen	  	31    12    9 	10    46:43  +3     45
 7  Hannover 96	  	        31    11   11 	 9    39:43  -4     44
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 8  Werder Bremen	  	31    11    9 	11    45:50  -5     42 
 9  1899 Hoffenheim	  	31    10   11 	10    38:40  -2     41 
10  VfL Wolfsburg	  	31    12    4 	15    42:56  -14    40 
11  1. FC Nürnberg	  	31    11    5 	15    33:42  -9     38 
12  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	31     9   10 	12    47:48  -1     37 
13  SC Freiburg	  	        31     9    9 	13    41:56  -15    36 
14  Hamburger SV	  	31     8   10 	13    34:55  -21    34 
15  FC Augsburg (N)	  	31     7   12 	12    34:48  -14    33
----------------------------------------------------------------------
16  1. FC Köln	  	        31     8    5 	18    36:66  -30    29
----------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)	31     6   10 	15    34:57  -23    28 
18  1. FC Kaiserslautern	31     3   11 	17    19:46  -27    20

Stuttgart opened the round on Friday night with an ass-kicking against Bremen. Despite falling behind, VfB wasn’t ruffled, and pressed hard against weakened Werder. They broke through just before the halftime whistle, and in the second half overran Bremen to largely ensure their Europa-liga qualification.

The 140th “Revier-derby” between Schalke and Dortmund was a typical hard fought match, with neither team giving quarter. Jefferson Farfan opened the scoring with a beautiful blast from the rightside across the goal. A few minutes later, Lukas Piszcek did almost the identical from the leftside. The match continued back and forth, with the crowd at a fever pitch. Sebastian Kehl poked in the game winner a little after an hour. On balance, perhaps Dortmund had a slight edge, but it was miniscule. However, the difference seems to be that they know how to win when the game is on the line, and Schalke flounders.

Bayern München clearly felt the pain from the midweek loss at Dortmund. They were somewhat lackadasical, dominating the match, but with little urgency. Mainz was content to let the hosts dick around aimlessly and pretend they were trying to win. In the end, points get split and the title is pretty much Dortmund’s now. Good result for Mainz.

Augsburg might have got the key points that will keep them up. Wolfsburg dominated the whole match, furiously attacking the Fuggers. But GK Simon Jentzsch was superb. Veteran Jentzsch had played some 7 years for Wolfsburg, and in his return to the VW-Arena was almost unbeatable. While Augsburg was defending desperately, it’s not surprisingly that the VWs made a couple of defensive mistakes, which led to both FCA goals and a famous away victory, giving them critical points and putting immense pressure on the fellow strugglers in the “zone”.

Losing, playing crap, now a red card and a penalty: Hertha looked dead and buried. But GK Thomas Kraft stopped Simon Rolfes penalty and the Berliners amazingly stormed back to take the lead. Luserkusen eventually squared the match, but was unable to get the win. Another crap performance for the Aspirins – how could they let this one get away? -, but a good result for Hertha. They’ve still got a chance to save themselves, and it’s clear they haven’t given up yet.

Hamburg won an important northern derby against Hannover. HSV has been struggling and needed the points. South Korean forward Heung-min Son has been ho-hum most of the season, but was red hot especially early. his dribbling and running caused chaos in the 96er defense, and his early goal ultimately gave HSV a critical win.

Kaiserslautern loses at home to Nürnberg, who pretty much have assured their stay for another year. It was a deserved victory for der Club, as aside from a period after the restart, FCN had the match under control. FCK only had that period in the 2nd half when they looked like they might get something, but once again, it was only an ilusion. They suck, and they’re going down. Hello Sandhausen!

Gladbach and Köln met in a Rhein derby that was pretty one-sided. Köln was pretty crap, so it wasn’t much of a contest. Juan Arango curled a nice free kick to open the scoring and Gladbach never looked back. Marco Reus dribbled right up the middle through the lame Goats defense to put the finish on.

Freiburg and Hoffenheim played to a scoreless draw, but there was a surprising amount of action and chances. Both clubs could have won, the Hoppers spent a lot of time whining about a penalty they thought they deserved. Freiburg really has no relegation worries, and Hoffenheim still has a miniscule chance to sneak into Europe.

3.Liga, Round 35

The promotion and relegation races couldn’t get much hotter.

Werder Bremen II      -    VfL Osnabrück	 0:2 (0:2)    1,132
SV Sandhausen	      -    VfB Stuttgart II	 1:0 (0:0)    4,490
Preußen Münster	      -    1. FC Saarbrücken	 1:0 (0:0)    6,121
1. FC Heidenheim      -    Wacker Burghausen	 1:1 (1:0)    8,100
SpVgg Unterhaching    -    Jahn Regensburg	 2:3 (1:2)    1,450
Chemnitzer FC	      -    SV Wehen Wiesbaden	 1:1 (0:0)    5,800
Carl Zeiss Jena	      -    SV Darmstadt 98	 2:1 (2:1)    4,547
SV Babelsberg 03      -    VfR Aalen	         2:0 (1:0)    1,820

Sunday:

Kickers Offenbach     -    Rot-Weiß Erfurt	 2:0 (1:0)    6,299
Rot-Weiß Oberhausen   -    Arminia Bielefeld	 0:1 (0:1)    6,135


 1  SV Sandhausen	  	35    18    9 	 8    53:37  +16     63 
 2  VfR Aalen	  	        35    17    9 	 9    46:36  +10     60
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Chemnitzer FC (N)	  	35    15   10 	10    47:37  +10     55
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Jahn Regensburg	  	35    14   12 	 9    51:39  +12     54 
 5  Wacker Burghausen	  	35    12   18 	 5    50:40  +10     54 
 6  1. FC Heidenheim	  	35    14   11 	10    42:34  +8      53 
 7  Kickers Offenbach	  	35    14   10 	11    44:35  +9      52 
 8  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	35    12   14 	 9    46:40  +6      50 
 9  VfL Osnabrück (A)	  	35    12   13 	10    40:33  +7      49 
10  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	35    11   14 	10    54:47  +7      47 
11  Preußen Münster (N)	  	35    11   14 	10    37:38  -1      47 
12  VfB Stuttgart II	  	35    11   12 	12    39:43  -4      45 
13  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	35    10   14 	11    48:55  -7      44
14  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	35    10   12 	13    42:44  -2      42 
15  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	35    11    8 	16    56:53  +3      41 
16  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	35     9   13 	13    37:45  -8      40 
17  SV Babelsberg 03	  	35    10   10 	15    40:54  -14     40
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Rot-Weiß Oberhausen (A)	35     8   14 	13    32:40  -8      38 
19  Carl Zeiss Jena	  	35     8   11 	16    36:56  -20     35 
20  Werder Bremen II	  	35     4   10 	21    29:63  -34     22

Huge win for Babelsberg as they dump co-leaders Aalen and continue the fierce struggle against relegation. Dominik Stroh-Engel (“Straw Angel”) notched both goals in a hotly contested match. Aalen couldn’t get a grip on the desperately fighting Potsdamers, who deservedly take the points. Sandhausen had a hard fought win over Stuttgart II, and continue at the top. This just about assures SVS is getting promoted.

Big match in Heidenheim with Burghausen ended in a draw. (What else? The 3.Liga has more ties than any other league, and Burghausen is the king, 18 draws already! Overall the 3.Liga has about 34% draws, the 2.Liga 29%, and the Bundesliga only 27%)

Chemnitz barely holds on to the coveted 3rd position, but they struggled at home to Wehen. The villagers are struggling against relegation and gave a solid performance, having CFC on the ropes for much of the match.

Jena isn’t quite dead yet. A desperate effort in a relegation battle with Darmstadt ended in a win, but it was very nerve racking. After a good first half giving them the lead, Jena had to hold off Darmstadt for 40 minutes a man down to preserve the required win. 5 points from safety is quite a hurdle, but at least they’re still mathematically alive.

Big win for Offenbach, who swap places with Erfurt. This keeps the Kickers in touch for 3rd, but pretty much ends Erfurt’s hope. RWE was very weak, especially in the 1st half, so they shouldn’t complain.

A fiercely contested match between two of the “Bundesliga-skandal” clubs of the early 70′s ends with Bielefeld getting a massive win. Manuel Hornig got the goal that allowed Arminia to kidnap the points. Oberhausen attacked the Arminia goal non-stop in the 2nd half, but the visitors defense held firm. A crucial defeat for RWO, that leaves them in a relegation spot. Of course, there’s plenty of opportunity to save themselves. They’ve been playing well recently, but it’s a dogfight at the bottom. For Bielefeld, this may be just enough to hold on. That’s a positive thing, since especially early in the season, Arminia was a disaster and looked ready to drop again. They stabilized the ship somewhat and just about look safe.

Misc News

1. FC Köln fired head coach Ståle Solbakken on Thursday after the debacle in Mainz. He will be replaced in the interim by Frank Schaefer. The Solbakken appointment never made much sense, as the Norwegian never had any experience in German football, either as a player or manager. His career was spent in Norway and Denmark. Sometimes these picks work out, but often they don’t. Of course, Köln has pretty much sucked, especially in the 2nd half. The only player performing is Lukas Podolski, and he’ll be sold in the summer. You can’t blame Solbakken for having crummy players, but Köln has shown a lack of fight, at least when you compare them to less talented squads like Freiburg or Augsburg. (Of course, Köln doesn’t have much talent either). This is really on the incompetant management, which once again has this famous club on the verge of bankruptcy and the abyss.

 

 

Bundesliga, Round 30 midweek: Dortmund on top!

Dortmund takes the match of the season by defeating Bayern, and might have just sealed the Bundesliga title.

Hertha BSC Berlin   -  	 SC Freiburg	        1:2 (0:1)    45,778

                   0:1  Hubnik (7., own goal, Dembelé)
                   0:2  Freis (67., Dembelé)
                   1:2  Hubnik (81., Raffael)

FC Augsburg	    -  	 VfB Stuttgart	        1:3 (1:2)

                   1:0  Rafael (5., penalty, M. Ndjeng)
                   1:1  Tasci (24., Hajnal)
                   1:2  Harnik (34., Hajnal)
                   1:3  Ibisevic (84., Gentner)

1. FSV Mainz 05	    -  	 1. FC Köln	        4:0 (3:0)    34,000

                   1:0  Polanski (19., penalty, Szalai)
                   2:0  Zidan (31., N. Müller)
                   3:0  N. Müller (37., Choupo-Moting)
                   4:0  Szalai (54., Soto)

Werder Bremen	    -  	 Borussia M'gladbach	2:2 (1:0)    42,100

                   1:0  Rosenberg (18., Pizarro)
                   1:1  Hanke (52., Arango)
                   1:2  Hanke (66., Reus)
                   2:2  Naldo (74., Junuzovic)

Borussia Dortmund   -  	 Bayern München	        1:0 (0:0)    80,720

                   1:0  Lewandowski (77., Großkreutz)

1. FC Nürnberg	    -  	 FC Schalke 04	        4:1 (3:0)    44,031

                   1:0  Balitsch (25., Didavi)
                   2:0  Simons (37., penalty, Frantz)
                   3:0  Didavi (45., Chandler)
                   3:1  Holtby (85., Huntelaar)
                   4:1  Didavi (87.)

1899 Hoffenheim	    -  	 Hamburger SV	        4:0 (2:0)    27,000

                   1:0  Vestergaard (17., Weis)
                   2:0  Salihovic (25., penalty, Schipplock)
                   3:0  Johnson (51., Salihovic)
                   4:0  Schipplock (59., Vukcevic)

Bayer Leverkusen    -  	 1. FC Kaiserslautern	3:1 (1:1)    25,627

                   1:0  Kießling (1., Derdiyok)
                   1:1  Derstroff (42., Fortounis)
                   2:1  Rolfes (57., Castro)
                   3:1  Reinartz (69., Barnetta)

Hannover 96	    -  	 VfL Wolfsburg	        2:0 (1:0)    43,800

                   1:0  M. Diouf (44., Schlaudraff)
                   2:0  Ya Konan (77., Schlaudraff)

 1  Borussia Dortmund (M)	30    21    6 	 3     67:22  +45    69
 2  Bayern München	  	30    20    3 	 7     69:20  +49    63
 3  FC Schalke 04 (P)	  	30    18    3 	 9     65:39  +26    57
 4  Borussia M'gladbach	  	30    15    8 	 7     43:22  +21    53
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  VfB Stuttgart	  	30    13    7 	10     55:40  +15    46
 6  Bayer Leverkusen	  	30    12    8 	10     43:40  +3     44
 7  Hannover 96	  	        30    11   11 	 8     39:42  -3     44
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 8  Werder Bremen	  	30    11    9 	10     44:46  -2     42
 9  1899 Hoffenheim	  	30    10   10 	10     38:40  -2     40
10  VfL Wolfsburg	  	30    12    4 	14     41:54  -13    40
11  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	30     9    9 	12     47:48  -1     36
12  1. FC Nürnberg	  	30    10    5 	15     31:42  -11    35
13  SC Freiburg	  	        30     9    8 	13     41:56  -15    35
14  Hamburger SV	  	30     7   10 	13     33:55  -22    31
15  FC Augsburg (N)	  	30     6   12 	12     32:47  -15    30
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16  1. FC Köln	  	        30     8    5 	17     36:63  -27    29
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17  Hertha BSC (N)	  	30     6    9 	15     31:54  -23    27
18  1. FC Kaiserslautern	30     3   11 	16     19:44  -25    20

In the match of the season, Dortmund upended Bayern and may have decided the title. The match was played at a furious pace, both teams giving no quarter. Despite fighting for everyball, it was very fair (no cards) and the ref was on top of every call. The winner was a cheeky backheel from Robert Lewandowski, as he redirected Kevin Grosskreutz shot from the top of the box. No chance for the otherwise superb Neuer. However, the Neons really need to tone down the excitement of the last 5 minutes. Luckily they pack in over 80,000, since several fans undoubtedly had heartattacks in the last minutes against Stuttgart and Bayern. After the goal, Bayern threw everything forward in a desperate attempt to save the match. Weidenfeller saved a penalty from Robben, Subotic headed off his own crossbar – Robben blasting the point blank rebound 50 yards over, and in a blitz counterattack, Lewandowski lifted over Neuer only to be denied by the underside of the bar! A great match, probably on balance a fair win for the Neons, and one that might just allow Dortmund to make it back-to-back. Certainly makes the rematch in the Cup final even juicier…

Berlin looks more like they’re going down, but Freiburg will hang around. SCF was clearly the better team, and took advantage of Hertha’s mistakes. The Berliners can still save their sorry asses, but they can’t be dumping points. This pretty much assures safety for the Breisgauers though, as I can’t imagine them getting relegated now.

Two vastly improved sides met in Augsburg, and it was the more experienced Stuttgart that grabs the points. FCA started well, as VfB was sleeping, but once Stuttgart grabbed the equalizer, the visitors gradually assumed control. Augsburg fought very bravely, but Stuttgart was too clever and talented to let them back in, and brings home the bacon. FCA is still in the danger zone.

Köln remains in serious trouble, as they got their ass pounded. Well, an early dubious penalty was the key, as Köln completely fell apart. Basically, Jemel touched Szalai on the shoulder. The Hungarian ran another 3 yards and then decided to fall down, and the ref acted like a wanker and gave a penalty. He should have called Immigration and had Szalai deported instead. But Polanski knocked home the freebie, and Mainz smelled blood and proceeded to clinically dissect the visitors. Of course, the penalty was a farce, but Köln sucked, so it’s hard to feel too much sympathy. Good result by Mainz, who can now pretty much relax.

Bremen and Gladbach battled furiously to a draw. This is actually a good effort for Werder, as they were down a man for over 60 minutes when Boenisch got his ass red carded. It didn’t seem to matter. Both teams pressed hard for a knockout blow, and although the point split really helps neither, it’s the fair result.

Traditionally, the Fanfreundschaft (“fan friendship”) between Schalke and Nürnberg is one of the longest in the Bundesliga. In general, it’s good natured, peace-and-love-kumbaya-ya-de-ya-da, and they try and help each other out against common enemies like Dortmund and Bayern or SpVgg Erkenschwick. (“Erk-Erk-Erken-schwick”. Sorry, I just had to throw that one in…) Apparently Schalke decided to take it more seriously this time, as they rolled over as Nürnberg kicked them in the nuts and grabbed 3 critical points against relegation. FCN was engaged and determined, Schalke flat and aloof, so no surprise they got horse-whipped.

Biatch-slap! Hamburg got stuffed in Hoffenheim. Actually, HSV started out well enough, but the Hoppers cold-bloodedly converted their chances and Hamburg fell apart like Rick Perry’s presidential campaign. Luckily, their relegation rivals also got “owned” (see “owned” videos on Youtube and you’ll get the idea), so at least HSV isn’t any worse off. But with crap performances, they have to be looking over their shoulder. Ho-hum for Hoffenheim, but they’ve established themselves midtable – it doesn’t get more middle than 10W-10T-10L – which is a decent accomplishment, as it looked a few matches ago that they were so disinterested that they would fold up and accept voluntary relegation.

After several frighteningly bad performances, a win for Luserkusen. Well, it’s against hopeless Kaiserslautern, so I’m not sure it should count. OK, the Aspirins did what they needed, basically just show up, let K-town run around energetically but aimlessly, then bang in a couple of goals and collect the points. Just what you’d expect from a side trying to sneak into Europe. A sharp Bayer (like last year under Heynckes) probably would have scored a half-dozen, but a win is a win…

The Niedersachsen derby between the two neighbors ended with a clear Hannover win. The 96ers had some luck though, as they showed up about 30 minutes late for the match. So Wolfsburg basically was like that Monty Python skit, Bournemouth Gynecologists vs the Watford Long John Silver Impersonators ( hwww.youtube.com/watch?v=ejTTJmJSHkk), except that Wolfsburg was missing the goal. Then the 96ers showed up, and proceeded to make the VWs pay for their wastefulness…

2.Liga, Round 30 midweek

All 3 bottom clubs win to heat up the relegation battle, and the promotion contenders struggle but keep pace.

Eintr. Braunschweig    -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth	   0:0 (0:0)    20,450

FC St. Pauli	       -   1. FC Union Berlin	   2:1 (0:1)    19,000

                      0:1  Karl (32., Belaid)
                      1:1  M. Kruse (59., Naki)
                      2:1  Bartels (90. + 2, Schachten)

Fortuna Düsseldorf     -   FSV Frankfurt	   1:0 (0:0)    25,107

                      1:0  Jovanovic (55., Ilsö)

Energie Cottbus	       -   Hansa Rostock	   0:1 (0:0)    12,100

                      0:1  Peitz (90., Blum)

Alemannia Aachen       -   VfL Bochum	           2:0 (2:0)    17,505

                      1:0  Odonkor (26., Uludag)
                      2:0  Streit (39.)

1860 München	       -   MSV Duisburg	           2:1 (0:0)    14,400

                      1:0  Vallori (58.)
                      1:1  Jula (69., Baljak)
                      2:1  Lauth (71., Rakic)

Erzgebirge Aue	       -   SC Paderborn 07	   0:2 (0:1)     7,230

                      0:1  Rupp (45. + 1, Proschwitz)
                      0:2  Proschwitz (68., Rupp)

Eintracht Frankfurt    -   FC Ingolstadt 04	   1:1 (0:0)    38,000

                      1:0  Idrissou (49., Rechtsschuss, Rode)
                      1:1  Akaichi (71., Rechtsschuss, Leitl)
 

Karlsruher SC	       -   Dynamo Dresden	   2:0 (0:0)    17,489

                      1:0  Rada (56.)
                      2:0  Krebs (76., Staffeldt)



 1  SpVgg Greuther Fürth	30    19    7 	 4    67:22  +45     64 
 2  Eintracht Frankfurt (A)	30    18    8 	 4    69:30  +39     62
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 3  Fortuna Düsseldorf      	30    15   12 	 3    58:29  +29     57
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 4  FC St. Pauli (A)	  	30    16    8 	 6    50:31  +19     56 
 5  SC Paderborn 07	  	30    15   10 	 5    47:34  +13     55 
 6  1860 München	  	30    15    5 	10    53:41  +12     50 
 7  1. FC Union Berlin	  	30    12    6 	12    47:50  -3      42 
 8  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	30     9   14 	 7    34:31  +3      41 
 9  Dynamo Dresden (N)	  	30    10    7 	13    45:49  -4      37 
10  VfL Bochum	  	        30     9    5 	16    35:50  -15     32 
11  MSV Duisburg	  	30     8    7 	15    36:44  -8      31 
12  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	30     6   13 	11    38:50  -12     31 
13  Energie Cottbus	  	30     7   10 	13    26:43  -17     31 
14  Erzgebirge Aue	  	30     7   10 	13    27:47  -20     31 
15  FSV Frankfurt	  	30     6   12 	12    36:56  -20     30
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16  Karlsruher SC	  	30     7    6 	17    30:57  -27     27
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17  Hansa Rostock (N)	  	30     5   11 	14    28:48  -20     26 
18  Alemannia Aachen	  	30     4   13 	13    27:41  -14     25

St.Pauli was in a tough battle with Berlin, and through grit and determination fought back and maintain their hope for promotion. But despite the dramatic injury time winner, this match will be forever remembered as the “Marius Ebbers” match. Think about all the wankers that play football, and then there’s guys like Ebbers. With only 10 minutes left, and St.Pauli desperately trying to win the match, Ebbers headed in the game winner. Well, at least the ref allowed the goal. But with Union players protesting, the ref went over and talked to Ebbers, who admitted that he handled the ball. So no goal. Obviously there was a bit of justice that St.Pauli did pull off a win a few minutes later, but it’s nice to know that there are some honest players out there. That’s cool, plus the added benefit that we don’t have to listen to Union whine ad nauseum like the Irish did about France…

Fortuna Düsseldorf had a hard time against a disciplined FSV Frankfurt fighting for survival. Fortuna deserved the win, which keeps them on course for promotion, but FSV deserves some kudos as well.

An absolutely massive win for Rostock, against ex-GDR rival Cottbus. The match itself was a drab, grim and boring as the ex-Commie state, balls being kicked in every direction except to a teammate, fans wanting to drink rubbing alcohol in desperation since the vodka had run out, and Erich Hoenecker making a speech…OK, it wasn’t quite that bad, but it was a horrible match that nobody wanted to win. However, Hansa stole the points at the whistle, and this is absolutely massive, as there is still hope on the Ostsee.

Aachen thoroughly dominated against a crap Bochum side. They’re still propping up the table, but there is a bit of hope. They could have turned this into a rout, as Bochum was just phoning it in, but ended up hitting the woodwork a few times.

Karlsruhe also put in a good performance and deservedly won against Dresden. Dynamo didn’t show much, and with KSC showing drive and determination, it was just a matter of time before the Badeners broke through. They’ve got a chance of sneaking into 15th and saving themselves outright, so the relegation battle is far from over.

Paderborn got a nice win in Aue to keep pace with their promotion rivals. SCP controlled the match nicely, inflicting Erzgebirge’s first home defeat of the year. Aue has had a few flabby performances recently, and they need to be careful, since the relegation zone is gaining ground on them.

1860 got a basically worthless win against Duisburg. The Lions had their chances to play in the promotion race, but blew it, so this wins doesn’t mean much to them. For Duisburg, they’ve obviously improved, but still have to worry about relegation.

Eintracht Frankfurt missed a chance to go top, and like everybody else in the restart, they found Ingolstadt to be a tough nut to crack. In this particular case though it was the Schanzer’s Austrian GK Ramazan Özcan who brought tears of frustration to the Eintracht attackers. He was brilliant and stopped just about everything to keep Ingolstadt’s relegation buffer intact.

3.Liga, Round 34 midweek

Woth 4 matches to play, it’s still wide open. The battle for promotion has heated up again, and the relegation struggle remains merciless…

	
1. FC Saarbrücken    -   SV Sandhausen	        2:1 (2:0)    3,220
VfL Osnabrück	     -   SV Babelsberg 03	1:0 (0:0)    7,300
VfR Aalen	     -   Carl Zeiss Jena	4:1 (3:1)    4,421
SV Wehen Wiesbaden   -   SpVgg Unterhaching	0:0 (0:0)    2,298
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	     -   1. FC Heidenheim	2:0 (1:0)    4,419
Wacker Burghausen    -   Preußen Münster	1:0 (1:0)    3,300
VfB Stuttgart II     -   Werder Bremen II	1:0 (0:0)      310
SV Darmstadt 98	     -   Rot-Weiß Oberhausen	1:1 (1:1)    4,300
Arminia Bielefeld    -   Chemnitzer FC	        3:1 (0:1)    6,893
Jahn Regensburg	     -   Kickers Offenbach	1:3 (1:1)    1,745

 1  SV Sandhausen	  	34   17    9 	8     52:37  +15    60 
 2  VfR Aalen	  	        34   17    9 	8     46:34  +12    60
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 3  Chemnitzer FC (N)	  	34   15    9   10     46:36  +10    54
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 4  Wacker Burghausen	  	34   12   17 	5     49:39  +10    53 
 5  1. FC Heidenheim	  	34   14   10   10     41:33  +8     52 
 6  Jahn Regensburg	  	34   13   12 	9     48:37  +11    51 
 7  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	34   12   14 	8     46:38  +8     50 
 8  Kickers Offenbach	  	34   13   10   11     42:35  +7     49 
 9  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	34   11   14 	9     54:46  +8     47 
10  VfL Osnabrück (A)	  	34   11   13   10     38:33  +5     46 
11  VfB Stuttgart II	  	34   11   12   11     39:42  -3     45 
12  Preußen Münster (N)	  	34   10   14   10     36:38  -2     44 
13  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	34   10   12   12     41:42  -1     42 
14  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	34   11    8   15     54:50  +4     41
15  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	34    9   14   11     47:55  -8     41 
16  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	34    9   12   13     36:44  -8     39 
17  Rot-Weiß Oberhausen (A)	34    8   14   12     32:39  -7     38
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18  SV Babelsberg 03	  	34    9   10   15     38:54  -16    37 
19  Carl Zeiss Jena	  	34    7   11   16     34:55  -21    32 
20  Werder Bremen II	  	34    4   10   20     29:61  -32    22

Saarbrücken upended a stale Sandhausen, and Aalen blasted Jena to claim a share of the lead. With 6 points over 3rd, both SVS and Aalen look good bets to go up, and Jena now almost sure to go down.

Bielefeld thumped Chemnitz in a critical match. The visitors have been flying high, unbeaten in 16 and challenging for promotion. They took the lead and looked winners here, but Arminia raised their game and get a critical win in the relegation fight.

Regensburg was stunned at home by Offenbach, so can’t take advantage of CFC’s failure. One might argue that the Kickers have redeemed themselves for the egg they laid against Wehen, and still have an outside shot at promotion. Erfurt seized their last opportunity as well, their win against Heidenheim tightening up the already crowded promotion race. Burghausen struggled, but prevailed against Münster to keep right in the middle of it.

In relegation battles, Oberhausen and Wehen picked up a critical point, and given their superior goal differential essentially get another against Babelsberg. The Potsdamers loss in
Osnabrück makes things very difficult.

Werder Bremen II is now officially relegated, and I suppose it’s only fair that a fellow Bundesligist nails in the final coffin. To be sure, Werder was not up to snuff, and given the injury problems of the BL squad, it’s not surprising that the talent was often sent up to the mothership.

Dortmund – Bayern showdown

Well, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or following the EPL, you’re probably full of expectation for this Wednesday’s clash between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern München. This will likely decide the Bundesliga title.

The current standings:

 1  Borussia Dortmund (M)	29    20    6 	 3    66:22  +44    66
 2  Bayern München	  	29    20    3 	 6    69:19  +50    63

If Dortmund win, it’s basically all over. But if Bayern win, it’s likely all over as well. Bayern has the better goal difference, which is basically worth a point. And if you look at the remaining schedule after this match, it clearly favors Bayern:

Borussia Dortmund               Bayern München 

Schalke 04 (A) 	                FSV Mainz 05 (H)
Borussia Mönchengladbach (H) 	Werder Bremen (A)
1. FC Kaiserslautern (A) 	VfB Stuttgart (H)
SC Freiburg (H) 	        1. FC Köln (A)

Dortmund has two tough matches, at Schalke and home to Gladbach. They could easily drop points there. They should stuff Kaiserslautern, who will probably be demoralized and relegated. They wrap up with a likely win against Freiburg, although SCF has been playing quite well recently and may need a result to stay up. So if you figure D-D-W-W, that’s about 8 points.

For Bayern, easy win against Mainz, probably a win at Bremen, who suck, although perhaps they’ll ride emotion to give Bayern a tough time. Stuttgart is hot right now, so that could be a problem, but I’d expect a win. Finally, they probably easily kick Köln’s ass on the final day. So you’re likely to get something like W-D-W-W, 10 points.

If the match ends in a draw, the title is still a toss-up. If the above prediction holds true, Dortmund hold the title. But there is a strong possibility that Bayern sweeps all four, so 12 points. Which means Dortmund will have to beat either Schalke or Gladbach and not lose to retain the championship.

Needless to say, Bayern has a historical advantage (38 W, 26 T, 21 L), but Dortmund has often sucked, especially in the old days. A more important stat is that Dortmund has won the last three matches, the last in München on a goal by Mario Götze. (The injured midfield stars, Dortmund’s Götze and Bayern’s Bastian Schweinsteiger, will probably be ready to go, so expect full strength lineups)

For Bayern, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery have been on a rampage, so I’d expect some problems for the Dortmund defense. But Dortmund’s team concept has worked pretty well, sp they should have plenty of play. Bayern’s GK Manuel Neuer is world-class, but can almost always to have some brain-fart to give the opponent an opportunity. Dortmund probably wastes more chances than anybody.

So who wins? It’s anybody’s game. But I suppose if I had to choose, I’d want Dortmund to win, since that’s good for German football…