3.Liga, Round 22

The 3.Liga now goes into winter-break until the end-of January.

A masterly performance by leaders Osnabrück in Offenbach, ripping the Kickers to shreds. VfL came out and dominated, and the home side was fortunate the match wasn’t over by half time. The only positive for the Kickers is that lousy weather meant that few fans showed up, as they would have been outraged.

Karlsruhe won their 8th in a row in a local mini-derby; I’m sure they’d rather not be playing the B-team, but their impovement in form has been rewarded by some decent fan support as they look for a quick return to the 2.Liga.

A hat-trick by Marco Königs was enough for Preußen Münster to keep pace at the top and send Darmstadt into despair. The match was lousy in the 1st half, but it looked like the guests might escape into halftime even, but Königs escaped from his marker and blasted home. Darmstadt had a decent chance to equalize just before half, but of course blew it. In the 2nd period Preussen raised their game and it was all over.

The only other match of consequence was Erfurt’s relegation thriller with Halle, decided in injury time, a nice Xmas present for RWE.

 	
Chemnitzer FC	      -   Wacker Burghausen	2:1 (2:0)    3,300
Kickers Offenbach     -   VfL Osnabrück	        1:5 (1:2)    4,703
Karlsruher SC	      -   VfB Stuttgart II	3:1 (1:1)   13,311
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	      -   Hallescher FC	        2:1 (0:0)    4,984
Stuttgarter Kickers   -   1. FC Heidenheim	0:2 (0:1)    3,250
Preußen Münster	      -   SV Darmstadt 98	3:0 (1:0)    6,102
 
SpVgg Unterhaching    -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden    canceled
1. FC Saarbrücken     -   Arminia Bielefeld     canceled
SV Babelsberg 03      -   Hansa Rostock         canceled
Borussia Dortmund II  -   Alemannia Aachen      canceled


 1  VfL Osnabrück	  	22   14   5   3     36:14  +22 	  47 
 2  Karlsruher SC (A)	  	22   12   7   3     39:14  +25 	  43
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Preußen Münster	  	22   12   7   3     38:17  +21 	  43
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Arminia Bielefeld	  	21   11   6   4     33:21  +12 	  39 
 5  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	21   11   6   4     36:26  +10 	  39 
 6  1. FC Heidenheim	  	21   10   4   7     36:31  +5 	  34 
 7  Chemnitzer FC	  	22    8   6   8     32:29  +3 	  30 
 8  VfB Stuttgart II	  	21    8   5   8     27:25  +2 	  29 
 9  Wacker Burghausen	  	21    9   2   10    27:30  -3 	  29 
10  Hansa Rostock (A)	  	21    8   5   8     22:27  -5 	  29 
11  Kickers Offenbach	  	21    7   5   9     30:29  +1 	  26 
12  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	21    7   4   10    28:35  -7 	  25 
13  SV Babelsberg 03	  	20    6   5   9     17:26  -9 	  23 
14  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	20    3   13  4     26:29  -3 	  22 
15  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	21    5   7   9     25:37  -12 	  22 
16  Hallescher FC (N)	  	22    5   6   11    18:32  -14 	  21 
17  Stuttgarter Kickers (N)	21    5   5   11    21:25  -4 	  20
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Alemannia Aachen (A)	20    4   7   9     20:30  -10 	  19 
19  Borussia Dortmund II (N)	21    4   6   11    19:38  -19 	  18 
20  SV Darmstadt 98	  	21    3   7   11    18:33  -15 	  16


A = Absteiger just Relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

1st line: Promotion to 2.Liga
2nd line: Promotion Playoff with 2.Liga 16th place
3rd line: Relegation to Regionalliga

Alemannia Aachen basically relegated due to pending insolvency.

BUNDESLIGA, Round 16

Europa top, Bundesliga flop. For Schalke and Dortmund, that seems to be the story.
Bayern is laughing all the way to the title, as their rivals stub their toes.

Bayern had a ho-hum win at Augsburg. The hosts fought hard in the Bavarian clash (hard to call it a derby, because a derby implies some rivalry and these clubs aren’t even on the same planet). Well, Augsburg played hard and looked to perhaps steal a point, but ruined it with a handball before half. Once behind, the match was over, as there is no way they are going to come back. Bayern was obviously vastly superior, but wasn’t too interested in pressing too hard, satisfied with routine win.

Dortmund can complain about the ref at least, as they were stunned at home by Wolfsburg. The VWs would have gotten massacred if Magath was still boss, but they’ve at least recovered some dignity. The Neons started out at a furious pace, assaulting the Wolfsburg goal and taking an early lead on Reus’ freekick. Somehow the VWs managed to stave off further disaster and then stunned the champs. Diego put in a penalty when Schmelzer was judged to have handled. Wrong. He used his knee, and to cap it off, Vierinha was offsides. While the Neons were still shocked, Naldo hammered in and all of a sudden the VWs were ahead. Dortmund came out in the 2nd half like they started, all out bombardment. They finally got an equalizer, only to be pegged back by another clever play by Diego, setting up Dost for the stunning winner. Great win for Wolfsburg, perhaps a Befreiungsschlag gegen den Abstieg (“freeing punch against relegation” – hard to translate) , but bitter disappointment for Dortmund.

Schalke at least can’t complain, as they were well beaten by surging Stuttgart and an outstanding Vedad Ibisevic. The Blues defense was just too shaky, and despite some decent moments in attack, Schalke deserved to lose. Hard match, certainly not tiddlywinks, with a couple of red cards in the 2nd half. You don’t need a PhD to guess that the Schalke red was that wanker Jermaine Jones, who can’t go a few games without kicking somebody in the balls. Anyway, good win for Stuttgart, well deserved.

Frankfurt is back on track with a thumping win over Bremen, due to a wild second half.
There was decent action in the first half, but both clubs went all out in the 2nd. Alex Meier once again grabbed a goal for Frankfurt, but Bremen soon equalized. Schwegler put the hosts in front with a long blast, then a defensive lapse gave Frankfurt a two goal lead. Werder tried hard to come back, but Frankfurt weathered the storm and finished off the match in style with an injury time goal.

Nürnberg gets an important win over Düsseldorf. FCN dominated the early goings, and it was Fortuna GK Giefer’s top form that prevented an early rout. Der Club then lost their way, as the guests came out stronger in the 2nd half and all of a sudden Nürnberg looked very shaky. However they were able to stem the collapse and then Feulner put things away in injury time.

Hoffenheim started off engaged under interim coach Frank Kramer, but collapsed once they fell behind. As a result, HSV really didn’t have to do very much to get the points. Both teams were crap, but obviously HSV sucked less. Hoffenheim really needs the winter-break, as they are headed down; the Hoppers have now dropped five straight. HSV is flailing around aimlessly as is their wont recently, but could easily sneak into Europe if they get their act together.

Freiburg had a decent handle on the match against Greuther Fürth, getting a deserved victory. The Briegauer however probably should have taken advantage of their chances to finish off the match, as the Greuther tried mightily in the last minutes, and perhaps should have had a goal. Too bad, you’re going down. Freiburg on the other hand can see a Europaliga spot as a reachable goal.

UPDATE:

Mainz had most of the play, but Gladbach scored the goals. Hanke came on in the 2nd half and quickly scored and then Arango lifted the ball into the net from 45 meters! Otherwise, it was Gladbach’s defense that held the quicker Mainz players in check, who probably deserved better.

Hannover beat down Leverksuen in an entertaining match, despite a difficult pitch. The Aspirins seemed to be the better squad, but kept getting themselves in trouble by conceding penalties. Thus ends Leverkusen’s dream – albeit tiny – of challenging Bayern at the top.

Total attendance 419,315 (avg 46,591), two sell outs


Hamburger SV         -   TSG Hoffenheim 1899     2:0 (1:0)   47,000
                    1:0  Rudnevs (27., Diekmeier)
                    2:0  Rudnevs (74)
 	
Borussia Dortmund    -   VfL Wolfsburg	         2:3 (1:2)   80,645 *

                    1:0  Reus (6.)
                    1:1  Diego (36., penalty)
                    1:2  Naldo (41., Diego)
                    2:2  Blaszczykowski (61., penalty, Lewandowski)
                    2:3  Dost (73., Diego)

VfB Stuttgart	     -   FC Schalke 04	         3:1 (2:1)   55,588

                    1:0  Ibisevic (2., Traoré)
                    1:1  Marica (12., J. Jones)
                    2:1  Ibisevic (38., penalty, Gentner)
                    3:1  Ibisevic (61., Holzhauser)

1. FC Nürnberg	     -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	 2:0 (1:0)   40,000

                    1:0  Polter (27., Feulner)
                    2:0  Feulner (90. + 1, Pekhart)

SC Freiburg	     -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth	 1:0 (1:0)   22,800

                    1:0  D. Caligiuri (15., Schmid)

FC Augsburg	     -   Bayern München	         0:2 (0:1)   30,660 *

                    0:1  T. Müller (40., penalty)
                    0:2  Gomez (62., Ribery)

Eintracht Frankfurt  -   Werder Bremen	         4:1 (0:0)   51,000

                    1:0  Meier (47., Oczipka)
                    1:1  Petersen (54., Arnautovic)
                    2:1  Schwegler (62., Rode)
                    3:1  Aigner (63., Occean)
                    4:1  Inui (90., S. Jung)
 

Sunday:
Borussia M'gladbach  -   1. FSV Mainz 05	 2:0 (0:0)    46,622

                    1:0  Hanke (58., Jantschke)
                    2:0  Arango (63.)

Hannover 96	     -   Bayer Leverkusen	 3:2 (1:1)    45,800

                    0:1  Castro (2., L. Bender)
                    1:1  Huszti (20., penalty, Huszti)
                    2:1  M. Diouf (57., Schlaudraff)
                    2:2  Kießling (58., L. Bender)
                    3:2  Huszti (69., penalty, Huszti)
 



 1  Bayern München	  	16   13   2   1     43:6   +37 	  41 
 2  Bayer Leverkusen	  	16    9   3   4     30:22  +8 	  30
 3  Borussia Dortmund (M, P)	16    7   6   3     32:19  +13 	  27
 4  Eintracht Frankfurt (N)	16    8   3   5     31:27  +4 	  27
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  FC Schalke 04	  	16    7   4   5     26:22  +4 	  25
 6  VfB Stuttgart	  	16    7   4   5     20:25  -5 	  25
-------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 7  Hamburger SV	  	16    7   3   6     18:18   0 	  24
 8  Borussia M'gladbach	  	16    6   6   4     24:25  -1 	  24
 9  SC Freiburg	  	        16    6   5   5     21:17  +4 	  23
10  Hannover 96	  	        16    7   2   7     31:29  +2 	  23
11  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	16    7   2   7     21:20  +1 	  23
12  Werder Bremen	  	16    6   3   7     27:28  -1 	  21
13  1. FC Nürnberg	  	16    5   4   7     16:21  -5 	  19
14  VfL Wolfsburg	  	16    5   4   7     17:25  -8 	  19
--------------------------------------------------------------------
15  Fortuna Düsseldorf (N)	16    4   6   6     18:21  -3 	  18
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  1899 Hoffenheim	  	16    3   3   10    22:38  -16 	  12
17  FC Augsburg	  	        16    1   5   10    11:28  -17 	  8
18  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (N)	16    1   5   10    10:27  -17 	  8


M = Meister, defending Champion
P = Pokal, defending Cup winner
N = Neuling, newly promoted

1st line: Champions League
2nd line: Europaliga (+ Cup winner)
3rd line: Playoff with 2.Liga 3rd place
4th line: Relegation to 2.Liga

2.Liga, Round 18

Kaiserslautern is floundering, and dropped their second straight. FCK started brightly, creating some good chances, but got nowhere. After that, Union was all over them. The Irons were resolute in their chances, and the FCK defense was half asleep. Good win for Union, further stabilizing. FCK is going to need some

Hertha took advantage of Lautern’s stumble, as the Berliners won a tough match in Paderborn. The match was largely equal in the 1st half, but Hertha had an edge early in the 2nd period. They took the lead and then held off furious Paderborn attacks. Good win for them on the road against a tough opponent. With 7 points on Lautern, Hertha looks good for a return to the Bundesliga.

Hardly anybody comes out to see FSV Frankfurt, and when the pitch is frozen and covered with snow, it’s likely to be even less. However this actually one of the best FSV squads in club history, at least if you look at their standings. The Bornheimers needed a win against tail-enders Sandhausen, another mini-club. They started quickly and the guests never really recovered.

MSV Duisburg is showing signs of life for the second week, as they won again, this time at Aalen. Both clubs played hard, given the circumstances. (Snow caused the match to be interrupted twice, as the field had to be cleared). Aalen can rightfully complain, as they really got robbed. They were denied a goal for “offsides”, and generally dominated the match, creating good chances. The Zebras played hard and waited for their chance, which came near the end when everybody was freezing their ass off. A fortunate win for MSV, but they’ll take it.

Bochum may look back and find out that this was perhaps the key in saving their ass. A critical bottom dweller match in Dresden, and VfL came out on top. Dynamo started out with furious assaults on the Bochum goal, but it was the visitors who struck. Then things topped even more in Dynamo’s favor, as Eyolfsson got his ass tossed for Bochum. But surprisingly, the Bochum defense held and Dresden basically just petered out like wimps, giving VfL their best result of the season.

UPDATE:

Köln gave evidence of their improvement as they gave leaders Braunschweig all they could handle. Despite falling behind, Köln continued their offensive, and looked like they were finally rewarded with a late winner. However in injury time Braunschweig was able to square the match. Overall, probably a fair result.

St.Pauli was stunned at home by Aue. Erzgebirge was solid in defense and deadly in attack. Both clubs struggled with poor field conditions, but obviously the easterners did a better job.

A hard-fought draw in Cottbus. Energie led most of the way, but was unable to keep down Ingolstadt. A late goal was the visitor’s reward in a decent performance, especially given rough field conditions.

A rather poor Bavarian derby, as neither side played really well. Regensburg, well, they’re no good, so at least they have an excuse. (They’re crap). 1860 was also played crap, but I’m sure what their explanation is. The fans were entertained, as at least things heated up in the 2nd half…the ref had to stop the match as 1860 fans threw fire bombs onto the pitch. Draw was a fair result.

 	
1. FC Union Berlin     -   1. FC Kaiserslautern	   2:0 (1:0)   16,750 *

                      1:0  Terodde (43., Quiring)
                      2:0  Terodde (66., Pfertzel)


FSV Frankfurt	       -   SV Sandhausen	   3:1 (2:0)    2,612

                      1:0  Verhoek (2., Schlicke)
                      2:0  Yun (13., Kapllani)
                      2:1  Ulm (64., Löning)
                      3:1  Kapllani (83.)

VfR Aalen	       -   MSV Duisburg	           0:1 (0:0)    4,555

                      0:1  Wolze (84., Jovanovic)
	
 	
SC Paderborn 07	       -   Hertha BSC Berlin       0:1 (0:0)    9,416

                      0:1  Ramos (65., Niemeyer)

Dynamo Dresden	       -   VfL Bochum	           0:3 (0:2)   20,660

                      0:1  Aydin (17.)
                      0:2  Dabrowski (25., Goretzka)
                      0:3  Kramer (88., Gelashvili)

Sunday/Monday:
	
FC St. Pauli	       -   Erzgebirge Aue           0:3 (0:0)   20,740 *

                      0:1  Hochscheidt (49.)
                      0:2  Sylvestr (76., Wiegel)
                      0:3  Wiegel (89., Könnecke)

Energie Cottbus	       -   FC Ingolstadt 04         1:1 (1:0)    6,745

                      1:0  Sanogo (5., Adlung)
                      1:1  Mijatovic (79., Biliskov)

Jahn Regensburg	       -   1860 München             1:1 (0:0)   12,500 *

                      1:0  S. Hofmann (57., penalty, Neunaber)
                      1:1  Stoppelkamp (85., Ziereis)

1. FC Köln	       -   Eintracht Braunschweig   2:2 (0:1)   38,000

                      0:1  Kumbela (23., Ademi)
                      1:1  Clemens (47., M. Lehmann)
                      2:1  Ujah (88., Matuschyk)
                      2:2  Bicakcic (90. + 1, Theuerkauf)



 1  Eintracht Braunschweig	18   12   5   1     31:12  +19 	  41 
 2  Hertha BSC Berlin (A)	18   11   6   1     34:14  +20 	  39
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  1. FC Kaiserslautern (A)	18    8   8   2     29:20  +9 	  32
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Energie Cottbus	  	18    8   5   5     26:20  +6 	  29 
 5  1. FC Union Berlin	  	18    7   6   5     27:23  +4 	  27 
 6  FSV Frankfurt	  	18    8   3   7     26:22  +4 	  27 
 7  1860 München	  	18    6   8   4     20:16  +4 	  26 
 8  VfR Aalen (N)	  	18    7   4   7     19:16  +3 	  25 
 9  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	18    6   7   5     22:21  +1 	  25 
10  1. FC Köln (A)	  	18    6   7   5     22:21  +1 	  25 
11  SC Paderborn 07	  	18    6   5   7     23:20  +3 	  23 
12  FC St. Pauli	  	18    5   6   7     18:22  -4 	  21 
13  Erzgebirge Aue	  	18    5   5   8     24:28  -4 	  20 
14  MSV Duisburg	  	18    5   3   10    16:30  -14 	  18 
--------------------------------------------------------------------
15  VfL Bochum	  	        18    4   5   9     20:33  -13 	  17
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Dynamo Dresden	  	18    3   6   9     18:28  -10 	  15
17  SV Sandhausen (N)	  	18    3   5   10    20:39  -19 	  14 
18  Jahn Regensburg (N)	  	18    3   4   11    20:30  -10 	  13


A = Absteiger just Relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

1st line: Promotion to Bundesliga
2nd line: Playoff with 16th Bundesliga
3rd line: Playoff with no.3 of 3.Liga
4th line: Relegation to 3.Liga 

3.LIga, Round 21

Snow wreaked havoc in the 3.Liga, so it sounds like it’s time for winter-hibernation. Half the matches were canceled due to unplayable pitch, although most of the top clubs were able to get their matches in.

It took Osnabrück a bit to get started, but they comfortably kicked Saarbrücken’s ass to remain on top. VfL maintains a slight lead at the top, and since it looks like a vicious promotion struggle, this could be crucial. Saarbrücken did nothing to suggest that they’re anything but the mediocre midtable club they are right now…

Halle desperately needs points, but unfortunately they hosted Karlsruhe, who after some stumbling has figured out the 3.Liga. So the Badeners kicked their hosts in the balls and ran off with their 8th straight win. KSC was really in control from the start, and despite running around a lot, HFC really had no chance.

Rostock had the edge early, but was unable to break down Unterhaching’s defense. Things seemed to be petering out to a draw, and then the mini-Münchenkins struck near the end, outraging the already pissed off Hansa fans. (Perhaps the freezing weather served to reduce the amount of rioting.) Nice robbery for Haching, keeping pace with the top.

Bielefeld had a hard time with Dortmund II. Arminia was largely chasing their tail, as the Dortmund Juniors ran around and pressed in the 1st half. The hosts were perhaps lucky that the vistors weren’t creating too many chances. But then early in the 2nd period, Dortmund ruined it, as Bitencourt got his ass tossed for a nasty foul. Arminia seized their opportunity and overran the B-Neons for the win, keeping in touch with the top.

 	
VfB Stuttgart II     -   Kickers Offenbach      canceled
SV Darmstadt 98	     -   SV Babelsberg 03       canceled
Wacker Burghausen    -   Alemannia Aachen       canceled
SV Wehen Wiesbaden   -   Stuttgarter Kickers    canceled
1. FC Heidenheim     -   Rot-Weiß Erfurt	canceled
Hansa Rostock	     -   SpVgg Unterhaching	0:1 (0:0)   6,700
Hallescher FC	     -   Karlsruher SC	        0:2 (0:1)   6,162
VfL Osnabrück	     -   1. FC Saarbrücken	3:0 (0:0)   8,600
Arminia Bielefeld    -   Borussia Dortmund II	4:2 (1:2)   7,598

Sunday:	
Chemnitzer FC	 -  	Preußen Münster	        2:2 (2:0)   3,150


 1  VfL Osnabrück	  	21   13   5   3     31:13  +18 	  44 
 2  Karlsruher SC (A)	  	21   11   7   3     36:13  +23 	  40
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Preußen Münster	  	21   11   7   3     35:17  +18 	  40
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Arminia Bielefeld	  	21   11   6   4     33:21  +12 	  39 
 5  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	21   11   6   4     36:26  +10 	  39 
 6  1. FC Heidenheim	  	20    9   4   7     34:31  +3 	  31 
 7  VfB Stuttgart II	  	20    8   5   7     26:22  +4 	  29 
 8  Wacker Burghausen	  	20    9   2   9     26:28  -2 	  29 
 9  Hansa Rostock (A)	  	21    8   5   8     22:27  -5 	  29 
10  Chemnitzer FC	  	21    7   6   8     30:28  +2 	  27 
11  Kickers Offenbach	  	20    7   5   8     29:24  +5 	  26 
12  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	21    7   4   10    28:35  -7 	  25 
13  SV Babelsberg 03	  	20    6   5   9     17:26  -9 	  23 
14  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	20    3  13   4     26:29  -3 	  22 
15  Hallescher FC (N)	  	21    5   6   10    17:30  -13 	  21 
16  Stuttgarter Kickers (N)	20    5   5   10    21:23  -2 	  20 
17  Alemannia Aachen (A)	20    4   7   9     20:30  -10 	  19
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	20    4   7   9     23:36  -13 	  19 
19  Borussia Dortmund II (N)	21    4   6   11    19:38  -19 	  18 
20  SV Darmstadt 98	  	20    3   7   10    18:30  -12 	  16
	
A = Absteiger just Relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

1st line: Promotion to 2.Liga
2nd line: Promotion Playoff with 2.Liga 16th place
3rd line: Relegation to Regionalliga

Alemannia Aachen basically relegated due to pending insolvency.

Champions League

Another successful round for the Bundesliga clubs, wrapping up the group stages.
Borussia Dortmund had an easy time beating Manchester City 1-0. The Neons rested several starters and still dominated the match against a stunningly crap City squad that puts in the worst ever performance of an EPL club in the league. Julian Schieber got the goal in front of a sold out Signal-Iduna (65,829, less than the usual 80,000, since the terrased Südtribune gets converted to seating to meet UEFA requirements)

Schalke split points with French champion Montpellier 1-1, and finish first in the their group. Not much to write about.

Bayern München was rather ho-hum, beating BATE Baryssau 4-1 to take a measure of revenge for their stunning earlier disgrace. A sold out Allianz (68,000, down from 71,000 for the Bundesliga) saw Bayern romp home easily, also winning the group.

So all 3 surviving Bundesliga clubs advance as Group stage winners. Let’s hope that we get some respectable performances in the knock-out rounds as well…

Fan Violence

A disturbing development has come forth in German soccer. Most of you have heard of neo-Nazi influence in some of the fan groups, but in Germany it’s largely been believed that this is only a problem in the former GDR. For clubs like Hansa Rostock, Dynamo Dresden and obviously Dynamo Berlin, it’s been a major problem. The so-called “Ultra” groupings in the west tend to be more left-wing or non-political in their outlook. Some right-wing supporter groups have been popping up however among “traditionals”, and in a somewhat German twist, rather than fight with other clubs, these groups have started pummeling their own rival fan groups within the club.

Alemannia Aachen has been struggling with this phenomenon. A right-wing group, the Karlsbande attacked the left-wing Ultras after a road match in Saarbrücken. (Presumably any Saarbrückers spoiling for a fight didn’t know what to think.) Some 10-20 fans were injured, and the local police was too stunned to react.

Aachen has long been the scene of a political show in the stands. The ACU-Ultras have frequently demonstrated against “Fascism, Racism, Violence and Homo-phobia”. The Karlsbande started as a split from the Ultras, from fans that wanted to be non-political. However after a short time, the neo-Nazis began to take over the group. One of the vocal leaders is supposedly Sascha Wagner, youth leader of the NPD (a semi-banned right-wing party). This has led to continuing strife between the two groups, as the Karlsbande has taken upon itself to rid the stands of Ultras. In an interesting aside, there seems to be some implicit support from the silent majority of Alemannia fans, who are tiring of the constant politicizing of the Ultras.

So what kind of numbers are we talking about? In reality, the vast majority of fans are exactly that: football fans. For Aachen, the club has maintained a strong level of fan support, and even though they’ve dropped to the 3.Liga, they still manage around 12,000-15,000 attendance per match. Estimates show that the ACU Ultras have about 80 hardcore members, and the Karlsbande about half that. So although their numbers are small, through their actions the groups wield disproportionate influence in the stands. They become the proverbial bad apple in the barrel that ruins it for everyone. (Obviously not all fan groups cause trouble, but the clubs and league have recently proposed steps to clamp down that have led to protests among all fan groupings across the spectrum. There was a recent “12-12″ protest across Germany where fans refused to enter the stadium until 12 minutes, 12 seconds to show their displeasure. However I doubt any of the clubs lost much sleep over that….)

To stem the recent violence, Alemannia has reacted by banning all material that references the Karlsbande, such as flags, banners, and prevents distribution of the magazine and any flyers. The ACU-Ultras have taken to build alliances with other left-wing oriented Ultra groupings, such as St.Pauli, Babelsberg and Munster.

Other clubs also seemingly having a problem are Düsseldorf and Braunschweig, like Aachen, having spent many years in the wilderness of the lower leagues. In the Bundesliga, reports have pointed fingers at the famous Südtribune terrace as having some problems with right-wing rowdies.

If you’re interested, you can get some additional info on the “Fan-Kultur” from the site in the “Essays” section: You’ll never walk alone: German Fan-Kultur

Babbel raus!

Hoffenheim has decided that they’re sucking too much, so they fired coach Markus Babbel. The desolate performance against bremen was the last straw, and GM Andreas Müller reasoned he had no choice, as the noose is tightening around his own neck. No word on who is going to take over, perhaps Jose Mourinho or maybe Pep Guardiola. If they want to stay German, perhaps Hennes Weisweiler or Helmut Schön could be persuaded to come out of, err, permanent retirement…

OK, I know I’m being silly, but Hoffenheim looks like a rudderless ship. I guess firing the coach is the only thing they could do, but Babbel was not a very good choice in the first place. The players appear uninterested and it’s unclear if even a semi-psycho like Felix Magath could “inspire” them. It would be entertaining if nothing else, since several players would have magath’s boot prominently imprinted on their ass, and Magath could then go and waste even more of Dietmar Hopp’s money…

WSV: Another worthless draw

Another worthless draw for Wuppertal, and a negative record as well. Officially, only 725 fans showed up (other sources gave a generous 753, but the lower number are official WSV numbers). It’s been pretty pathetic since the days of 30,000+ in battles against Düsseldorf and Bayern München, but this has got to take the cake. You figured things might suck when the club announced that it was temporarily banning all “flags and banners” because of fan behaviour at the last match against Essen. (Supposedly smoke bombs and rockets were hidden among the banners). Anyway, the WSV-Ultras responsible announced they would boycott, and since they’re about the only folks that even show up these days, I guess it would suck at the gate. Another silly direction by WSV, especially since they announced that they were going to allow banners and flags at later matches anyway. A game of chicken where both sides get the big “L”.

As for the match itself, not much to report except the usual suckitude. WSV started brightly, especially Tom Moosmayer pulling strings in midfield. Marco Neppe crossed in, and Christian Knappmann rose above everyone and headed in from 14 meters. His 12th goal, off last season’s pace, but still respectable. WSV had a few chances, but as usual wasted them disgracefully. Meanwhile, Verl barely crossed midfield, but eventually managed to get a shot off and equalized. Then they pulled everything back and dared WSV to do anything, clearly a suckers bet, since obviously WSV wouldn’t be able to score again, despite some decent opportunities.

BTW, if you’d like a nice perspective of WSV and Regionalliga football, check out Lenny Barea’s description of the WSV-Essen match last weekend: http://gomadorstopcaring.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/away-day-diary-wuppertaler-sv-borussia_30.html


WSV: 
Semmler – 
Schumacher, Reichert, Wiwerink, El Hammouchi – 
Neppe (81. Abel), Meier, Fleßers, Moosmayer, Quotschalla (75. Knetsch) – 
Knappmann. 
Trainer: Jörg Jung 

SC Verl: 
Mellwig – 
Reekers, Schmidt, Capretti, Kaminski – 
Bömer Schulte, Schröder –
Brinker (55. Krause), Haeder (83. Manstein), Großeschallau –
Kunstmann (89. Betram). 
Trainer: Raimund Bertels 

Scoring: 
1:0 Knappmann (30.)
1:1 Großeschallau (54.) 

Yellow cards: Brinker, Capretti, Krause, Haeder 

Referee: Niolaus Athanassiadis (Bad Salzdetfurth) 

Attendance: 725 (Stadion-Am-Zoo, Wuppertal)

REGIONALLIGA WEST
 	
SpFr Siegen	        -   Rot-Weiss Essen	     5:1 (4:0)   2,384
SpFr Lotte	        -   SSVg Velbert	     2:0 (0:0)     473
Wuppertaler SV 	        -   SC Verl	             1:1 (1:0)     753
Borussia M'gladbach II  -   Fortuna Köln	     0:3 (0:0)     380
FC Viktoria Köln	-   SV Bergisch Gladbach 09  4:4 (3:1)     915
SC Wiedenbrück 2000	-   VfB Hüls	             2:1 (0:1)     207
FC Schalke 04 II	-   Bayer Leverkusen II	     0:0 (0:0)     125
FC Kray	                -   Rot-Weiß Oberhausen	     1:0 (0:0)     590
VfL Bochum II	        -   1. FC Köln II	     1:3 (0:2)     150
MSV Duisburg II	        -   Fortuna Düsseldorf II    0:0 (0:0)     100


 1  Fortuna Köln	  	19    13  2   4     38:16  +22 	  41
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 2  FC Viktoria Köln (N)	19    12  4   3     46:24  +22 	  40 
 3  Sportfreunde Lotte	  	19    11  5   3     36:19  +17 	  38 
 4  FC Schalke 04 II	  	19    11  5   3     32:16  +16 	  38 
 5  Sportfreunde Siegen (N)	20    11  4   5     35:18  +17 	  37 
 6  Rot-Weiss Essen	  	19    10  6   3     31:24  +7 	  36 
 7  SC Verl	  	        20    7   7   6     40:30  +10 	  28 
 8  Wuppertaler SV 	  	19    7   7   5     31:26  +5 	  28 
 9  1. FC Köln II	  	19    7   6   6     35:32  +3 	  27 
10  VfL Bochum II	  	19    7   3   9     21:26  -5 	  24 
11  Rot-Weiß Oberhausen (A)	19    7   2   10    28:36  -8 	  23 
12  Bayer Leverkusen II	  	19    6   4   9     24:29  -5 	  22 
13  SSVg Velbert (N)	  	19    6   4   9     18:29  -11 	  22 
14  SV Bergisch Gladbach 09 (N)	19    6   3   10    20:34  -14 	  21
--------------------------------------------------------------------
15  SC Wiedenbrück 2000	  	19    5   5   9     27:34  -7 	  20
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  MSV Duisburg II (N)	  	19    4   7   8     20:27  -7 	  19 
17  Borussia M'gladbach II	19    5   3   11    17:33  -16 	  18 
18  FC Kray (N)	  	        19    5   2   12    20:38  -18 	  17 
19  VfB Hüls (N)	  	19    4   4   11    19:36  -17 	  16 
20  Fortuna Düsseldorf II	19    3   5   11    20:31  -11 	  14

Top club to playoffs. 
Bottom 5 clubs relegated, 15th relegated depending on 3.Liga

BUNDESLIGA, Round 15

The top clash between Bayern München and Borussia proved to be a tense, hard fought match. In reality, it probably wouldn’t matter, given the way Bayern has been playing, so they could play for a draw. But Dortmund has been a boogey-man for Bayern the last couple of years, so the Müncheners would be determined to win. For Dortmund, it seems they would need a win, else they’re essentially conceding their title to Bayern.

Bayern looked the better side, as Dortmund largely seemed content to let them come. Toni Kroos had a nice distant shot to put Bayern up, but the Neons answered with Mario Götze’s hammer. At the end, bayern was pressing for the win, and GK Roman Weidenfeller had to be sharp to preserve the draw. Overall, probably a fair result. The worst part for Bayern is that Holger Badstuber looked to have twisted his knee and had to be carted off.

Leverkusen has quietly moved up, but they were lucky against Nürnberg, winning on an offsides goal that the ref missed. The Nürnbergers showed no respect to their hosts, and took the game to them, but wasted their chances. The Aspirins weren’t in best form, but were just solid enough to get the win, albeit undeservedly.

Schalke – Gladbach is a classic, but the visitors are quite shaky compared to last season. So they buckled down and defended. In fact, they basically scored on their first shot – but only after an hour. Schalke ran up and down, but basically were banging their heads against Gladbach’s wall. A late goal by youngster Draxler saved a point, but they probably should have won this one.

Gutsy win for battling Mainz against Hannover. The hosts just wanted the match more. They were down a man for half the match (GK Wetklo handling the ball outside the box), but they kept fighting and were rewarded with a late win on Szallai’s goal. The 96ers should be scratching their head (or ass) wondering how they lost this.

Düsseldorf had been sinking after a decent start. Frankfurt had kept their outstanding start going. So in the match of promoted clubs, what would happen? Well, Fortuna has revived their season and they kicked Eintracht’s ass. The Frankfurters were on the back foot from an aggressive Düsseldorf, and then when Matmour got his ass tossed, they basically collapsed. The “english week” brought 7 points to Fortuna, getting them back on track.

Augsburg and Freiburg split the points in a low quality match. Lots of running around, especially by Augsburg, but not much skill on disaply. FCA tried to press for the win, but they’re just not good enough. Freiburg was apparently only interested in getting a point, so mission accomplished.

Greuther Fürth was probably the better team, but Stuttgart gets the points. The Greuther haven’t won in 13 matches, and not at all at home. And VfB was going to be very acoomodating, as Tasci got his ass tossed for a nasty foul after 53 minutes. But not enough to even get a point. Okazaki put in the rebound when Ibisevic missed a penalty, and the Stuttgarters made it stand up for the rest of the match.

UPDATE:
Bremen got a great performance from Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic, but since Hoffenheim was totally crap, perhaps it wasn’t even necessary. The hosts were terrible, so Werder had an easy time. Although the Hoppers played better in the 2nd half to look like they at least cared, Bremen only needed an average effort to spank their opponents.

It was two different halves in the northern derby. Hamburg was clearly better in the initial phase, but Wolfsburg came on strong and deserved the equalizer in the 2nd. Despite pressing for the win, the VWs fell just short. Overall, the draw was fair. Simon Kjaer, another of Felix Magath’s castoffs, got the Wolfsburg equalizer, once again rubbing in the faulty player policy of the ex-boss.

Total attendance was 330,203 (avg 36,689), two sellouts.

 	
Fortuna Düsseldorf     -   Eintracht Frankfurt	 4:0 (2:0)   51,345

                      1:0  Reisinger (38., Bodzek)
                      2:0  O. Fink (42.)
                      3:0  Rafael (58., Balogun)
                      4:0  Bellinghausen (85.)

FC Schalke 04	       -   Borussia M'gladbach	 1:1 (0:0)   61,373 *

                      0:1  de Camargo (62., Marx)
                      1:1  Draxler (85., Pukki)

Bayer Leverkusen       -   1. FC Nürnberg	 1:0 (1:0)   22,000

                      1:0  Kießling (37., Schürrle)

1. FSV Mainz 05	       -   Hannover 96	         2:1 (1:1)   28,277

                      1:0  N. Müller (10., S. Parker)
                      1:1  C. Schulz (28., Stindl)
                      2:1  Szalai (89., Polanski)

FC Augsburg	       -   SC Freiburg	         1:1 (1:1)   27,144

                      1:0  Werner (9., Callsen-Bracker)
                      1:1  Schmid (28., Rosenthal)

SpVgg Greuther Fürth   -   VfB Stuttgart	 0:1 (0:1)   17,443

                      0:1  Okazaki (45., Ibisevic)

Bayern München	       -   Borussia Dortmund	 1:1 (0:0)   71,000 *

                      1:0  Kroos (67., T. Müller)
                      1:1  M. Götze (74., Reus)

Sunday:
1899 Hoffenheim	       -  	Werder Bremen	 1:4 (0:2)   23,500

                      0:1  Prödl (21., de Bruyne)
                      0:2  Arnautovic (29., de Bruyne)
                      1:2  Salihovic (50., Roberto Firmino)
                      1:3  Arnautovic (73.)
                      1:4  Arnautovic (79., Akpala)
 
VfL Wolfsburg	       -  	Hamburger SV	 1:1 (0:1)   28,121

                      0:1  Beister (26., Rudnevs)
                      1:1  Kjaer (68., M. Schäfer)
 	


 1  Bayern München	  	15    12   2   1    41:6   +35 	  38
 2  Bayer Leverkusen	  	15     9   3   3    28:19  +9 	  30 
 3  Borussia Dortmund (M, P)	15     7   6   2    30:16  +14 	  27
 4  FC Schalke 04	  	15     7   4   4    25:19  +6 	  25
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  Eintracht Frankfurt (N)	15     7   3   5    27:26  +1 	  24 
 6  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	15     7   2   6    21:18  +3 	  23
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  VfB Stuttgart	  	15     6   4   5    17:24  -7 	  22 
 8  Werder Bremen	  	15     6   3   6    26:24  +2 	  21 
 9  Hamburger SV	  	15     6   3   6    16:18  -2 	  21 
10  Borussia M'gladbach	  	15     5   6   4    22:25  -3 	  21 
11  SC Freiburg	  	        15     5   5   5    20:17  +3 	  20 
12  Hannover 96	  	        15     6   2   7    28:27  +1 	  20 
13  Fortuna Düsseldorf (N)	15     4   6   5    18:19  -1 	  18
14  1. FC Nürnberg	  	15     4   4   7    14:21  -7 	  16 
15  VfL Wolfsburg	  	15     4   4   7    14:23  -9 	  16
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  1899 Hoffenheim	  	15     3   3   9    22:36  -14 	  12
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  FC Augsburg	  	        15     1   5   9    11:26  -15 	  8 
18  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (N)	15     1   5   9    10:26  -16 	  8

M = Meister, defending Champion
P = Pokal, defending Cup winner
N = Neuling, newly promoted

1st line: Champions League
2nd line: Europaliga (+ Cup winner)
3rd line: Playoff with 2.Liga 3rd place
4th line: Relegation to 2.Liga

2.Liga, Round 17

St.Pauli ended Lautern’s reign as the only unbeaten professional-club in Germany.

Overall, a well-played and hard fought draw in Aalen. The hosts were solid in the defensive half, and 1860, though more adventurous and attacking, was unable to gain much of an advantage. Ironically, although FCK often looks like they’re only going through the motions – probably the lamest unbeaten team ever – in this one they were full of fight and trying to win. Despite disadvantages, St.Pauli showed great spirit and would not be denied. This is what the club and fans expected from the Paulistas, but they haven’t shown it much during the season. FCK should realize that in the 2.Liga you’re never too far from somebody catching you.

Crap match in Regensburg between Jahn and Dynamo. Both sides had red-cards, and veteran captain Filip Trojan missed a penalty for Dresden. A draw seems about right, although both sides should have probably lost.

Instead of their usual sucking, Bochum actually played fairly decent, but come away with nothing, as Union willed themselves to a win. The Berliners have been tightening the ship and been in decent form recently, so the win is “in Ordnung”. You have to wonder what the hell is up in Bochum, considering they expected to challenge for promotion, not relegation. Although perhaps I misunderstood. In German, “Abstieg” is relegation; “Relegation” actually means playoffs, and there is a relegation playoff, so maybe that’s what they meant, hehehe…

Crap performance by Aue, blowing an opportunity to get some air at teh bottom. Sandhausen put in a gutty performance, especially they were down a man for almost half the match. Erzgebirge has had some decent results at home, but were without ideas, and were perhaps fortunate to even rescue a draw.

UPDATE:

Leaders Braunschweig were clearly superior, controlling the match at FSV Frankfurt. It wasn’t until the last few minutes when FSV threw everything into attack and got a goal that Eintracht had some uncomfortable moments. In the end, a deserved win for the leaders.

Köln looked pretty lame in the 1st half, as Ingolstadt showed tight defense and dangerous counters. However the visitors clearly ran out of gas and were worthless in the 2nd period, so it was easy for Köln to steer the match and hold the points. Crappy performance, but they get the bacon, so perhaps Köln is on the right path.

Duisburg shocked Paderborn in a largely lame match. It turned out to be a Tale of Goalkeepers. Paderborn’s Kruse got his ass tossed, giving MSV a penalty, and Duisburg’s Roland Müller (a German-Filipino and Phillipines International) came up with some good saves to preserve the Zebras crucial victory.

Hertha BSC grabbed an important win on the road at Cottbus, keeping pace with Braunschweig and getting a cushion over Kaiserslautern. (essentially 5 points). The match was pretty even and looked to peter out to a draw when Brazilian Ronny volleyed into the net.

Total attedance 122,860 (avg 13,651), one sellout

	
VfR Aalen	     -   1860 München	        1:1 (0:0)    9,342

                    1:0  Lechleiter (62., Valentini)
                    1:1  Wood (69., Bierofka)

Jahn Regensburg	     -   Dynamo Dresden	        0:0 (0:0)    6,500

FC St. Pauli	     -   1. FC Kaiserslautern	1:0 (0:0)   21,045 *

                    1:0  Ginczek (67., Buchtmann)

1. FC Union Berlin   -   VfL Bochum	        2:1 (1:1)   16,074

                    1:0  Karl (3., Kohlmann)
                    1:1  Dedic (23., Dabrowski)
                    2:1  Nemec (51., Kohlmann)

Erzgebirge Aue	     -   SV Sandhausen	        2:2 (1:1)    6,150

                    1:0  Hochscheidt (8., Könnecke)
                    1:1  Löning (39., Achenbach)
                    1:2  Fießer (62., Löning)
                    2:2  Paulus (80., penalty, Hensel)


Sunday:
1. FC Köln	     -   FC Ingolstadt 04	1:0 (1:0)   38,500

                    1:0  Ujah (45., Strobl)
 
SC Paderborn 07	     -   MSV Duisburg	        0:2 (0:0)    7,431

                    0:1  B. Kern (58., penalty, Jovanovic)
                    0:2  Perthel (79., Pamic)


FSV Frankfurt	     -   Eintr. Braunschweig	1:2 (0:2)    4,748

                    0:1  Kruppke (12., Boland)
                    0:2  Ademi (33., Kumbela)
                    1:2  Konrad (87.)


Monday:
Energie Cottbus	     -   Hertha BSC	        1:2 (0:1)   13,070

                    0:1  Kluge (16., Niemeyer)
                    1:1  Sörensen (54., Stiepermann)
                    1:2  Ronny (84.)
 	


 1  Eintracht Braunschweig	17    12   4   1    29:10  +19 	  40 
 2  Hertha BSC Berlin (A)	17    10   6   1    33:14  +19 	  36
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  1. FC Kaiserslautern (A)	17     8   8   1    29:18  +11 	  32
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Energie Cottbus	  	17     8   4   5    25:19  +6 	  28 
 5  VfR Aalen (N)	  	17     7   4   6    19:15  +4     25 
 6  1860 München	  	17     6   7   4    19:15  +4 	  25 
 7  1. FC Union Berlin	  	17     6   6   5    25:23  +2 	  24 
 8  FSV Frankfurt	  	17     7   3   7    23:21  +2 	  24 
 9  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	17     6   6   5    21:20  +1 	  24 
10  1. FC Köln (A)	  	17     6   6   5    20:19  +1 	  24 
11  SC Paderborn 07	  	17     6   5   6    23:19  +4 	  23 
12  FC St. Pauli	  	17     5   6   6    18:19  -1 	  21 
13  Erzgebirge Aue	  	17     4   5   8    21:28  -7 	  17 
14  Dynamo Dresden	  	17     3   6   8    18:25  -7 	  15 
15  VfL Bochum	  	        17     3   5   9    17:33  -16 	  14
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  MSV Duisburg	  	17     4   3  10    15:30  -15 	  15
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  SV Sandhausen (N)	  	17     3   5   9    19:36  -17 	  14
18  Jahn Regensburg (N)	  	17     3   3  11    19:29  -10 	  12 



A = Absteiger just Relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

1st line: Promotion to Bundesliga
2nd line: Playoff with 16th Bundesliga
3rd line: Playoff with no.3 of 3.Liga
4th line: Relegation to 3.Liga