Schalke, Dortmund pull even

The Bundesliga starts up after the winterbreak:

Round 18:

M'gladbach - Bayern       3:1 (2:0)   54,057   (Reus, Hermann 2 - Schweinsteiger)
Freiburg   - Augsburg     1:0 (0:0)   19,600   (Ginter)
Hoffenheim - Hannover     0:0 (0:0)   24,600
Schalke    - Stuttgart    3:1 (1:0)   61,673   (Matip, Papadopoulos, Draxler - Okazaki)
Wolfsburg  - Köln         1:0 (0:0)   27,057   (Polter)
Nürnberg   - Hertha BSC   2:0 (1:0)   40,000   (Esswein, Maroh)
K'lautern  - Bremen       0:0 (0:0)   40,381
Hamburg    - Dortmund     1:5 (0:2)   57,000   (Guerrero - Grosskreutz, Lewandowski 2, "Kuba" 2)
Leverkusen - Mainz        3:2 (2:0)   24,365   (Pospech, Friedrich, Bender - Polanski, Caligiuri)


 1  Bayern München  	        18   12  1   5 	  44:13 +31 	  37
 2  Borussia Dortmund (M)	18   11  4   3 	  40:13 +27 	  37 
 3  FC Schalke 04 (P)		18   12  1   5 	  41:23 +18 	  37
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 4  Borussia M'gladbach		18   11  3   4 	  28:12 +16 	  36
 5  Werder Bremen		18    9  3   6 	  30:31 -1 	  30
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 6  Bayer Leverkusen		18    8  5   5 	  25:24 +1 	  29
 7  Hannover 96			18    5  9   4 	  20:24 -4 	  24
 8  1899 Hoffenheim		18    6  5   7 	  19:19 0 	  23
 9  VfL Wolfsburg		18    7  2   9 	  24:34 -10 	  23
10  VfB Stuttgart		18    6  4   8 	  24:23 +1 	  22
11  1. FC Köln			18    6  3   9 	  27:36 -9 	  21
12  1. FC Nürnberg		18    6  3   9 	  19:28 -9 	  21
13  Hertha BSC (N)		18    4  8   6 	  24:28 -4 	  20
14  Hamburger SV		18    4  7   7 	  22:32 -10 	  19
15  1. FSV Mainz 05		18    4  6   8 	  24:32 -8 	  18
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  1. FC Kaiserslautern	18    3  8   7 	  13:21 -8 	  17
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17  SC Freiburg		        18    4  4   10   22:39 -17 	  16
18  FC Augsburg (N)		18    3  6   9 	  15:29 -14 	  15

As previously reported, Bayern was stunned in Gladbach in the opener. Great win for Gladbach, and Bayern will have to take notice that they’re in a dogfight.


Schalke completely dominated, and their relatively easy win over harmless VfB Stuttgart enables them to pull even with Bayern München at the top. There was a negative there however, as ace defender Benedikt Höwedes carted off to the hospital after a collision with his colleague Marco Hoeger. The result? A broken cheekbone and operation scheduled for Monday. The Blues could have scored quite a few more, and were unlucky that Huntelaar had a goal called back for a non-existant offside. Stuttgart looked pretty crap, and their only chances were well saved by Schalke’s young GK Unnerstall.

Dortmund also took advantage by stomping all over HSV in a packed Volksparkstadion in Hamburg. The Neons were faster, harder and resolute in slapping their hosts all over the field. Key were the two Polish players, Robert Lewandowski and Jakob Blaszczykowski (“Kuba”), each with two goals and an assist. This was certainly a shock for HSV, who have been in a mini-revival under Torsten Fink.

Freiburg got a huge win in their attempt to climb back from the dead. But it wasn’t easy. Despite controlling most of the game, SCF had nothing to show. With about two minutes left, Matthias Ginter, just promoted from the youth team and making his debut, headed home the winner. Augsburg didn’t show much except for a compact defense.

Leverkusen was cruising along easy against Mainz, who basically were taking a nap in the first half. The Aspirins figured to have it all wrapped up, but the visitors came storming out of the blocks to tie early in the second. Bender pulled Leverkusen’s eggs out of the fire, but Mainz will be kicking themselves to let a point slip away. A good fightback wasted.

Felix Magath spent almost 30 million euros on revamping his team, and it certainly didn’t like he got much in return. However, the VWs did manage to win late, although none of Magath’s expensive signings did the trick. Instead, it’s really just par for the course, since Magath hasn’t lost against Köln in some 14 straight matchess. Novakovic had a good chance to give the visitors the lead, but he blew it. Köln’s biggest victory was probably that Lukas Podolski hasn’t left in the transfer window yet.

Bremen and Kaiserslautern had a relatively exciting match, despite no goals. FCK continues to wonder where their scoring is going to come from, and they’d better figure it out if they want to stay up.

Hoffenheim and Hannover also had no goals, but this was more of a snoozer.

Finally, Nürnberg got an important win in their relegation battle with Hertha. The match was hard fought, but with little technical skill displayed on either side. Overall, probably a deserved win for der Club, in their 1,000th Bundesliga match. Berlin has some work to do, after firing their coach in winter and installing Michael Skibbe, who has been mediocre just about everywhere.

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