BUNDESLIGA, Round 14

Bayern München evidently decided to take the afternoon off against Braunschweig. The rampaging Arjen Robben got them off with a blitz start, and then the champions basically dicked around aimlessly. Braunschweig was obviously overmatched at all positions, but to their credit they tried hard in the 2nd half, and with some luck, could have been rewarded with a goal. Of course if Bayern were hungry, they probably scored at least a half-dozen, but they couldn’t be bothered.

After their absolutely disgraceful 0-5 Champions League farce at home to Manchester United, one could be forgiven for demanding the DFB hand out a forcible relegation to Leverkusen for damaging the reputation of German football. (BTW, I remember the Aspirins giving up something like seven goals at Barcelona a while back too.) However, I guess that it unlikely to happen. Meanwhile, the Bayer board promised greater effort, although it wasn’t really eveident for the first 30 minutes against a crap Nürnberg side. However, it’s Nürnberg, and “crap” is appropriate, so eventually the Aspirins decided to get serious and kicked their ass. Very troubling season for “der Club” fans, as they still wait for the first victory.

Mainz can feel a bit hard done by, as they battled Dortmund to a standstill. But a wild end spurt gave the match to the Neons, as Mainz’ Soto prevented a Neon goal into an empty net via a deliberate handball. That pretty much ended the hosts hope for a second comeback, and eventually Dortmund finished off the game in injury time. A pretty good match, and BVB seems to have recovered from their face slap from Bayern a week ago.

The northern derby between Wolfsburg and Hamburg was hard fought, and overall the splitting of points is the fair outcome. Perhaps a slight edge for the VWs in the 1st half, but not enough to gain an advantage.

A somewhat surprisingly dominant perforamnce by Schalke against Stuttgart. Usually you expect teh Blues to dick around and hope to get lucky, but they pressured their opponents from the start. Stuttgart tried, but really were without ideas, and were lucky that Schalke wasn’t greedy, or things could have got ugly. The Blues remain unpredictable, but seem on course for a Euro spot.

Crazy match in Hoffenheim, as the hosts and Bremen had a wild shootout. It was similar to that carnival game “Whack-a-mole”, where you have a hammer and try and club the moles that keep popping up out of holes. It proves to be a futile exercise. The Hoppers kept scoring goals, but Werder kept popping up and coming back. Hoffenheim should be somewhat upset that they essentially “won” the game twice, but their defense was crap and couldn’t hold the match. Werder coach Robin Dutt benched his GK Mielitz, but seeing how his replacement gave up four, it’s not clear who gets the laugh here.

Coach Jos Luhukay was the architect of Augsburg’s fight-till-you-drop mantra that has saved them in the Bundesliga, to just about everybody’s surprise. But he took a “demotion” to bring Hertha back from the 2.Liga. Now his Berlin side attacked furiously against the Fuggers, but FCA built a veritable wall in front of goal and held out. In fact Augsburg didn’t even generate a single chance on goal. Hertha might be highly frustrated, but can’t complain. Augsburg’s highlight, aside from a point, is that Halil Altintop played his 250th Bundesliga match, a record for a Turkish player. (Although both he and his twin Hamit were born in Gelsenkirchen, both opted to play for Turkey.)

Hannover won the battle of crisis teams as they largely dominated Frankfurt and end up with a solid win. The 96ers stop the rot and leapt well above the relegation zone. Meanwhile Eintracht remains a mess, and coach Armin Veh couldn’t handle it, so he got himself red-carded so he wouldn’t have to watch it. Most pundits think that won’t be much of a problem, as he’ll probably get canned soon.

Gladbach has quietly become one of the hottest teams. They struggled against a determined Freiburg, but the home side eventually broke through with their 7th home win. It also establishes them as the solid holder of the 4th spot for Champions League. Freiburg tried hard and were dangerous at times, and missed a huge chance to take the lead. But they end up with nothing and remain in the relegation playoff spot. However, they seem more focused than Frankfurt these days, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they soon passed them. With Nürnberg stinking and Braunschweig not good enough, it’s beginning to look like only the playoff spot is the worry point.

Total attendance 378,075 (avg 42,008), sellouts in München, Mainz and Gelsenkirchen.

 	
VfL Wolfsburg	      -   Hamburger SV	        1:1 (1:1)   28,648

                     0:1  Calhanoglu (19., direct freekick)
                     1:1  Rodriguez (31., penalty, D. Caligiuri)
 
Bayern München	      -   Eintr. Braunschweig	2:0 (2:0)   71,000 *

                     1:0  Robben (2., M. Götze)
                     2:0  Robben (30., T. Kroos)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen   -   1. FC Nürnberg	3:0 (1:0)   27,395

                     1:0  Son (36., Castro)
                     2:0  Kießling (47., Hegeler)
                     3:0  Son (76., Castro)

1899 Hoffenheim	      -   Werder Bremen	        4:4 (2:2)   25,608

                     1:0  Salihovic (12., penalty, Volland)
                     2:0  Salihovic (18., penalty, Polanski)
                     2:1  Hunt (45., handball penalty)
                     2:2  Elia (45. + 1, Hunt)
                     3:2  Volland (49., Salihovic)
                     4:2  Herdling (53.)
                     4:3  Petersen (59., LFritz)
                     4:4  Bargfrede (90. + 1, Petersen)

1. FSV Mainz 05	      -   Borussia Dortmund	1:3 (0:0)   34,000 *

                     0:1  Aubameyang (70., direct freekick)
                     1:1  Choupo-Moting (74., penalty, Malli)
                     1:2  Lewandowski (79., handball penalty)
                     1:3  Lewandowski (90. + 4, penalty, Durm)

Hertha BSC	      -   FC Augsburg	        0:0 (0:0)   38,667

FC Schalke 04	      -   VfB Stuttgart	        3:0 (1:0)   61,973 *

                     1:0  Farfan (34., Draxler)
                     2:0  Farfan (47., penalty, Draxler)
                     3:0  J. Jones (79., Neustädter)


Sunday:
Hannover 96	      -   Eintracht Frankfurt	2:0 (1:0)   40,700

                     1:0  M. Diouf (24., Prib)
                     2:0  Huszti (68., direct freekick)

Bor. Mönchengladbach  -   SC Freiburg	        1:0 (0:0)   50,084

                     1:0  Raffael (63., Wendt)
	


 1  Bayern München (M, P)	14   12  2  0 	  32:7 	 +25 	  38 
 2  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	14   11  1  2 	  31:14  +17 	  34 
 3  Borussia Dortmund	  	14   10  1  3 	  35:15  +20 	  31
 4  Bor. Mönchengladbach	14    9  1  4 	  31:16  +15 	  28
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  FC Schalke 04	  	14    7  3  4 	  29:26  +3 	  24 
 6  VfL Wolfsburg	  	14    7  2  5 	  20:16  +4 	  23
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Hertha BSC Berlin  (N)	14    5  4  5 	  20:17  +3 	  19 
 8  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	14    6  1  7 	  21:28  -7 	  19 
 9  Hannover 96	  	        14    5  2  7 	  17:22  -5 	  17 
10  FC Augsburg	  	        14    5  2  7 	  15:23  -8 	  17 
11  Hamburger SV	  	14    4  4  6 	  30:31  -1 	  16 
12  VfB Stuttgart	  	14    4  4  6 	  24:26  -2 	  16 
13  Werder Bremen	  	14    4  4  6 	  19:27  -8 	  16 
14  1899 Hoffenheim	  	14    3  5  6 	  32:34  -2 	  14 
15  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	14    2  5  7 	  17:26  -9 	  11
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  SC Freiburg	  	        14    2  5  7 	  14:25  -11 	  11
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  1. FC Nürnberg	  	14    0  8  6 	  13:29  -16 	  8 
18  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	14    2  2  10 	   8:26  -18 	  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

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