BUNDESLIGA, Round 15

Ouch! Werder Bremen suffered their worst home defeat in 49 Bundesliga season, a total disgrace. And Bayern München serves notice that under Guardiola not only do they intend to win everything, but expect to continue top provide severe ass-kickings to unprepared sides.

German football suffers another semi-black eye as Luserkusen wins at Dortmund. The Aspirins disgraced German football with their pathetic display against Manchester United, but by winning in Dortmund, take down the Neons a peg. So now although there is a good chance they could finish second to Bayern, the only way to recover their reputation and also of the Bundesliga as a whole would be for Luserkusen to get to the Champions League final.
(Presumably to lose against Bayern). Seems pretty far-fetched…

That being said, Leverkusen delivered a solid performance at Dortmund, holding off Neon pressure and controlling the flow when needed. The home side tried to force through the issue with constant pressure, but actually had little to show in terms of decent chances. Both teams might have been looking ahead to their midweek Champions League clashes, where road wins (for Dortmund at Marseille, Leverkusen at San Sebastian) are required to advance.

A ridiculous match in Bremen, as Bayern München did whatever they pleased against a desolate Werder. The fans in the sold out Weser must have been in stunned disbelief. Frank Ribery was back running rampant through the feeble Bremen defense and Bayern might have scored a few more if they really wanted. This was really a sad day to be a Werder fan, perhaps even worse than the 1979 relegation.

Gladbach remains one of the hottest teams, but it was tough going against Schalke. They were down and then took the lead when Höwedes got tossed for a handball. But Schalke kept fighting and the Gladbachers were often in serious trouble despite a whole half with the extra man. In the end they got the points and remain on target for a Champions spot.

Stuttgart proved to be more determined in a hard fought battle with Hannover. Both teams were resilient in battling to a half-time draw, but the hosts proved they wanted the game more as they raised their game again, and this time the 96ers had no answers.

Augsburg suprisingly outplayed Hamburg on the road. HSV had been recovering after a horrible start, but the Fuggers had this match in hand and the home side basically just ran around like chickens with their head cut off. A deserved win for Augsburg, which is looking like they’ll have nothing to do with any relegation battles.

Thinking relegation however is Eintracht frankfurt. They hosted Hoffenheim in a must win, and once again they failed. The Hoppers are a pretty entertaining club, and showed they had fire power when they needed it. Frankfurt on the other hand was rather clueless when it counted and take another loss. The only thing keeping them afloat is that their are crappier clubs doing even worse.

Apparently polls show that almost 72% of football fans feel that Nürnberg is going down. (I’m guessing the 28% that said “Nein” were the players girlfriends, wives and kids, or actually didn’t know that Nürnberg was even in the Bundesliga). Efforts like this against Mainz are part of the reason. Der Club once again failed to win, despite an early and having the match totally in control. But in the end they dicked around and Mainz equalized late to take a point. Although there is a lot to play, seems like most folks expect to see FCN in the 2.Liga next year. Actually, some good news for Nürnberg: Over in Brazil, defending champion Fluminense was relegated on the last day of the season. Of course, Nürnberg is famous for being the only Bundesliga defending champion to be relegated the next year, so now somebody else has equaled their dubious performance.

Braunschweig is also going down, but at least the fans know that the players always give 100%. But if you talent level is basically 2.Liga, even that 100% won’t be enough. Eintracht hosted Hertha in a rematch of last year’s 2.Liga battlers, and the talent difference was on display. The Berlin side has been doing quite well, although it was a bit ironic that the match decider was someone that has been pushed aside. Brazilian midfielder Ronny was perhaps the key player in the promotion campaign, but is only a spot starter now. However he set up both Hertha goals and showed that he still has some bite. The Berliners are certainly happy with another option, and it’s not unreasonable that they will challenge for a Euroliga spot.

Freiburg looks in serious trouble as they got thumped at home by Wolfsburg, mainly because they totally were unprepared for the opening whistle. The VWs jumped all over them and really decided it early. Max Arnold is another young talent to watch. The 19 year old offensive midfielder broke into the starting lineup somewhat suprisingly (considering all the high priced players that are still under contract, a hangover from the Magath Part II year). But he already has 8 goals and is doing quite well. If he keeps it up, He is certain to get a call up to the national team, although probably not until after the World Cup. The Breisgauers looked sorry, which is disappointing, as they occasionally fight hard, but other times look like they don’t know what they’re doing.

Total attendance 388,882 (avg 43,209), sellouts in Mönchengladbach, Bremen, Dortmund and Braunschweig

1. FC Nürnberg	      -   1. FSV Mainz 05	1:1 (1:0)   31,084

                     1:0  Nilsson (5., Kiyotake)
                     1:1  Okazaki (75., Park)

Bor. Mönchengladbach  -   FC Schalke 04  	2:1 (2:1)   54,010 *

                     0:1  Farfan (17., penalty, K.-P. Boateng)
                     1:1  Raffael (24., Jantschke)
                     2:1  M. Kruse (45. + 1, Hand penalty)

VfB Stuttgart	      -   Hannover 96	        4:2 (2:2)   47,630

                     1:0  Harnik (13., Ti. Werner)
                     1:1  A. Sobiech (28., Schmiedebach)
                     1:2  Sané (31., Huszti)
                     2:2  Ibisevic (33., Harnik)
                     3:2  Traoré (51., Leitner)
                     4:2  Rausch (83., Ti. Werner)

Werder Bremen	      -   Bayern München	0:7 (0:3)   42,100 *

                     0:1  Lukimya (21., own goal, Ribery)
                     0:2  van Buyten (27., T. Kroos)
                     0:3  Ribery (38., T. Müller)
                     0:4  Mandzukic (60., Ribery)
                     0:5  T. Müller (68., M. Götze)
                     0:6  Ribery (82., Alaba)
                     0:7  M. Götze (90., T. Müller)

Hamburger SV	      -   FC Augsburg	        0:1 (0:1)   46,213

                     0:1  Bobadilla (18., Halil Altintop)

Eintracht Frankfurt   -   1899 Hoffenheim	1:2 (0:0)   41,300

                     0:1  Schipplock (46., Firmino)
                     1:1  Joselu (48., Kadlec)
                     1:2  Roberto Firmino (51., Schipplock)

Borussia Dortmund     -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen	0:1 (0:1)   80,645 *

                     0:1  Son (18., Castro)

Sunday:
SC Freiburg	      -   VfL Wolfsburg	        0:3 (0:2)   22,800

                     0:1  Arnold (8., Ochs)
                     0:2  Olic (11., Luiz Gustavo)
                     0:3  M. Schäfer (90. + 1, Evseev)


Eintr. Braunschweig   -   Hertha BSC	        0:2 (0:1)   23,100 *

                     0:1  Ramos (20., Ronny)
                     0:2  Cigerci (80., Ronny)
	


 1  Bayern München (M, P)	15   13  2  0 	  39:7 	 +32 	  41 
 2  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	15   12  1  2 	  32:14  +18 	  37 
 3  Borussia Dortmund	  	15   10  1  4 	  35:16  +19 	  31
 4  Bor. Mönchengladbach	15   10  1  4 	  33:17  +16 	  31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  VfL Wolfsburg	  	15    8  2  5 	  23:16  +7 	  26
 6  FC Schalke 04	  	15    7  3  5 	  30:28  +2 	  24 
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)	15    6  4  5 	  22:17  +5 	  22 
 8  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	15    6  2  7 	  22:29  -7 	  20 
 9  FC Augsburg	  	        15    6  2  7 	  16:23  -7 	  20 
10  VfB Stuttgart	  	15    5  4  6 	  28:28   0 	  19 
11  1899 Hoffenheim	  	15    4  5  6 	  34:35  -1 	  17 
12  Hannover 96	  	        15    5  2  8 	  19:26  -7 	  17 
13  Hamburger SV	  	15    4  4  7 	  30:32  -2 	  16 
14  Werder Bremen	  	15    4  4  7 	  19:34  -15 	  16 
15  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	15    2  5  8 	  18:28  -10 	  11
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  SC Freiburg	  	        15    2  5  8 	  14:28  -14 	  11
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  1. FC Nürnberg	  	15    0  9  6 	  14:30  -16 	  9 
18  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	15    2  2  11 	   8:28  -20 	  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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