“Mirko Slomka Fussballgott!!” In German football culture, there often is a player who gets the term “Fussballgott”, which bares little relation to their skill. Usually it’s because at some critical point, they rose to the occasion and got a critical goal, and eventually became a fan favorite. Often they would be eulogized by fans for the rest of their career, which would in general would be passable, but hardly impressive – they would almost never be anywhere near the best player on the squad. Just a decent, reliable squad player, but for that shining moment…

Anyway, Slomka is well on his way to becoming such for Hamburg, albeit as a coach. In his first game in charge as crisis ridden HSV leader, the Hamburgers were unrecognizable, and stepped out and kicked Dortmund’s ass. If HSV survives, he automatically will become a legend. (And should probably immediately resign to not tarnish that legend). I lean towards St.Pauli, so I wouldn’t have been unhappy if HSV hadn’t taken another one in the shorts. But I suppose it is somewhat comforting that there is one club that has always been there, and if they ever go down, they’d have to take down the famed Bundesliga-clock, that counts off how HSV has been in the Bundesliga forever. HSV has a lot of work to do, but if this one match is any indication, Slomka has them turned around already. In the match itself, the horrible HSV defense looked rock solid, the players fought for every ball instead of going through the motions, and the counterattacks were speedy and dangerous. Dortmund probably had more of the play, but in coach Jürgen Klopp’s words “we played crap.”

Schalke and Mainz battled in a tense, but ultimately unsatisfying draw. Mainz packed the defense, but in reality both teams battled furiously in midfield, so not much else was going on. However since the Aspirins and Neons got owned, the Blues manage to sneak closer. Mainz really didn’t help themselves, but it was pretty clear from the outset that they only were looking for a point.

2014 hasn’t been kind to Gladbach, but they were looking to break out of their funk against Hoffenheim. Indeed, with an early two goal lead, things seemed promising. But in fact they looked nervous and confused for most of the match. Hoffenheim actually had most of the play and pushed the hosts back, and eventually were able to square the match late. Overall, a just division of the points, but Gladbach can’t be too happy.

Is Stuttgart the new Hamburg? VfB is sucking wind, and just sets a club-record 7th straight loss, beating their previous futile effort from 18 years ago. Now to some extent, VfB has simply choked when the prize was available, whereas HSV was truly drab. But teh results are the same, and morale must be zero. This time they battled back after falling behind early, only to lose it at the end. An excellent effort for visitors Hertha, still hoping to sneak into Europe. VfB’s loss means their only ahead of HSV on a single goal, so by next week, they could replace them in the relegation spot.

This is the kind of effort that saves the season. Nürnberg was certainly hoping for a win in a critical relagtion battle against Braunschweig, but things didn’t go their way. First, after only 30 minutes, Per Nilsson got his ass tossed. (Nilsson fouled Nielsen…). And then the guests took the lead by in form Kumbela. Down a man, down a goal. Five minutes later, penalty! Kumbela takes it… Rafael Schäfer makes the save! FCN regrouped and blasted out of the half-time and stunned Braunschweig with two quick goals to grab a lead. Braunscwheig got another penalty, and this time…Schäfer saves again! Despite furious Braunschweig assaults (FCN was out shot 22-6 at home!), der Club managed to hold on and get the critical points.

Augsburg showed that they are perhaps the fittest team in the league. Both FCA and host Freiburg are known for all out fight, and in this one the Fuggers showed they had more gas in their tank. Down the final stretch they turned a Breisgau lead into a a Fugger win. Things have never been better for Augsburg, but SCF needs some quick results now, since HSV has apparently woken up.

In the battle of the corporate stooges, Volkswagen spanked Bayer Chemicals in an interesting match that moves the Euro spots ever closer. Leverkusen had a slight edge through most of the match, but although technically superior, they remind you of times of dilettantes that get spanked when it matters (Witness their disgraceful midweek roll over against PSG). Wolfsburg waited patiently for their chances, and then seized them. Overall, they deserve the win. Luserkusen should perhaps consider voluntarily accepting 7th place and not qualifying for Europe, as recently they have been embarrassing German football, with results like 1-7 in Barcelona, 0-5 to Man Utd, 0-4 to PSG…)

Bayern München had an easy time in Hannover, coasting to victory. The champions mixed things up, leaving out a few starters, not that it mattered.

Eintracht Frankfurt dominated against Bremen, but couldn’t get the win, despite havin a man advantage for almost an hour, when Werder’s Felix Kroos (Toni’s little brother) got his ass tossed. Alex Meier hit the post twice, but Frankfurt couldn’t find a way to win.

Total attendance 391,401 (avg 43,489), sell outs in Hannover and Hamburg

FC Schalke 04	      -   1. FSV Mainz 05	0:0 (0:0)   60,952

Bor. Mönchengladbach  -   1899 Hoffenheim	2:2 (2:0)   49,088

                     1:0  Herrmann (4.)
                     2:0  Jantschke (18., Raffael)
                     2:1  Roberto Firmino (57., Volland)
                     2:2  Salihovic (82., penalty, F. Johnson)

VfB Stuttgart	      -   Hertha BSC	        1:2 (1:1)   45,700

                     0:1  Kobiashvili (5., Ramos)
                     1:1  Boka (45.)
                     1:2  Wagner (87., Cigerci)

1. FC Nürnberg	      -   Eintr. Braunschweig	2:1 (0:1)   36,000

                     0:1  Kumbela (34., Theuerkauf)
                     1:1  Kiyotake (46., Drmic)
                     2:1  Pekhart (47., Drmic)

SC Freiburg	      -   FC Augsburg	        2:4 (1:1)   22,000

                     0:1  To. Werner (7., Hahn)
                     1:1  Schmid (17., direct freekick)
                     2:1  Mehmedi (73.)
                     2:2  Verhaegh (78., Esswein)
                     2:3  Halil Altintop (84., Verhaegh)
                     2:4  Hahn (90. + 4)

Hamburger SV	      -   Borussia Dortmund	3:0 (1:0)   57,000 *

                     1:0  Jiracek (42., Lasogga)
                     2:0  Lasogga (58., Arslan)
                     3:0  Calhanoglu (90. + 1, direct free kick)

VfL Wolfsburg	      -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen	3:1 (1:1)   27,721

                     1:0  Dost (13., Perisic)
                     1:1  Sam (45., Hegeler)
                     2:1  Luiz Gustavo (58., Olic)
                     3:1  Rodriguez (73.)

Eintracht Frankfurt   -   Werder Bremen	        0:0 (0:0)   44,300 

Hannover 96	      -   Bayern München	0:4 (0:2)   49,000 * 

                     0:1  T. Müller (25., Rafinha)
                     0:2  Thiago (34., Schweinsteiger)
                     0:3  T. Müller (59., Mandzukic)
                     0:4  Mandzukic (66., Rafinha)

 1  Bayern München (M, P)	22   20  2  0 	  61:9 	 +52 	  62 
 2  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	22   14  1  7 	  39:25  +14 	  43 
 3  Borussia Dortmund	  	22   13  3  6 	  51:27  +24 	  42
 4  FC Schalke 04	  	22   12  5  5 	  41:30  +11 	  41
 5  VfL Wolfsburg	  	22   12  3  7 	  38:26  +12 	  39 
 6  Bor. Mönchengladbach	22   10  5  7 	  39:28  +11 	  35
 7  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)	22   10  4  8 	  34:27  +7 	  34 
 8  FC Augsburg	  	        22   10  4  8 	  34:32  +2 	  34 
 9  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	22   10  4  8 	  31:35  -4 	  34 
10  1899 Hoffenheim	  	22    6  8  8 	  46:46   0 	  26 
11  Hannover 96	  	        22    7  3  12 	  29:41  -12 	  24 
12  1. FC Nürnberg	  	22    4  11 7 	  27:37  -10 	  23 
13  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	22    5  7  10 	  24:38  -14 	  22 
14  Werder Bremen	  	22    5  7  10 	  25:46  -21 	  22 
15  VfB Stuttgart	  	22    5  4  13 	  35:47  -12 	  19
16  Hamburger SV	  	22    5  4  13 	  38:51  -13 	  19
17  SC Freiburg	  	        22    4  6  12 	  22:44  -22 	  18 
18  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	22    4  3  15 	  16:41  -25 	  15

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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