Saturday, 8 February 2014

Bundesliga Matchday 20 Roundup: Top three gain points, relegation teams don't

Matchday 20 saw the top three teams gaining points maintaining their lead over the remainder of the field.  The clubs in relegation spots were unable to decrease the gap out of the relegation zone.  Bayern, Munich and Dortmund won their matches, while Braunschweig, Nuernberg and Hamburg were unsuccessful.  With only 14 matches remaining Bayern Muenchen retained its 13 point lead over Leverkusen and Dortmund and remains undefeated this season.

Moenchengladbach vs Bayer Leverkusen 0-1

The Bundesliga match opener of Friday evening would see Moenchegladbach host second placed Bayer Leverkusen.  Gladbach, which had lost two consecutive games, had never lost three in a row. This was an opportunity for Gladbach to make up some ground and overtake Schalke 04 in the standings for a fourth placed Champions League spot.  After Leverkusen edged out a 1-0 victory in Gladbach on Heung-Min Son scorcher in the 62nd minute. The win cements Leverkusen into second spot ahead of Dortmund and was the 22nd time the Leverkusen side defeated Gladbach.  For Gladbach it will be back to the drawing board and the side is in danger of dropping below fifth spot.

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Eintracht Braunschweig  3-0

Frankfurt handed Braunschweig one of the biggest defeats this season yet.  Starting the match barely above the relegation zone, Johannes Flum put the Eagles on the scoreborad seven minutes into the match, Alexander Meier and  Stefan Aigner added one more each before the halftime whistle.  Frankfurt, with 21 points, has moved to 15th spot, while Braunschweig remains in the basement with just 12 points.

SC Freiburg vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 1-1

It took until the 68th minute for Freiburg's Jonathan Schmid to put the home side on the scoreboard.  The celebration was shortlived when Anthony Molesto got the equalizer in the 85th minute.  For Freiburg the point keeps the side in 14th spot, while Hoffenheim remains in 11th.

1. FC Nuernberg vs FC Bayern Muenchen 0-2
Nuernberg started this match with the obvious goal to stop Bayern's undefeated streak and during most of the match appeared capable of doing it.  Father Luck, however, was on the side of the Bavarians from Munich in this darby match.  Despite constant pressure by Nuernberg, it was Mario Mandzukic that scored the opening goal for Bayern in the first half.  Nuernberg often looked like they would get it back, but Phillip Lahm doubled the score early in the second half.  In his 250th Bundesliga game the Bayern Captain broke his non scoring streak after 95 games. Bayern continues to lead the league well ahead of any contenders, while Nuernberg remains in the relegation zone.

Werder Bremen vs Borussia Dortmund  1-5

This match came close to a blowout and it was clear that the Borussian came to win and maintain secure at least a Champions League spot this season.  Robert Lewandowski scored in the 26th and 85th minute, while Mkhiteryan scored in the 41st and 62nd minute.  Bremen defender Friedrich scored an own goal in the 48th minute for Dortmunds total of five.  The consolation goal for Bremen came in the 89th minute through Aycicek.  Dortmund has retained the four point gap behind second place Leverkusen, while Bremen is in 12th spot,  13 points form a Euro League spot.

VFL Wolfsburg - Mainz 05   3-0

Wolfsburg kept its hopes for a Champions League spot alive.  Ricardo Rodriguez scored the opener with a penalty kick in the 59th minute, followed by Bas Dost in the 66th minute and Louiz Gustavo put the match out of reach with a close range shot.  Wolfsburg is in the final Euro League spot for now, trailing one point for the final automatic Champions League spot.  Mainz is in seventh spot, three points behind Wolfsburg. 

Hamburger SV vs Hertha BSC Berlin  0-3

This was another disappointing match for Hamburg, while Berlin should retain the confidence that they will remain in the Bundesliga past this season.  Adrian Ramo scored two for Berlin and assistedin Allgui's goal in the 15th minute. Despite the disappointment of having a penalty saved, Ramos was instrumental in ensuring a win for the Berliners.  Hamburg has slipped down to 16th spot in short order, while Berlin sees light at the end of the tunnel and a possible Euro League spot as a reward.  Berlin is currently in eighth spot.

VFB Stuttgart vs FC Augsburg 1-4

Stuttgart was on the losing end again, even in the Daimler Benz Arena, after a frisky Augsburg side made short order of the Schwaben.  For Augsburg it was the eighth win in row and the Bavarian club has established a new club record.  Milik made it 1:0 for Augsburg in the 35th minute and Andre Hahn doubled it in the 43rd.  Hahn added another in the 56th before Rausch narrowed the score to 3-1, but Werner made it 4-1 in the 64th minute. While Augsburg is getting within grasp of a Euro League spot, for Stuttgart the situation is becoming critical. 

Schalke 04 vs Hannover 96  2-0

Schalke remained on target to maintain a Champions League spot with a 2-0 victory over an ailing Hannover side.  Goald by Farfan Jefferson Farfan (39th) and Max Meyer (44th) is all it took to eliminate Hannover, a side to slipped to tenth spot, six points behind ninth spot and only seven points away from a relegation spot.  Schalke 04, after a slow start to the season, has recaptured its old spirit and has had a successful return since return from the winter break. 

Augsburg and Berlin keep surprising the experts, while some of the traditional clubs have been disappointing.  The top four clubs in the league all won their matches this weekend and Bayern has a lead that will be difficult to reach, failing a disaster.

Friday 7 February

Bor. Mönchengladbach vs Bayer Leverkusen  0-1

Saturday 8 February 

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Eintr. Braunschweig        3-0
Werder Bremen vs Borussia Dortmund        1-5
1. FC Nürnberg vs Bayern München        0-2
SC Freiburg vs 1899 Hoffenheim        1-1
VfL Wolfsburg vs FSV Mainz 05       3-0 
Hamburger SV vs Hertha BSC      0-3

Sunday 9 February 

VfB Stuttgart vs FC Augsburg     1-4   
Schalke 04 vs Hannover 96   2-0

Posn  Team             GP   W   D   L    GF/GA   Points
1      FC Bayern        20    18   2    0       49:9         56
2      Leverkusen       20   14   1    5        37:20       43
3      Dortmund         20   12   3    5        47:24       39
4      Schalke             20    11   4    5       39:27       37 
5      M'gladbach       20    10   3    7       36:25       33
6      Wolfsburg         20    10   3    7       33:24       33
7     Hertha BSC       20    9    4    7       31:24       31
8      Augsburg           20     9   4    7       30:29       31
9      Mainz                20     9   3    8        29:36      30 
10    Hannover           20     7    3 10      29:35        24
11     Hoffenheim       20     5    7   8      40:43        23
12    Bremen               20    5    5  10     24:45        20
13    Stuttgart             20    5    4    11    32:39        19
14    Freiburg             20     4   7    10    20:36        19
15    Frankfurt            20     4     6    9    24:34        21
17    Nürnberg            20     2    11   7    24:36        17
16    Hamburg            20     4    4   12    33:47        16 
18    B'schweig           20    3     3  14    11:37        12

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