Sunday, 23 February 2014

Bundesliga Matchday 22 Roundup: Bayern extends commanding lead to 19 points

With goals by Thomas Mueller  (26th) and Thiao (34th minute), both assisted by Bastian Schweinsteiger,  Bayern took a 2-0 halftime lead.  Thomas Mueller added a second for a 3-0 lead in the second frame.  If Bastian Schweinsteiger is back in form, as it appeared, during this match, Champions League look out.  Frankfurt and Bremen only managed a 0-0 tie against Bremen, despite a man advantage due to a red card.  Dortmund and Leverkusen, both lost on Saturday, extending Bayern's lead to 19 points, over its closest competitors.  Schalke closed up to Dortmund and Leverkusen, in fourth spot. Dortmund and Schalke compete in Champions League play midweek. 

Bayern had to wait all weekend, in all likelihood with pleasure, as Dortmund and Leverkusen dropped their matches.  Bayern held its 16 point spread over its closest contenders, while the race for the European spots tightened.  Schalke and Dortmund will be playing midweek against Real Madrid and St. Petersburg in the Champions League.  Winning these matches will be a difficult task for both sides. 

 Schalke 04 vs Mainz 05  0-0    

Schalke 04, with a home team advantage, missed the opportunity to move ahead of Dortmund into third place, prior to Saturday`s matches.  Mainz, currently in seventh spot with 34 points played a refreshing and vigorous game. Both sides had ample opportunities to score, but chances were spoiled. Mainz`s first opportunity came with Shinji Okazaki`s volley in the 29th minute, but Schalke's keeper denied the goal with a reflex save.  Just prior to halftime, Jefferson Farfan came close to scoring, but his shot was deflectd just wide of the far post.   Seven minutes into the second half Meyer received a gift from Mainz keeper Loris Karius, but fired the ball directly back at the keeper, where he could have passed to an open Klaas Jan Huntelaar.  Both teams played much better than second placed Leverkusen, which has been in a slump lately.

SC Freiburg vs FC Augsburg 2-4

 SC Augsburg continued its climb toward an Euro League spot by coming away with a 4-2 win in Freiburg.  For Freiburg the situation is critical and the club is in danger of being relegated this year.  The two sides traded goals and Freiburg even took the lead briefly in the 73rd minute with Admir Mehmedi's goal.  Augsburg, a side that never gives up and Peter Verheagh, Halil Altintop and Andre Hahn responded with goals in less than 12 minutes.  With 34 points Augsburg is even with Berlin and Mainz and occupies eighth spot on goal difference.  Freiburg is in 16th spot with only 19 points just ahead of Hamburg on goal difference.

Hamburger SV vs Borussia Dortmund 3-0

Borussia Dortmund dropped another match, this time to 17th placed Hamburger SV.   Hamburg replaced its coach last week and apparently this made a difference for the Hanseaten.  Hamburg, a club with a winning tradition, was hungry and demonstrated that it can take on a Bundesliga giant.  Consequently Petr Jiracek got a goal in the first half to give Hamburg the lead at the half. Michel Lassogga doubled the score in the 58th minute and a 40 yard free kick by Hakan Calhanoglu surprised Dortmund's keeper in the 87th minute for a 3-0 victory.  Dortmund remains in third spot, while Hamburg;s relative position on the table has not changed either, but the win is a  good start to a recovery and was definitely a morale booster for Northern Germans.

VFB Stuttgart vs Hertha BSC Berlin 1-2

Stuttgart continues to perform under expectation and had to take another home pitch defeat and this time from Berlin.  Berlin scored early with a goal by Levan Kobiashvili in the 5th minute, but the Schwaben equalized for Stuttgart.  Wagner, with his goal in the 87th minute put the visitors ahead and this was enough to carry through the 90 minutes.  Stuttgart is ending this matchday in 15th spot, while Berlin is in 7th spot.

Borussia Moenchengladbach vs Hoffenheim 2-2

Gladbach split with Hoffenheim, but maintained its sixth spot on the table. For Hoffenheim it was a rare comeback as Gladbach moved ahead two goals in the first 18 minutes.  Patrick Hermann put Gladbach ahead in the fourth minute and Tony Jantschke doubled to take a 2-0 first half lead. In true fashion of the Sinsheim side, Robert Firmino, Sejad Salihovic and Kevin Volland continued the pressure on Gladbach and in the end it paid off with goals in the 56th minute and 82nd minute on goals by Salihovic and Volland.  Hoffenheim occupies tenth spot. 

FC Nuernberg vs Eintracht Braunschweig  2-1

Eintracht Braunschweig took the lead in the 24th minute on a goal by Domi Kumbela.  Despite playing short handed on a red card from the 32nd minute, Nuernberg bounced back in the second half on goals by Hiorshi Kiyontake (46th) and Thomas Pekhart (47th) and won an important three points.  For Braunschweig, despite its overwhelming shot on goal superiority (20-7), the loss leaves the club in 18th spot, with a  difficulty task to avoid relegation.  Nuernberg moved into 12th spot.

VFL Wolfsburg vs Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 

Leverkusen dropped another match after a disastrous midweek performance against PSG St. Germaine.  It was fortunate that their rival for the second spot, Dortmund also dropped their game.  While Sidney Sam equalized for Leverkusen just prior to the half, Luiz Gustavo and Ricardo Rodriguez fired two unanswered goals in the second half.  Wolfsburg's win leaves the Wolves just two points behind fourth placed Schalke.

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Werder Bremen 0-0

Despite a one man advantage, after Felix Kroos' send off in the 34th minute, Frankurt was unable to put a finishing touch on the game.  Frankfurt dominated through out the match.  Despite a few sure chances, one when Joselu should have scored, he was denied on a one on one with Bremen's keeper Raphael Wolf.   Alexander Meier missed another opportunity when his free kick just grazed the outside post.  Both Frankfurt and Bremen remain in 13th and 14th spot respectively with 22 points.

Hannover 96 vs Bayern Muenchen

Thomas Mueller  (26th) and Thiago (34th minute) , both assisted by Bastian Schweinsteiger, scored the openers for Bayers to take  a 2-0 halftime lead.  Thomas Mueller added a second for a 3-0 lead, followed by Mandzukic's 4-0 in the second frame.  Bastian Schweinsteiger apppears to be back in form and his experience and skill are welcome addition to the Bayern midfield.  Bayern extends its lead to 19 points over Leverkusen and with only 12 games remaining, it will be a formidable obstacle to overcome for any opponents. Hannover 96 is in 11th spot.

Read more here:
Friday February 21

Schalke 04 -     FSV Mainz 05   0-0

Saturday February 22
Bor. Mönchengladbach vs 1899 Hoffenheim    2-2   
SC Freiburg vs FC Augsburg       2-4
1. FC Nürnberg vs Eintr. Braunschweig   2-1
Hamburger SV vs Borussia Dortmund     3-0  
VfB Stuttgart vs Hertha BSC       1-2
VfL Wolfsburg vs Bayer Leverkusen   3-1

Sunday 23 February
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Werder Bremen    0-0
Hannover 96 vs Bayern München   4-0

Posn  Team             GP   W   D   L    GF/GA   Points
1      FC Bayern        22    20   2    0       61:9         62
2      Leverkusen       22   14   1    7        39:25       43
3      Dortmund         22   13   3    6        51:27       42
4      Schalke             22    12   5    5       41:30       41
5      Wolfsburg         22    12   3    7       38:26       39
6      M'gladbach       22    10   5    7       39:28       35
7      Hertha BSC       22   10   4    8       34:27       34
8      Augsburg           22   10   4    8       34:32       34 
9      Mainz                22   10   4    8       31:35       34  
10    Hoffenheim       22     6   8    8       46:46       26
11    Hannover           22     7   3  12       29:41       24
12    Nürnberg            22     4 11   7       27:37        23
13    Frankfurt            22      4  7  10      24:38        22  
14    Bremen              22      5   7  10     25:46        22
15    Stuttgart             22      5   4  13     34:47        19
16    Hamburg            22      5   4  13     38:51        19  
17    Freiburg             22      4   6  12      22:44       18
18    B'schweig          22      4    3  15     16:41        15

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