Bayern in cruise control, Week 20 Report

Bundesliga

Moenchengladbach 0 Leverkusen 1

Heung Min Son scored the only goal of the game on Friday night, as Sami Hyypia’s side attempted to keep the pressure on Bayern Munich at the top.

The Foals started the brighter of the two, with Herrmann and Kruse both seeing efforts beaten away by Leno, while Kießling had the only chance of the first half for Leverkusen, but ter Stegen was untroubled.

The away side had not had to grind out many wins this season, and it was looking like they would struggle again here, but for a wonderful strike just after the hour mark. Sidney Sam had been one of the star men for the away side this season, and his ball to Son gave him time to pick a spot, and curl an audacious effort into the corner.

Favre’s side were visibly void of confidence, as they slipped towards to a fifth straight game without a win. Arango went close in the final ten, but in reality Leno was never really troubled.

Wolfsburg 3 Mainz 0

The Wolves put their consecutive defeats behind them, as they brushed aside Mainz on Saturday, who slipped to their first defeat since November.

It was a tense first period as both sides failed to create opportunities, but the visitors went closest, Pospech somehow denied by Benaglio when it looked to be 1-0.

It was always going to be likely to be fine margins to decide this game, and it was just that when Bungert brought down Dost in the area, allowing Rodriguez to fire home his third of the season.

It was to be 15 minutes of misery that Mainz will have wanted to forget, first Dost got on the scoresheet himself with a drive from outside the box, before Gustavo nodded home to put the game beyond the O-Fives.

Nurnburg 0 Bayern 2

Mario Mandzukic took the plaudits in this encounter as Bayern kep themselves 13 points clear of the chasing pack, their 23th Bundesliga title looking a formality with 14 games still to play.

Saturday’s win wasn’t their easiest of the 18 they’ve managed already though, and it was the home side who should really have taken the lead, Ginczek drawing a good save from Neuer, before Kiyotake went one better, only to see the ball thump the bar.

Munich were always dangerous on the counter though, and when Alaba’s forward run had the home defence stretched, he delivered the pinpoint ball for Mandzukic to head home.

After a super start it got worse and worse for the home side, Chandler and Ginczek both went off with serious injuries, as Bayern looked to kill the game. It took just five minutes of the second half for the lead to be doubled, Lahm latching onto Mandzukic’s ball to score his first goal in over 3 years. The win meant it was now 45 games without defeat for the European Champions, and an 18th win in just 20 games this season.

Freiburg 1 Hoffenheim 1

An 85th minute equaliser from Anthony Modeste prevented Freiburg from winning a third straight home game, as both sides remained within just five points of the drop zone.

The first 45 were void of any clear openings, just one shot on target between the two sides, and a rare 0-0 scoreline at the break for a game involving Hoffenheim, who have seen 4.2 goals per game this season.

A piece of magic was always going to be needed to open the game up, and Mehmedi provided that, making room down the left before his ball left Schmid an easy tap in.

The hosts looked to be comfortably rolling towards the win, but Modeste had other ideas, a curling effort nestling in the corner to end his barren run of nearly 10 hours without a goal.

Frankfurt 3 Braunschweig 0

The Lions came into this on the back of a spirited 2-1 defeat to BVB, but succumbed to a heavy loss on Saturday to leave them 6 points from safety.

After 8 games without a home victory, its now two in a row for the Eagles, who got off to the perfect start, Flum netting within the first 10 minutes to set them well on their way.

With the contest still in the balance, the visitors switched off for 60 seconds and ended up facing a mountain to climb. First Meier made it 2-0 as he slotted home on 43 minutes, before Aigner scored a third just a minute later.

Lieberknecht’s side improved second half, but the damage was already done, Braunschweig slipping to a seventh loss in 10 away games, and looking like their stint in the Bundesliga will be over before it’s really begun.

Bremen 1 Dortmund 5

Lewandowski and Mkhitaryan both hit braces as Dortmund stormed to a 5-1 victory, ensuring they remain only four points behind Bayer 04 in the race for second.

After some inconvincing performances of late, this win will have silenced some doubters, even if it did take them nearly half an hour to break the stubborn defence down.

Two up at half-time, Klopp’s side did not take their foot off the gas second half, Friedrich added a third just after the break, and Piszczek nearly joined his on the scoresheet, but the woodwork denied him.

It turned into a rout as BVB added four and five, but there was still time for Aycicek to score his first goal on his debut, in what was a small plus on a dreadful day for Bremen.

Hamburg 0 Hertha 3

Hertha moved within two points of 5th place on Saturday evening as they took Hamburg to the cleaners, condemning them to a sixth straight loss, the third in a row by a 3-0 scoreline.

Ramos may have thought it wasn’t his day as he saw his header fly the wrong side of the post early on, before missing a penalty just four minutes later. Luckily, from the resulting set-piece, Ramos won the header and got an assist for his troubles, Allagui prodding home.

With 12 goals already this season though, Ramos was never going to be disheartened, and he got his goal halfway through the first half, turning in Cigerci’s cross. It was then 14 for the Colombian, as he turned in a cross from the left to make it 3-0 before the break.

Berlin sat back in the second half, having just one shot of their own, and despite Hamburg recording seven, Kraft was not troubled at all between the sticks as his side romped to victory

Stuttgart 1 Augsburg 4

The visitors performed a perfect smash and grab victory on Sunday, as they faced domination for long periods, but somehow came away with a large 4-1 win.

The home side would be made to pay for succession of missed chances though, as Werner capitalised on a lucky bounce to square for Milik to tap home.

It got worse ten minutes later when Hahn raced one-on-one with the keeper, and curled home to send the away fans into raptures.

Any half time team talk from Thomas Schneider would’ve gone out the window just eight minutes in though, when top scorer Ibisevic was shown a straight red card.

The inevitable third goal then came, Hahn scoring his second, before Rausch pulled a goal back and gave VfB a glimmer of hope. That lasted just two minutes though, as Wener got in on the act, curling into the bottom corner when going through on goal.

The win puts Augsburg on the brink of Europe, while Stuttgart have now lost 5 straight.

Schalke 2 Hannover 0

Tayfun Korkut was handed his first defeat as manager of die Roten in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday, as Schalke moved within two points of third place.

Huntelaar went close before the deadlock was broken, and it was Farfan who finally did that, directing home a low cross on 39′.

The game may well have ended differently had the away side gone into the break at 1-0, but some slack concentration meant Meyer had the chance to make it two, and he did to convert his fifth goal of the season.

Hannover’s recent attacking prowess was certainly not on show this weekend, only managing a handful of shots while Schalke peppered Zieler’s area, running out comfortable winners.

STANDINGS

140211 - Bundesliga

League table courtesy of FIFA.com

BradSmith

Click on Brad’s name above to follow him on Twitter

Advertisements