It was all about Der Klassiker this weekend, with Robert Lewandowski stealing the show with two goals in Bayern’s rout of BVB. Elsewhere, Gladbach gave themselves breathing space at the top of the table.
Good week for: Rouwen Hennings, Robert Lewandowksi, Hansi Flick, Patrick Herrmann
Bad week for: Jadon Sancho, Paderborn’s survival hopes, Armin Veh, David Abraham
Where else to start but the Klassiker. It was another brusing one for Borussia Dortmund, whose Allianz Arena goal difference in league games over the past five seasons is scored 2, conceded 24. Not a happy hunting ground. They were played off the park by a rampant Bayern Munich side, whose attack was once again spearheaded by the world’s best striker, Robert Lewandowski. The Pole has now scored in 11 straight games, has 23 goals in all competitions this season, with 16 of those coming in the Bundesliga. A staggering record, and another heavy Klassiker win for Bayern.
It wasn’t a happy Klassiker for Jadon Sancho. Not only was he replaced after 37 minutes in a 4-0 defeat, but Lucien Favre confirmed after the game that the change was tactical. Sancho wasn’t injured, as previously thought. That will fuel speculation that Sancho isn’t seeing eye-to-eye with Favre and others in the Dortmund hierarchy.
Borussia Mönchengladbach fans are already seeking out the best tattoo parlor’s for their “Deutsche Meister 2019/20” stamps after Marco Rose’s side went four points clear at the top. A 3-1 win over Werder Bremen was secured thanks to a brace from Patrick Herrmann and a goal – followed by a late red card – for Ramy Bensebaini. The Foals have now won four of their last five matches.
Freiburg, yes we said Freiburg, pulled level on points with Bayern in the Bundesliga. Christian Streich’s side are occuplying the final Champions League spot after a 1-0 win Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday which, in turth, had much to do with an early red card for Eintracht midfielder Gelson Fernandes.
The real story, though, was the injury time melee which ensued after Streich was intentionally shoved to the floor by Eintracht captain David Abraham. Freiburg’s bench sprang to the defense of their 54-year old coach and handbags were in full swing from both sides. Abraham was sent off, along with Freiburg sub Vincenzo Griefo.
A poignant afternoon in Berlin as the city celebrates 30 years since the fall of the Wall. Hertha Berlin’s contributions to those celebrations was an impressive wall constructed from one side of the field to the other, running along the halfway line as the teams warmed up. It was a strong symbol, but unfortunately for Hertha their defense didn’t prove as impenetrable. Despite taking the lead, Hertha shipped four goals as they came face-to-face with an RB Leipzig team in fine form.
The game of the weekend was undoubtedly in Gelsenkirchen as Schalke and Fortuna Düsseldorf served up a six-goal thriller. The pattern of the game became familiar as three times the hosts led, but three times they were pegged back. An each time Fortuna leveled, it was through their star striker Rouwen Hennings, whose hat-trick brings him up to 9 league goals this season.
Paderborn’s return to the Bundesliga continues to be a slog. Not only did they miss a seventh-minute penalty, but they lost the big basement battle with Augsburg, who came out 1-0 winners. Paderborn have still only won once in the league this season, and anything other than a straight return to 2. Bundesliga looks remote right now.
Defeat by Hoffenheim proved the final straw for Cologne, who fired their general manager Armin Veh straight after the game, with coach Achim Berierlozer getting the chop on Saturday afternoon. Berierlozer had been unable to get Cologne’s season going, and second last in the table with only seven points on the board wasn’t seen as acceptable. Their defeat was VAR-influenced, but that was of little comfort to Cologne.
Bayer Leverkusen out-classed Wolfsburg to take all three points home from the Volkswagen Arena. The Werkself won 2-0, with Paulinho bagging his first Bundesliga goal in the 97th minute. Better late than never.
“He wasn’t injured, he just wasn’t playing well.” — Lucien Favre on his decision to sub Jadon Sancho in the 37th minute of Der Klassiker.
“The lads gave me everything. In training all week, they put the work in and you could see it on the pitch today.” — A parting dig at Niko Kovac, for whom the squad was absolutely not giving everything, from interim Bayern coach Hansi Flick?
— Robert Lewandowski has scored 16 Bundesliga goals this season, 26 in all competitions, and in each of his last 11 games.
— Lewandowski has also scored more goals than Manchester United, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid.
— Timo Werner is now the top scoring Timo in Bundesliga history.
Bayern fans were in a nostalgic mood ahead of Der Klassiker, celebrating 50 years since the club claimed a first ever German double.