Borussia Dortmund opened up a nine point lead over Bayern Munich while Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Mönchengladbach continued their impressive runs. Hertha Berlin and Hoffenheim played out one of two 3-3 draws.
Good week for: Fortuna Düsseldorf, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke’s strikers, early goals
Bad week for: Niko Kovac, Bayern Munich, Stuttgart (again), Nuremberg’s defense (again)
– Bayern Munich’s troubles continued in dramatic fashion as Niko Kovac’s side threw away a 3-1 lead at home against Fortuna Düsseldorf to draw. Bayern’s defense was torn apart by hat-trick hero Dodi Lukebakio, leaving Kovac fuming and Uli Hoeness in shock. With a Champions League game not far away, Kovac is unlikely to be dismissed now but if Bayern’s form doesn’t improve soon then his Christmas plans might look a little different.
– Lukasz Piszczek’s stunning goal got Borussia Dortmund the win they needed in Mainz. Paco Alcacer scored off the bench – again – as Dortmund battled to the kind of victory that wins titles. Lucien Favre wouldn’t have any of it after the game, returning to his step by step mentality, but Dortmund are now nine points clear of Bayern. There’s more than a chance.
– Opinion: Borussia Dortmund must start to believe
– The focus might be on Bayern Munich but Dortmund’s closest challengers are currently the other Borussia from Mönchengladbach, who have made their best start to a season in over 30 years. On Sunday, Dieter Hecking’s Foals recovered from an early setback (see stats below) to eventually run out comfortable 4-1 winners over struggling Hannover, captain Lars Stindl with the pick of the goals.
– Eintracht Frankfurt might just have one of the most in-form attacks in Europe. Three more goals got them three more points in Augsburg with Sebastian Haller and Ante Rebic again on the scoresheet. Adi Hütter has the Eagles flying at the moment and on Saturday night, they were in second on goal difference. Niko who?
– In a six-goal thriller in the capital, Hoffenheim failed to drive home the victory they looked destined for while Hertha Berlin ran out of time to turn the game around. Three goals in the first 12 minutes had the visitors 2-1 up, a lead they extended to 3-1 after the break, but Hertha battled back with Davie Selke proving a game-changing sub. A draw though, doesn’t help either side with their lofty ambitions.
– RB Leipzig lost in the Bundesliga for the first time since Matchday 1 as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat away at Wolfsburg. Wolves defender Jerome Roussillon scored the winner shortly after half-time – his first Bundesliga goal and the first goal the Red Bull franchise had conceded in five league games.
– Kai Havertz was once again the stand-out man for Bayer Leverkusen – but it was Kevin Volland who scored both goals as the Werkself beat struggling Stuttgart 2-0 on Friday night. The result saw Leverkusen move up to 11th in the table but questions still remain over coach Heiko Herrlich, whose team has the fourth-worst defensive record in the league. As for the Swabians, they remain rooted to the bottom of the table under Markus Weinzierl.
– Schalke scored five goals for the first time under Domenico Tedesco as they put their friends (see Fans below) from Nuremberg to the sword in Gelsenkirchen. Striker Steven Skrzybski scored twice on his first start for the Royal Blues since joining from Union Berlin, while former Nuremberg striker Guido Burgstaller was also on the scoresheet. After a 7-0 defeat to Dortmund and a 6-0 hammering in Leipzig, it was yet another heavy defeat on the road for the “Club.”
– Werder Bremen were just minutes away from a fourth consecutive defeat when Ludwig Augustinsson rescued a point for them away at Freiburg on Sunday. Both goalkeepers, Alexander Schwolow for the hosts and Jiri Pavlenka for the visitors, excelled during the 1-1 draw in the Black Forest.
“I’m not just a little bit cross, I’m really, really angry.”
– Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac after the Bavarians threw away a 3-1 lead at home to Düsseldorf.
“I was devastated when the goal went in. I thought the world was ending. I have to recover from this shock.”
– Has anybody checked on Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness …?
“For us, it feels like a win, to comeback from 3-1 down and get a point. Generally, to come to Munich as Fortuna Düsseldorf and get a point feels amazing. To celebrate with the 7,000 travelling fans just before the end of the game – it doesn’t get better than that.”
– Fortuna goalkeeper Michael Rensing appreciated the away support
“You know you can score goals on the counter-attack against Bayern at the moment because the team isn’t stable.”
– Veteran Fortuna coach Friedhelm Funkel had a clear plan in Munich.
“I’ve heard 15 times how great it is to watch our games but the glamor wasn’t enough today. We have to question our mental approach. Defensive behavior begins between the ears.”
– Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann after his team threw away a 3-1 lead in Berlin.
“The first two goals were early Christmas presents for Hoffenheim! You can’t afford to be conceding goals like that. But respect to my team for showing the moral to get back into the game. We still have too many draws though, and football is measured in points.”
– Pros and cons for Hertha Berlin coach Pal Dardai
“It makes me very proud that we scored several goals as a team today. Everyone has been saying we don’t score enough goals – and they’re right. So it’s good that we’ve scored more than just one or two.”
– Schalke striker Steven Skrzybski, who scored twice against Nuremberg.
“Eintracht have never won here so I’m proud of that. The table looks even better now – but we’re not getting carried away, me least of all.”
– Eintracht Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter after his team’s 3-1 win away at Augsburg.
– It took a few teams a while to wake up this weekend as Matchday 12 saw a flurry of early goals. On Saturday, it took just 54 seconds for Kerim Demirbay and Jonathan de Guzman to give Hoffenheim and Frankfurt the lead in Berlin and Augsburg respectively. On Sunday, Bobby Wood was even quicker off the mark, putting Hannover ahead against Gladbach after just 22 seconds.
– Dodi Lukebakio became only the sixth player in Bundesliga history to score a hat trick against Bayern Munich, and was the first to do since Ebbe Sand did it for Schalke in April 2001.
– Eintracht Frankfurt’s 3-1 win in Augsburg was the first ever time the Eagles had won in the Fuggerstadt.
– Bayer Leverkusen’s Kevin Volland had eight shots on goal against Stuttgart – more than ever before in his 198 Bundesliga games.
– The seventh and eighth shots both went in as Leverkusen beat Stuttgart for the 35th time in Bundesliga history, more than any other opponent.
– Bayern Munich are without a win in four Bundesliga home games for the first time in 24 years.
– Vedad Ibisevic became the first player to score 33 goals or more for three different Bundesliga clubs. After scoring 43 goals for Hoffenheim and 33 for Stuttgart, the Bosnian has now scored 33 for Hertha Berlin.
– RB Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi had gone over eight hours without conceding a goal in the league. Wolfsburg’s Jerome Roussillon ended that run after 499 minutes on Saturday.
“Fan friendships” are one of the more bizarre concepts in German fan culture, with fans of certain clubs maintaining cordial relationships and even supporting each other at games.
There can be various reasons for a fan friendship, or Fanfreundschaft: historic meetings between sides, chance meetings between individuals who become friends, shared political beliefs or common rivals. Well-known German fan friendships include Hertha Berlin & Karlsruher SC and Borussia Dortmund & Cologne.
But the oldest and most famous friendship is the one that exists between Schalke and Nuremberg, and that was celebrated with a huge choreography covering the whole stadium when the two teams met on Saturday:
In Fortuna Düsseldorf’s spectacular 3-3 draw in Munich, Dodi Lukebakio’s second goal was one of the most bizarre of the season. A ball over the top, saw Lukebakio race through and slip the ball past Neuer but even though his linesman didn’t appear to initially signal for offside, referee Sven Jablonski decided it was. VAR stepped in to correctly tell him that Lukebakio was at least two yards and so the goal should be given. It was, and it gave Fortuna a chance back into the game that they eventually took.