Photo: Blue-Letter at German Wikipedia. - Own work, Public Domain
Whilst English football turned its attention to the FA Cup this weekend, all eyes were firmly on the Bundesliga in Germany with some interesting matchups and plenty of goals in Game Week 18.
Under the lights on Friday night, Borussia Mönchengladbach welcomed a Borussia Dortmund side looking to recover after last week’s draw to Mainz and a midweek defeat to Leverkusen. But it was Marco Rose’s Gladbach side who thought they had a dream start, however Florian Neuhaus’ goal in the first minute was ruled out after a foul in the build-up. Only nine minutes later, Gladbach took the lead through a Nico Elvedi header.
But of course, a one goal lead means little against Dortmund, and halfway through the half Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland combined neatly, with the Englishman’s nifty reverse pass finding his number 9. Although the angle was tight, it was no matter to Haaland, whose deft chipped finish was a sublime example of his talent and world class ability, bringing his side level.
Lars Stindl’s incredible goal-line clearance prevented Dortmund taking the lead momentarily, but it was not long until Sancho and Haaland combined again. The winger showed some incredibly quick feet inside the box, linking well with Marco Reus before finding his Norwegian teammate. A smart swivel and powerful left-footed finish made it 2-1 to Dortmund.
A goalkeeping error from Roman Bürki let Gladbach back in the game, as he spilled a free-kick right at the feet of Nico Elvedi, with the defender getting his second of the game. Gladbach retook the lead through a sharp strike from Ramy Bensebaini on his weaker right foot, and Marcus Thuram returned to the side to make it 4-2 with a powerful header from a corner.
BMG leapfrogged BVB as a result of Friday’s game, and the visitors desperately need to find a long-term managerial solution, with Edin Terzic merely in a caretaker role following Lucien Farve’s sacking in December.
Hertha Berlin’s hapless form continues, and they were no match for Werder Bremen at the Olympiastadion, with Josh Sargent scoring the pick of the goals in a 4-1 win for the visitors. Augsburg beat high-flying Union Berlin at home 2-1, whilst Freiburg were victorious by the same score line at home to Stuttgart, despite another goal from in-form Silas Wamangituka.
Wolfsburg’s impressive defensive display saw them hold onto a 1-0 win away at Bayer Leverkusen. In the weekend’s biggest upset, Mainz beat second place Leipzig 3-2 as they look to claw themselves out of the relegation zone. Finally, Arminia were no match for Eintracht Frankfurt, who have Luka Jovic back from Real Madrid. Andre Silva grabbed a first half brace before Jovic rounded of a 5-1 rout.
Bayern Munich have a chance to extend their league at the top with their nearest challengers dropping points. They play Schalke on Sunday afternoon.
Game of the week