Borussia Dortmund were filled with the confidence of knowing that a win against Bayern Munich tonight would mean a massive dent in the champions’ title hopes; Stuttgart were under pressure at home to Frankfurt after a start that leaves them bottom of the league with just three points; and Werder Bremen had the task of trying to remain consistent and positive after losing so many key players through injury away to Leverkusen. Let’s take a look at how it all went down.
Borussia Dortmund 2 – 0 Bayern Munich
Louis van Gaal has got to be leading the sack race now. While it’d be a shock, a new manager might be the only thing besides a returning Arjen Robben that could liven this Bayern Munich team up right now. It’s not like we can blame their domestic form on injuries to two of their best players, because they’ve got ample back-up in Thomas Mueller, who won the Golden Boot and the Young Player of the Tournament awards at the World Cup, and Toni Kroos, who is an extremely promising prospect. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mark van Bommel are holding the midfield, and Miroslav Klose and Ivica Olic are playing up top. On paper, it’s not a team that looks at all as weak as it has been lately. After a relatively quiet first-half, Borussia Dortmund came out on fire in the second. Lucas Barrios opened the scoring after Sven Bender slipped the ball into his path, and Nuri Sahin hit the back of the net from a well struck free kick. The most upsetting statistic of the match for Bayern Munich fans? One shot on target. Bayern Munich seem to lack the creativity needed to break down teams that set up defensively against them without Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery in the side. Louis van Gaal, though, has a wealth of top players at his disposal and if his side can’t break down hardy back-lines, maybe a change of tactics is needed. This is a massive win for Jurgen Klopp’s side, though, and it confirms them as a genuine title contender for me. Bayern Munich host Hannover next weekend, while Borussia Dortmund travel to Koln.
VfB Stuttgart 1 – 2 Eintracht Frankfurt
If there is one manager who is under considerably more pressure than Louis van Gaal is at the moment, it’s Christian Gross. Another loss, and another week spent at the bottom of the Bundesliga table. In-form striker Theofanis Gekas opened the scoring just before the 20 minute mark with a trademark towering header, and Frankfurt captain Chris put Frankfurt two-nil up on 68 minutes after Halil Altintop cushioned a header into his path following a corner kick. Mathieu Delpierre was sent off for Stuttgart with about 10 minutes left, and Pavel Pogrebnyak grabbed a consolation for his side. Solid win for Frankfurt against the most out of form team in the Bundesliga. Failure to fortify the squad in the summer is certainly costing Stuttgart right now. Stuttgart travel to Schalke next weekend, while Frankfurt travel to Kaiserslautern.
Bayer Leverkusen 2 – 2 Werder Bremen
Thomas Schaaf’s side were unlucky not to come away with all three points away to Leverkusen tonight. Patrick Helmes put the home side in front after just 16 minutes on his return from injury, and Leverkusen held their 1-0 advantage into the break despite having a few other chances to score. Werder Bremen were clearly motivated at half-time, and responded with two quick goals in the 53rd and 62nd minutes, from Hugo Almeida from a set-piece and Marko Marin after a great pass from Aaron Hunt. Werder Bremen’s advantage didn’t last very long, though, because Leverkusen equalized through Eren Derdiyok, who has been in great goalscoring form recently. A fair point for either side at the end of the day. Leverkusen travel to Wolfsburg next weekend, while Werder Bremen host Freiburg.
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