Week 12 of Bundesliga brought two feisty derbies i.e. Rhine, Baden-Württemberg and Bavarian, in fixtures of FC Köln vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hoffenheim vs. Freiburg, and Bayern Munich vs. Nürnberg respectively at the weekend. It was yet another super weekend filled with surprises, controversies, and some high-flying individual performances. Mainz continued to derail their train off the track while Borussia Dortmund painted it “all yellow” with early kick-off on Friday as they further extended the lead off the chasing pack.
Man on rise, Mario Gomez, showed his both sides of being Mr. Confidant and Mr. Reliable as he rallied his team and inspired them to overcome Bavarian derby with fearless attitude while Bayer Leverkusen have emerged as serious title challengers again this season. On the other side, we witnessed six-goal-thriller in Kaiserslautern as they hosted VFB Stuttgart. Let’s have a look at how it went on in Bundesliga week 12.
Borussia Dortmund vs. Hamburger SV
Wounded “Die Rothosen” travelled to Dortmund in search of something but their trip to Dortmund came at the wrong time of the table. As Dortmund’s unbeaten run stretched back to 10 wins and their midfield machine didn’t even look like slowing anytime, HSV got victimized. The match started well for HSV as playing away and missing many players due to injuries; they held Dortmund well and kept them at the bay from scoring. The fact that few HSV players were playing out of position didn’t help it either. However, they finished the first half with score level at 0-0.
Dortmund were their usual-self i.e. confidant and the team with possession but concentration at the back of HSV were on high alert. This triggered the impatience symptom in Klopp as he looked for some answers from his team. His frustration took toll at the near-end of the first half though, as he went ballistic on the forth official. It was a reaction to Ze Roberto’s tackle on Mario Götze and the foul was not given. In the end, Dortmund ran victorious as they out-played HSV in every department and looked better team in the second half. Shinji Kagawa opened the scoring at the start of the second half and the second goal came out from an impressive team play and Lukas Barrios was the artist to put the finishing touch to that artful play.
Klopp has been fined for his gnawing and gnashing teeth “antics” by DFB. He will serve a touchline ban and is asked to pay 10K Euros which will go in to charity, eventually. Just to keep it on record, this is not the first time that Klopp has been fined by DFB. The man has a history in that department.
Result: Borussia Dortmund 2-0 HSV
Scorer(s): Kagawa, Barrios
Wolfsburg vs. Schalke 04
Where to start with this match? Let’s start with the start itself. Felix Magath’s Schalke 04 travelled to his “old house” Wolfsburg, the team that won Bundesliga under his shrewd and disciplinarian management. As the match kicked off, Wolfsburg were the better team in terms of control over the match, they took the lead via Grafite’s strike in 11th minute of the match. Edin Dzeko doubled the league in 34th minute of the match and it looked like that trio of Grafite-Dzeko-Diego was going to rip apart Schalke’s miserable defense of the late.
However, Schalke managed to score a goal when Edu made it 2-1 that involved some intelligent play by Raul and Farfan. When the second half started Schalke gained the momentum and were backed by magnanimous support of their fans even when they were playing an away fixture. The second half was filled with controversies as the referee Wolfgang Stark completely lost the plot when Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar controlled the ball with his arm and sent it past Benaglio to level the score. Another controversy followed when Stark pulled out a Howard Webb-esque demonstration when he wrongfully gave a straight red to Wolfsburg substitute Dejagah, with Wolfsburg one man short, Schalke spent more time in the final third of the pitch but it remained fruitless till the end and both teams managed to get one point each.
Result: Wolfsburg 2-2 Schalke 04
Scorer(s): Grafite, Dzeko—Edu, Huntelaar
FC Köln vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach
A Rhine Derby, both teams flirting with relegation, both teams in dire need of points, and right time to forget the misery days was the theme of this fixture. The match was played at RheinEnergieStadion, home of FC Köln, but it was away side Borussia Mönchengladbach that went rampant and literally drilled FC Köln in front of their home crowd. As expected in the derbies, the tempo of the match was set on “high red” as we saw many tackles being thrown on the full-length of the pitch.
The first half formed an opinion that Köln was puling all the strings but when the second half started it was Mönchengladbach that cut the strings in hand of Köln and took over from there. Bobadilla pulled off the first goal of the match with the free-kick and concentration of Köln side at loose they took advantage again to take their lead to 2-0 via goal by Michael Bradley which was slightly deflected on its way. Relying on counter-attacks in the final half-hour of the match, Borussia Mönchengladbach scored the third goal when de Margo showed the cross of Marco Reus path to goal. Bobadilla completed his brace and emerged as a hero for Mönchengladbach side and finished the scoring with his side winning 0-4.
Both teams are still placed in bottom two of the league but Köln remain at the deep abyss.
Result: FC Köln 0-4 Mönchengladbach
Scorer(s): Bobadilla (2), de Margo, Bradley
Werder Bremen vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
This match was “match of the chances” if I am allowed to demonstrate my literature-skills, if any. Both team tested their many chances through-out the game but none really scored. The end-result of the match is surprising to me as Werder has been awful when defending comes while Frankfurt have been flying high for past weeks on the veteran shoulders of Gekas who remains top scorer of the league at the moment with 11 goals. The fact that Frankfurt didn’t score and Werder didn’t concede was astonishing to be honest. However, both teams would be happy to share the points but Werder were in need of some points there.
Result: Werder 0-0 Frankfurt
St. Pauli vs. Bayer Leverkusen 04
The Millerntor, home of St. Pauli, had never been an easy place to be for Leverkusen as they never had won there. However, Jupp Heynckes added another “historic accomplishment” in his commendable CV as he guided his side to their first ever victory at the Millerntor.
Start of the match bore some ill tidings for Leverkusen as they were facing some difficulties to break St. Pauli but soon they took control and created many chances which were not converted. St. Pauli dragged Leverkusen till the end and draw looked likely but match nearing to end Leverkusen demonstrated how to break the opponents with exceptional set-pieces when nothing is working. Renato Augusto scored when Vidal took free kick and sent a long ball in to the box which was headed by Simon Rolfes to anticipating Augusto and Augusto made no mistake this time. Werkself sit second on the league table sharing the points with Mainz and seven points behind the current leaders, Borussia Dortmund.
Result: St. Pauli 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Scorer(s): Renato Augusto
Kaiserslautern vs. VFB Stuttgart
This match proved a top-drawer of the weekend as it involved six goals and redefined some mental attributes of the both sides. Stuttgart took the lead with one of the joyful goals this season when Boka came rushing in the Lauetrn’s heart of defense and set Marica for one-two and scoring the goal with a deft touch. Cacau scored the second goal for Stuttgart and the match looked buried for Kaiserslautern when Gentner made it 0-3 for the Swabians.
However, Kaiserslautern pulled off “Istanbul Moment” of their own when they raced back, showed courage, and displayed unbeatable character to level the game at 3-3 again. Their counter-attack tactic played some part in their clawing back into the match. It was Tiffert who orchestrated the might comeback of Kaiserslautern.
First, his cross was netted in by Micanski to make it 1-3 nearing an hour mark. Ilicevic gave hope to home crowd when he converted an impressive left-footed strike in to goal to bring the score to 2-3 and it took only two minutes more that Kaiserslautern were level at 3-3, when Mathias Abel headed in the free-kick of Tiffert.
Result: Kaiserslautern 3-3 Stuttgart
Scorer(s): Micanski, Ilicevic, Abel—Boka, Cacau, Gentner
Mainz vs. Hannover
Things were all rosy for Mainz when they started the league and went to win it all and were all set to not looking back at all but now the bed of roses has been turned in to bed of thorns as they have recorded four losses in their last five fixtures. Something tells that they also want to level the record of futility in Bundesliga and score some losses for that.
This last match, a late kick-off, on Saturday was a test of ambitions for the both sides’ ambitions and at the end Hannover left a strong mark with an impressive well-controlled victory despite being 10-men for last 20 minutes of the game. It took a powerful strike of Sergio Pinto from way off 30-yards to break the spine of Mainz and that goal proved the only goal of the match that separated the sides from winners and losers, eventually.
Result: Mainz 0-1 Hannover
1899 Hoffenheim vs. SC Freiburg
Freiburg registered their fourth win of their last six games to climb up the league standings to clinch the fourth spot. The match standing at a goalless draw for 90 minutes, Cisse scored his 10th of the season to give Freiburg a victory at the stoppage time. Cisse has been proving pivotal for Freiburg and he has been constantly providing the team with his knack of the goals.
Apart from goal that ensured Freiburg victory, it was Gylfi Sigurdsson who remained constant threat for Freiburg defense with his amazing performance. He was playing like Mozart but just lacked the finishing touches to most of his moves and shots. With little grooming and guidance, this Icelandic midfielder has potential to be a great Bundesliga player.
Result: Hoffenheim 0-1 Freiburg
Bayern München vs. Nürnberg
It is safe to assume now that Bayern Munich are back on winning ways as they won this Bavarian derby, on Sunday. They were well-drilled in the midfield and controlled the match off-the-start and rightfully took an early lead when “new-born” Mario Gomez scored from Daniel Pranjic’s by-line grounded-cross just 10 minutes in to the game. From then on, it proved a night for Daniel Pranjic and Mario Gomez both as they caused difficulties and chaos for Nürnberg at the back.
Gomez was brought down by Schafer in the penalty box and the referee rightfully pointed to the penalty spot. Phillip Lahm took the penalty and slotted it in with much ease to make it 2-0. It looked like that all Bayern Munich players had some dose of high-tempo tendencies before the match as it looked evident from their dominance in the match.
The match marked a return of Ribery and had a good run-up in the match as he looked in better shape. He provided an assist from corner for Gomez’ second of the night which he slotted in perfectly with a diving header.
“Unbelievable, I wanted to slap him but that wouldn’t have helped us.”
This only shows that how Schweini has gone a massive transformation and the level of maturity he has gained in these years.
Bayern Munich were given another penalty and all team gave Gomez a chance to complete another hat-trick but what he did was he blasted the ball high in the crowd as if he was asked to send the ball not into the net but to Berlin!
The looks of things tell that Bayern Munich will increase the pressure on other sides as they are looking their usual-self now and will weave some victories down the road in coming weeks but their next match can be proven a dent to their aspirations as they face high-flying and in-form Bayer Leverkusen side in their next match. That fixture will tell all the story of how much Bayern Munich look serious in going ahead.
Result: Bayern Munich 3-0 Nürnberg
Scorer(s): Gomez (2), Lahm