Bayern Munich 4-0 VFL Stuttgart
This game had the potential to be a banana skin for Bayern as they looked for a reaction after RB Leipzig’s 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld on Friday night.
Bayern did not get off to the best start either when Alphonso Davies received a red card after a stamp on Wataru Endo’s ankle. Originally given a yellow, the referee consulted the pitch side monitor which changed the decision. Stuttgart themselves felt a massive blow, when contender for Bundesliga Rookie of the Season Silas Wamangituka went down injured and had to be subbed off. It was later revealed that he has torn his ACL so will sadly miss the rest of a very impressive first Bundesliga season for him.
The Davies red did not hinder Bayern however, as that seemed to kick themselves into an extra gear going 3-0 up 10 minutes after the red card with goals from Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski. Lewandowski then completed his hat-trick 15 minutes later with a finely taken shot passed Gregor Kobel.
Lewandowski’s hat-trick takes him to 35 goals in the Bundesliga this season. With eight games left in the season and with the rate Lewandowski has been scoring it is very likely that he is going to break Gerd Muller’s goal record.
This win for Bayern sent their lead at the top of the Bundesliga back to four points. Which sets up nicely their next game which is against second placed RB Leipzig in the first game back after the international break. This game is more important for Leipzig than it is for Bayern due to the points gap. Meaning if Leipzig are to keep the hopes of a title race alive, they MUST win at home to Bayern. It is not helpful for Leipzig, that Bayern have stopped David Alaba and Lewandowski from joining their national teams due to COVID restrictions in Germany. This allows two weeks of rest for Lewandowski and Alaba some of Bayern’s most crucial players.
If Bayern are to win the game in Saxony on April 3rd, then it is likely that they will win another Bundesliga title.
FC Koln 2-2 Borussia Dortmund:
Borussia Dortmund missed a big opportunity in their push for the Champions League places as they stumbled against relegation threatened Koln.
Dortmund had got off to a good start when Erling Braut Haland superbly controlled an Emre Can pass to slot past Timo Horn.
However, Dortmund then proceeded to look fragile defensively and it allowed Koln to pile on the pressure. This pressure resulted in Jude Bellingham giving away a penalty for handball. The resultant penalty was converted by Ondrej Duda. After the break, Dortmund continued to look poor and this allowed Ismail Jakobs to break through from the left hand side to smash the ball home past Marvin Hitz. This brings into question if Thomas Meunier is the right fit for Dortmund at right back as Mateu Morey has proven to be the more inform of the two in recent games and in this situation could of used his pace to keep up with Jakobs.
Dortmund then proceeded to dominate the game but were unable to create any meaningful chances. Until late on, Edin Terzick takes a chance on Ansgar Knauff for the poor Meunier. Which Knauff rewards Terzick for his gamble. Knauff drives down the Dortmund right flank and is able to provide a cut back which is converted by Haland to rescue a point for Dortmund.
The resultant story from this game was Haland reaction after the game where he stormed off down the tunnel. This just highlights his frustration at another poor Dortmund performance where he has had to rescue them. Such a reaction has also resulted in the rumours flying about his possible departure this summer with potential suitors being Manchester City and Real Madrid.
For Koln, this was a slightly positive result in the race for survival as due to other results at the weekend they only remain one point behind Hertha Berlin and Mainz who both won. However, with big games coming up against Wolfsburg and Mainz themselves, this game should give Koln confidence to mount some sort of a title challenge.
Schalke 04 0-3 Borussia Monchengladbach:
Borussia Monchengladbach won their first game in the Bundesliga since January 22nd when they beat Dortmund 4-2. Although the win should give them some confidence and keeps the dream of a possible Europa League place alive, it is not a win to get too excited at due to the nature of Schalke and how poor they have been.
Gladbach took the lead when a Ramy Bensebaini cut back was cleared by William into the path of Lars Stindl who converted and continues his great goalscoring form. This mistake ultimately resulted in William getting substituted in the first half for Bastian Oczipka.
In the second half, Stefan Lainer flicked a Jonas Hofmann corner into the net to double Gladbach’s lead. Then finally, a Nico Elvedi header was saved by Schalke goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow, only for him to drop the ball and it roll into the goal.
Away from the game, the biggest story is regarding who may replace Marco Rose as Gladbach coach and it looks like a replacement has been found. Bild have reported that former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich Xabi Alonso is set to take over this summer after his contract with Real Sociedad II expires. This is an interesting appointment as Alonso is a relatively inexperienced manager at the top level of the game but has impressed during his time in San Sebastian. The style of football Alonso will want to implement will be also be interesting and it begs the question how will the Gladbach players adapt, and is it enough to keep players such as Denis Zakaria and Florian Neuhaus at the club.
- The future of Bayer Leverkusen boss Peter Boss is now in doubt as Leverkusen once again aid the teams in the relegation zone. After last weeks 2-1 loss to Arminia Bielefeld, Leverkusen handed Hertha Berlin three crucial points as they triumphed 3-0 in Berlin. to send them out of the relegation zone. This does bring Bosz future into question as they have gone from challenging for the title at the beginning of the season to dropping down the table and looking nowhere near their best.
- Eintracht Frankfurt continue their great season as they beat Union Berlin 5-2. Andre Silva and Flip Kostic continue to set their case as best duo in the Bundesliga with Silva scoring his 20th goal of the season while Kostic got his 10th assist. Frankfurt are well on their way for a European place for next season.
- Speaking of great strikers, Wout Weghorst scored his 17th goal of the season and 50th in the Bundesliga as Wolfsburg ran out 2-1 winners against Werder Bremen. His performance showcases the quality of strikers currently in the Bundesliga and that it really is a great time to be a striker with Lewandowski, Haland, Silva, Weghorst, Andrej Kramaric and Sasa Kalajdzic all having great season.