SV Werder Bremen – FC Bayern Munich 1: 2 (0: 0), Goals: Serge Gnabry (62′), Leroy Sané (72′), Niklas Schmidt (86′)
FC Bayern avoided another blunder in the championship race and won against Werder Bremen. Serge Gnabry and substitute Leroy Sané scored for Bayern Munich in the second half, and Niklas Schmidt ensured a nervous final phase with a dream goal. But Werder couldn’t equalize; Until the Dortmund game on Sunday, FC Bayern is now four points ahead of their direct pursuer in the table.
There were initially discussions before the game: Thomas Tuchel had again not found a place for Thomas Müller in the starting line-up, and because Müller still has a special place in the Bavarian cosmos, the coach was allowed to ask in front of the television microphones why he made such a decision answer in many different ways. The decision against Müller was “razor thin”, said Tuchel.
Tuchel’s chosen staff initially had difficulties with the deep Bremen defense formation. A Benjamin Pavard header, which Werder goalkeeper Jiri Pavkenka parried with a strong reflex, was the best chance. Otherwise, the Munich played obligingly up to the sixteen – but no further. On the other side, Bremen’s counterattack attempts failed, until Christian Groß suddenly had the great opportunity to take the lead after a little over half an hour.
Werder also started well in the second half, but Bayern became more determined. First, Gnabry missed a dream goal with an overhead kick, then he suddenly found himself free in the box and pushed in – Bremen’s defensive chain did not act on a line and thus canceled the offside. Shortly afterwards, substitute Sané scored the second after a nice pass from Noussair Mazraoui. Niklas Schmidt curled the ball wonderfully into the corner in the 86th minute, but Bayern saved the lead over time.
Hertha BSC – VfB Stuttgart 2: 1 (2: 1), Gates: 1: 0 Marc-Oliver Kempf (29th), 1: 1 Serhou Guirassy (38th), 2: 1 Florian Niederlechner (45th + 2nd)
Pal Dardai had put a maximum demand on his team: four games, four wins! But even if a coach repeats the lofty claim every quarter of an hour in dire need, that doesn’t mean that the Herculean task becomes any easier: No Bundesliga club has recently managed four wins in a row – certainly not the bottom of the table, certainly not Hertha BSC, whose most recent record for The start of the relegation battle duel against VfB Stuttgart was four, well, defeats.
Unrealistic? Maybe, but Dardais Hertha initially only knew one direction on Saturday – forward, because the abyss yawned behind her. In the 12th minute, Lucas Toussart used a header defense that was too short and threw the ball just wide of the goal from 18 meters out; two minutes later colleague Dodi Lukébakio rushed up and also moved. It was then a corner carelessly conceded by VfB that caused the blue sea of 60,000 spectators in the Olympic Stadium to boil (29th): The ball, flanked by Richter, sank in front of the goal, Marc-Oliver Kempf rose and headed it with it Power and past the inner post into the net. A goal by the Hertha defense chief: a relegation battle, so to speak.
VfB Stuttgart, also far from saved, found a gap in the Berlin defense shortly afterwards: Borna Sosa crossed to the unguarded Josha Vagnoman at the post, VfB striker Serhou Guirassy equalized from close range. But Hertha wasn’t beaten yet: The bottom of the table took the lead again after a free kick from Lukébakio shortly before the half-time whistle: Florian Niederlechner steered the ball over the line with the soles of his feet in a crowd.
And Hertha saved the lead over time: Stuttgart’s passionate offensive efforts remained without a countable result, including in the 84th minute when Suat Serdar lost the ball to Wataru Endo, who shot wide of the goal. Three points for Hertha – but the maximum requirement remains. It is now: three games, three wins!
SC Freiburg – RB Leipzig 0: 1 (0: 0), Goal: 0-1 Kevin Kampl (73′)
Anyone who wondered how this game would go after RB Leipzig shot SC Freiburg 5-1 out of their own stadium in the cup during the week found the answer very quickly: Identical – just without the early Leipzig goals. The duo Dani Olmo/Christopher Nkunku, who had returned from injury, again presented the SC defense with major problems. It should have been 1-0 in the 27th minute, but Nkunku and Timo Werner obstructed each other. The 0-0 at the break was a success for Christian Streich’s team, who made up for their lack of technical class with fighting spirit.
It was Kevin Kampl who tried a head-through-the-wall solo. He grabbed the ball in the far advanced Leipzig defense chain and bravely ran towards the opposing goal. Because he was lucky that the ball flipped back to him once, he was suddenly alone in front of the goal and scored the deserved lead. It was the decisive action. Leipzig manages an important away win and passes Freiburg and Union in third place. For the sports club, which never spoke of the Champions League as a goal, it is a setback in the fight for the Champions League.
FC Augsburg – 1.FC Union Berlin 1:0 (0:0), Goal: 1-0 Dion Beljo (53′)
It threatened to get really tight again. It felt like staying in the class for FCA was already certain a few weeks ago. But then followed eight games without a win, and the teams in the bottom of the table didn’t want to accept relegation. After FC Schalke’s second last-minute win in a row, the lead in 17th place on Friday evening was suddenly just three points. And now Champions League contender Union also came to visit. A glimmer of hope from Augsburg’s point of view: the people from Köpenick have never won in the Fuggerstadt.
As expected, it was a combat-oriented game. In the first round, Union had several chances to score, without being mandatory. After a blocked liberation by goalkeeper Frederik Rönnow, Augsburg striker Dion Beljo failed to place the ball in the empty goal. The Croatian winter signing did better after the break: Beljo got the ball from a cross from the right with a long leg in front of Paul Jaeckel and scored the lead. FCA then had several opportunities to raise and missed them all. As a reminder: No team gave away as many points after taking the lead as Augsburg this season. In the closing stages, Union tried many long but uninspired balls into the penalty area, which Augsburg goalkeeper Tomáš Koubek safely plucked out of the air and thus secured the important victory for his team.
TSG Hoffenheim – Eintracht Frankfurt 3: 1 (3: 0), Goals: 1: 0 Christoph Baumgartner (8th), 2: 0 Andrej Kramarić (41st, penalty kick), 3: 0 Ihlas Bebou (45th + 3rd), 3: 1 Mario Götze (54th)
What is actually going on with Eintracht Frankfurt? The Hessians are playing a catastrophic second half of the season with the points of a relegated team, the last win was on February 18th. The fact that the DFB Cup victory and the European Cup qualification are still possible is one of the peculiar characteristics of Frankfurt, which has been better in cup competitions for years than in everyday league life.
For Hoffenheim, only Christoph Baumgartner scored the lead with a nice header. Andrej Kramarić could have made it 2-0 after that (he hit the crossbar), but in the 41st minute he got the chance to take a penalty. Because he delayed the start, the people of Frankfurt were terribly upset. Also coach Oliver Glasner, who apparently used words that justified an immediate red card; he had to leave the dugout. The fact that shortly afterwards Ihlas Bebou scored the third goal rounded off the disastrous half-time from Eintracht’s point of view. Despite the red card against Hoffenheim’s Stanley Nsoki (gross foul) and the associated majority in almost the entire second half, Frankfurt did not come back. Mario Götze’s goal was not enough.
So Hoffenheim get three potentially decisive points in the relegation battle after Schalke’s victory and could end up being the big winner of the match day, Frankfurt cannot take advantage of Mainz’s slip in the race for European places. However: With a win in the cup final in Berlin, Eintracht can still save the whole season – but in the end they are left with nothing.
Borussia Monchengladbach – VfL Bochum 2:0 (1:0), Goals: 1: 0 Jonas Hofmann (35th), 2: 0 Lars Stindl (90th + 1st)
Gladbach does not play an unimportant role in the relegation battle – several teams from the bottom of the table have to deal with Borussia in the final spurt of the season. Last week, Stuttgart snatched a win against Gladbach, who have been disappointing overall this season. Bochum was a guest this Saturday. After a good half hour, the hosts were ahead: Jonas Hofmann was completely free in the penalty area after a half-court cross from the left and pushed in with a direct acceptance to make it 1-0.
Borussia missed the best opportunities for a higher lead before the break. Until then, there was hardly anything to be seen from the Bochumers. On the other hand, VfL started the second half with commitment and rummaged several times dangerously in the opposing sixteen after corners and throw-ins, but without success. Gladbach started one counterattack after the other – and forgave one after the other clumsily. Even a wild excursion by VfL goalkeeper Manuel Riemann was not punished. Lars Stindl only made everything clear with a header in added time. With the victories of Schalke, Hoffenheim and Co., Bochum is the big loser of the match day – next week there is already a lot at stake in the direct duel with FC Augsburg.