Matchday 14 of the German Bundesliga began last Friday with what was promising to be a dramatic relegation six-pointer between SC Freiburg and Hamburger SV. Instead it turned out to be a largely uneventful scoreless draw.
On Saturday afternoon Bayern Munich faced a brave Hannover 96 team. But the class of the Bavarians came through in the end, as the record champions produced a 3-1 victory.
Bayern also doubled its lead at the top of the table ahead of second-place RB Leipzig, as the latter fell to a shocking 4-0 defeat to TSG Hoffenheim.
Second from bottom Werder Bremen celebrated a rare 1-0 victory over VfB Stuttgart, which put the former within striking distance of the non-relegation places in the table.
Bayer Leverkusen temporarily dropped out of the European places, after an unlucky 1-1 draw against struggling Borussia Dortmund, who is barely keeping itself in the top six after having had a very strong start to the season.
Meanwhile, FC Augsburg continued to play far above this season’s expectations by beating Mainz 05 3-1 away from home.
On Saturday evening, 1.FC Cologne had arguably its best performance of the season, at least in terms of Bundesliga play. They came back from behind twice to draw Schalke 04 2-2 away from home. Yet, obviously it was not the first league victory they so desperately needed.
It put an end to the era under their legendary coach Peter Stöger, who within his reign achieved not only promotion from Bundesliga 2. He also took them back to European competition for the first time in a quarter century.
Despite all the sentimentality about Stöger’s past accomplishments, one can not only understand the club’s decision to fire him. The question rather is, why this did not happen sooner, given the extreme danger of relegation back to the second tier they are in?
Sunday brought us two strange results, as Eintracht Frankfurt won 2-1 at Hertha BSC Berlin, while VfL Wolfsburg hammered Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0.