In order to finish the first half of the Bundesliga season, and start the winter break in time for the holidays, matchday 16 of the German soccer league already took place this past Tuesday and Wednesday. That way, matchday 17 of 34, the halfway point can be finished on the coming weekend.
In Tuesday’s first match, RB Leipzig effectively lost two more points in their 1-1 draw vs. VfL Wolfsburg. They were even behind in that game against the team that only avoided relegation though the playoffs last season.
Later that evening, SC Freiburg defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-0 via a penalty kick converted by Nils Peterson, that took the video assistant referee (VAR) a long time to correctly call.
Meanwhile, it took Eintracht Frankfurt only a few first half minutes to turn a 1-0 deficit against Hamburger SV into a 2-1 lead, which later became a victory by that score line.
Peter Stöger won his debut as Borussia Dortmund coach 2-0 against Mainz 05, by going back to basics with his team.
In Wednesday’s first match, TSG Hoffenheim got a narrow 1-0 home win against VfB Stuttgart, the worst away team in the Bundesliga.
Later Bayern Munich beat 1.FC Cologne, the worst team in league history at this point of a season by the same narrow score.
Elsewhere, Hertha BSC Berlin defeated Hannover 96 3-1. Schalke 04 gave away a solid 2-0 lead to FC Augsburg, to still win 3-2 in the end. Lastly, Bayer Leverkusen won 1-0 against Werder Bremen to finally spend a full matchday in the top four of the league standings.
While it is not the winter break yet, there are nevertheless some quite disturbing trends about the Bundesliga that need to be addressed. The performance of its teams in Europe so far this season, was unacceptable, there is no way to sugarcoat that.
But what shows that German club soccer is in serious trouble is the fact that since the value of a win was increased from two to three points, there was never a second-placed team at this point of the season as bad as Schalke is today.
My biggest soccer holiday wish is for these things to drastically improve.