After an interesting midweek of domestic cup quarterfinal action (to which we shall get later), German clubs returned to their day-to-day, “bread-and-butter” competition, the Bundesliga this past weekend.
The league’s matchday 22 began last Friday with an encounter between teams with European ambitions, as RB Leipzig hosted FC Augsburg and defeated them 2-0, despite not always playing their best.
That result put the Saxon Bulls into second place for the time being.
On Saturday afternoon Borussia Dortmund also beat Hamburger SV 2-0, regardless of early difficulties. Elsewhere, TSG Hoffenheim overcame Mainz 05 4-2, while Eintracht Frankfurt outclassed 1.FC Cologne by the same score.
The latter result put Eintracht into the top four of the Bundesliga, while keeping Cologne in an already seemingly hopeless position in their fight against relegation.
Bayer Leverkusen surprisingly lost 2-0 at home to Hertha BSC Berlin, a result which pushed them out of the top four for now.
Promoted side Hanover 96 moved into the top half of the table, by defeating SC Freiburg 2-1.
Saturday evening’s top match between Bayern Munich and Schalke 04 deserved that title, as both teams pushed forward with plenty of positive play. The Bavarians finished 2-1 winners, as the Royal Blues’ keeper Ralf Fährmann made two decisive mistakes.
On Sunday, VfB Stuttgart and Werder Bremen gave themselves breathing space in the fight against relegation from the Bundesliga. Stuttgart did so by beating Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-0, while Bremen hammered VfL Wolfsburg 3-1.
As promised above, we now shift our focus to the German Cup. Last Tuesday, Bayern defeated SC Paderborn, the last remaining lower-league side 6-0. Later that evening, Leverkusen came back from an early 2-0 deficit vs. Bremen to force extra time, in which they won 4-2.
On Wednesday, Frankfurt brushed aside Mainz 3-0 and Schalke defeated Wolfsburg 1-0.
Sunday’s semifinal draw determined that Leverkusen will host Bayern and that Schake will welcome Frankfurt in the next round, to be played in mid April.