The second half of the season in the German Bundesliga started with a bang this past Friday. Two of the league’s top teams in TSG Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich faced off against each other. As if to try and send a signal to their competitors, the Bavarians were quite dominant from the start.
Yet, it took the six-time defending champions until the end of the opening half to make their superiority count, with a brace from Leon Goretzka they went into the locker room with a 2-0 lead.
In the second stanza, Hoffenheim was the better side for most of the forty-five minutes. Their new German international Nico Schulz made it 2-1 around the hour mark, to make the match interesting again.
But Bayern put their experience and cleverness on show, to not only see the game out, but to improve the result to 3-1 via Robert Lewandowski.
On Saturday afternoon, Borussia Mönchengladbach beat Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 and thus ruined the competitive debut for their opponents’ new coach Peter Bosz.
Meanwhile, two late goals from VfB Stuttgart were not enough to rescue a point against Mainz 05, who won the encounter 3-2.
Eintracht Frankfurt hammered SC Freiburg 3-1, to get back into the race for the top four in the Bundesliga.
Elsewhere, Fortuna Düsseldorf secured three valuable points for league survival by beating strugglers FC Augsburg 2-1 and Werder Bremen defeated Hanover 96 1-0.
On Saturday evening, Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund won 1-0 vs. RB Leipzig in a game where the Saxons lacked the necessary quality in the final third.
Finally, on Sunday Hertha BSC Berlin overpowered relegation-threatened 1.FC Nuremberg 3-1 and later Schalke 04 was lucky to defeat VfL Wolfsburg 2-1. For the Royal Blues, it was the kind of victory like so many that helped them secure second place last season.