Round 24 of the German Bundesliga began on Friday evening, as relegation-threatened FC Augsburg hosted league leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Neither team was in good form going into the match, yet there seemed little doubt beforehand that the visitors would come out on top. However, Augsburg led by their star Dong-Won Ji, who has an unsuccessful BVB past, had other ideas. They defeated Dortmund 2-1, via a brace from Ji.
On Saturday afternoon, Dortmund’s local rivals Schalke 04 reached a low-point in their historically awful season, by losing 4-0 at home to promoted team Fortuna Düsseldorf. The result puts last year’s second-place finishers’ Bundesliga 1 status in doubt.
Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen kept their European ambitions alive by beating SC Freiburg 2-0. Elsewhere, Eintracht Frankfurt boosted their own Champions League dreams with a 3-2 victory over TSG Hoffenheim by coming from 2-1 down, with only minutes remaining in the encounter.
Hertha BSC Berlin overturned a 1-0 deficit to overcome Mainz 05 2-1. RB Leipzig defeated 1.FC Nuremberg 1-0, thus, leaving the latter stuck in last place. Nuremberg’s recent coaching change from Michael Köllner to Boris Schommers has not had anywhere near the desired effect.
On Saturday evening, Borussia Mönchengladbach took on a Bayern Munich side decimated by injuries and illnesses. In the season’s other meeting of the two sides, Gladbach hammered the defending champions 3-0, in Munich.
But the Bavarians were eager to take advantage of Dortmund’s slipup from the previous evening. They knew that a victory would put them even on points with the Bundesliga leaders, and accomplished just that with a 5-1 victory over the Foals.
The recent, seemingly insurmountable nine-point lead that Dortmund had over Bayern has melted away. The only thing that still keeps BVB ahead of Bayern is a slightly better goal-difference!
On Sunday, VfB Stuttgart demolished Hannover 96 5-1 in a relegation six-pointer, the result leaves the 96s nearly doomed along with Nuremberg. Later, VfL Wolfsburg drew Werder Bremen 1-1 in an uneventful northern derby.