• Friday, 19 February 2010

    Top three hold station: Bundesliga reviews

    Monchengladbach 2-1 Nurnberg
    Leverkusen 2-1 Wolfsburg
    Hannover 1-5 Bremen
    Hertha 1-1 Mainz
    Stuttgart 1-3 Hamburg
    Bochum 2-1 Hoffenheim
    Bayern 3-1 Dortmund
    Schalke 2-0 Cologne
    Eintracht 2-1 Freiburg

    Wins for the top three sees the situation unchanged at the pointy end of the table. Schalke continue the chase of the top two with a comfortable win over Cologne, ending their decent run. Joel Matip put the Royal Blues ahead on the stroke of half-time and Jefferson Farfan wrapped it up late on. They remain tucked in, three points off the pace set by Leverkusen and Bayern. Leverkusen beat the reigning champions, Stefan Reinartz and Eren Derdiyok doing enough to make the game safe before Edin Dzeko pulled one back - things really are going to a script for Die Wolfe - while Bayern were again pulled through by Arjen Robben who is in incredible form. After Mohamed Zidan put Dortmund ahead, the follically challenged Dutchman pulled them apart, having a major role in the two goals he didn't score, Mark van Bommel and Mario Gomez profiting from Robben's work.

    Hamburg lead the chase and Ruud van Nistelrooy is off the mark for his new club. Marcus Berg gave HSV a first half lead, Christian Trasch levelled it up for Stuttgart early in the second half, but two in two minutes from van Nistelrooy won it. The rest are nowhere. Dortmund have run into a brick wall and the rest are just too inconsistent - or consistently not good enough. Bremen battered Hannover, four goals to the good by half-time. Cue in rack, tedious second half, but a 5-1 win will suffice any time. Mainz and Eintracht are still duking it out for local bragging rights in mid-table. The former lost points at Hertha, Gustavo Ramos equalising after Aristide Bancé put Mainz ahead, but Eintracht won, coming from behind to beat Freiburg thanks to Halil Altintop's late, late winner. Hoffenheim were beaten again, this time by fast moving Bochum who have pulled well away from danger over the last month. Vedad Ibisevic equalised for the Villagers after Stanislav Sestak had put Bochum in front, but Zlatko Dedic restored the lead and Hoffenheim ended a man short, Luis Dias sent off late on. Gladbach are all but safe too after beating Nurnberg.

    This week:

    Hoffenheim v Monchengladbach
    Mainz v Bochum
    Cologne v Stuttgart
    Nurnberg v Bayern
    Dortmund v Hannover
    Hamburg v Eintracht
    Freiburg v Hertha
    Wolfsburg v Schalke
    Bremen v Leverkusen

    Big game this week sees Felix Magath return to the VW-Arena with his Schalke side riding high and his former charges languishing. That should be a spicy one. Bayern shouldn't have too many problems in Nurnberg, but Leverkusen will have to watch for Bremen who are beginning to refind their touch. There's a big six-pointer in Freiburg where Hertha are the visitors and lots of mid-table skirmishes elsewhere.

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