• Thursday, 8 April 2010

    Stuttering rivals hand Bayern initiative: Bundesliga reviews

    It's down to a two-horse race in Germany now as the Neverkusen curse overwhelmed the long-time leaders which leaves them six points adrift with five matches left. And Bayern seized the initiative in a crucial game last week. But we'll start with the previous round, round 28.

    Bochum 1-2 Eintracht
    Bayern 1-2 Stuttgart
    Hannover 1-4 Cologne
    Hertha 0-0 Dortmund
    Mainz 0-2 Wolfsburg
    Bremen 4-2 Nurnberg
    Leverkusen 0-2 Schalke
    Hoffenheim 1-1 Freiburg
    Monchengladbach 1-0 Hamburg

    Schalke went top after this round of fixtures after they eased to a two-goal win over Leverkusen. Kevin Kuranyi got both in the first half while Bayern went down to Stuttgart. Ivica Olic gave the Bavarians the lead, but goals either side of the break from Christian Trasch and Ciprian Marica gave the Swabians the spoils. Hamburg's challenge has hit the buffers and they went down to a single Roel Brouwers goal and now face a struggle to reach Europe at all as Dortmund, despite being held 0-0 by Hertha, and Bremen leapfrog them. Two early Per Mertesacker goals gave Werder the lead against Nurnberg and Tim Borowski made it three on the half hour. Mike Frantz pulled one back early in the second half and Eric Choupo-Moting another from the penalty spot. Torsten Frings' late dismissal set up a grandstand finish, but Clemens Fritz sealed it in stoppage time. Eintracht and Wolfsburg are both in the running for Europe as well after both won. Bochum were ahead through Lewis Holtby against Eintracht, but Marco Russ and Caio ensured the win. Edin Dzeko, inevitably, helped Die Wolfe to victory over Mainz. He got both within the last ten minutes.

    Hannover went down heavily again, 4-1 against Cologne for whom Zoran Tosic got two, while Hoffenheim denied Freiburg late on, Joe Simunic with an equaliser ten minutes from time after Mohamadou Idrissou had put the strugglers in front.

    Eintracht 3-2 Leverkusen
    Freiburg 1-1 Bochum
    Dortmund 2-1 Bremen
    Schalke 1-2 Bayern
    Nurnberg 2-0 Mainz
    Stuttgart 2-1 Monchengladbach
    Cologne 0-3 Hertha
    Wolfsburg 4-0 Hoffenheim
    Hamburg 0-0 Hannover

    After his heroics the previous week, Zoran Tosic turned villian, sent off late in the heavy defeat the Hertha. He was the second Colonge player dismissed, Youssef Mohamad having seen red earlier. They were two down by then, Raffael with both, and Cicero wrapped it up. It still looks an impossible job to avoid the drop though. Hannover got a point despite Jiri Stajner's red card, but still look favourites to join Hertha in Bundesliga 2 next season. Freiburg also remain in trouble, though they too picked up a point against Bochum. Demba Cissé put them in front, but Christoph Dabrowski equalised for an important point for Bochum. They're now three points clear of the bottom three, but haven't been in good form. They're there to be shot at. So are Nurnberg, but they're going in the right direction now after beating Mainz for whom Andreas Ivanschitz was sent off four minutes into the contest. Mike Frantz and Eric Choupo-Moting gave Nurnberg the win.

    Big game of the week was in Gelsenkirchen where Bayern seized the league lead despite playing the entire second half a man short. Franck Ribéry and Thomas Muller struck in the space of a couple of minutes midway through the first half to establish a lead, but Kevin Kuranyi pulled one back and Hamit Altiptop was sent off five minutes from half time. Try as they might, Schalke just couldn't break Bayern down and it ended ten-a-side when Marcelo Bordon was sent off late on. Leverkusen lost again despite taking the lead with a Stefan Kiessling double after Selim Teber's penalty gave Eintracht the lead. But Daniel Schwaab was sent off shortly after half-time and Caio and, two minutes from time, Maik Franz, turned the game around to give Eintracht the win. Dortmund beat Bremen in the battle of the Europa League challengers, Kevin Grosskreutz and rumoured Arsenal target Neven Subotic giving them the lead and they held on after Aaron Hunt reduced the arrears with 25 minutes to go. Stuttgart still harbour hopes of European football and won again despite going behind to Gladbach and Marco Reus. Ciprian Marica and, with time ticking down, Zdravko Kuzmanovic turned it around. And Wolfsburg might still have a say, Edin Dzeko again getting two as they easily beat a disappointing Hoffenheim side.

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