The German top flight league enters into the winter break giving us an indication of what to expect in the second half of the season. Bayern Munich dropped 2 points at home, Leverkusen and Dortmund still chasing after impressive result. The battle for other European space are still very open, But Bayern Munich still like to clinch the title at the end of the season
Bayern Munich 1 Vs Borrusia Monchengladbach 1
Venue - Allianz Arena
Thorben Max 21min (Borrusia)
Xherdan Shaqiri 59min ( Bayern)
It took a goal from substitute Swiss international - Xherdan Shaqiri to spare the blushes of the current league leaders. Borussia Monchengladbach took the lead through Thorben Marx via penalty in 21st min. The Bavarians endured a frustrating night from the hand of their visitors. Bayern Munich set about the game on a positive note with David Alaba combining well in such a telepathic manner with Frank Ribery. Ribery created series of chances particularly for Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos but the effort could not yield the necessary result. The game was quiet for about 20min but the tides were turned later as M'Gladbach made a meaning penetration into the Munich’s half - Tolgar Cigerci crossed the ball into the box and it hit Jerome Boateng's elbow which resulted in a penalty. Max stepped up and slotted in the ball into the net. The Bavarian responded well by attack desperately thereby leaving their rear exposed. Javi Matinez was withdrawn in the 38th min and it affected the fluidity of Munich, however on resumption from the break Bayern Munich show more sign of improve as Schweinsteiger’s low drive was saved Monchegdbach’s goalkeeper – Ter Stegen. The visitor sat deep with occasion flashes of display, The breakthrough came for home side when Xherdan Shaqiri scored in the 59th min to salvage a point. Bayern attack incessantly in to head into the winter break on high, but the G’bach defended resiliently .
Shalke 1 vs. Freiburg 3
Venue: Veltin Arena
Jefferson Farfan 20 min (Shalke)
Jan Rosenthal – 26 min (Freiburg)
Jonathan Schmid - 32 min (Freiburg)
Jan Rosenthal – 61 min (Freiburg)
Shalke started the game with much intensity; they showed an initial display that they desired the game more than their visitors. A series of attempt at goal f by Julian Draxler and Farfan must have awoken the visitors. Freiburg could have been some goal behind but thanks to the man in goal Olivier Baumann made some breathtaking saves that denied the home team. Farfan who was the thorn in the flesh eventually broke the dead lock in the 20th min when he tapped in a pass from a team mate. The vistors responded back immediately and eventually equalised through Jan Rosethal who send a fluky shot outside of the box. Thing went from bad to worse for the home team when they conceded another goal before the half-hour mark .Jonathan Shmid took advantage of the defensive blunder of Shalke defender Joel Matip to slot in a goal after one –two combination with Max Kruse. The home team started the 2nd half brightly as they were desperately in search of a goal. They created a lot of begging chances but had Oliver Baumann in the way and end product let them down as well. Howedes had his header save by the Baumann in one of his many saves. Jan Huntlaar had a one on one with the Freiburg goal keeper but was denied by the goalkeeper. On the converse Freiburg threaten occasional whenever they break on the counter – one of such moves yielded dividends when Jan Rosenthal Struck a well taken volley past Timo Hildebrand – this seal the fate of Shalke. However Jan Rosenthal turned from hero to villain when he got the second yellow card and had to leave in an unceremonious manner, Jan Huntlaar got a red card in the most controversial circumstances when he got the red card 90 seconds later. The defeat has left Shalke without another victory at the end of the winter break.The victory now moves Freiburg into 5th place on the league.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3 vs Hamburg 0
Venue: Bay Arena
Stefan Keissling 27th min (Leverkusen)
Andre Shurlle 36th min (Leverkusen)
Stefan Keissling 66min (Leverkusen)
Leverkusen has demonstrated that they are no pushovers after their emphatic victory over Hamburg. They have now closed the gap between them and league leaders to 9 points. In form striker Stefan Keissling scored a brace while Andre Shurlle add one to the score sheet.
The game began at frantic pace and both team show exciting ambitions form the blast of the whistle, Hamburg defender Denis Aogo uncoordinated passes allowed Schürrle to get behind him a lot of times – Schurrle rattled a shot on the cross bar making this the 4th time this season . Hamburg South Korean international Heung Min Son went close with an effort from the range, however the host team dominated and created majority of the chances. The pre games talk was mostly about Rene Adler who played for the host team for 12 years, despite initial saves he could not prevent his team from going behind twice before half time wit goals from Stefan Keissling and Andre Shuurlle . The duo were constant thorn in the flesh in the Hamburg team. Hamburg’s Manager Torsten Fink seemed to have changed their mentally as the visitor lunched out to change the situation, Leverkusen’s goal keeper Leno was called to action twice by Milan Baldelj and Son respectively. The host defend resolutely as they were not prepare to allow their opponent any chance of getting back into the game. As the game was gradually winding to an end, a long kick from Goalkeeper Leno bounced unto the path of Keissling who capitalized on the defensive error of Heiko Westermann, lifted the ball above on rushing Alder as he secured a brace. Leverkusen goes into the winter with the champions league hope intact.
Wolfsburg 0 vs Eintracht Frankfurt 2
Venue: Volkswagen Arena
Alexander Meier 12 min (Frankfurt)
Takashi Inui 18min (Frankfurt)
Eintracht Frankfurt ended the first half of the league campaign in the best style possible, grabbing 2-0 victory on the road. Two goals within six minutes from Alexander Mier and Japanese Takashi Inui ensured that the game went in favour of the visitors.
The game start brightly for the host when Bas Dos failed to take advantage of the first real opportunity of the game, however Mier headed in a cross from Schwegler scoring his 11th goal of the season. The situation was not helped when Josue got a red card – but Frankfurt exploited of the numerical advantage and got a goal from Takashi Inui after an incisive pass from Stefan Aigner all but ended the game for the home side. Frankly the home side did not show that they wanted the game. This victory ensured that Frankfurt is still comfortably place on 4th position having equal point with Borussia Dortmund.It will be a dream for them to remain within the top 4 position as this will guarantee them a champions league spot.
Mainz 05 3 Vs VfB Stuttgart 1
Venue: Coface Arena
Heinz Muller (own goal) – 48min (Mainz)
Nicolai Muller 55min (Mainz)
Nicolai Muller (71min)Mainz
Elkin Soto (90+2min)Mainz
Mainz moved into the enviable European position after clinching a win at home over Stuttgart. Colombian international Ekin Soto and and Nikolai Muller scored the goals that has pushed them into the 7th position of the league table.
Stuttgart had the opportunity of going into the winter break with 3 consecutive victories but the home team had other plans. Stuttgart striker - Vedad Ibisevic had his effort saved by Mainz goal tender Heinz Muller. On resumption of the second half, Mainz goalkeeper Muller pushed in the ball into the net after a tight angle header from Harnik .But the home side restored some pride when Nikolai Muller scored from a close range. As the second half progressed, the home sided upped the tempo of the game, with in form Hungarian striker Adam Szallai missing several opportunities for Mainz, but Nikolai Muller was on course again as he slotted in the 2nd goal for the home team and scoring his 4 goal of the season. The Colombian international scored the 3rd goal for Mainz giving them a comfortable and well deserved victory.
Furth 1 Vs Augsburg 1
Venue: Trolli Arena
Sascha Moulder 9min (Augsburg)
Lasse Sobiech 69min (Furth)
Call it the classic of the bottom the table and you won’t be far from right. Both team came into this game with the worst attacking record and needing a win to at least salvage any hope of remaining in the top flight league . Augsburg has not won any home game. Both team made the headline for the wrong reasons after both team got a player sent off. Molder opened the score sheet for Augsburg, heading home a free kick from Tobias Werner.
The host began the game in the second showing more desire and firing from all cylinders , their effort paid off it h 69th when Stieber's header rattled the bar after Goalkeeper Amsif flapped at a freekick , Sobiech completed the rest as he cushioned the ball into the net. The highlight of the game came later when both team had a player sent off. Furth ‘s Mavraj got the second yellow card, while Rio balanced the equation when he got an outright red card. Both teams were left to share the spoils with draw.
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2 Vs Hannover 96 1
Venue: Espirit Arena
Dani Schahin 39min (Dusseldorf)
Mame Diouf 69min (Hannover 96)
Ken IIso 83 min (Dusseldorf)
Dusseldorf picked up well deserved 2-1 victory over Hannover, goals from Schahin and Ken IIso guided the home team safely into victory. IIso tested the safe hand of Hannover’s goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler with just five minutes from the start, on the other end; sloppy back passes almost gave the visitors a lead through Senegalese International Mame Diouf - he was on song again after he rounded goal keeper Fabian Giefer only to see his low drive go the wrong side of the upright.
However the home side came alive after Leon Balogun crossed the ball for Schahin who rose to the occasion and headed in the first goal for Dusseldorf. The home team did not offer much from and attacking perspective, but visitors kept on press hard for an equalizer. Their effort paid of after Manuel Schmiedebach long range pass was well control by Mame Diouf chest before firing a scorcher, which could contest for one of the best goal of the season. Fortuna restored their lead from yet another Loan Balogun’s cross before Ilso fired in for a 2nd goal that guaranteed victory for the home team.
Hoffenhaim 1 vs Borrusia Dortmund 3
Venue - Rhein – Neckar Arena
Mario Gotze 26min (Dortmund)
Sven Schipplock 35min ( Hoffenheim)
Kevin Grosskreutz 58min (Dortmund)
Robert Lewandowski 66 min (Dortmund)
The league’s defending champion restored some pride after losing at home last week. A 3-1 emphatic victory got the 2 time league champion right back on the title chase again. The German Coach Jochim Low was on the stand to watch some international prospect but Mario Gotze would have caught his attention more than the others. The midfielder opened for the visitor, subsequently playing his part in Kevin Grosskreutz goal before Robert Lewandowski added the third. With minimal experience in the left-back position, Jakub Blaszczykowski was chosen to replace Marcel Schmelze. Dortmund was virtually all over Hoffenheim and even an occasional break from the home team was met by the rock solid defence led by Mat Hummel.
Mario Gotze got his goal after being picked out by Leitner; put the ball past Koen Casteels taken his personal tally to 6 goals this season. The home team began to search for an equalizer, their effort paid off when Schipplock rounded off a swift passing move to level ten minutes before half time. Götze picked out Reus, who unselfishly slid in Grosskreutz for his first Bundesliga goal in ten months. Robert Lewandoski scored the third after turning Matthieu Delpierre inside out before scoring a well deserved goal – his tenth of the season
Werder Bremen 1 Vs Nuremburg 1
Venue: Wesers Stadion
Timo Gebhart 82min ( Nuremburg)
Nils Petesen 88min (Werden Bremen)
The final game of the first half of the Bundesliga ended with both teams sharing a point .Dramatically both goals were scored in the last 10 minutes of the game. The host could have wrapped up the game in the first half as they created a plethora of begging chances but this could not result in a goal. The home team settled into the game quite well as Eljero Elia effort was blocked and on loan player Kevin De Bruyne had his effort tipped over by goalkeeper Raphael Schäfer. Werder Bremen troubled their opponent particularly in the final third but lacked precision in front of goal, Zlatko Junuzovic could have opened the scoring but fired wide.
Even though Bremen were creating chances but they looked quite frail at the rear at time, Javier Pinola had an attempt on goal but was denied by goalkeeper Sebastian Mielitz. On resumption of the second half, Nuremburg began to assert itself as the began to push forward in search of an opener. Mielitz produced a solid save when Feulner attempted to head home from a tight angle and the 23-year-old was called upon again soon after to deny Robert Mak. Kevin De Bruyne and Nil Petersen hit the woodwork as they continued to press for the opener, however Nuremberg look dangerous on the counter, Kevin De Bruyne and Aron Hunt wasted a lot chance towards the end of the game,however Gebhart curling the ball into the bottom to give the visitors a lead. After the deadlock had being broken, the Werder Bremen attack en masse in search for the equalizer, their effort paid off when Nils Petesen guided De Bruyne volley into the net . Werder Bremen could have place themselves in the European spot if they had converted their chances.