Best of Bundesliga: Revierderby sparkles, Cologne on course to be worst ever | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 26.11.2017
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Best of Bundesliga: Revierderby sparkles, Cologne on course to be worst ever

A weekend where Bayern Munich lose usually leaves the rest in the shade but Schalke's stunning comeback against Dortmund put a stop to that. At the other end, winless Cologne are on course to break all the wrong records.

Good week for: Domenico Tedesco, Dieter Hecking, Freiburg, Naby Keita, Kevin Volland

Bad week for: Borussia Dortmund, Marwin Hitz, Julian Nagelsmann, Peter Stöger 

- There's nowhere else to start but the Revierderby. The 176th meeting of Borussia Dortmund and Schalke looked over at the break, with Dortmund four to the good. But a combination of BVB's fragility, Domenico Tedesco's decisive substitutions, Schalke's spirit and a brainless challenge from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang contrived to see the game finish 4-4. It's only the second time in Bundesliga history that a side has come from four down to get a result.

- That match took the spotlight off a result that any other week would make the headlines — a Bayern Munich loss. The champions went down 2-1 away at Borussia Mönchengladbach despite having much the better of the contest. The loss was Bayern's first since Jupp Heynckes returned to the hot seat and came against a club he's played for and coached. The two matches Bayern have lost in their first 13 league games are as many as they lost in all of 2015/16. His first half penalty also meant Thorgan Hazard is the first Gladbach player to be involved in a goal — scoring or providing the assist — in 10 consecutive Bundesliga league games since records began in 1992.

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Kress Harrington on the weekend's action

- Despite a Europa League victory over Arsenal on Thursday that many thought would lift the club, Cologne put in another limp display in a 2-0 home loss to Hertha Berlin on Sunday. With 13 games gone and sitting nine points from safety, the Billy Goats are on course for a number of the Bundesliga's least desired records. At their current rate, they will pick up five points this season, significantly short of Tasmania Berlin, who hold the current record for the worst season with eight points — in 1965/66 when wins counted for only two points. Cologne are also still of the snail's pace of Tasmania's Hinrunde record of four points before the winter break.  

- Things have gone from bad to worse for Julian Nagelsmann, the man strongly linked with the Bayern post before Heynckes came back. A comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Hamburg on Sunday followed hot on the heels of a 3-1 loss to Braga that confirmed their exit from the Europa League at the group stage. The opener against Hamburg, an own goal by Kevin Akpoguma, was the 1000th Eigentor in Bundesliga history and the result leaves Nagelsmann's side as close to Freiburg, who are in the relegation playoff spot, as they are to title-defending Bayern at the top.

Hamburg's players celebrate a goal against Hoffenheim - Bundesliga Eigentor (picture-alliance/dpa/D. Reinhardt)

Hamburg piled on the misery for Julian Nagelsmann's Hoffenheim

- Things couldn't be much more different for Naby Keita. RB Leipzig's outstanding midfielder scored an excellent solo effort in side's win over Monaco in the week. He followed that up with a similarly well-taken goal on Saturday as Leipzig brushed aside Werder Bremen with a 2-0 win. Keita was again dominant in defense and dangerous in attack and will be tough to replace when he moves to Liverpool at the end of the season.

- Kevin Volland is also enjoying himself of late. His composed finish was the difference as Bayer Leverkusen squeezed past Eintracht Frankfurt to move up to eighth.  The former Hoffenheim forward has eight goals in his last ten games and has found the net in three consecutive matches to move third in the Bundesliga scoring charts. He's already bettered his goalscoing record in his first season at Leverkusen and last two with Hoffenheim and a first Germany call up for more than a year may well be on the cards should he continue his form.

Best Quotes

“At 4-0 down I didn’t believe it for a second [that Schalke could come back]. Our goal was to just have some possession, control the game and win the second half. At 4-1, you still don’t believe you’ll come back, at 4-2 you start to hope and at 4-3 we all believed we could get something.” Domenico Tedesco reacts to the derby fightback.

“We had to go about things differently in the second half, wear our hearts on our sleeves and approach the second half as if it were a new game. He reminded us that Dortmund were going through a tough spell and if we could get a goal back, things could get nervy for them.”  Schalke keeper Ralf Fährmann on Tedesco's teamtalk.

Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke (Reuters/W. Rattay)

Schalke keeper Ralf Fährmann in disbelief before his team's comeback

"Congratulations to Hamburg for a deserved win and I wish them a relaxing Sunday — something that I will not have." Julian Nagelsmann reflects on Hamburg's destruction of his evening plans. 

"That was the first free-kick I've ever scored. I'm very happy today." After 238 professional games, Hamburg's Filip Kostic had added a new string to his bow.

"I went to the head coach to make sure I had heard correctly!" Matthias Ginter on being moved to midfield during Gladbach's win over Bayern Munich.

"We lost the match in the first half. We invested far too little. We were too slow, we failed to up the pace and didn't really find our rhythm." Jupp Heynckes goes hard on Bayern's performance in the opening period. 

"I touched the ball with a finger. if that's a penalty then that's sad." Bayern's Niklas Süle, who gave away a penalty in his side's defeat.

"We told each other to stay patient and to take our chances better. We managed to do both," Alfred Finnbogason who scored the winner in Augsburg's 2-1 victory over Wolfsburg.

Bizarre Bundesliga

Teams don't usually need to be too nervous when an opposing player takes a free kick from around 35 meters out, especially when there's a wall in place. But Hoffenheim had trouble organizing themselves when Hamburg's Filip Kostic lined up his free kick, and when referee Bastian Dankert whistled for play to resume, Hoffenheim's three-man wall was scattered. With the draw bridge down, Kostic took full advantage to sneak one under Oliver Baumann's arms. 

Injuries

The unlucky Christoph Kramer suffered yet another head injury after colliding with teammate Jannik Vestergaard. The Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder was taken to hospital but returned by the end of the match. 

James Rodriguez, of Bayern Munich, sustained concussion when he collided with Borussia's Tony Jantschke in the same game. 

Bayern's Juan Bernat picked up a minor muscular problem in his left thigh.

Leon Bailey was absent from Leverkusen's win, with the Jamaican winger suffering from a fever.

 

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