Bundesliga Bulletin: Bayern close gap on Dortmund to three points | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 18.02.2019
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Bundesliga Bulletin: Bayern close gap on Dortmund to three points

Bayern Munich are now just three points off title rivals Borussia Dortmund. The Bavarians produced a comeback victory over Augsburg while Dortmund failed to get past relegation candidates Nuremberg.

Good week for: Claudio Pizarro, Boris Schommers, Tyler Adams, Wolfsburg, Yussuf Poulsen, Hoffenheim, Leon Bailey

Bad week for: Dortmund, Hannover and Stuttgart, Suat Serdar, Leon Goretzka

The lowdown

- Dortmund saw their lead at the top of the table further shortened, after a shock 0-0 draw with relegation candidates Nuremberg. The Black and Yellows looked toothless in attack against a team that has often been a punching bag this season. Mario Götze was most guilty of missing decent opportunities, but in truth Dortmund never looked like breaking through. A great debut for Nuremberg's interim coach Boris Schommers, however, who replaced Michael Köllner in the hot seat last week.

- It was a case of what could have been for both sides in Frankfurt. Josip Drmic's stoppage time miss cost Gladbach two points that would have seen them move to within touching distance of second-placed Bayern, but Frankfurt were only eight minutes from the win, which they were denied by Denis Zakaria's strike. Gladbach have gone from being Dortmund's closest challengers to feeling the heat from RB Leipzig, who are now only two points behind in fourth...

- The Bundesliga's latest American import made his mark on Saturday. Tyler Adams joined RB Leipzig in January and has slotted straight in. His first assist came in the second half of Leipzig's 3-1 win over Stuttgart courtesy of a strong run and a brilliantly weighted reverse pass that allowed Yussuf Poulsen to slot home his 12th of the league season. The Red Bulls have only lost to Bayern and Dortmund since November and look on course to return to the Champions League.

- Joshua Kimmich's 10th assist of the season might have provided food for thought for Joachim Löw, who has taken to playing the 24-year-old in midfield since the World Cup, but Bayern's 3-2 comeback win over Augsburg was less record-breaking than the performance of their players. Augsburg caused trouble more than expected, and Kimmich found himself out of position too often. The concerns over Bayern's defense were just about silenced thanks to a superb performance by Kingsley Coman, but an improvement will be expected.

 That being said, Kimmich was caught out of position for both of Augsburg's goals, so perhaps Löw is right to move him away from right back.

- Viewers in Iran won't have seen Kimmich's assist, or indeed any of Bayern's win, because the presence of female referee Bibiana Steinhaus in shorts was deemed inappropriate. Not for the first time.

- At the other end of the table, there are few signs of life. The bottom three clubs, Nuremberg, Hannover and Stuttgart, all lost again and the trio are all in the bottom four of the Bundesliga's form table since the resumption of the league after the winter break. Even Thomas Hitzlsperger's presence in the dugout in his first game as Stuttgart sporting director failed to spark a response from the struggling Swabians and, with all three clubs already having changed coaches, it's looking grim.

The quotes

"I can't remember a worse start from us. We have to play much better at Liverpool." Niko Kovac proves a master of understatement.

"It's not a good time for me to comment on this match, it was a well deserved win for Hoffenheim, 3-0 was almost too little." Hannover coach Thomas Doll admits his side got away lightly against Hoffenheim.

"We played with too much fear today. We rarely took on players and kept playing the ball back instead. We need to play with more courage." Domenico Tedesco wasn't in the mood to defend his team's display.

"After this game I am...convinced we will stay in the league. We were aggressive, played really well and had good chances." Mario Gomez looks on the bright side after Stuttgart extended their winless run to seven games.

The stats

Leon Goretzka's effort after 13 seconds is the fastest own-goal in Bundesliga history.

136 days after his 40th birthday, Claudio Pizarro scored his 195th Bundesliga goal, becoming the oldest player ever to score in the league thanks to a deflected freekick that won Werder Bremen a point in Berlin. The Peruvian's first goal in Germany's top flight came almost 20 years ago.

Joshua Kimmich's assist for Kingsley Coman in Bayern's win over Augsburg was his 10th of the season. That's a record unbeaten by any player in the top five European leagues. Only Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard can equal Kimmich's tally.

Kai Havertz has scored nine Bundesliga goals for Leverkusen this campaign, at least two more league goals than any other teenager in Europe's top five divisions this season.

Leverkusen attempted 518 passes in the first half versus Fortuna Düsseldorf, the most any team has attempted in any half this Bundesliga season.

The fans

Nuremberg fans protested against Monday night games, the latest in a long list of acts of defiance from Bundesliga fans. They threw black tennis balls on the field in their match against Borussia Dortmund, stopping play a number of times.

Gladbach fans made themselves heard in Frankfurt...

 

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