Bundesliga Bulletin: Bayern Munich lead the way as title race continues | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 16.02.2020
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Bundesliga Bulletin: Bayern Munich lead the way as title race continues

On a weekend of big wins and even bigger fan choreographies, Bayern, Leipzig, Dortmund and Gladbach all impressed. There were also outstanding individual performances from Jadon Sancho, Thomas Müller and Wout Weghorst.

Good week for: the top five, Jadon Sancho (again), Thomas Müller, Wout Weghorst, fan choreos

Bad week for: Werder Bremen (again), Fortuna Düsseldorf, Cologne

The headlines:

— Bayern's carnival in Cologne

Bayern Munich kept their title charge on course with a comprehensive thrashing of Cologne. Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry all scored in a ferocious opening 12 minutes but it was Thomas Müller who pulled all the strings. As for Cologne in their carnival kits, it looked like they'd been enjoying the festive season a little bit too much...

— Dortmund back with a bang!

Dortmund delivered a confident performance against a Frankfurt side that never really tested Roman Bürki. It was a night where Jadon Sancho sparkled again, Erling Haaland made history (see stats) and both Emre Can and Rapha Guerreiro impressed. Not only did the victory put Dortmund back in the mix at the top of the table, it kept them without a defeat at home this season and full of confidence ahead of their home game against PSG on Tuesday.

— Gladbach win mini-derby

Borussia Mönchengladbach had a week off last week when their local derby against Cologne fell victim to the weather, but they returned to action in style this week with an impressive 4-1 win away at another local rival, Fortuna Düsseldorf. Captain Lars Stindl scored twice in between strikes from Jonas Hofmann and Florian Neuhaus, but it was once again the Foals' build-up play which impressed. Marcus Thuram set up two goals while Denis Zakaria was at his imperious best alongside Neuhaus in midfield. When Gladbach turn up to play, they really do play. 

Bundesliga Fortuna Düsseldorf gegen Borussia Mönchengladbach (Getty Images/Bongarts/F. Scheidemann)

Jonas Hofmann celebrates his opener for Gladbach

— RB Leipzig warm up for Tottenham

After missing a series of clear-cut chances in Munich last week, RB Leipzig refound their shooting boots as they hammered Werder Bremen 3-0. Goals from Lukas Klostermann, Patrik Schick and Nordi Mukiele sent Julian Nagelsmann's team top of the Bundesliga overnight, crowning a successful dress rehearsal for the Champions League trip to north London on Tuesday.

For Werder Bremen, however, it was an eighth defeat in their last nine Bundesliga games. Despite a dreadful run of form, the club are faithfully sticking to coach Florian Kohfeldt.

— Leverkusen fireworks in Berlin

Bayer Leverkusen followed up their 4-3 win over Borussia Dortmund last week with another high-scoring victory, this time over Union Berlin in Köpenick. The newly-promoted hosts took an early lead courtesy of a Christian Gentner rocket but Kai Havertz and Moussa Diaby hit back to put Leverkusen ahead in the final stages, when the drama really began. Union thought they'd rescued a valuable point when Marius Bülter curled home his seventh goal of the season, before Karim Bellarabi won it for Leverkusen deep into injury time.

And the fireworks weren't limited to the action on the pitch. The travelling Leverkusen supporters set off copious amounts of pyrotechnics throughout the second half, leading referee Harm Osmers to temporarily take the players off the pitch.

— Weghorst's Wolves win again

Wout Weghorst scored a hat-trick as Wolfsburg beat Hoffenheim 3-2 in an entertaining encounter. Twice the Dutch striker put Wolfsburg ahead from the penalty spot only for Hoffenheim to come back through Christoph Baumgartner and Andre Kramaric (courtesy of a penalty given after a handball by, of all people, Weghorst). But the 27-year-old made up for his error by restoring Wolfsburg's lead as Oliver Glasner's team made it back-to-back wins on the road.

— Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin ended a tumultuous week with a 2-1 win over Paderborn, Augsburg drew 1-1 with Freiburg, and Weston McKennie missed an injury-time sitter as Schalke drew 0-0 with Mainz.

The quotes:

"I felt really good on the pitch today. Everyone knows I like to keep an eye on my fellow players and find them in goal-scoring positions."
— Bayern Munich's Thomas Müller, the stand-out man against Cologne.

"This was not just a clean sheet for the defense, but for the whole team."
—  BVB defender Mats Hummels after the comprehensive win against Frankfurt.

"Of course we wanted to win here but it's not a completely unexpected result."
—  Werder Bremen coach Florian Kohfelt on yet another defeat, this time in Leipzig.

"We have complete confidence in Florian's work. We have no reason to doubt him."
—  Weder Bremen sporting director Frank Baumann.

"We played a great game, implemented our gameplan and were dangerous. We showed that we can play football. But we have nothing to show for it."
—  Union Berlin coach Urs Fischer after his team's defeat to Bayer Leverkusen.

"I think Union deserved more today."
—  Bayer Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz.

"I think it's super that the rules are enforced, even with the biggest teams. There are rules, and those who break them should be punished. There are probably two or three other clubs who need to have a think."
— Borussia Mönchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl when asked about Manchester City's Champions League ban.

Fußball Bundesliga Borussia Mönchengladbach - FSV Mainz 05 Max Eberl (picture-alliance/nordphoto/Meuter)

Borussia Mönchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl

The stats:

— Thomas Müller has recorded 14 assists in 22 games - a new Bundesliga record.

— Bayern went three goals up against Cologne in the shortest time since January 20, 1974. On that day, they beat Rot-Weiß Oberhausen 5-3.

—Erling Haaland became the first ever player to score 8 goals in his first 5 games.

— Dortmund's 63 goals after 22 matchdays are a joint Bundesliga record (Bayern 1973-74, Hamburg 1981-82).

— Wolfsburg's Wout Weghorst became the first Bundesliga player to score two penalties and concede a penalty in one game.

— It took Nordi Mukiele just 34 seconds to score for RB Leipzig after the restart against Bremen, the fastest second-half goal in the club's (admittedly short) history.

The fans:

Borussia Dortmund's ultras displayed a breathtaking choreography ahead of kick-off against Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday night. The two-part display featured tributes to both the city of Dortmund and BVB as a club, and involved all 24,000 fans on the famous Yellow Wall.

Club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke called it "the most beautiful choreography in years" and thanked those involved, some of whom had been at the stadium since 10am making preparations.

Racism

The issue of racism in German football reared its ugly head again, this time in the third division when a Preußen Münster fan aimed monkey noises at Würzburger Kickers defender Leroy Kwadwo.

Commendably, other Preußen supporters immediately identified the culprit who was swiftly arrested.

In a statement, Preußen Münster apologized to Kwadwo, who was born in Germany but has Ghanaian roots, and praised their fans for acting so swiftly. Kwadwo also thanked the fans for their response.