The Bundesliga title race took another turn on Matchday 27. Borussia Dortmund made it late and great at home, while Bayern were equally late but not as great. There is also a new side in Champions League contention.
Good week for: Title race drama, Florian Kohfeldt, Marco Reus, Julian Nagelsmann, European dreams, Max Kruse, Adi Hütter,
Bad week for: Bayern Munich, Dieter Hecking, Leverkusen, Augsburg,
- The title race took another twist as Bayern failed to win in Freiburg and Dortmund snatched a late, late win at home to Wolfsburg. The 1-1 draw leaves Bayern two points behind going into 'Der Klassiker' next weekend, and is a gap that could have been avoided. The longer the game went on, the greater Bayern's dominance was and the less Freiburg were able to pose a problem on the break. But Bayern didn't take their chances and paid for it. Meanwhile, in Dortmund, a drab game that lacked real chances, and seemed to be missing Marco Reus, who was excused as his girlfriend was expecting to give birth to their first child. But the game was turned on its head when Paco Alcacer struck twice in stoppage time. That put Dortmund back on top of the pile. It's perfectly set up for next weekend's meeting in Munich, when new father Reus will return.
- It was a good week for any teams looking to keep their European dreams alive. Hoffenheim smashed through Peter Bosz's aggressive defending to move within one point. Julian Nagelsmann really does get the best out of players that just don't seem to do well anywhere else. Werder Bremen moved into a Europa League spot (6th) thanks to another storming performance from Max Kruse. His brace against Mainz helped seal a 3-1 win, but it probably won't be enough for a Germany call-up.
- Incredibly, both newly-promoted sides won on the same matchday! Fortuna Düsseldorf continued their remarkable season, sweeping aside a Gladbach team in freefall. Three quick goals in the first half left the visitors with no answer, and Friedhelm Funkel with surely one hand on the coach of the year award? The biggest moment of the day though (outside of the title race) was in Nuremberg. For the first time in six months, Nürnberg won a game. They beat Augsburg 3-0, moved off the bottom of the table and are now only four points off Stuttgart. Surely not?
- RB Leipzig looked to be a team simply waiting for Nagelsmann to arrive earlier in the season, but they have sprung into life since the turn of the year. That much was confirmed when they hammered Hertha Berlin 5-0 on Saturday night, playing some gorgeous football. Yussuf Poulsen scored his first ever hat trick, Timo Werner assisted three but didn't find the back of the net and American midfielder Tyler Adams produced another tidy performance. Somewhere, Nagelsmann is smiling.
- Eintracht Frankfurt are so consistent it is scary. A comfortable 3-0 win over Stuttgart saw them leapfrog Gladbach and move into Champions League contention. Given how amazing their journey has been in the Europa League this season, who would bet against them being in Europe's elite competition next season? Filip Kostic scored a brace to send a nice reminder that this team really is more than their magic front three.
- Schalke got their first win since January, but weren't that convincing. Suat Serdar's strike was enough, and with Stuttgart losing Schalke pull six points clear of the relegation playoff spot and that should be them safe. Mind you, this is Schalke. Hannover looked dead and buried. Thomas Doll? Not sure that was ever a good idea. Sounds like he might not even be on the bench for the game against Wolfsburg next weekend.
"I'll invite the whole team to celebrate so I can say thank you."
Andrej Kramaric after becoming Hoffenheim's all-time leading Bundesliga goalscorer
"We've got a nice bus ride home tonight, haven't we?"
Pal Dardai before his Hertha side left Leipzig after losing 5-0
"In the end, we have Paco."
Thomas Delaney on his teammate's late scoring abilities
"I'm still under the effect of a game that we could have been sick at after the first 15 minutes, and I should tell you how it'll go on?"
Max Eberl after the defeat to Fortuna
"If Barca give us a call then I'll congratulate Max and wish him all the best in Spain."
Werder Bremen head coach Florian Kohfeldt over Max Kruse's contract talks
"I'm not just disappointed at the result, I'm angry."
Bayern head coach Niko Kovac after the 1-1 draw
- Paco Alcacer has scored 11 goals in the last 15 minutes of games. He has 5 goals after the 90th minute, a record no one has ever achieved in the Bundesliga before.
- Andrej Kramaric is now Hoffenheim's all-time leading scorer in the Bundesliga with 47 goals.
- Yussuf Poulsen scored the first hat trick of his career, and in doing so now has 15 Bundesliga goals this season (joint third most).
- Nürnberg got their first win in six months. That's 20 games without a win.
- This is Frankfurt's best ever points tally in the Bundesliga after 27 games (49 points).
The weird: Kramaric might have become the club's leading league scorer, but he did it by stealing a hattrick off of man of the match Ishak Belfodil. The Algerian's shot was going in but just before it crossed the line Kramaric poked home. Belfodil didn't seem too frustrated, but it might have been fun to be in the dressing room afterwards.
The fans: Borussia Dortmund fans put on an epic choreography ahead of their game against Wolfsburg. It wasn't a European night, but the home fans delivered an elite level performance that reminded football what it's all about.