Bundesliga Bulletin: Dropped points, title twists and trouble on the terraces | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 28.04.2019
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Bundesliga Bulletin: Dropped points, title twists and trouble on the terraces

The Bundesliga title race is still on after Bayern failed to make the most of Dortmund's derby slip up. At the other end, the bottom four clubs all picked up points but there were some unsavory scenes on the terraces.

Good week for: Daniel Caligiuri, Bayer Leverkusen, Nico Willig, RB Leipzig, Huub Stevens

Bad week for: Lucien Favre, Gladbach, Florian Kohfeldt, Marco Reus, Oliver Baumann

The lowdown: 

- There's nowhere else to start than with another dramatic Revierderby. It all started so well for Borussia Dortmund, who led through Mario Götze early on but unravelled after Schalke profited from a controversial VAR penalty awarded for a Julian Weigl handball. Salif Sane then put the Royal Blues ahead with a header from a corner before five incredible second-half minutes in which Daniel Caligiuri scored a brilliant free kick and Marco Reus and Marius Wolf were both sent off for similar and unneccessary fouls. Lucien Favre was uncharacteristically furious after the game, lambasting the match officials and conceding the title. In truth, BVB froze.

- But then a day later, Bayern Munich couldn't fully capitalize, settling for a point in a dramatic derby of their own away at Nuremberg. A cagey first half was followed by a rampant second period which saw Nuremberg take the lead, James Rodriguez come on, James hit the bar, Serge Gnabry equalize, James get subbed, Nuremberg miss a late penalty and Kingsley Coman miss a huge chance of his own to win it. And breathe, because the title race is still just about alive - whatever Favre thought on Saturday. 

- Schalke would have hoped their derby win would put their lingering relegation fears to bed but Saturday was also the day Stuttgart and Hannover decided to show some signs of life. The pair both nicked nervy but vital 1-0 wins. Stuttgart (in the relegation playoff) are six points off Schalke in the safety of 15th while Hannover remain 18th after Nuremberg's draw. With all the bottom three away next week, including Hannover at the Allianz Arena, this may just turn out to be a weekend that prolongs the agony. It's the hope that kills you.

- While RB Leipzig confirmed their return to the Champions League after a year's absence with victory over Freiburg, the final Champions League spot is very much up for grabs. Despite taking an early lead against Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim threw away the chance to make it five wins in a row with goalkeeper Oliver Baumann having a stinker. Eintracht Frankfurt's goalless draw with Hertha Berlin suggested their incredible season may be catching up with them and Borussia Mönchengladbach's dreadful 2019 continued. 

- All of which made Bayer Leverkusen, who won 4-1 in Augsburg on Friday night, the big winners in the pack chasing fourth. The four teams from fourth to seventh are seperated by four points and play each other next weekend.  

Bundesliga - VfB Stuttgart v Borussia Mönchengladbach (Imago Images/Sportfoto Rudel/R. Rudel)

Anastasios Donis gave Stuttgart a vital win over Gladbach

The quotes

"What do they want players to do, cut their arms off?"
- Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre on the decision to award Schalke a first half penalty ...

 "The people who invented these rules, I don't know how they look at themselves in the mirror."
Favre continued ... 

"Ridiculous. Football is making itself look ridiculous. It's the biggest scandal in football. A disgrace."
- Favre concluded in a fairly extraordinary post-derby rant.

"I don't make the rules. There is a set of rules which we implement. The instructions come from FIFA, UEFA and the DFB (German FA). And then when someone doesn't agree, it's the referees who are the scapegoats."
- Referee Felix Zwayer after awarding a penalty and two red cards against BVB.

Bundesliga - Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund FC Schalke 04: Lucien Favre (Imago Images/VI Images/G. Keulen)

BVB coach Lucien Favre was furious at the handball rule

"We have made a lot of mistakes in the past few weeks, but we’ve now been able to give our fans something back. I won’t forget the moments after the final whistle for a while. They were truly special." 
- Schalke's Benjamin Stambouli on a rare win for the troubled club, and not just any win.

"It's really annoying. We had the chance to set ourselves up for match point. But it's amazing what can happen in five minutes. The Bundesliga is just crazy."
- Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac after the 1-1 draw with Nuremberg.

“We got a little kick up the arse.”
- Thomas Müller is a little more blunt with his analysis.

Fußball Bundesliga 1 FC Nürnberg vs Bayern München Auswechslung James Rodriguez (Imago Images/J. Huebner)

James Rodriguez was subsituted on and then taken off for Bayern.

The stats

- Emil Forsberg's goal for RB Leipzig was the 125th scored from the bench in the Bundesliga this season, a new record.

- Stuttgart's clean sheet against Borussia Mönchengladbach was their first of 2019, while interim boss Nico Willig became the first VfB coach to win his first game in charge since Huub Stevens in November 2014.

- Before Saturday, Schalke hadn't won away at Dortmund since October 2012. Their coach on that occasion? Huub Stevens! 

- In Marco Reus and Marius Wolf, two Borussia Dortmund were shown straight reds for the first time in the club's Bundesliga history. 

- Jadon Sancho has now provided 19 assists for Borussia Dortmund this season. Since records began in 1992, only Wolfsburg players Zvjezdan Misimovic (20 in 2008-09) and Kevin De Bruyne (21 in 2014-15) had recorded more after 31 games. 

 

The fans

Police are investigating the moment in the Revierderby when Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho was struck by what appeared to be a lighter thrown from the away end. The England winger was celebrating BVB's opener with his teammates when the object struck him in the face.

An ill-tempered derby also saw a section of Schalke ultras known as the Hugos display a banner that called for the release of Dortmund bus bomber 'Sergei W.', just as they had in the reverse fixture, while Dortmund's Desperados ultra group raised a banner that referred to Schalke as "queers". “Rivalry belongs to the Revierderby, but so does respect," tweeted Schalke after the match.

On Sunday, lighters and other objects were also thrown at Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich from the block housing Nuremberg's ultras in the Franconian-Bavarian derby on a weekend in which Bundesliga fans didn't really cover themselves in glory. 

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