Bundesliga Bulletin: James Rodriguez and Alphonso Davies help Bayern Munich to big win | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 17.03.2019
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Bundesliga Bulletin: James Rodriguez and Alphonso Davies help Bayern Munich to big win

BVB left it late in the capital, but Bayern responded late on Sunday with a win of their own. The race at the top continues to be exciting, while at the other end of the table relegation threatens a side in blue.

Good week for: Andrej Kramaric, Max Kruse, Marco Reus, Alphonso Davies, Wout Weghorst, Frankfurt, 

Bad week for: Hannover, Schalke, Leverkusen, Hoffenheim, Gladbach, goal difference

The lowdown:

- The Bundesliga title race stays exciting, although Dortmund did their best for it not to be. Lucien Favre's side twice came from behind to beat Hertha Berlin in the capital thanks to a 92-minute winner from captain Marco Reus. Hertha had two men sent off, in a game that really had everything. Hertha played a great first half, Dortmund a terrible one. The tables turned in the second, as Dortmund delivered a superb comeback that started with Abdou Diallo not being punished for a push in the box. The title race excitement continues for another week.

- Bayern Munich did make life a little harder for Borussia Dortmund though, by delivering a second straight 6-0 win in the league. Mainz were brushed aside with consumate ease as James Rodriguez stole the show with a hat trick. There was also a first ever Bayern goal for Canadian Alphonso Davies. Beyond the celebrations lies the fact that Bayern are back at the top of the league with a seven goal advantage over Borussia Dortmund. Imagine if they won the title on goal difference? 

- Four days after announcing he would be leaving Wolfsburg at the end of the season, Bruno Labbadia saw his side comfortably win against Fortuna Düsseldorf. The head coach plans to live up to his promise to finish strong, and five goals at home against the league upstarts was a good place to start. A man-of-the-match performance from Wout Weghorst, who scored three and assisted two keeps Wolfsburg's hopes of European football alive.

- Frankfurt had 22 attempts on goal against the side bottom of the table, but only managed to convert one of them. Even though Luka Jovic, Ante Rebic and Sebastien Haller were all involved, it was Martin Hinteregger who scored the pivotal goal. Nuremberg showed yet more examples of why despite their fighting spirit they just aren't good enough for the top flight - Hanno Behrens missed two glorious chances that might have turned the tide for Nuremberg. Frankfurt are now just one point off Gladbach in fourth. The Champions League anyone?

- Maxi Eggestein might have been the one recently called up to the Germany squad for the first time, but it was Max Kruse who stole the show for Werder Bremen in a 3-1 win against Leverkusen. The striker, who has 14 caps for Germany, scored two superb goals and assisted another on an afternoon where Bremen were just better than their hosts. Peter Bosz's side were stirred into action when Leon Bailey arrowed in another free kick, but Kruse and Eggestein proved too much. The midfielder capped off a fantastic few days with a sizzling assist of his own, but Kruse perhaps sent a timely reminder to Joachim Löw that there is a striker in town with the skill set the Germany team needs. With this win, Bremen are closing in on a European spot.

- Jonathan Schmid's sensational free kick was enough to complete the turnaround for Augsburg against a Hannover side that just aren't getting any better. Schmid curled into the near corner from an angle where everyone expected the cross. The trick worked, and gave the home side a huge three points in their battle against relegation (now five points clear of Stuttgart in the playoff spot).

- Huub Stevens might have returned to the Schalke sideline, but it didn't spark the response the club desperately needed. Despite changes to the line-up and rousing support from the home side, Schalke just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. Timo Werner did for RB Lepizig, after some comical defending, to score his first goal of the year. After Stuttgart picked up a surprise point at home against Hoffenheim, Schalke are now just three points off the relegation playoff spot with eight games to go.

Fußball Bundesliga Hertha BSC- Borussia Dortmund (Getty Images/Bongarts/M. Rose)

Marco Reus saved Borussia Dortmund in the last minute

The quotes:

"Our last three Bundesliga games were a scent mark."
Thomas Müller on Bayern Munich's dominant performances in the Bundesliga of late

"Schalke is an emotional club. The fans are allowed to show how disappointed they are. I understand them."
Huub Stevens on the audible and visible frustration of the Schalke fans.

"Who made this rule up? These people have no idea about football. As a footballer, you can't accept that."
Lucien Favre on the penalty decision against Julian Weigl

"I wasn't very good at math. I can count plenty of points, but we didn't pick them up."
Julian Nagelsmann after his Hoffenheim side once again threw away the lead in their 1-1 draw

"If that was deliberate, then he has to play handball because it was on target."
Pal Dardai about Vedad Ibisevic's red card for throwing the ball at Roman Bürki's face

"I'm delighted for him and I hope he can play a key role over the next few years."
Max Kruse on teammate Maxi Eggestein's Germany call up

"I told my players that I didn't want to see us start a game like we did... I hope that's the last time I need to say it."
Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz after the defeat to Bremen

The stats:

- Marco Reus scored his 15th goal of the season on the weekend. Whenever he has scored this season, Dortmund have remained unbeaten (12 wins, one draw).

- Andrej Kramaric's goal against Stuttgart now sees him the joint-top goalscorer of all time for Hoffenheim with 46 goals. The former sole leader was Sejad Salihovic, who took seven years to accumulate the tally. Kramaric needed only three.

- Fabian Johnson became the second American (after Steven Cherundolo) to make 200 Bundesliga appearances.

- Salomon Kalou has scored 5 goals this season, four of them against Borussia Dortmund.

- Werder Bremen scored in their 27th consecutive Bundesliga game, equaling a club record from back in 2005.

- Alphonso Davies broke a whole host of records when he scored his first for Bayern Munich. He became the first Canadian goalscorer for the club (Owen Hargreaves played for England didn't he?), the youngest (18) goalscorer in 20 years and the first Canadian to score in the Bundesliga since 2013 (Marcel de Jong). Bayern hope this is just the beginning.

The fans:

Schalke fans chose to deliver a message (see tweet below) rather than a choreo before their first game after Domenico Tedesco was fired. There were words of thanks for their former head coach, but also words of warning for the players left behind. One thing is clear, the relationship between the club's famous north-stand and the team is in tatters. A relegation battle is the last thing this team or it's fans need, but it's where they are.

The weird: The first two goals on Saturday were something out of the calamity textbook. In Hanover, a combination of poor goalkeeping, muffed clearances and a side with poor composure eventually resulted in a goal for Thomas Doll's team. In Gelsenkirchen, Schalke's defensive attempts weren't much better. A cross was poorly cleared by Salif Sane, and then a huge save was followed by another poor clearance that was then scrambled home by Timo Werner. In a week when the Bundesliga was dumped out of the Champions League, this wasn't the defensive medicine the league needed.

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