There were stunning strikes, shock results, goalkeeping gaffes and plenty more on Saturday. Marco Reus made a welcome return, Cologne reverted to type and there were much-needed wins for Hoffenheim and Hertha Berlin.
Werder Bremen 3-1 Wolfsburg
(Augustinsson 4', Kainz 40', 72' — Verhaegh 49')
Werder Bremen moved three points clear of the relegation playoff place with a vital victory over Wolfsburg, who are getting drawn into the relegation dogfight.
Bremen put their noses in front early on through Ludwig Augustinsson and doubled it before the break courtesy of a sensational strike from distance by Florian Kainz.
The home side were the superior team in the first half by a distance, with a stunning volley by Niklas Moisander thundering off the underside of the bar and a clear penalty claim waved away after William made a goal line clearance with his arm.
Wolfsburg captain Paul Verhaegh pulled one back, scoring on the rebound after his initial penalty was saved by Jiri Pavlenka, but Kainz made the win safe, finishing a counterattack after a mistake by Jeffrey Bruma.
Stuttgart 1-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Daniel Ginczek's clinical finish to a fine team move proved the only goal of the game, as Stuttgart held on for a much-needed win over Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The slick strike came early on and the home side fought hard to hold on for three points. Thorgan Hazard came closest to leveling, but he somehow failed to connect properly with a cross shortly before the break. Gladbach substitute Josip Drmic also went close, but his shot drifted agonizingly wide of the post.
The win sees Stuttgart open a four-point gap between them and Mainz in the relegation playoff spot.
Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 Cologne
(Rebic 15', Russ 59', Falette 64', Wolf 66' — Terodde 56', 73')
Cologne’s mini-resurgence looks to be over after a devastating seven-minute spell carried Frankfurt up to 4th. The hosts started quickly and took an early lead. Some smart combination play set Milos Jojic away on the right and his low cross eluded Timo Horn and his defensive counterparts and left Ante Rebic a tap in at the back post.
A Simon Terodde penalty, his fourth goal in five games since signing for Cologne, got the basement club back in it but the lead was shortlived. Marco Russ rose highest at a free kick to nod home the second before Simon Falette slammed home the third after some shocking set-piece defending from the visitors. Marius Wolf sealed the win moments later with a smart right-footed finish.
Bayer Leverkusen 0-2 Hertha Berlin
(Lazaro 42', Kalou 57')
Hertha Berlin shocked Bayer Leverkusen to record their first win of 2018 and pull clear of relegation trouble. Valentino Lazaro gave the capital city club a first-half lead, staying just onside to gather a through ball and curl home his first Bundesliga goal just before the break. A more familiar source doubled Hertha’s lead, Salomon Kalou capitalizing on a dreadful misjudgement from Jonathan Tah to sweep home.
Leverkusen brought on Leon Bailey in the second half, after he’d been feeling the effects of flu in the lead up to the game. The in-form Jamaican had an effort cleared off the line as his side pushed to get back in the game. But it wasn’t enough, as Leverkusen’s recent renaissance suffered a dent.
Bayern Munich 2-1 Schalke
(Lewandowski 6', Müller 36' — Di Santo 29')
Schalke came close to causing an upset in Munich, but Bayern did what they have done all season and held on for another three points. Leon Goretzka impressed but teammate Ralf Fährmann had another night to forget as two errors from the keeper let Bayern in for goals that left Franco di Santo's effort as nothing more than consolation.
Hoffenheim 4-2 Mainz
(Szalai 27', 74', Kramaric 67', 88' — Berggreen 28', 80’)
Hoffenheim picked up their first win for almost two months, despite a couple of hiccups along the way. After a strong start, Adam Szalai broke the deadlock, slotting home after a swift and incisive turn and through ball from Serge Gnabry. The lead lasted less than 100 seconds as Hoffenheim keeper Oliver Baumann was beaten to a deep free kick by Emil Berggreen, who headed home the equalizer.
The second-half pressure finally told when Andrej Kramaric bundled home following a goalmouth scramble before Szalai’s low shot gave the hosts a two-goal cushion. Berggren responded after some more comedy defending but Kramaric sealed a first Bundesliga win since mid-December for Julian Nagelsmann’s outfit with a wickedly-struck long-range free kick.
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Hamburg
(Batshuayi 49', Götze 90+2')
Michy Batshuayi made it three goals in his first two starts for Borussia Dortmund, as BVB climbed to third in the table with their second successive win.
After a scrappy first half notable only for the return of Marco Reus (returning after six months out with a cruciate ligament injury), Batshuayi continued his fine start to life at Dortmund when he slid in to nudge home Christian Pulisic’s low drive across goal. Mario Götze dinked Andre Schürrle's pass over the keeper to wrap things up in injury time.
Hannover 2-1 Freiburg
(Anton 28', Klaus 54' — Gulde 88')
On a patchwork pitch that made fluid football tricky, Hannover took the lead when defender Waldemar Anton hammered in his first Bundesliga goal from the edge of the box after Freiburg failed to clear their lines.
They made things safe shortly after the break, Felix Klaus firing low in to the near post after holding his run to stay onside and receive Ihlas Bebou’s through ball. Freiburg’s defense were left exposed by a rapid counter and that was that, despite a late Manuel Gulde goal was little more than a consolation.
RB Leipzig 2-0 Augsburg
(Upamecano 17', Keita 70')
Leipzig earned a gritty win at home against a battling Augsburg side that offered too little in attack.
After a feisty opening quarter of an hour, Dayot Upamecano slid in to convert a rebound after Marwin Hitz had saved Yussuf Poulsen's spectacular effort. As snow fell, Augsburg tried to find a way back into a foul-ridden game. After Leipzig missed chances to put the game away, they had their goalkeeper to thank as Peter Gulacsi palmed away Augsburg captain Daniel Baier's curling effort.
That chance was almost all the visitors had to write home about and Leipzig soon found a decisive second. Naby Keita's direct free kick took a wicked deflection off Martin Hinteregger and landed in the net. The win lifts Leipzig into second, reducing Bayern's overnight lead at the top of the Bundesliga to 15 points.
Still to come:
Werder Bremen vs. Wolfsburg (Sunday, 17:00)