Bundesliga: Stuttgart start the year with a win, Leverkusen held | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 23.01.2016
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Bundesliga: Stuttgart start the year with a win, Leverkusen held

Matchday 18 continued on Saturday after Bayern's win on Friday night and it proved to be quiet the surprising start to the new year. For some, the winter break obviously proved a turning point.

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Bundesliga Matchday 18 in 60 seconds

Cologne 1-3 Stuttgart
(Modeste pen. 17' - Didavi 36', Werner 51', Genter 83')

Stuttgart started 2016 as they ended 2015, surprising Bundesliga fans with a performance accompanied by three points. Despite wearing their carnival kits, Cologne's party mood didn't last very long despite a good start. A poor misplaced pass from Serey Die gave Marcel Risse the chance to win a penalty, which Anthony Modeste converted for his eighth goal of the season. But Stuttgart are daring to be a new side and once again Daniel Didavi saved them. Another misplaced pass, this time from the home side, sent Filip Kostic down the left and although Timo Horn kept out Timo Werner's flick, Didavi gobbled up the rebound. After the break, Stuttgart just kept pushing and converted when Werner headed home unmarked from a corner.

Hoffenheim 1-1 Leverkusen
(Hamad 39', Toprak 76')

Leverkusen might have spent the winter break winning fans across the Atlantic ocean, but they couldn't start 2016 winning games. Jiloan Hamad's superb, side-footed volley flew into the far post after a corner wasn't fully cleared by the visitors. In his first appearance of the season, Hamad impressed, as did Hoffenheim. Eduardo Vargas hit the post and Kevin Volland spoiled a counterattack as the home side pushed for a deserved second. Pivotally, and has so often been the case this season, Hoffenheim paid the price for not finding one. Oliver Baumann made a superb stop, but sloppy defending ended in Toprak heading home from close range. From that point on, Roger Schmidt's side were the only ones playing football but they couldn't find a winner.

Fußball 1. Bundesliga 18. Spieltag Borussia Moenchengladbach gegen Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund looked at their best after the winter break, delivering one of their best displays under Thomas Tuchel

Gladbach 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
(Raffael 58' - Reus 41', Mkhitaryan 51', Gündogan 75')

Borussia Dortmund followed Bayern Munich in winning their first Bundesliga game of 2016, but unlike the defending champions delivered a dazzing display. Andreas Christensen hit the bar and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, sporting new hair, failed to convert two early chances as the game got off to a lively start.

Aubameyang continued to lack his usual composure in front of goal and then Ilkay Gündogan drilled an effort onto the bar from range. Gündogan, who was one of the stand-out performers, soon slipped in Marco Reus on the right and the former Gladbach winger fired a shot into the bottom corner. Six minutes after the restart, Dortmund's superb display continued. After Mats Hummels made a solid tackle, Reus ran at Gladbach's defense before picking out Mkhitaryan who was left with a simple finish.

Ten minutes later, Gladbach were back in the game. A cross through Dortmund's defense found Raffael at the back post. The Brazilian showed great skill to roll it forward before finishing and put the game back in balance. It could have gone either way, but after Aubameyang missed yet another chance, it was Dortmund who landed the decisive blow. Gündogan drifted in to convert Mkhitaryan's cross and cap a fine individual performance with his first goal of the season.

Fußball 1. Bundesliga 18. Spieltag Hannover 96 gegen SV Darmstadt 98

Hugo Almeida's goal wasn't enough for Hannover

Hannover 1-2 Darmstadt
(Almeida 11' - Wagner 31', 47')

Thomas Schaaf's first game in charge of Hannover ended in defeat, despite a superb half-volley just inside the area from new-signing and former Schaaf favorite Hugo Almeida. Sadly for Hannover, former Hannover man Jan Rosenthal inspired the visitors to a comeback victory. Marcel Heller's magic on the wing resulted in Sando Wagner equalizing for Darmstadt. Peter Niemeyer clipped the post with a spectacular lob at the end of the first half before Rosenthal's diving header in the second was poked home by Wagner as the visitors turned it around. As the second half wore on, the game grew increasingly scrappy which suited Darmstadt perfectly. Despite signing five new players and being the home side, Hannover plunged to last in the table after this defeat.

Fußball 1. Bundesliga 18. Spieltag FC Ingolstadt gegen FSV Mainz 05

Ingolstadt only needed one goal to win

Ingolstadt 1-0 Mainz
(Hartmann 41' pen.)

When Ingolstadt win, they normally only need one goal and that is no different in 2016. Having been denied a penalty earlier in the first half, Ingolstadt then got the chance to take the lead from the spot at the second time of asking. Mortiz Hartmann scored his fourth and Ingolstadt's 12th of the season to decide a game in which Mainz looked short of their best and perhaps a bit distracted by the transfer speculation around their star Yunus Malli.

Hertha 0-0 Augsburg

A feisty battle in the capital ended without a winner. Salomon Kalou was quieter than normal and missed a chance in the first half, which Augsburg's Raul Bobadilla also did at the start of the second. Vedad Ibisevic was causing problems in attack, and not all of them good.

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