DW's Bundesliga team of the week - Matchday 20
Not normally ones to take the spotlight, defenders were the stars of the show in Matchday 20. Two six-goal contests also came about, with players rising to the occasion to help their clubs secure big victories.
Goalkeeper: Roman Bürki
Borussia Dortmund did not achieve their goals in their trip to the German capital, but Roman Bürki kept his club in the game. The 25-year-old had four crucial saves to keep Hertha off the board and put Dortmund back on the attack quickly. Had Dortmund capitalized on their chances, Bürki would've helped close ground in the Bundesliga title race.
Defender: Junior Caicara
The storylines circled around Julian Draxler's homecoming, but Junior Caicara should have been the talk of the town. The right back had his best game in Germany, setting up two of Schalke's three goals. If he begins to find his form, he will help Schalke inch closer and closer to a Champions League return.
Defender: Slobodan Rajkovic
Central defenders were the stars of the show this week, and Slobodan Rajkovic was one of the main protagonists in Darmstadt's win over Hoffenheim. He was a monster in the air on corner kicks, hitting the woodwork early before setting up Aytac Sulu and hammering in his own goal to kill off the match. Darmstadt's defense will be key to them staying up, and Rajkovic will be at the center of it.
Defender: Ömer Toprak
Ömer Toprak surely showed up to play in Leverkusen's tough test against Bayern. The center back had arguably the best chance in the game from a corner kick, and he was a clearance machine when Bayern ramped up the pressure in the second half. When healthy, he is one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga.
Defender: Andreas Christensen
Andreas Christensen has had an up-and-down season during his loan spell at Gladbach, but the Danish defender had a big performance to get the Foals back to their winning ways. His two goals were the first at the top level and provided a crucial brace to give Gladbach a statement win.
Defender: Konstantinos Stafylidis
On loan from Leverkusen, Konstantinos Stafylidis was only making his sixth appearance with Augsburg, but it will certainly be one he will remember. He smacked his first Bundesliga goal of his career in the first half from 26 meters out, and prevented Dario Lezcano from having a similar impact as he did last week. Unfortunately, Augsburg's defense could not hold up around him.
Midfielder: Johannes Geis
Schalke certainly ruined Julian Draxler's return to Gelsenkirchen, and Johannes Geis was a big reason why. The 22-year-old midfielder capped off a tremendous performance in the center of the pitch with a pinpoint free kick to double Schalke's lead. With his suspension behind him, he will be a big part of Schalke's success going forward.
Midfielder: Christian Gentner
In order to avoid relegation, Stuttgart needed to have some players overachieve. Longtime Bundesliga veteran Christian Gentner has been one of those players, putting in another strong performance against Frankfurt. Not only did he find the opening goal, but also had a goalline clearance when Frankfurt were trying to get back into the game.
Midfielder: Christian Clemens
Though his efforts did not result in many tangible contributions, Christian Clemens may have had his best game yet for Mainz. He continuously exploited Thomas Schaaf's misguided defensive tactics, firing off four shots in the match. One of his shots hit the woodwork, but he was able to set up Jairo Samperio's goal to help his team move into seventh place.
Even in Gladbach's darkest times, the electric Raffael has found a way to turn the lights back on. He was all over Bremen's defense, slashing and dashing to set up Andreas Christensen's second before scoring his own 20 minutes later. He may have only eight goals on the season, but each one has come when Gladbach needed it most.
Forward: Filip Kostic
Filip Kostic, a key driver of Stuttgart's terrific run of results, came up big again for his team against Frankfurt. Jürgen Krammy granted him the left flank nearly to himself, and Stuttgart had chance after chance because of it. Kostic got rewarded for his efforts by taking the result-clinching penalty, his second goal in four matches.