Category Archives: Bundesliga

The Bundesliga Show Episode 89 – Dortmund Dominated by Hamburg

Another week of Bundesliga action has past and the Bundesliga Show is here to wrap it all up. Matt Hermann and Jon Hartley bring together the talking points of Matchday 21. Matt is also joined by Jonas Keinert to discuss the troubles of Hoffenheim.

All that, plus Terry Duffelen‘s look back at the 2.Bundesliga.

Enjoy the show!

Bundesliga Review – Hamburg shock Borussia Dortmund, again by Archie Rhind-Tutt

bvb_scoreboard

According to Hamburg’s official website: “Nobody in his right mind would have predicted HSV’s superb 4-1 win away to double winners Borussia Dortmund.” As you’d expect from a club publication commenting on their own fortunes, this description could be accused of glorifying their achievements. On this occasion though, it was justified.

Earlier this season, Hamburg prevented history by bringing Borussia Dortmund’s 31-match unbeaten run to an end but on Saturday, die Rothosen (“the red shorts”) made history by becoming the first side to beat Borussia Dortmund home and away since February 2010.

Saturday’s encounter was just as nonsensical and surprising as September’s 3-2 win, providing controversy and another five goals too. This time, it started as expected with the Champions scoring first. Heiko Westermann thought it would be a good idea to let a high ball bounce as it travelled back towards his own goal. Sadly for Westermann, Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski agreed as he punished the defender by finishing neatly past Rene Adler.

Lewandowski has been subject to much transfer speculation in the press and intriguingly he has been linked to Bayern Munich. The chatter about the Polish striker was to continue after the game too but it would be for another contribution that would come later. Lewandowski’s finish was impressive, yet neither he nor the Dortmund defence were prepared for Hamburg to strike back 93 seconds later.

The visitors moved the ball forward with the speed and precision you’d usually associate with the Champions. Marcell Jansen’s one touch pass down the left hand side found Dennis Aogo. He immediately squared it into the box where Artjoms Rudnevs finished first time past Roman Weidenfeller, completing a slick response from the visitors. That goal demonstrated the coherence lacking in last week’s defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. Eight minutes later, it was time for Hamburg to show the individual talent they possess.

Step forward Son Heung-Min, the 20-year-old South Korean who has been in great form for Hamburg, netting a series of wonder goals for the Northerners this season. One of those came against Borussia Dortmund back in Hamburg and on Saturday he scored a very similar effort. As he did in September, Son stormed down the right hand side before cutting inside on the edge of the penalty area and shooting. The ball found its intended target on both occasions – September’s effort curled into the net without any woodwork assistance but Saturday’s strike swerved inwards before smacking off the post and bouncing into the goal.

Away at the Champions, Hamburg were a goal up, and soon they were a man up too thanks to Robert Lewandowski and their very own Rafael van der Vaart. Whilst attempting to win the ball, the Polish striker caught HSV midfielder Per Ciljan Skelbred as he carelessly swung his right foot. Enter van der Vaart stage right.

Not being involved in the incident didn’t stop the Dutchman from falling to the floor dramatically in the resulting melee. His comments after the game confirmed his intentions to get Lewandowski sent off. He admitted: ‘I had the feeling that he would not otherwise have been sent off. It was a clear red card.’ Still, at the same time he sounded like a bad sitcom actor discussing his performance as he said: “In the scene with Lewandowski I had to do a bit of theatre.”

Either way, the Polish striker was off with van der Vaart settling for a yellow card (having missed out on an Oscar). However, Hamburg’s one man advantage was gone 15 minutes into the second half after Jeffrey Bruma brought down Marco Reus as he went through on goal.

Perhaps that gave Borussia Dortmund a false sense of security as within minutes, Hamburg had extended their lead with Rudnevs heading in van der Vaart’s brilliant cross. Three became four just minutes before the end of the game when Son Heung-Min slid in from a couple of yards, rounding off a magnificent victory for the visitors.

The 1-4 score line condemned Dortmund to their worst home defeat since a 5-1 drubbing to Bayern in September 2009. The result was all the more confusing given the assured start they’d made to 2013 and it certainly ended any dreams of BVB becoming Champions for a third year in a row. Saturday’s result will have added some unnecessary anxiety prior to this week’s Champions League game in Donetsk.

Talk of the Champions League has become relevant to Hamburg, even if some of their performances this season haven’t been worthy of a side challenging for Europe. They’re six points behind Eintracht Frankfurt who currently occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot. Greater consistency is needed in their performances for that to happen but on what was his return to his hometown club Saturday’s result is definitely the high point of Thorsten Fink’s time as coach.

Hamburg’s result against Dortmund in September changed their season, though Thorsten Fink will be hoping the score line at Signal Iduna Park will help define their season as HSV push for an unlikely place in the Champions League.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga:

  • With Dortmund losing, it gave Bayer Leverkusen the chance to overtake them if they could win at Borussia Mönchengladbach but they ended up drawing 3-3 in another entertaining encounter. Even 4th placed Eintracht Frankfurt couldn’t win as they were held to a goalless draw by Nuremberg.
  • That gave Bayern Munich the chance to extend their lead to 15 points at the top of the Bundesliga, which they did as they thrashed sinking Schalke. It’s the first time the Royal Blues have entered the bottom half since the first match day of last season as they continue their poor start under interim coach Jens Keller.
  • The only side in worse form than Schalke are Stuttgart. They were thumped at home by Werder Bremen meaning they’ve now lost five consecutive games in the Bundesliga – something they hadn’t done for nearly 26 years. Still, Stuttgart can take solace in the fact that none of the sides below them won at the weekend.
  • Hoffenheim were edged out by Hannover thanks to Heurelho Gomes’s first Bundesliga blunder, picking up from where Tim Wiese left off. Augsburg fought back to earn a draw against 10-man Mainz. Greuther Fürth were unable to follow up last week’s historic win at Schalke as they lost at home to Wolfsburg whilst Fortuna Düsseldorf lost late on at high-flying Freiburg.

Matchday 21 Results:

Borussia Dortmund 1-4 Hamburg

Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Nuremberg

Gladbach 3-3 Bayer Leverkusen

Hannover 1-0 Hoffenheim

Fürth 0-1 Wolfsburg

Stuttgart 1-4 Werder Bremen

Bayern Munich 4-0 Schalke

Augsburg 1-1 Mainz

Freiburg 1-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Table:

Rank Club Matches W* D* L* G* GD* Pts.*
1 FC Bayern Munich 21 17 3 1 55:7 +48 54 CL*
2 Borussia Dortmund 21 11 6 4 47:26 +21 39 CL*
3 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 21 11 5 5 41:29 +12 38 CL*
4 Eintracht Frankfurt 21 11 4 6 38:31 +7 37 CL* Qual.
5 SC Freiburg 21 8 7 6 26:20 +6 31 EL* Qual.
6 1. FSV Mainz 05 21 9 4 8 28:25 +3 31 EL* Qual.
7 Hamburger SV 21 9 4 8 26:27 -1 31
8 Borussia Mönchengladbach 21 7 9 5 31:32 -1 30
9 Hannover 96 21 9 2 10 39:39 0 29
10 FC Schalke 04 21 8 5 8 33:35 -2 29
11 SV Werder Bremen 21 8 4 9 36:38 -2 28
12 VfL Wolfsburg 21 7 5 9 22:30 -8 26
13 1. FC Nuremberg 21 6 7 8 20:27 -7 25
14 VfB Stuttgart 21 7 4 10 23:39 -16 25
15 Fortuna Düsseldorf 21 6 6 9 26:29 -3 24
16 1899 Hoffenheim 21 4 4 13 26:45 -19 16 Play-offs
17 FC Augsburg 21 2 9 10 17:33 -16 15 Relegation
18 Greuther Fürth 21 2 6 13 13:35 -22 12 Relegation

Table thanks to official Bundesliga website

With thanks to @timbotania for the image

Article originally published on Football Fan Cast

The Bundesliga Show Episode 88 – Fürth win at Schalke

Matt Hermann and Jon Hartley get under the skin of matchday 20 in the Bundesliga for this episode of the Bundesliga Show. Outside of the 2nd v 3rd dual between Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund, there were plenty of other games to get excited about…including the win for Fürth at Schalke.

All that, and a look forward to the up-coming fixtures.

Enjoy the show!

 

Bundesliga Review – Fürth surprise Schalke but trouble looms by Archie Rhind-Tutt

The former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, once said: “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” Now it’s only logical to apply this wisdom to Kissinger’s beloved Greuther Fürth. Coach (or perhaps that should be Commander-in-Chief) Mike Büskens led the Franconian side into the Bundesliga in 2012 – a place where Fürth had never played before. But since then, their first season at the highest level of German football has been a struggle.

For a club whose nickname suggests they might have some luck (“Kleeblätter” translates to “Clover Leaves”), they haven’t been particularly fortunate this season. Fürth won their second game back in August against Mainz and until Saturday afternoon that remained their only win of an otherwise fruitless campaign.

Operating on one of the smallest budgets in the division, it’s not that Fürth were expected to excel. Yet nine points from 19 games is a poor total no matter how you spin it.  So with Mike Büskens returning with Fürth to Schalke, a club he played for and managed (the latter albeit briefly), little nostalgia was to be had given his current team’s predicament at the bottom of the Bundesliga.

That said Schalke’s start to 2013 has been unconvincing under Jens Keller – the former youth coach who was promoted after Huub Stevens sacking in December. A frantic 5-4 win over Hannover and a lacklustre goalless draw against Augsburg has shown that the Royal Blues aren’t the force they were earlier this season. Schalke were still expected to ease past Fürth on Saturday. But Mike Büskens, no doubt looking to put Henry Kissinger’s wisdom into practice, had a surprise for his former club.

His side were well disciplined despite Schalke’s control at the Veltins Arena. Having survived the first half though, the Clover Leaves luck looked to have run out less than 90 seconds after the break. On his Schalke debut, Michel Bastos scored spectacularly from distance meaning that Fürth would have to come from a goal down to win. This seemed improbable considering they had scored just once in their last 10 ½ hours of Bundesliga action.

But in a rare attack, the recently signed Nikola Djurdjic crossed for Felix Klaus who netted from close range just six minutes after Schalke’s opener. With so long left in the half, the home side were still favourites but maybe they were unaware that the last time Klaus scored, Greuther Fürth were victorious. To Schalke’s bewilderment, history would repeat itself. Because in an injury time counter attack, Djurdjic looped a header tantalisingly over Timo Hildebrand to secure victory and in turn, one of the shocks of the season.

Despite the referee not signalling full time, Coach Mike Büskens charged onto the pitch to celebrate with his team. It’s not even the first time he’s done that this season, as he sprinted on after Fürth’s late equaliser against Hoffenheim. Saturday’s win though held far more importance, both personally for Büskens and for Greuther Fürth.

Still, the result could prove to be an anomaly given the way they’ve played for the majority of the campaign. Even with 12 points now from 20 games, Fürth will find themselves back in the second division unless they can produce the most unlikely run of form. If we return to another quote of that famous fan Henry Kissinger, he once said: “Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem.”

And in the case of Greuther Fürth and Mike Büskens, this more difficult problem will be survival in the Bundesliga. Saturday was a great success for the Franconian club but after an abysmal first half of the season, it would be very surprising if Fürth were in the Bundesliga come August.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga:

  • Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund provided an entertaining encounter, as you’d expect from sides ranked 2nd and 3rd  respectively prior to Sunday’s game. They ended up swapping places though as Dortmund ran out 3-2 winners at the BayArena. That wasn’t after racing into a 2-0 lead in the first ten minutes and throwing it away at the beginning of the second half. Thankfully for Dortmund, Robert Lewandowski punished a defensive error less than 60 seconds after Leverkusen’s equaliser, pushing Jürgen Klopp’s side into second. But whilst the Champions moved closer to Bayern Munich in terms of position, they were no closer in terms of points after the league leaders swept aside Mainz. Their opponents weren’t even that poor but as has been the case so often this season, Bayern were just too good with Mario Mandzukic scoring twice.
  • Aside from Fürth there were some other surprises in the Bundesliga this weekend. Relegation threatened Hoffenheim recovered to beat Freiburg despite Heurelho Gomes making his debut in goal. In true Gomes style, he managed to concede within the first five minutes. Fortuna Düsseldorf on the other hand were in “Kruse control,” after Australian striker Robbie Kruse netted twice in their win over Stuttgart.
  • Elsewhere, there was a first win for Nuremberg coach Michael Wiesinger as his side beat Gladbach. The man he took over from, Dieter Hecking, could only manage a draw with his new club Wolfsburg. Augsburg were the team to hold the Wolves as they continue to improve in 2013.
  • Eintracht Frankfurt’s unlikely challenge for a Champions League place continued with a win at Hamburg on Saturday evening. And finally, in what became a showcase of two of the division’s most mediocre teams, Werder Bremen beat Hannover on Friday night. Nils Petersen did provide a moment to behold, scoring an impressive volley with the outside of his right foot.
For more on the Bundesliga, follow @archiert1 on Twitter

Matchday 20 Results:

Werder Bremen 2-0 Hannover

Fortuna Düsseldorf 3-1 Stuttgart

Hoffenheim 2-1 Freiburg

Mainz 0-3 Bayern Munich

Schalke 1-2 Fürth

Wolfsburg 1-1 Augsburg

Hamburg 0-2 Eintracht Frankfurt

Nürnberg 2-1 Gladbach

Bayer Leverkusen 2-3 Borussia Dortmund

Table:

Rank Club Matches W* D* L* G* GD* Pts.*
1 FC Bayern Munich 20 16 3 1 51:7 +44 51 CL*
2 Borussia Dortmund 20 11 6 3 46:22 +24 39 CL*
3 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 20 11 4 5 38:26 +12 37 CL*
4 Eintracht Frankfurt 20 11 3 6 38:31 +7 36 CL* Qual.
5 1. FSV Mainz 05 20 9 3 8 27:24 +3 30 EL* Qual.
6 FC Schalke 04 20 8 5 7 33:31 +2 29 EL* Qual.
7 Borussia Mönchengladbach 20 7 8 5 28:29 -1 29
8 SC Freiburg 20 7 7 6 25:20 +5 28
9 Hamburger SV 20 8 4 8 22:26 -4 28
10 Hannover 96 20 8 2 10 38:39 -1 26
11 SV Werder Bremen 20 7 4 9 32:37 -5 25
12 VfB Stuttgart 20 7 4 9 22:35 -13 25
13 Fortuna Düsseldorf 20 6 6 8 26:28 -2 24
14 1. FC Nuremberg 20 6 6 8 20:27 -7 24
15 VfL Wolfsburg 20 6 5 9 21:30 -9 23
16 1899 Hoffenheim 20 4 4 12 26:44 -18 16 Play-offs
17 FC Augsburg 20 2 8 10 16:32 -16 14 Relegation
18 Greuther Fürth 20 2 6 12 13:34 -21 12 Relegation

Table thanks to Official Bundesliga Website

Article originally written at Football Fan Cast

The Bundesliga Show Episode 87 – Bundesliga Derby Weekend

Jon Hartley and Matt Hermann, with help from guest Archie Rhind-Tutt, dissect the derby day action from the Bundesliga in matchday 19. There was also a shift in the positioning in the bottom three which is also the subject of discussion this week.

All that, and a preview of the most important games for matchday 20 in the Bundesliga.

Enjoy the show!

The Bundesliga Show Episode 86 – Pep’s arrival is no longer a guarded secret

This week on The Bundesliga Show, Matt Hermann and Jon Hartley, finally get to talk about the announcement that Pep Guardiola will be taking over as coach of Bayern Munich in the summer. Outside of the Pep talk, there is the small matter of the return of the Bundesliga from the winter break. The fall out from matchday 18 and the a preview of next weeks games are all included.

Enjoy the show!

Bundesliga XI – PowerTable’s team of the season so far

Bundesliga XI – PowerTable’s team of the season so far.

The Bundesliga season re-starts on Friday 18th January after just over a month off for the Winter Break.  The first 17 games have seen all the ups and downs that we’ve come to expect from the German domestic league, with a number of teams and players catching the eye.  www.PowerTableSports.com therefore takes a look at the stats and facts behind the players to create a Bundesliga XI team of the season so far.  In truth, after Bayern Munich’s incredible start to the season the Bundesliga XI could consist of all Munich players, but we wanted to spice things up a little bit!  What do you think?  Do you agree or disagree?  Let us know who you would choose!

Formation
The PowerTable Bundesliga XI shapes up in a 4-2-3-1 formation which has been the most used formation in the Bundesliga this season.  Teams like Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke and Wolfsburg have all favoured this set up, which allows them to utilise 2 holding midfielders to break up attacks then counter via 3 attacking midfielders to support a lone striker.

Starting XI
Goalkeeper

·         Adler (Hamburg) – Adler joined Hamburg in the summer on a free transfer after spending all of his career at Bayer Leverkusen.  He has been very impressive in goal this season, conceding just 21 goals (joint 4th lowest in the league) and keeping 7 clean sheets in the process.  His fine form was awarded with a recent recall to the German National Team in November after a 2 year absence.  If it wasn’t for his heroics in goal, Hamburg would find themselves lower down the table.

Defenders

·         Carvajal (Leverkusen) – The Spanish under-21 right back has made a good start to life in the Bundesliga and has become an integral part of the Leverkusen team.  He is solid defensively (averaging 3.5 tackles and 3.8 interceptions per game), but also equally talented at getting forward and supporting the attack down the right wing as he has contributed 4 assists to the team.
·         Westermann (Hamburg) – The Hamburg ‘Skipper’ also takes the Captain’s armband in our team.  He has been impressive this season and appears near the top of all defensive stats when compared to other Bundesliga players, averaging 3.2 tackles, 3.8 interceptions, 7.8 clearances and 3.4 aerial duals won per game. His versatility means that if required, he could also play at fullback or as a defensive midfielder in our side.
·         Papadopoulos (Schalke) – Greek International Papadopoulos is only 20 years old, but has shown maturity beyond his years since joining Schalke.  Despite making just 9 starts this season, he gets the nod in our team due to impressive stats such as winning an average 3 aerial duals and 3.7 tackles per game, as well as making 2.9 interceptions and 6.1 clearances per game.
·         Oczipka (Eintracht Frankfurt) – Left back Oczipka has had a great start to life at his new club in Frankfurt.  He has started all 17 League games and helped his club reach an impressive 4th place in the table.  In addition to his strong defensive performances, one of the key reasons for his inclusion in this team is the fact that he has provided 7 assists for his teammates – the joint most in the Bundesliga and the most of any defender.

Defensive Midfielders
·         Badelj (Hamburg) – Croatian midfielder Badelj has been impressive in his first season in the Bundesliga.  Regarded as a deep-lying playmaker, one of his main qualities is his range of passing (averaging 59 passes and 7 accurate long balls per game).  Badelj is able to do a very good job defensively too though, averaging 4.2 tackles and 2.4 interceptions per game in the Hamburg midfield.
·         Bender (Leverkusen) – Lars Bender (not his twin brother Sven at Dortmund!) is our other defensive midfielder after a great season so far at 2nd place Leverkusen.  He has done an exceptional job at protecting the defence, making an average 4.3 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game.

Attacking Midfielders
·         Müller (Bayern Munich) – Müller brings pace, creativity and the ability to consistently score goals no matter what position he plays to our team.  Despite still only being 23 years old, Müller has been a key figure for Bayern and Germany over the past few years.  He has been in exceptional form once again this season, scoring 9 goals (the joint top scorer for Bayern) and providing 7 assists (the joint most in the league).
·         Meier (Eintracht Frankfurt) – One of the standout players this season (and for Frankfurt over the past 8 seasons) has been tall, attacking midfielder Meier.  He has scored 11 goals this season, an impressive record for any striker let alone an attacking midfielder, and has also chipped in with 2 assists.  At 29 years old, a first German cap looks unlikely with the young German talent on offer for Joachim Low, however Meier should be regarded as one of the most under-rated players in the Bundesliga.
·         Ribéry (Bayern Munich) – French International Ribéry is arguably the best player in the Bundesliga, showing this with 6 man of the match awards in 12 appearances.  His pace, skill and dribbling often cause havoc for the opposing defenders.  This season has been no different, with the tricky winger averaging 3.6 key passes and 5.8 dribbles per game.  He has provided 7 assists for his teammates this season and also chipped in with 4 goals.

Striker
·         Kießling (Leverkusen) – A number of strikers have impressed in the Bundesliga this season, but Kießling gets the nod in our team because of his lethal form in front of goal.  He leads the Bundesliga goalscoring charts with 12 League goals, 36% of the total goals Leverkusen have scored.  The German International also averages 3.6 shots on goal and 5.6 aerial duals won per game, the most of any player in the Bundesliga.  Despite normally playing in a 4-3-3 formation, we are sure that Kießling would still find the back of the net in our team!

Substitutes
With the wealth of talent on show in the Bundesliga, it is no surprise that our Subs Bench is full of quality players, many of which could easily walk into any team in Europe.   Unfortunately though, only 11 players can start the game so these stars will need to get used to beginning the game on the bench.

Neuer has conceded just 7 goals this season for Bayern, however he is tested less often by the opposition than Adler, so Neuer is our 2nd choice goalkeeper.  Our substitute defenders are Dortmund duo Piszczek and Hummels who are having good seasons despite their teams inconsistency.  Our midfielders form a very talented bench, with Diego and Götze providing flair, creativity and goals, whilst Caligiuri (Daniel, not Marco) would support a move to a change in formation (these 3 got picked just ahead of Hannover’s Huszti and Dortmund’s Reus!).  The 10 goals Ibisevic has scored in 15 games for Stuttgart secures his place as a very capable backup for Kießling.

What do you think to our Bundesliga XI?  Let us know if you agree, and if not, what players you would choose instead!
Follow them on Twitter @PowerTableSport and check out www.PowerTableSports.com for all your football stats, facts, predictions, betting tips and latest news for Europe’s Top Leagues.

The Bundesliga Show Episode 85 – The Prodigal Son Returns

The Bundesliga is almost back from the winter break, as is the Bundesliga Show. Jon Hartley and Matt Hermann are joined by Mark Lovell to talk about the big transfers so far in the transfer window, including Nuri Sahin, Ivan Perisic and the defensive bolstering at Hannover 96.

In addition, there is a chat about the state of affairs at 2.Bundesliga club 1860 Munich. All that, and a look at the up-coming fixtures at the start of the rückrunde.

Enjoy the show!

 

Bundesliga 2012/13 in Numbers – Infographic

Want to find out the facts and figures from the first half of the Bundesliga season? The folks at www.powertablesports.com have come up with this stats graphic to give you all the information you need. Who’s enjoyed success and who didn’t…and even who might not want to indulge too much this Christmas.

Enjoy the stat-attack during the winter break. For more information, follow Power Table Sports on Twitter @PowerTableSport

The Bundesliga Show Episode 84 – The Hinrunde Review with Phil Bonney

The Bundesliga has closed its doors for 2012. Jon Hartley and Matt Hermann pick over the best of the first half of the season with the help of Bundesliga commentator Phil Bonney.

Outside of the the best of the Hinrunde there are managerial changes that have taken place. Huub Stevens departure from Schalke and Marco Kurz’ arrival at Hoffenheim are all up for discussion.

Enjoy the show!