Game Week 20 of the German Bundesliga began with Roberto de Matteo’s Schalke playing host to high flying Borussia Monchengladbach. A clash between two teams in contention for the Champions League, with the Foals lying third in the table against the sixth placed Royal Blues. Tranquillo Barnetta put the hosts ahead and after that the hosts defended well to restrict the visitors to a solitary shot on target. The result saw De Matteo’s team grab third position in the table and Monchengladbach dropped down to fifth.
Bundesliga new boys Paderborn were flying high in the early days of the season, a team with modest ambitions to stay in the top flight of the German football for as long as they could suddenly found themselves in the European positions and not just based upon luck but quality football. However, their early promise has petered out and they are trying to hold on to all the points they can in order to ensure their first foray in the Bundesliga goes longer. They drew 0-0 against a mid-table Cologne and currently sit 15th, precariously close to relegation zone, whereas Cologne are cocooned in mid-table security, lying 11th.
Hertha Berlin grabbed two first-half goals at the Coface Arena to condemn Mainz to a 2-0 loss, their sixth league defeat of the current season. The result saw Mainz in 13th and victors on the night the East German outfit on 14th in the table.
Sometimes, fear gets the best out of us. Ask Hamburg. The German giants looked dead and buried last season as they struggled for Bundesliga survival, they made a miraculous recovery. They didn’t leave it that late this term and won their 19th and 20th games to leap out of the relegation zone and lie in 12th place. Their victims were Hannover, who lost 2-1.
Fuelled by Volkswagen’s money and driven by Kevin De Bruyne’s remarkable run of form, Wolfsburg are fast becoming a Bundesliga force to be reckoned with. Bas Dost and De Bruyne continued their goal scoring heroics to condemn Hoffenheim to a 3-0 loss. The result sees Wolfsburg consolidate their second place standing in the league with 41 points. Hoffenheim stayed seventh.
Another Bundesliga giant who looked in trouble in the first-half of the season and are busy scripting a survival story of their own are Werder Bremen. Two goals in the first half including a sumptuous freekick from Zlatko Junuzovic set the River Islanders on course for a well deserved victory against Bayer Leverkusen. Hakan Calhanoglu pulled one back for the visitors but Werder Bremen got their win. They are eighth now.
Augsburg drew 2-2 with Eintracht Frankfurt a result which sees the Frankfurters as well as the high-flying Augsburg retain their ninth and fourth placed standings in the table respectively.
Borussia Dortmund started week 20 rock-bottom of the Bundesliga after losing 1-0 at home to Augsburg. A result that prompted sorry scenes at the Signal Iduna Park with Mats Hummels and Roman Weidenfeller going to fans and pacifying their rage. They finally had a convincing win as they defeated Freiburg 3-0 and left the foot of the table to lie 16th now.
After suffering two minor blips, Bayern Munich juggernaut came in full swing in week 20 as a goal each from Arjen Robben and David Alaba confined VfB Stuttgart to a comprehensive 2-0 defeat.