A few weeks ago, there was plenty of surprise as Bayern sat outside the Champions League spots. Now, the gap between them and league leaders Dortmund is down to just two points! The Bavarians went about their bussiness effectively at a sold out Coface Arena against Mainz 05 (1-2). Nico Kovac once again started Leon Goretzka, Niklas Süle and Serge Gnabry, with Renato Sanches also receiving substantial playing time. BVB do remain on top spot, but they will be disappointed to drop two points at home after drawing against Hertha Berlin (2-2). Lucien Favre’s men were eventually made to pay for their missed chances.
Borussia Mönchengladbach and Werder Bremen both suffered defeats in their quest for Champions League football. The Foals lost away from home – again – to SC Freiburg on Friday night (3-1). Christian Streich outsmarted Dieter Hecking from the start, with his team’s strong performance seeing the hosts rise to 11th place. Werder Bremen succumbed against Bayer Leverkusen in different circumstances losing 2-6, the most surprising result of the weekend. Florian Kohfeldt was unbeaten at home since he took over in October 2017, and nobody would have expected that run to come to an end in such a way. Bayer Leverkusen proved once again that they are an attacking powerhouse, this time led by a rejuvenated Karim Bellarabi, but that their defence still needs work.
At the other end of the table, we find Fortuna Düsseldorf and VfB Stuttgart. Friedhelm Fienkel’s side lost at home once again, this time against VfL Wolfsburg (0-3). They will be most worried about their lack of cutting edge upfront. They barely worked Die Wölfe goalkeeper Koen Casteels in what was their fifth consecutive defeat. It is a similar situation to that of Markus Weinzierl, who has conceded eight goals and scored none in his two games as Stuttgart manager. This time their victors were TSG Hoffenheim, who battered them 4-0. Emiliano Insua seeing red after just eight minutes did not help Weinzierl. There is still a long way to go, but both Düsseldorf and Stuttgart will need to change their fortunes quickly to maintain their Bundesliga status.