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Bundesliga round-up of the 23rd matchday: Bayern cruise towards title

Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben fired a hat-trick to maintain a gaping lead at the top of the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich.

Germany's two Champions League finalists from last season won convincingly at the weekend. Dortmund defeated Nuremberg 3-0 with goals from Hummels, Mkhitaryan and a once again outstanding Lewandowski.

Bayern won the glamour match 5-1 against Schalke in a remarkably one-sided affair, 4-0 up by half-time. Arjen Robben was the man of the match with three goals. The other three goals were also scored by Bayern: Alaba and Mandzukic for their own team and Rafinha with an own goal.

Not only Schalke but also Leverkusen followed their poor performances in the Champions League and lost 0-1 at home against Mainz. Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, who we will see in the World Cup with Cameroon, scored not only the goal of the day but also the most beautiful one with a brilliant back-heeler.

The match with the most goals was nce again Hoffenheim’s. This time they had a superb day and won 6-2 against Wolfsburg. Watching a Hoffenheim match this season is never boring as there have already been exactly 100 goals in their 23 matches with their participation, which means an average of more than four goals per match. Some other examples of their season’s results were 5-1 against Hamburg, 2-6 against Stuttgart or 4-4 against Bremen.

Frankfurt made a big point in the struggle against relegation, recording a last minute 2-1 victory over Stuttgart who are in clear danger of relegation themselves. After losing the last eight Bundesliga matches in a row, their coach Thomas Schneider is now the first candidate of the next dismissal.

Pure slapstick could be seen in the match between Braunschweig and Moenchengladbach which ended 1-1 after two own goals of the two keepers. Especially Ter Stegen’s horrible own goal could be seen with a lot of scepticism in Barcelona, where he is supposed to play after this summer.

Disappointing was also Hamburg’s 0-1 against Bremen which leaves them in the third last position of the table. Former Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart was brought back in for the second half after injury but couldn’t help to turn around the match. The assist for Bremen’s goal was an amazing overhead kick from Aaron Hunt, who has been Bremen’s best player for the last two seasons and could still play for the English national team, thanks to his English father and the fact, that he has only played three times for Germany in friendly matches so far.

The Bundesliga table sees Bayern with 20 points ahead of Dortmund in second position. The struggle for the Champions League and European League places continues with Leverkusen in third position with 43 points, and then Schalke with 41, Wolfsburg 39, and then a surprisingly good Mainz with 37 points in sixth position.

At the bottom of the table sit Braunschweig with 16, while Freiburg, Hamburg and Stuttgart all with 19 points have to improve a lot to avoid being relegated to the second division at the end of the season.

So overall the race for the positions 2-18 remains interesting. The top match of the next weekend will be Wolsburg playing Bayern at home and at the bottom of the table there will be a pivotal match between Stuttgart and Braunschweig, maybe then already with a new coach for Stuttgart.

image: © Lorenzo Blangiardi

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