My opinion on Pep and Bayern.

I don’t know why Pep has the title of the best manager in football, yes he’s good but has he really been challenged. His time at Bayern so far, has revealed quite a bit for me. I’m not just saying this after the champions league, but it’s more of a general opinion.
Firstly, he’s never really been out of his comfort zone. His synonymous “tiki taka” style was perfect for the Barça side he inherited. Yes, he was already playing that at Barça B but was he ever really going to play “long ball” with Barça? At times the football was truly breathtaking, but that’s people like Iniesta, Messi and Xavi for you.
My second point is more based around his time at Bayern. When he came into the job, we all knew that Bayern’s style would change, not the managers. This shows he isn’t flexible, a smart manager would’ve looked at Bayern and saw a team that didn’t really need changing. It was already the best. But Pep has forced the team to play a style that doesn’t suit them. The prime example, as I mentioned in my last post, is Lahm playing CDM instead of Javi Martinez. This Bayern side were at its strongest with Ribery and Robben running at defenders with space, but in the “tiki taka” style they are unable to do this. As one of the commentators said tonight, Bayern have become predictable, and to be totally honest he’s not wrong.
People need to question Pep, as if anything this season, he’s taken Bayern backwards. But it won’t matter domestically as Bayern’s dominance will continue. Dortmund don’t have the money to compete. Schalke are Schalke and all the others aren’t consistent enough to challenge. But on the European side of things, I imagine we will see more repeats of tonight. As throughout the knockout phase Bayern haven’t looked too convincing. In my opinion, firstly Pep needs to take a large amount of responsibility for Bayern’s display in both legs against Real. secondly, I don’t think Pep should automatically have the title of best manager in football just because of his work at Barça.

Well done Braunschweig


The team from Lower Saxony were written off before the season had even started, but to be fair to the minnows they’ve done their fans and city proud, putting up a good fight.
After todays 3-0 victory in the other Lower Saxony derby against Hannover, Braunschweig will be confident they can stay up. The video at the top shows the amazing atmosphere the fans created with the Eintracht Stadion turning into a cauldron of blue and yellow.

Well done Braunschweig.

2. Bundesliga Round-Up

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A quick look at the 2. Bundesliga shows that Köln look certain to return to the Bundesliga next season. The chasing pack for the other automatic spot, and the ever contested play off spot contains teams such as; Fürth, Paderborn, Kaiserslautern and St. Pauli.
The other end of the table seems to be less complicated with 3 teams cast adrift in the three relegation places. Dynamo Dresden fill the play off place, whilst Bielefeld and Cottbus take up the automatic relegation spots. However there is still work to do for teams such as, Düsseldorf and Bochum.

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The picture above shows that Paderborn’s Mahir Saglik leads the way with 14 goals. Second is Simon Zoller of Kaiserslautern followed by Jakub Sylvestr of Aue with 13 and 12 goals respectively.

Whatever happens, this seasons end to the Bundesliga 2. will be an exciting one, at both ends of the table. Will Köln return to the Bundesliga? Will the minnows from Paderborn be promoted. Can Dresden escape once again?

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Bayern Munich: Unstoppable or Fortunate?

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There are many conflicting opinions regarding Bayern Munich. Some say they’re one of the greatest teams in German football history, others that they’re fortunate to be in this position and that others are faltering. Well in my opinion, both hold equal measure. They both hold large importance as to why, arguably, Bayern are the best team in Europe.
Firstly, the good side. Bayern’s dominance has been largely down to the tactical genius of two men, Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola. Their prowess has seen them build two remarkable teams, that in reality are quite similar to each other. Each playing different brands of football, but both equally effective.
Heynckes’ football was largely based around the team unit. Attack as a team, defend as a team. The squad of players he put together, was well suited for this style of play and this is evident when Bayern beat Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate in last seasons Champions League. I think it’s safe to say that Jupp Heynckes is one of the major reasons as to why Bayern are as good as they are today.
Guardiola in some aspects has evolved Heynckes side into the, debatably, even better side they are today. Pep has taken his style and philosophy, the quintessential Barcelona Tiki Taka, and added to the steel and character of Heynckes side. This gives Bayern the “best of both worlds”.

Another reason as to why Bayern are the team they are today, is the time and effort they spent getting many of Germany’s best youth at the club. Slowly but surely, Bayern have blooded many young talents and are now reaping the benefits. Mixed with the established players at each time, Bayern were able to nurture the young players slowly into first team football. They have seen the benefits with players such as, Toni Kroos, Holger Badstüber and Thomas Müller.

Now, on to the “bad” side. It can be argued that in my last point, Bayern have bought up all the “best of the rest” , and this is an accusation that has often been tarred at Bayern ever since the Mario Götze and impending Robert Lewandowski transfers. It’s been said that Bayern have dismantled their opponents with their superior transfer might. This in turn has made the Bundesliga, a “one team, league”.
Now I can agree with this in some sense, as the title has been rather a done event in the last two seasons. But, what I disagree with is that the other teams have received large fees for their players. So they were still capable of buying other players, from other leagues . So what stopped them?
Another point is that, why should Bayern do the best for the other teams? At the end of the day, Bayern are only in it for themselves. Bayern are quite entitled to buy who they want, unfortunately it’s been the “best of the rest” but once again what’s stopped the other teams buying good players?

So overall, I can understand the arguments for and against the success of Bayern. But I would say the success of Bayern has been down to themselves, and they should be credited fully for this.
It’s been a great season for Bayern, winning the Bundesliga in record time is one of a number of records they’ve broken. We should congratulate them for their work, not criticise.

Bayern Munich Deutscher Fußballmeister 2013-14.

Sorry for the unprepared feel to today’s article as in all honesty in was. However, anyway I hoped you’ve enjoyed the article. If you could like it, and follow my blog it would be greatly appreciated. Also if you would like, you can follow my twitter @Bundesliga_UK

Matchday 26 Review

 

Freiburg v Werder Bremen

 

Friday night saw Bremen travel to Freiburg. As I mentioned in my preview of the match, to have any chance of the points Bremen had to keep the Freiburg front line quiet. Which they failed to do, as Freiburg ran out 3-1 winners.

Christian Streich’s men were a pleasure to watch, especially Admir Mehmedi. His movement behind Karim Guede caused the Bremen midfield and defence numerous problems. Another factor leading to Freiburg’s victory was the lacklustre performance of Werder, with only an error, from Matthias Ginter, providing Nils Petersen a consolation goal.

The three Freiburg goals were scored by Julian Schuster, Felix Kraus and Admir Mehmedi. My personal Man of the Match went to Mehmedi. The win lifts Freiburg out of the relegation zone, into 14th place.

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Hannover v Dortmund

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Injury stricken Dortmund ran out 3-0 winners as the two sides met on Saturday. Matts Hummels opened the scoring, just before half time. With Robert Lewandowski and Marco Reus, just back from injury, sealing the win for the away side. Lewandowski’s goal being a superb solo run.

The win allows Dortmund some breathing space in the race for the Champions League. It also see’s them head into Tuesday nights Ruhr Derby in good form.

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Mainz v Bayern

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Thomas Tuchel’s men put up a great display as Bayern edged his side thanks to two late goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gotze.

Mainz provided one of the best challenges Bayern have faced all season, both home and away, and that is something Tuchel can take great achievement from. Bayern only require one point on Tuesday night, as they travel to Hertha, to be confirmed Deutscher Meister 2013/14.

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Wolsburg v Augsburg 

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This seasons surprise package, Augsburg, continued to shock everyone with a 1-1 draw at stuttering Wolfsburg, as the pressure mounts on Dieter Hecking.

A first half goal from Tobias Werner gave Augsburg a half time lead at the Volkswagen Arena. But midway through the second half, Ivica Olic levelled for the hosts. The draw leaves Augsburg just two points off the Europa League spots, as their dream continues for another week.

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Stuttgart v Hamburg

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Huub Stevens got off to the perfect start at the Mercedes Benz Arena with a 1-0 victory over relegation rivals, Hamburg.

Hamburg’s Turkish start-let, Hakan Calhanoglu saw red for two yellow cards. Thus giving Stuttgart the initiative. Five minutes after coming on, Substitute Alexandru Maxim scored the winner for the reds, providing them with three desperately needed points.

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Schalke v Braunschweig

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Schalke ran out comfortable 3-1 winners as the two teams met at the Veltins Arena.

Leon Goretzka and Klaas Jan Huntelaar gave Schalke a 2-0 lead before Benjamin Kessel pulled one back for the team from Lower Saxony. But, Adam Szalai made in safe with another in added time for the Royal Blues.

The win also see’s Schalke have some breathing space in the race for the Champions League, and some nice momentum heading into the Ruhr Derby away to Dortmund on Tuesday night.

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Borussia Monchengladbach v Hertha Berlin

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Champions League hopefuls, ‘Gladbach ran out 3-0 winners as the two sides met at Borussia Park.

The goals were scored by Juan Arango, Max Kruse and Raffael. The game also saw the two Brazilian brothers, Raffael of ‘Gladbach and Ronny of Hertha come up against each other. The win see’s ‘Gladbach up to 5th place, just two points of the Champions League places.

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Nuremburg v Eintracht Frankfurt

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Eintracht travelled to Nuremburg, in the weekends other big relegation battle. Frankfurt ran out huge winners, 5-2 with Joselu grabbing two, with Alexander Madlung, Tranquillo Barnetta and Vaclav Kadlec all scoring once. Swiss International striker, Josip Drmic and Spanish midfielder Jose Campana pulling goals back for the home side.

Until Argentinian defender, Javier Pinola, was sent off it looked like Nuremburg could complete and unlikely comeback with the score being 3-2. But after the sending off, the result was inevitable.

The win lifts Eintracht to 12th, but Nuremburg drop to 17th putting their somewhat good form to an end.

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Leverkusen v Hoffenheim

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Leverkusen’s bad form continues as Hoffenheim ran out 3-2 winners at the BayArena.

Hoffenheim took a 1-0 lead, when Bosnian, Sejad Salihovic coolly converted a penalty past Leverkusen stopper, Bernd Leno. But Leverkusen’s talisman Stefan Kießling equalised the game, however young German striker, Kevin Volland gave the away side the lead going into half time. Once again, Leverkusen equalised, this time Simon Rofles.

Just as the game looked to be ‘fizzling out’, Hoffenheim’s French striker, Anthony Modeste scored the winner. Ironically celebrating Stefan Kießling’s ghost goal.

The defeat for Leverkusen epitomises their awful form since just before the winter break, with them sitting just two points clear of the chasing pack in the race for the Champions League.

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Matchday 26 Preview

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Again Matchday 26 is based around the lower half on the table, with two key clashes taking place in Stuttgart and Nuremburg. But there are also some key games regarding qualification for the Champions League and the Europa League.

 

Freiburg v Bremen

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Friday night sees Werder travel to Freiburg, in a game that will be key for both teams. Christian Streich will be hoping that his team can build on their victory last weekend at Frankfurt and climb out of the relegation zone, whilst Robin Dutt will be hoping his side can get the three points to pull themselves even further away from the relegation zone.

Key Player: Karim Guede, the striker from Slovakia is bang in form and if Werder hope to take away the points they’ll have to keep him quiet.

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Hannover v Dortmund

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Arena to take on Hannover. Jurgen Klopp will be hoping his men can bounce back from last weekends home defeat to ‘Gladbach and inflict Hannover’s 13th defeat of the season. After last weekends victory away to Hertha, Tayfun Korkut will hope his side can follow a number of teams this season and beat Dortmund.

Key Player: Robert Lewandowski. Albeit not in the best form recently, Hannover will be hoping the Bayern bound Polish talisman has an off day, as they know what he can do if on form.

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Mainz v Bayern

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Champions (surely?) Bayern travel to Mainz to take on Thomas Tuchel’s men. Mainz who are in good form, will be hoping to end Bayern’s 50 game plus win streak. However, beating Bayern is not that much inconceivable for Tuchel – as shown in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnAyxEkbSaw&list=PL3uJGozO1imct6dbqkhw2ApSX0oaQAIk5 –

Key Player : Mario Gotze . The attacking midfielder has settled quickly since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, and his abilities will be crucial in Saturdays game.

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Wolfsburg v Augsburg

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Saturday sees two European hopefuls clash at the Volkswagen Arena. After recent calls for him to be sacked, Dieter Hecking will be hoping his side can rekindle their hopes of Champions League football. Markus Weinzierl will be hoping his side can bounce back from last Fridays defeat to Schalke.

Key Player: Max Arnold. The young German midfielder has had a great first full season at this level, and Wolfsburg will be hoping he can spark their push for the Champions League places.

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Stuttgart v Hamburg

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Huub Stevens and Mirko Slomka, are both new coaches at their respected clubs. Each with one task, avoid relegation. On Saturday both meet at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in a game of huge proportions. Slomka’s Hamburg have picked up some good points since his arrival and he will be hoping his side can take back all three points to Hamburg. Huub Stevens will be hoping to get of to a winning start at home in front of the Stuttgart faithful.

Key Player: Hakan Calhanoglu. The young Turkish midfielder has proved to be a real find for HSV this season, and has chipped in with some crucial goals. The men from the north will be hoping he continues his good form on Saturday.

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Schalke v Braunschweig

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After crashing out of the Champions League to Real Madrid, Schalke will be hoping to qualify for next seasons tournament. Winning games like this are crucial if they hope to achieve this. Braunschweig on the back of a good draw at home to Wolfsburg, will travel to Gelsenkirchen with no fear and the home team will have to be wary of this.

Key Player: Klaas Jan Huntelaar. The Dutch striker is bang on form, and if Braunschweig are to have any hope of getting anything, they’ll need to keep him quiet.

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Borussia Monchengladbach v Hertha Berlin

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Lucien Favre will be hoping his side can build on the momentum they have, after last weeks win at Signal Iduna Park. This will be a crucial game, if ‘Gladbach want to have any hope of qualifying for Europe next season. Hertha will be hoping to forget last weeks loss at home to Hannover and take all three points back to the capital.

Key Player: Max Kruse. The German striker has proved to be a stellar acquisition from Freiburg, and he will be crucial to Saturday nights game.

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Nuremburg v Eintracht Frankfurt.

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The other big relegation six pointer takers place in Nuremburg on Sunday. Armin Veh will be hoping his men can recover from last weekends demolishing at home to Freiburg, and clime further above the relegation zone. Nuremburg will have similar hopes, and a win is crucial if they want to stay in the Bundesliga.

Key Player: Josip Drmic. The Swiss striker will be looking to add to his good recent form, and drive his side to victory.

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Leverkusen v Hoffenheim

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The final match of the weekend sees free scoring Hoffenheim travel to Leverkusen, who are lacking confidence. However, Sami Hyypia will see Hoffenheim’s leaky defence and see it as a perfect opportunity to end their bad form.

Key Player: Stefan Kießling. The German talisman will be hoping to add another goal to this years tally against a somewhat suspect Hoffenheim defence.

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Player Report: Max Arnold

He’s been one of the stars of the season so far, with a deadly left foot and a footballing brain, here’s my player report for Maximilian Arnold of Vfl Wolfsburg.

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Arnold joined Wolfsburg at the age of 15, from Dynamo Dresden, and has played for the German youth teams numerous times. He scored his first goal for the club halfway through the 2012-13 season against Hoffenheim, but his best contribution has been this season with Arnold scoring 6 goals and creating 1. He has also created 70 chances for his team-mates, and impressive accolade for a 19 year old.

Arnold is known for his powerful left foot, with five of his goals coming with it. He often takes shots from distance regularly troubling ‘keepers. He has a superb eye for a pass, and using an old football cliché can pick a pass through the eye of a needle. He’s considered one of the great talents in German football and he continues to progress at the rate he is, he could go down as a great.

http://youtu.be/HpDi_fPcS0Q – A recent video by the Bundesliga youtube channel, shows how grounded he is. A good feature if he hopes to be a great.

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Maximilian Arnold won the German U19 League with Wolfsburg

Arnold is only one of a number or talents emerging from German football, such as Max Meyer, Timo Werner and Leon Goretzka. Whether or not Wolfsburg achieve their hopes of Champions League football this season, they will have had some success with the unearth of Max Arnold. If they can keep hold of him, other key players and strengthen in the right areas the Wolves from lower Saxony could rival Borussia Dortmund for the 2nd spot.

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Matchday 25

Matchday 25 was a crucial one in the battle to avoid relegation, lets see who were the real winners and losers at the weekend.

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FC Augsburg v FC Schalke 04      1:2

 

Friday night saw Europa League hopefuls Augsburg take on Champions League contenders Schalke at the SGL Arena.

  The game got of to an awful start for Schalke when a mistake from Tim Hoogland allowed Timo Werner in on goal, who obliged to make the score 1 nil to Augsburg. But two goals from Schalke talisman Klaas Jan Huntelaar gave Schalke all three points. The second being a lovely move, with Kolasinac setting up the Dutchman for his second.

  The win gives Schalke some nice breathing space in the Champions League places, whilst Augsburg have some work to do if they want to qualify for Europe next season.

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Borussia Dortmund v Borussia Monchengladbach     1:2

Another defeat at Signal Iduna Park for Borussia Dortmund just adds to a disappointing season in the Bundesliga for Jürgen Klopps men, albeit an injury stricken one.

  Goals from ‘Gladbachs star men, Raffael and Max Kruse gave the visitors a 2-0 half time lead. Dortmund’s Serbian starlet Milos Jojic, pulled one back for the hosts mid way through the second half, and after Havard Nordtveit saw red it looked like Dortmund would equalise. They thought they had when Marvin Ducksch put the ball into the back of the net from close range, but the goal was dubiously disallowed for a foul on Marc Andre Ter-Stegen. ‘Gladbach then held on for all three points.

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Werder Bremen v Stuttgart      1:1

Bremen v Stuttgart saw Huub Stevens manage Stuttgart for the first time after Thomas Schneider was sacked last week. It was a huge match on both parts, as both historic teams have been threatened with relegation.

  It looked to be the perfect start for Stevens when Goerg Niedermeier, on his 100th Bundesliga appearance, scored for the Reds within ten minutes of the restart. But the man in from, Aaron Hunt, equalised with a superb free kick on 79 minutes.

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Hertha Berlin v Hannover 96    0:3

Hannover had a brilliant win at the Olympiastadion thanks to goals from Lars Stindl, Jan Schlaudraff and Szabolcs Huszti. A win was needed for Hannover and it has pulled them 7 points away from the relegation places. Hertha meanwhile, remain in mid table. But still a good first year back in the Bundesliga for them.

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Eintracht Braunschweig v Wolfsburg    1:1

The reverse fixture saw Braunschweig win 1:0 in the first Lower Saxony derby, and the Lions were hoping to repeat this at Eintracht-Stadion.

   After a scramble in the box Luiz Gustavo gave the Wolves the lead, and there was expected to be only one winner. But in the 48th minute Karim Bellarabi equalised for the hosts. The draw could be a valuable point in Braunschweig’s outside chance of survival, but it will be seen as 2 points dropped for Wolfsburg.

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Hoffenheim v Mainz     2:4

Hoffenheim are always involved in high scoring games aren’t they?! Saturday was the 5th time this season they have surrendered a two goal lead. Two stunning goals from midfielders Eugen Polanski and Roberto Firmino looked to have confirmed the points but 4 goals in 23 minutes stole all three points for Mainz.

   The 3 points puts Thomas Tuchel’s Mainz in with a very good chance for the Europa League, and it would be a fitting way to cap a great season for the club.

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Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen    2:1 

You cant stop the Bayern juggernaut, even with a ‘weakened team’ they still managed to beat one of the better sides in the league, albeit one in awful form.

   Goals from Croatian football of the year Mario Mandzukic and Bastian Schweinsteiger gave Bayern a 2-0 lead, until the closing stages when Stefan Kießling pulled one back for the visitors.

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Hamburg v Nuremburg       2:1

Sunday was the day for relegation six pointers and a lot was learn from the two games played. Goals from Turkish prospect Hakan Calhanoglu and an own goal from Mike Frantz gave HSV a two goal lead, Josip Drmic pulled back a consolation goal for Nuremburg. This match could prove vital in the outcome of relegation this year, and Mirko Slomka will be extremely pleased his side got all three points.
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Eintracht Frankfurt v Freiburg      1:4

Another relegation six pointer and it was Freiburg that took the points, in remarkable fashion also.   Julian Schuster and Karim Guede gave Freiburg a two goal lead, only for Spanish striker Joselu to reduce the deficit 5 minutes later. But two more goals from Felix Klaus and another from Karim Guede gave Freiburg an emphatic victory.   Both sides still have a lot to do, in order to stay up, but the victory will have given Christian Streich’s men a lard morale boost. Armin Veh’s side must do better.
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Link to the league table – http://www.bundesliga.com/en/stats/matchday/

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Welcome

Welcome!

  Thanks for clicking onto my blog and I hope it wont be a waste of your time. I have recently set up my new blog, the Bundesliga UK. What I hope to achieve is to create the essential Bundesliga page for all the people of the United Kingdom, and speakers of the English language.
    Here you will find insights into the Bundesliga at all angles, Match reviews, Transfer analysis, Player descriptions and my very own real life match accounts. I hope you enjoy my content, thanks.
If you enjoy my blog, please follow me at @Bundesliga_UK.

The eclectic musings of a Manchester City fan, who has fallen in love with German football and a certain provincial Bavarian outfit that are based upon the famous Danube. Confused? So am I.