It was an unusually disappointing weekend in the Bundesliga with six draws from the nine games but there was some interesting developments at the top as Borussia Dortmund were the only team in the top-four places to pick up three points.
Here’s the best of the action from Week 20:
FC Nurnberg 0-2 Borussia Dortmund: Friday evening’s match was more workman-like from Dortmund rather than the dazzling performances of recent weeks. Captain Sebastian Kehl opened the scoring on 48 minutes with a scrappy effort and the win was secured for BVB by substitute Lucas Barrios who netted on 82 minutes.
Wolfsburg 0-0 Borussia M’Gladbach: Lucien Favre’s men had a major off-day at the Volkswagen Arena as they could only draw with Wolfsburg. Die Wolves were the better side in the second half and should have converted a host of chances.
Hoffenheim 2-2 FC Augsburg: Strugglers Augsburg picked up their second consecutive point of the ruckrunde with an impressive performance against Hoffenheim. Sascha Molders put the visitors ahead on 31 minutes before goals from Mlapa and Salihovic put Hoffenheim 2-1 in front on the hour mark.But Sebastian Langkamp equalised late in the match to keep Augsburg two points adrift in the relegation zone.
Schalke 04 1-1 FSV Mainz: Title-chasers Schalke fell behind their Ruhr rivals with a less than convincing first half performance against Thomas Tuchel’s Mainz. The away side took the lead through former BVB striker Mo Zidan who was making his debut for the Carnival Club.
In all fairness, Schalke did batter Mainz in the second period but failed to take a number of opportunities with Chinedu Obasi scoring the equaliser on 59 minutes.
Hertha BSC 0-1 Hannover 96: Hannover moved a point behind the last remaining European position with a vital three points against off-form Hertha.
The Berliners have struggled since Markus Babbel was sacked in December and they fell just a point behind the relegation play-off zone on Saturday. And it was the inspirational Norwegian striker Mohammed Abdellaoue who netted the only goal of the match with a terrific effort on 68 minutes.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 VfB Stuttgart: Martin Harnik scored in injury time to give the Swabian’s a deserved point at the BayArena against Bayer Leverkusen.
The Austrian’s goal at the end of the match was the second time Stuttgart had equalised with Julian Schieber pulling it back to 1-1 on 24 minutes. Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiessling put Bayer ahead on 11 minutes and after Stuttgart levelled, Simon Rolfes put the Werkself back in-front in the second half.
Hamburg SV 1-1 FC Bayern: In the Saturday night ‘Nur-Sud’ derby, Hamburg picked up a massive point, their first in four against the Bavarians, to make it four points from six in the last two matches. Thorsten Fink’s side performed well and move in to 12th position as they pulled FC Bayern two points away from league-leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Former Chelsea kid Jacopo Sala put HSV ahead on 23 minutes with a very well-taken strike but former Hamburg striker Ivica Olic bundled in the equaliser with 19 minutes to go.
SC Freiburg 2-2 Werder Bremen: On the weekend of Werder’s 113th birthday, they failed to mark it with a victory as Thomas Schaaf’s men produced a very typically-inconsistent Werder performance in Freiburg.
Peruvian hitman Claudio Pizarro showed his importance to the Werder side with two goals, either side of Cedric Makiadi’s equaliser on 32 minutes. Jonathan Schmid made it 2-2 with twenty minutes to play. Freiburg remain bottom of the table but there’s just three points separating them and the safety of 15th place.
Kaiserslautern 0-1 1.FC Cologne: Without star-man Lukas Podolski, Stale Solbakken’s men toiled at the Betzenberg against a Kaiserslautern side desperate to pick up some points. Neither side were dominant in the game with Kevin Trapp and Michael Rensing the two busiest players at either end of the park. Substitute Odishe Roshi headed home the winner on 72 minutes to move Cologne in to ninth, when a defeat could have put them in the relegation zone.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Mohammed Zidan (FSV Mainz) – In what has been a horrible week for Egyptian football, it was certainly enjoyable to see an Egyptian international star in the Bundesliga. Mo Zidan was surplus to requirements at Borussia Dortmund before joining Mainz last week and he produced a really decent display at the Veltins Arena. Zidan scored Mainz’s only goal in Gelsenkirchen and if he and Sami Allagui can remain fit, the two strikers can really push the Carnival Club up the table. Another astute piece of business in the transfer market from Thomas Tuchel.
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