Bundesliga Round 23

1 Mar

Back at the start of the season, Borussia Dortmund lost 3 of their first 6 games. At the same time, Bayern Munich were busy winning 5 of theirs, whilst picking up plenty of plaudits for both attack (18 goals) and defence (1 conceded). Since 1996, Bayern have never gone longer than one season without regaining the title, and no one would have bet against this.


The 17 games since then have seen Champions Dortmund win 14, draw 3 and lose none. In the same period, Bayern have lost 4 (including to Dortmund) and drawn 3, and all of a sudden there’s a 4 point gap at the top. In fact, Monchengladbach are only a point behind Munich to add a little more excitment into the title race.

Key to Dortmund’s charge has been the form of Polish striker Robert Lewandowski. The 23 year old forward has an impressive 16 goals in 23 league games this season and is heading into the European Championships as Poland’s main goal threat with 10 goals in his last 22 games. He was the difference this weekend as well, as Dortmund hosted 7th placed Hannover. Lewandowski’s brace proving to be the difference in a 3-1 victory. His average opposition rating is 11.375, but goals against fellow Top 6ers Schalke and Monchengladbach suggest he can do it in the big games. It’s been a good second season in Germany after last season’s 8 goals in 33 games.

But he’s not the top scorer, oh no. That honour has been with Mario Gomez since the start of the season, and he’s been largely  untroubled, but now there’s a new name on top, well on joint top. Klaas Jan Huntelaar has long been tipped for great things, but after underwhelming spells with giants Real Madrid and AC Milan, he was no longer considered to be the top class striker he threatened to be in a prolific spell with Ajax. Like Lewandowski, he had a half decent first season in the Bundesliga with 8 goals in 24 games (13 in 35 over all), and like Lewandowski, he’s been prolific this season. Playing up front along side the evergreen Raul, he’s hit 18 league goals in just 22 games, with a mind blowing 34 goals in 33 in all competitions. His record against the top teams though remains in question, with over half of his goals being registered against the Bottom 6 teams in the league, leaving him with an AOI rating of 12.72. After his cracking header against England in midweek, he now has an impressive 31 goals in 49 international games as well.

The secret behind the Dutchman’s success has been grass

However, whilst Huntelaar’s and Lewandowski’s goals haven’t really bothered the big teams too much, they don’t have the Flat Track Bully tag after 23 games. That dishonour belongs to Stuttgart’s Martin Harnik. He won’t be particularly bothered though, as he’s on fire at the moment. His last 4 games have seen a return of 7 goals – including a brace at the weekend against bottom placed Freiburg. His 13 for the season have been worth 7 points for his 8th placed team.

Winning the race for the Big Game Player trophy (please note, there’s no actual trophy – not from me anyway) is Marco Reus. Surprisingly for 3rd placed Monchengladbach, they’ve only had 7 different scorers – compared to Dortmund’s 14 and Bayern Munich’s 11. Not that it’s as important as you’d think – bottom placed Freiburg have also had 14 different goalscorers – including the latest number 9 at Newcastle, Papiss Cisse.

At the bottom of the table, it was a big weekend for FC Augsburg. They ended a 6 match winless run against fellow strugglers Hertha Berlin who have lost their last 6 games, and have gone 12 without a win. In what must be one of the poorest runs of form in Europe, they’ve not even scored for 5 games. As a result, they’re in the relegation zone for the first time this season, whilst Augsburg have risen out of the bottom 3 for the first time since round 10. Although it’s against poorly ranked oppostion, this was undoubtedly a big game for the players involved – so hats off to Oehrl (2), and Ndjeng for the goals that may prove vital at the end of the season.

As with the Spanish and English league’s, I’m hoping to add the assists data going forward.




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