Bundesliga Round 30

11 Apr

Only one place to start this week. Borussia Dortmund hosted Bayern Munich in a first versus second clash with just 4 games after. Going into the game there was just 3 points between the two teams, with Bayern enjoying a better goal difference. The gap was previously 7 points, but Bayern have been relentless in their pursuit, winning 5 games in a row, including round 29’s 2-1 against FC Augsburg – courtesy of league top scorer Mario Gomez (12.16). Dortmund kept their lead with an impressive 3-1 win away at in form Wolfsburg – with Poland striker Robert Lewandowski hitting his 18th and 19th league goals of the season (11.21). All eyes were on the Signal Iduna Park for the clash of the big two. The Winner would surely go on to win the title. As it was a big game – the biggest of the season, we could rely on Mario Gomez to misfire, and this was once again the case. The German bully has not scored one goal against the Top 6 teams this season. With their main source of goals out of the picture, it was Dortmund’s Lewandowski that took centre stage to score the winning goal in the 77th minute, before later hitting the wood work. That’s now 20 league goals for the season, and coming into the European Championships as the joint host’s main striker, things are looking good for him.

In round 29, Schalke duo Raul and Huntelaar combined to score all the goals in a 3-0 win at home to 8th placed Hannover to secure 3rd place. Their combined total for the season as partnership is now an impressive 38 league goals, with Hunterlaar scoring 24 (12.04) and Raul scoring 14 (10.64), despite being around since time began. Not so clever was Schalke’s performance in Round 30. Away at 12th Place Nurenburg, they took a bit of a hammering, going down 4-1 with Divadi scoring a brace to take his recent form to 5 goals in 6 games. That left space for Monchengladbach to take advantage which of course they didn’t because they’re in rotten form. Four games without a win have left them 4 points off third, though they’re still in a Champions League position, thanks to stealing Italy’s last place. Golden boy Marco Reus’s goals have dried up of late, though he did provide his 7th assist of the season in a 2-2 draw away at 7th placed Werder Bremen. They have a 7 point lead over 5th, so should be in the Champions League qualifiers at least next season, but will do so without Reus, who’s moving to Champions elect, Dortmund.

Reus is still the big game player on both fronts. He has the most goals against Top 6 teams with 10, and also the best average ranked opponent per goal with 5.80. Lewandowski’s title deciding goal has brought his goals against the Top 6 to a decent three. His 20 league goals have only been worth 7 points to Dortmund, but the last 2 points that he’s been responsible for (along with the defence of course) should be enough to win the league title for a second year running. It’s a big deal in Germany, as Munich never go more than one season without the title since the mid 90s when Dortmund won back to back titles before winning the Champions League. Lukas Podolski has an impressive 9.53 and 9 goals vs Top 6 opponents, but it’s especially impressive given Cologne currently sit in the bottom 3 after their latest defeat – 4-0 to FSV Mainz.

The big game bullies continue to be Mario Gomez – 25 goals, none versus the Top 6, and Stuttgart’s Martin Harnik. The Austrian striker has an average ranked opponent per goal of 14.33, and he was at it again this week, scoring against 15th placed FC Augsburg. Four of his goals have been against a previously struggling Freiburg. After picking up just 18 points from their first 69 available, the team have now picked up 17 points from the last 21 available, including games against 3rd placed Schalke, 4th placed Monchengladbach and 5th placed Leverkusen. It’s truly been a remarkable turn around in form for the team from the South West. With just 4 games left, they’re in the relative comfort of 13th postion.

So with the season almost over, and the Top 4 places pretty much guaranteed, all eyes will turn to the battle at the bottom. Kaiserslautern lost to 6th placed Leverkusen on Wednesday night to leave them 10 points adrift at the bottom, with just 19 goals and 20 points. Aside from them, it’s a four way fight to avoid the last two places  between Hamburg, Augsberg, Cologne and Hertha Berlin. All to play for.

Cheers,

Liam

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