Berlin (AP) – A flagging FC Bayern, a shame for BVB and sovereign Leipzig: the title race in the Bundesliga is fully open after eleven match days.
On Sunday, the unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen could take over the lead. In the table cellar, Freiburg and Cologne achieve important victories.
DEBAKEL: Three home defeats in a row in the competition with ten goals conceded, only fifth place: Borussia Dortmund reached a low point shortly before Christmas. Without the injured striker Erling Haaland, BVB presented itself harmlessly up front and vulnerable at the back in the 1: 5 shyness at home against the strong VfB Stuttgart. “We can’t play that way at home,” said captain Marco Reus, who called his team’s performance “shameful”. Debates about coach Lucien Favre are also likely to intensify. “We have to speak now and analyze it,” the Swiss announced after the embarrassment.
WEAKNESS DEFENSE: In the 1-1 draw against Union Berlin, otherwise sovereign FC Bayern failed to win for the fourth time in this league match season. One reason for this: Grischa Prömel’s early 0: 1 (4th minute). “So we made it difficult for ourselves,” Thomas Müller criticized. It was already the 17th goal for Munich this season and for the fifth time in a row Bayern was 1-0 behind. “As a goalkeeper it is of course always annoying”, said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The result: Bayer Leverkusen could replace Munich at the top of the table on Sunday with a victory.
BEST VALUE: The critically acclaimed round of 16 in the Champions League was followed by the important 2-0 win against Werder Bremen: RB Leipzig is currently mercilessly efficient in daily life in the league – and tied on points with FC Bayern after eleven match days. “In the end it was a sovereign and deserved victory,” said coach Julian Nagelsmann.
TRISTESSE: Unlike Leipzig, Borussia Mönchengladbach has not yet managed to transition perfectly from the top class to everyday life in the competition. Four days after the round of 16, it was only enough to score 1: 1 against Hertha BSC. The West Club has been unbeaten for four games in the league, but has only won one of the last five games at a time – so far that’s only enough for a spot in midfield. “The result doesn’t really suit us,” admitted coach Marco Rose, who had saved a few regular players. “But the achievement: hats off.”
KONFETTI: The start of the season with 14 points from ten games was already extremely successful for the newly promoted VfB Stuttgart with his young team, the 5: 1 against title contender Borussia Dortmund finally put the Swabians in a jubilant mood. “I could throw up confetti, I am so happy with what I was able to see,” CEO Thomas Hitzlsperger wrote on Twitter.
KELLERFRUST: With five points from eleven games, FSV Mainz has the worst start to a Bundesliga season, the 0: 1 against their direct rivals from Cologne increased Rheinhessen’s concerns. “The fact that Cologne takes three points from Mainz with the effort is absolutely bitter”, sports director Rouven Schröder said. It can also be uncomfortable for coach Jan-Moritz Lichte. Just like the penultimate from Mainz, the 16th Arminia Bielefeld, who lost 2-0 to SC Freiburg, missed an important win in the table cellar.
SUNDAY GAMES: Bayer Leverkusen is still unbeaten in the league and the Werkself could even take the lead on Sunday. With a win against TSG Hoffenheim (6 p.m.) Bayer would overtake RB Leipzig and FC Bayern. Previously, the bottom of the table, FC Schalke 04, wanted to end their negative streak of 26 league games without a win at FC Augsburg (3.30pm).
The numbers for Saturday:
3 – Borussia Dortmund lost the last three home matches in the league – last happened in the 2013/14 season under Jürgen Klopp
Mainz 05 scored 5 points from 11 games – the worst start of a Bundesliga season to date
9 – goals conceded after eleven matches against RB Leipzig – league record together with Bayer Leverkusen
17 – Bayern has scored goals against this Bundesliga season. It was more after eleven match days, the last time in 1981/82 at the age of 20, when Munich missed its title at the end of the season.