Bundesliga roundup: Bayern get back on track as Dortmund keep pace at Bundesliga summit

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Bundesliga roundup: Bayern get back on track as Dortmund keep pace at Bundesliga summit
Thomas Muller opened the scoring for Bayern in the 41st minute
Thomas Muller opened the scoring for Bayern in the 41st minute
AFP
Bayern Munich ended their run of three games without a win in a 3-0 success against Bochum whilst Borussia Dortmund scored twice against Werder Bremen to remain just three points behind the league leaders in the title race. Elsewhere on Saturday afternoon in the Bundesliga, there were wins for Bayer Leverkusen, Mainz and Freiburg.

Bayern Munich 3 Bochum 0

Bayern Munich secured back-to-back league wins for the first time since early November and created a three-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a comfortable 3-0 win against Bochum

Despite a resounding 4-2 victory over Wolfsburg last time out, in which Bayern were 3-0 up after 19 minutes, the Bavarian side were unable to garner a similar early advantage against Bochum at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern saw plenty of the ball early on and eventually produced the first big chance when Eric Maxim Choupo­-Moting out-jumped Konstantinos Stafylidis in the six-yard box, but headered against the foot of the post.

For a Bochum side that had lost nine of their previous ten away and conceded the most goals on the road in the Bundesliga this season, getting to half-time without conceding was the main goal.

But defensive issues tormented the Blues once again moments before the break when Thomas Muller raced onto Saidy Janko’s loose backpass, rounded Manuel Riemann and passed the ball into the unguarded goal.

Conceding so late in the half did not faze Bochum as the Blues came out on the front foot after the break and Philipp Hofmann’s powerful header was tipped over the crossbar by a full-stretch Yann Sommer.

The chance seemed to shock Bayern back into life and Kingsley Coman put the hosts in full control after he finished a flowing attack by firing through Riemann’s legs and into the net. Serge Gnabry then confirmed Bayern’s first home win in three as he won a penalty and fired the resulting spot-kick into the bottom corner.

Two commanding Bundesliga victories for Bayern has helped the Bavarian side to swiftly move on from a three-match drawing streak to 2023 and Julian Nagelsmann’s side are building momentum ahead of a titan Champions League clash against Paris St Germain on Wednesday.

It was a tough afternoon for Bochum as they were outplayed for large spells and the defeat has reduced their cushion outside of the relegation places to just two points.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich)

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Freiburg 2 Stuttgart 1

Christian Streich’s Freiburg side came from behind to snatch three points and secure a sixth consecutive victory against Stuttgart - their highest-ever winning streak against a singular opponent. 

Despite an impressive eight-match unbeaten run at home, it was Freiburg who found themselves behind at the break.

Taking aim from range, Chris Fuhrich’s second goal in three Bundesliga outings arrived in style, with the Stuttgart forward rifling a well-struck effort into the far left corner.

Often strugglers on the road, Stuttgart boss Bruno Labbadia would’ve been pleased with his side’s effort at the break, having stifled the home side’s often fluent attack.

Second best in the first period, the break brought about a change of fortunes for the home side. It was a tale of two VARs for Freiburg in the second half, with Ritsu Doan’s leveller ruled out for offside, before an intervention from referee Sascha Stegemann led to the hosts being awarded a penalty.

Stuttgart’s Dan-Axel Zagadou was adjudged to have been the guilty party, bringing down Michael Gregoritsch inside the penalty area, with Vincenzo Grifo needing no invitation to tuck home from 12 yards.

Zagadou, who had been booked by the referee for the penalty infringement, would be spared a second yellow card when the Stuttgart defender brought down Doan inside the box to give Freiburg yet another spot-kick.

Stepping up once again, Grifo made no mistake, leathering the ball into the top right corner with expert precision.

A dent to the ego for Stuttgart goalkeeper Fabian Bredlow, who prior to this fixture had faced two penalties in the Bundesliga, saving both of them.

The victory keeps Freiburg in the race for a Champions League spot, with the Breisgau-Brasilianer faithful now dreaming of continental football at the Europa-Park Stadion next season.

As for Stuttgart, they’re staring down the barrel of a return to 2. Bundesliga - a stark contrast to their Black Forest opponents.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Ritsu Doan (Freiburg)

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Hoffenheim 1 Bayer Leverkusen 3

Bayer Leverkusen snapped their two-match losing streak by cruising to a 3-1 victory over relegation-threatened Hoffenheim at the PreZero Arena. Pellegrino Matarazzo lost his first match in charge, as Hoffenheim failed to win an eighth consecutive Bundesliga home match for the first time since April 2012.

An eye-watering 16 goals conceded from their previous five league outings laid bare the defensive problems facing Matarazzo, and there appeared very few signs of improvement in a shambolic first-half display.

Leverkusen’s Robert Andrich missed narrowly from range, but the hosts failed to learn their lesson and fell behind inside the opening six minutes.

Florian Wirtz’s perfectly-weighted lay-off was stroked into the bottom corner by a grateful Andrich, ending his side’s two-game scoring drought.

The pattern of play seldom changed before the interval, as Hoffenheim managed just one shot in the first half, but were giving up plenty of opportunities on the break.

The Leverkusen wing-backs combined, with Jeremie Frimpong eventually heading onto the roof of the net, before he also had an effort denied by Oliver Baumann.

An attacking substitution did little to inspire change for the Blues, who found themselves further behind within two minutes of the restart. The electric combination of Frimpong and Moussa Diaby linked up on a brutal counterattack, with the flying full-back squaring for Diaby to slam home Leverkusen’s second.

With a two-goal deficit, Hoffenheim opened up, but that only left them more open to the lethal pace of Die Werkself’s transitional play. Frimpong was again the architect, ripping through the hosts’ defence before pulling back to Adam Hlozek who made no mistake from close range.

That rounded out the scoring for Xabi Alonso’s men, who climbed into the top-eight with a resounding victory.

Meanwhile, Stanley Nsoki’s late consolation will provide little comfort for Hoffenheim, who sit just two points clear of the drop zone after a tenth successive Bundesliga game without a win.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen)

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Mainz 3 Augsburg 1

Mainz began Karneval celebrations early as they ran out 3-1 victors against Augsburg thanks to a masterclass from forwards Lee Jae-sung and Karim Onisiwo, recording just a third home win of the season.

There was a party atmosphere at the Mewa Arena ahead of this match, and donning their special multicoloured Karneval kit, Mainz were hoping to live up to their name by replicating the five-goal haul they put away against Bochum in their last Bundesliga home game.

In fact, it wasn’t long before the celebrations of those in the stands translated to the pitch, and a 2-0 lead for Mainz with less than 25 minutes gone.

The first blow saw Lee Jae-Sung break ahead of the defence after he picked the pocket of Felix Uduokhai, and the South Korean managed to poke home his fifth of the season despite some confusion between him and teammate Ludovic Ajorque.

Just three minutes later, there was an impromptu round of head tennis in the box as Augsburg failed to clear, and Leandro Barreiro brilliantly found an unmarked Karim Onisiwo at the back post, who headed home from close range.

However, the Zerofivers’ lead was halved almost immediately, as they won themselves a penalty following a handball in the area.

Dealing with the pressure of such a pivotal moment, Ermedin Demirovic placed an assured spot-kick past Finn Dahmen on his return to the side to put Augsburg back in contention.

Mainz should perhaps have restored their two-goal lead just before the break through Ajorque, who followed a free-kick and found himself in front of what looked like an open goal.

Sadly for him, the new signing from Strasbourg was slow in turning, and his shot was blocked sensationally on the line by a retreating Jeffrey Gouweleeuw.

Die Nullfünfer remained dominant in the second half, and they soon got their just reward via Lee, who had been by far the most dangerous player on the pitch. He tussled with Robert Gumny and did enough to stop his clearance, before getting to the loose ball before Rafal Gikiewicz and toeing in a third.

It was only after going two behind again that Augsburg sought to push forward, and the visitors thought they had one back when substitute Fredrik Jensen prodded the ball from underneath Dahmen and in following a corner, but the goal was chalked off following an offside verdict from VAR.

Mainz remained resolute, and were able to see out the victory with ease, ensuring that their fans have even more to celebrate in an important week for the city.

Augsburg, meanwhile, will be looking over their shoulder at the relegation places, and will need to improve on the road to stay out of immediate danger, given that they have now failed to win in any of their last six away matches.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Lee Jae-Sung (Mainz)

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Werder Bremen 0 Borussia Dortmund 2

Borussia Dortmund made it five wins from five in 2023 as they beat Werder Bremen 2-0 at the Weserstadion to stay on the tails of German champions Bayern Munich, and in turn avenged a shock 3-2 loss in August’s reverse clash.

Looking to win a third straight away league game since the post-World Cup restart, Dortmund landed the opening quarter-hour’s only shot on target, but Jiri Pavlenka was alert to deny Raphael Guerreiro without undue trouble.

Werder Bremen were in no mood to let the visitors hit their stride though, and the same degree of calm was certainly not felt by the Czech’s counterpart a little over 10 minutes later, with Gregor Kobel tipping over a vicious Mitchell Weiser volley from distance after a botched corner clearance.

Youssoufa Moukoko’s withdrawal through injury further reinforced the idea that Dortmund would not have it all their own way, but Emre Can came close to giving Der BVB a vital lead shortly before the intervial, firing a shot from the edge of the box that went mere inches wide of a stranded Pavlenka’s right-hand post.

Goalless it was as the teams withdrew into the Weserstadion tunnel for half-time, with Dortmund set for a maiden Bundesliga stalemate on the road this term.

Having seen the last clear chance of the first half go their way, Dortmund continued to play with a greater sense of purpose immediately after the interval, as Marco Reus tested Pavlenka, who again pulled off a low save to maintain parity.

But Bremen soon began to pile forward, and while that didn’t translate into any legitimate chances on goal, Edin Terzic saw enough to make a double change just after the hour mark.

The latter switch saw 18-year-old Jamie Bynoe-Gittens replace Giovanni Reyna, and the youngster wasted no time in making the intended impact, latching onto the end of a clinical pass from Nico Schlotterbeck and rifling a shot with composure beyond his years inside the left post of the finally-beaten Pavlenka, netting his third goal in only 258 minutes of Bundesliga football this term.

Having been denied a first home league clean sheet since late October, Bremen had to go for broke in the closing stages. However, that predictably left them open to counters from Dortmund, and a long ball to Julian Brandt almost killed the game for good, only for Amos Pieper to clear his shot off the line by mere millimetres after a desperate defensive run.

But Brandt would yet make his mark against his hometown club, receiving a killer pass through the heart of Bremen’s defence from Guerreiro, and firing in clinically to seal the points.

Having thrown away a 2-0 lead in the reverse clash, Dortmund knew they couldn’t be complacent, but the timing of the second goal killed any chance of a Bremen comeback. The result temporarily moves Dortmund up to second in what remains a tight Bundesliga title race.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund)

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