Bundesliga - Matchday 31
Augsburg 1-4 Leverkusen
Dortmund 2-4 Schalke
Leipzig 2-1 Freiburg
Frankfurt 0-0 Berlin
Hannover 1-0 Mainz
Düsseldorf 4-1 Bremen
Stuttgart 1-0 Gladbach
Hoffenheim 1-4 Wolfsburg
Nürnberg 1-1 Bayern
A week with many surprising results.
Title Race - Dortmund was off to a fast start, but shortly afterwards it would turn into a day where all fortune was with Schalke and none with Dortmund. A video review granted Schalke a penalty kick for a hands where the distance between shot and hands was ~30cm. A corner kick before halftime resulted in a 2-1 lead for a Schalke team who couldn't get anything going without standard situations. The 60th minute was shocking because Reus got sent off with a straight red card, but the replays showed that he slid from behind and had no chance to play the ball, so the call was justified. The ensuing free kick was perfectly converted, so Schalke had scored three goals in a game where they hadn't had a clear scoring chance without the help of a PK, CK or FK. A few minutes later another Dortmund player saw the red card, this time for a harder version of what Reus did. What followed were an awful 15 minutes of 9 vs. 11, because Dortmund had to sort out how to play in such a situation while Schalke was too inept to make anything out of their numerical advantage. Dortmund scored the 2-3 in the 85th minute which fired up the spectators after some long silence again, but that glimmer of hope only lasted for a couple of minutes.
On Sunday Bayern couldn't seal the championship because they only got a 1-1 in Nürnberg. Worse, they could have lost the game, but Nürnberg couldn't convert a penalty kick in the 91st minute. That's not to say that Nürnberg was the better team, but this was a crazy finish to an already crazy week. Next week Bayern hosts Hannover while Dortmund has to travel to Bremen. Dortmund's situation has changed from "win your own games and have Bayern play at least one draw" to "win your own games and have Bayern lose once."
International Spots - Leverkusen did their job in a convincing manner on Friday. Frankfurt is now winless for three straight games, leaving the final CL spot still within reach for other teams. Surprising were the 4-1 losses of both Bremen and Hoffenheim, and so was Gladbach's loss in Stuttgart. Bremen now has a must-win game against Dortmund, because otherwise they won't be able to finish in the top 7.
Relegation - If anyone had told me that the four worst teams will combine for 10 points this weekend, I'd have called them nuts. Schalke wins in Dortmund, Stuttgart wins against Gladbach, Nürnberg gets a draw against Bayern and Hannover beats Mainz. Schalke has essentially saved themselves; they are 6 points ahead and have the better goal difference with only 3 games left to play. Stuttgart looks almost locked into #16, because Nürnberg now trails by 5 points. While Hannover won and is still mathematically in it, it would be the biggest upset of the season if they could steal 1 point, let alone 3, in Munich next week. If things return to normal on matchday 32, Hannover should lose by at least 6 goals.
Highlights of Matchday 32 - Gladbach vs. Hoffenheim, Bremen vs. Dortmund and Leverkusen vs. Frankfurt.
|1||-||FC Bayern München||31||71||22||5||4||80:30||+50|
|6||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||31||51||16||3||12||57:49||+8|
|7||TSG 1899 Hoffenheim||31||50||13||11||7||66:45||+21|
|9||SV Werder Bremen||31||46||12||10||9||53:46||+7|
|12||-||1. FSV Mainz 05||31||36||10||6||15||37:52||-15|
|15||-||FC Schalke 04||31||30||8||6||17||36:54||-18|
|17||-||1. FC Nürnberg||31||19||3||10||18||25:57||-32|