(courtesy of RolStoppable):
RolStoppable on 23 December 2018 at 19:50
Bundesliga - Matchday 17
Dortmund 2-1 Gladbach
Dortmund bounced back with a convincing win after the shocking loss in Düsseldorf. Bremen rallied back from an 0-2 halftime deficit, but somehow managed to lose to a visibly tired Leipzig team. Schalke created breathing room for themselves while both Hannover and Nürnberg lost in lackluster games. Bayern without problems, Augsburg with a streak of 8 winless games, Wolfsburg undefeated for 6 straight games, Hoffenheim with the rare feat of 6 consecutive draws.
Dortmund hibernates for the next 4 weeks with a 6-point-lead over a resurging Bayern. Wolfsburg claims the title for the biggest positive surprise of the first half of this season, occupying 5th place after back-to-back season where only the relegation playoff saved them. Leverkusen is seen in the top half of the table for the first time this season, trailing an international spot by only 3 points, but... coach Herrlich has been fired today anyway. Düsseldorf closed out the year with three straight wins, providing themselves with a nice cushion in the battle against relegation. A total of 465 goals has been scored, so it's improbable that this will be a 1,000 goal season.
Hibernation is both a blessing and a curse. Teams who've been in a good rhythm can easily struggle out of the gates after the break while troubled teams get time to regroup, possibly with a change on the coaching position. Highlights of of matchday 18 that is played from January 18th to 20th: Hoffenheim vs. Bayern, Leverkusen vs. Gladbach, Augsburg vs. Düsseldorf and Leipzig vs. Dortmund.
(courtesy of RolStoppable):
RolStoppable on 13 October 2018 at 14:21
Austrian Bundesliga - Matchday 10
As you can tell from the team names, it's allowed to put sponsors in them, unlike in Germany. I watched highlights of matchday 10 because nothing else was on TV at the time, but usually I don't bother. That's because the play is so bad that there are games like Innsbruck vs. LASK that end 1-0 and have Innsbruck's coach say in the interview, "We could capitalize on a severe mistake of LASK's defense and that was basically it, because let's be honest, we didn't get anything going on our own today."
So what else to say? Serial champion Red Bull Salzburg is dominating the league yet again with a clean 30 points out of 10 games. If you wonder why Austria has already completed 10 matchdays when Germany is only at 7, it's because there's a longer winter break in Austria.
You might also wonder why the ranks in the table are displayed in blue and orange. Austria's league has a new mode this year, because there was an expansion from 10 to 12 teams. Previously all teams played each other four times in the season for a total of 36 matchdays. The new mode has all teams play each other twice and after 22 matchdays the table will get split into a top and bottom half, hence the colors. After 22 matchdays the points of each team will be halved (rounded down if necessary) and then the top 6 will play each other twice and so will the bottom 6; that adds another 10 matchdays for a total of 32. Now you might ask what's the point of the first 22 matchdays when points get halved, and you are right, it's stupid.
Funnily enough, the bottom 6 won't only play against relegation over the course of the last 10 matchdays. The team that finishes at the top of the bottom 6 will play for an international spot in a playoff at the end of the season. So you can suck hard for 22 matchdays, benefit from points getting halved, then have a good run late season, finish at the top of the bottom, luck out in the playoffs and play Europa League next season.
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