Matchday 21 of the Bundesliga provided viewers with plenty of goals and controversy as Borussia Dortmund played without their famous Südtribüne; Bayern Munich left it late, and Anthony Modeste once again saved the day for 1. FC Köln.
An eery silence, but same Borussia Dortmund.
An empty Südtribüne at the Signal Iduna Park was always going to be the talking point of Borussia Dortmund’s game against Wolfsburg, no matter what the score was. Luckily for Thomas Tuchel, it was Jeffrey Bruma’s own-goal that gave Dortmund the lead in the first half.
“You’ll Never Walk Alone” was certainly muted, whilst Tuchel said prior to the game that the empty terrace could affect the outcome of the game. Luckily for them, Wolfsburg don’t tend to bring too many fans to away fixture, and so the BVB ultras were able to buy up some of the tickets in the north stand, creating an atmosphere.
Goals from Lukasz Piszczek and Ousmane Dembele soon followed in the second half, relieving some of the pressure that Tuchel was surely facing after a poor week. The result was most certainty needed.
Not for the first time, Bayern Munich leave it late.
For most the game, Hertha BSC defended well with John Brooks and Niklas Stark’s ever-growing centre-back partnership. The duo saved the capital club on a number of occasions after Vedad Ibisevic had given the hosts the lead. At one point, Carlo Ancelotti had Arjen Robben; Douglas Costa; Kingsley Coman; Robert Lewandowski & Thomas Müller all on the pitch at one time.
It wasn’t until the 90th minute when the fourth official signalled six minutes of added time that Bayern really started to play. Not sure where it came from, Lewandowski saved the day deep, deep into stoppage time after his introduction after 62 minutes.
Hertha BSC head coach Pal Dardai gave the referee an earful after the final whistle, whether the referee added extra time of top of the stoppage, remains to be seen. Hertha fans not pleased with the point after keeping Bayern at bay for 90 minutes.
Anthony Modeste saves Cologne’s day. Again.
Scoring his 17th Bundesliga goal of the season, Anthony Modeste is now tied with Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the summit of the goalscorer charts. Of Köln’s 30 league goals this season, Modeste has scored 17 of them. A summer signing in 2015 from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim – the 28-year-old had the task of filling the boots of Anthony Ujah. It’s safe to say he has done so, and with relative easy. Arriving for on a €4.5 million fee, Modeste has scored 36 goals in 60 games for the Billy Goats.
His equalising goal against Schalke on Sunday evening closed the gap to a place in Europe next season, and with both Eintracht Frankfurt and Hertha BSC losing, Peter Stöger will be disappointed with the fact they failed to capitalise.
Emil Forsberg back to his best.
With the news that Yussuf Poulsen would miss the game through injury, Oliver Burke got his chance to shine after being handed just his second Bundesliga start. The Scotland international proved the prospect he is, with an energetic performance – but it was Emil Forsberg who took the plaudits.
The Sweden international returned from suspension last weekend against Hamburger SV, but after failing to prevent RB Leipzig slumping to a 3-0 defeat, Forsberg needed a top performance against Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The 25-year-old opened the scoring in the first half with a sublime finish; capping off a wonderful move from Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side. His ninth assist of the season – the most in the Bundesliga this campaign – then set up Timo Werner for his 12th of the campaign. The pairing are really proving just how dominant they can be.
Kai Havertz is Bayer Leverkusen’s best talent.
At just 17-years-old, Kai Havertz is arguably Bayer Leverkusen’s most interesting prospect, and that’s with Benjamin Henrichs and Julian Brandt in the same starting XI. This youngster makes all the headlines and all for the right reasons. Given his second successive Bundesliga start, Havertz continued his fine form with his second assist in as many games.
74 touches against Augsburg on Friday night, every attacking play went through Havertz. If he keeps up this form, it’s not going to be long before Jogi Löw comes calling.
By Daniel Pinder.