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Bundesliga Review – Week 29

When the game finished Sunday night, the general feeling was one of disappointment. Eintracht Frankfurt, as the home team, were expected to take three points even though they faced one of the hardest teams in Bundesliga- Julian Nagelsmann’s TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. This disappointment in the stands can itself stand as witness for the huge development of Eintracht. They have gone from being threathened by oblivion to truly being able to aim towards the highest and biggest international club tournament available.

But that wasn’t the main point about this blistering game am Main. Because this game itself proves the doubters wrong. You can see ignorant people blasting Bundesliga and German football daily. “League full of farmers” or “The state of this League…,” often followed by few emoji’s to further secretly acknowledge their ignorance. These people should be shown this game, for it oozed class.

Two tactically astute teams, two sets of top class players, steered by two brilliant up-and-coming managers, accompanied by a beautiful stadium full of passionate fans, constantly proving themselves to be among the absolute best in Europe. The roars from the stands, the instant cheers from the public and the tactical masterclasses just overloading us with brilliance. This is Fußball. This is life.

Eintracht with some unnoticed tiki-taka, constantly overloading on the flanks. Julian De Guzman and Kevin-Prince Boateng taking turns in ball-transporting. Luka Jovic shining again, a Serbian talent in a Wonderkid’s Wonderland. Hoffenheim’s counter attacks, their speed, always dangerous while in possession, always ready to pounce. Pressing, passing, movement and a grand decibel level. This is Bundesliga.

It’s often hard for us to see the stars beyond the closest edge of the Milky Way. For that, we tend to need instruments. Bundesliga is the same. If one is able and positive, then it might be possible to see past the star status of Bayern Munch and Borussia Dortmund. Behind it, one will find a football time bubble that’s waiting to burst, rows and rows of classful and technical players, players who will always be looking to disprove their ignorant doubters.

Games like this, or games like the one on Monday night, are the essence of German football. It’s what will always make us dream, what reminds us what we’re fighting for and what we’ve given so much of our expensive time for.

Bundesliga has about seven or eight really good teams that fight for six European spots. A few years back there were four great clubs and a few mere hopefuls. The increase in quality simply means that there will be greater competition and more games like these. It’s quality and quantity, the race for Europe is never the same. Bundesliga will only get better, just watch.

 

1 | Bayern Munich clinched their 28thand sixth consecutive Bundesliga on Saturday with a resounding win against Bavarian rivals FC Augsburg with goals from Corentin Tolisso, James Rodriguez, Arjen Robben and Sandro Wagner. No further speculation has been made as to who will replace Jupp Heynckes next season but whomever is appointed, it looks like Franck Ribery and Robben may be a part of that squad with reports suggesting that contract talks are in the advanced stages.

2 | If MD28 wasn’t the final nail in the coffin for 1. FC Köln, then MD29 certainly was. Just six points behind 1. FSV Mainz 05 who occupy the relegation play-off, anything less than a win just wouldn’t be acceptable for the Billy Goats, who enjoyed their best season in 25 years last campaign. A goal seven minutes in from Jonas Hector certainly raised the atmosphere at the RheinEnergieStadion however, an equaliser from Pablo de Blasis five minutes after the break dampened that. With home games remaining against Schalke and Bayern Munich, it’s probable that FC Köln will now face the drop after local newspaper, Express, said their clash against Mainz was their ‘final chance’.

Elsewhere, Hamburger SV climbed above FC Köln with a 3-2 win against Domenico Tedesco’s Schalke thanks to an impressive goal from Aaron Hunt from 25 yards, to win the game with six minutes remaining. Yet to be relegated from the Bundesliga, there’s still a chance that HSV could pull off the extraordinary, but it will have to be something special. After their win against high-flying Schalke, there seems to be a sense of belief around the Volksparkstadion under Christian Titz.

3 | Like Bayern Munich, it looks as though Borussia Dortmund will have a new head coach next season. Peter Stöger’s contract expires while performances under the Austrian don’t warrant an extension, especially after their elimination from the Europa League, a competition they could’ve potentially won. At the minute, OGC Nice manager Lucien Favre seems favourite but the 60-year-old has also been linked with the Bayern role. A tug-of-war, perhaps?

Dortmund’s 3-0 win against VfB Stuttgart on Saturday saw 17-year-old Sergio Gómez make his Bundesliga debut, replacing Marco Reus in the closing stages. Even in just three minutes, the Spanish youth international impressed and although there’s little to go on, he certainly seems well worth the €3 million Borussia Dortmund paid Barcelona to secure his signature.

4 | Despite the concerns, Monday night football once again proved a spectacle. RB Leipzig hosted Bayer Leverkusen in a race for Champions League qualification. The hosts had found themselves a goal up through Marcel Sabitzer but a masterclass from Julian Brandt sparked an impressive comeback, with Leverkusen putting three goals past their opponents in the second half after Kai Havertz had equalised.

Axel Falk with Daniel Pinder.

 

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