Tag Archives: Roman Bürki

Euro 2016: The Group Stage

The Copa America this year has been quite the goal fest, the group stage of the Euros not so much. Weirdly enough there was a 7-0 win in the semi-finals of the Copa America, Chile getting the better of Mexico and Javier Hernandez, a score-line which of course ineveitably merits a comparison to Germany’s 7-1 defeat of Brazil. In the other semi-final the USA of course lost to Argentina, meaning they’ll be playing Colombia for third place. The final is a repeat of last year’s, Chile v Argentina. It’s strange, the USA opened the tournament against Colombia and it’s how they’ll be ending it. On a similiarly strange note Germany started their tournament preparations against Slovakia and now they’ll be meeting them in the last 16, though their tournament journey is of course unlikely to end there.

Despite the low number of goals and a lot defensive football being played it’s not been quite so bad. True there hasn’t been a huge number of goals, but there have been plenty of exciting ones. Last gasp winners and equalizers have been a key feature. On the one hand it keeps things interesting, at the same time it makes for a very nerve-wracking experience. Especially as far as Albania are concerned. I knew them getting through to the next round was a long shot anyway but it was so damn close. They almost got there, the first half of last night’s games went exactly as they needed them to. But Portugal came back to draw and Ireland somehow got the winner against Italy. The latter in particular is most annoying. Both countries are on my root against list anyway, Italy for that video of Jogi and Ireland for beating Germany in qualifying.

Germany will be playing Slovakia in the last 16 which is most disappointing,  I was hoping they’d play Albania which I know is completely illogical seeing as how that’s a guaranteed defeat for them but it doesn’t matter now. I do still have one of my wildcards left in the tournament though becuase Iceland made it through to the knockout round whcih is pretty incredible. A nation of approximately 330,000 people is up against the fifty somethimg million of England. With Albania out and Denmark not there at all I’m left with Iceland to root for as a second team.The last 16 has thrown up some good draws, not least Italy v Spain. I was disappointed by that at first, it means one of the favourites going out at such an early stage. I’m not now and will be rooting for Spain to win. This is very strange indeed, I have to root for Spain to win. The other game of interest to me is Switzerland v Poland. Two players I like going up against each other, former Freiburg player Admir Mehmedi for Switzerland going up against Robert Lewandowski.

Euro 2016 - last 16I have to admit I had mixed feelings about the expanded format, I know without it teams like Albania would be unlikely to even be at the tournament let alone have a chance of progressing to the knockout stages. It has been a little more interesting than I thought it might be but it still feels wrong, the idea of being rewarded for finishing in third place. Not that it matters now anyway, Albania are out. But at least I got Amir Abrashi’s sticker before that happened, plus three more Germans:

Amir Abrashi - Albania - Euro 2016 sticker Lukas Podolski - Germany - Euro 2016 sticker Julian Draxler - Germany - Euro 2016 sticker Thomas Müller - Germany - Euro 2016 sticker Bastian Schweinsteiger - Germany - Euro 2016 sticker Roman Bürki - Switzerland - Euro 2016 sticker Official match ball - Euro 2016 stickerAs for favourite moments there’s two sets of those, Jogi moments and then the best of the rest. Some of the Jogi ones are from training and some from matches, my favourite one is probably him gloving up or maybe him taking pot-shots at Bastian in goal. And it pains me to say it because I’m not a fan of Mario Gomez at all but his goal celebration with Jogi was quite cool.

Jogi_celebrating_Deutschland_Ukraine_EM_2016Jogi_the_keeperJogi_taking_a_shot_at_Bastian_in_goalJogi_Deutschland_v_PolenJogi_Mario_Nordirland_v_DeutschlandAs for favourite goals so far, Shkodran Mustafi would be top of the list but he’s upstaged by Armando Sadiku scoring Albania’s first ever goal at an international tournament. Apart from that I think Schweinsteiger’s is my favourite out all of them:

Albania_s_first_international_goal_Armando_Sadiku_Romania_v_AlbaniaShkodran_Mustafi_goal_Deutschland_v_Ukraine(1) Bastian_Schweinsteiger_goal_Deutschland_v_Ukraine Radja_Nainggolan_goal_Sweden_v_Belgium Balazs_Dzsudzsak_goal_Hungary_v_Portugal

Bundesliga MD31

Fresh off their disappointment in the DFB Pokal Hertha were handed the unenviable task of facing almost champions Bayern. A win for Bayern would have sealed the title this weekend but only if Dortmund lost to Stuttgart. Bayern managed to find their way past Hertha in an efficient but most unsatisfying way. Dortmund however prevented them from being able to celebrate just yet. Unlike Bayern they had no trouble getting past Stuttgart and there was no luck involved with any of their goals. Indeed after the third it seemed as if Stuttgart had all but given up. Last week Jogi Löw said he was sure that Stuttgart would avoid relegation but then he said the same thing about Freiburg last year and look how that turned out. I’m not so sure he’s right this time either, Stuttgart usually do get away with it by the skin of their teeth but their luck has to run out sometime surely. I wouldn’t make any predictions as regards who’s going to survive, with just two points between them and Bremen and only three separating them from Frankfurt I really wouldn’t. I guess next week will be the telling one, not just because there’s only two games left after that but because Bremen face Stuttgart on Monday night. The final day of the season offers up a relegation clash too with Bremen hosting Eintracht Frankfurt. I hate the fact that’s the case because those are the two teams I would hate to see getting relegated.  I hate it even more because I’m not sure I can watch it, I’m set on watching Bayern play H96 on the last day of the season just so I can watch them get relegated, getting revenge I guess. I don’t really need to watch it, I mean they are all ready relegated because of their draw against Ingolstadt and Eintracht Frankfurt’s victory on Friday. I’ve just been set on it ever since seeing the schedule, even before they were in actual danger of being relegated.

Bayern needed the first half and a little bit to get past Hertha’s defence and an impressive Thomas Kraft upon his return from injury, when they did finally do so it involved a bit of luck, Arturo Vidal’s shot taking a slight deflection on it’s way into the net. It wasn’t a pretty game to watch but their second goal certainly was, no luck involved there from Douglas Costa:

Douglas_Costa_goal_Hertha_v_Bayern_15_16Dortmund’s game was a lot more watchable thankfully, especially seeing as how it’s the one I chose to watch live. It was a game which was guaranteed goals, neither side really the goalless draw kind of team. Unfortunately for Stuttgart it was for the most part one way traffic, after dominating for the opening twenty minutes Dortmund finally got off the mark through Shinji Kagawa. From then on you got the feeling it wasn’t a question of whether Dortmund would win or not but by how many. A little over twenty minutes later on the stroke of half-time Christian Pulisic made it 2-0, a goal which makes him the youngest ever player to score two goals in the Bundesliga apparently. Dortmund killed off the game eleven minutes into the first half with the goal coming from Henrikh Mkhyitaryan. It was a particularly cruel goal for Stuttgart’s keeper Przemyslaw Tyton to let in. He was unable to get hold of the header from Ramos and could only push it out into the path of the waiting Mkhyitaryan who was never going to miss from there. My favourite moment of the match however is reserved for Thomas Tuchel, the game was highly entertaining but Thomas was almost equally as fun to watch. Once more he provides another fun GIF for my collection. The funniest thing about his reaction is all he’s arguing over is a throw-in, as if that really matters:

Thomas_Tuchel_Stuttgart_v_DortmundThe real highlight however is Jogi related and happened by accident, I hadn’t planned on watching the repeat of Leipzig’s game on Monday night but given the result I just had to. It’s a good thing I did because I got three awesome pictures of Jogi as a result, they aren’t from that game. I don’t even know what game they’re from or when. All I know is it’s a Stuttgart game:

Joachim Löw – Stuttgart game 1 Joachim Löw – Stuttgart game 2 Joachim Löw – Stuttgart game 3The rest of the weekend was very entertaining too with Köln beating Darmstadt 4-1 and Leverkusen orchestrating an impressive comeback against Schalke. Going into the game Leverkusen were in better form, in particular their keeper Bernd Leno who hadn’t conceded a goal in five games. Yet it was Schalke who took the lead, though they didn’t convert the penalty they were gifted early in the first half. The way Schalke let themselves get overrun is a fair reflection of their entire season, losing puts their Champions League ambitions in doubt, leaving them with the more realistic prospect of the Europa League again. Sunday afternoon provided more entertainment with Gladbach erasing the memory of their truly awful performance against H96 last week. It was the second game which was of more interest to me, Eintracht Frankfurt playing host to Mainz. I don’t care so much about the latter’s European ambitions but I do care whether or not Eintracht Frankfurt get relegated. It wasn’t the most attractive game you’ll ever see, not by a long shot but they got the job done. Getting just their second victory under new coach Niko Kovac, funnily enough the scorer of the winner was Anis Ben-Hatira who scored the winning goal in the other victory since Kovac replaced Armin Veh. Technically it’s an own goal because it took a deflection off Stefan Bell but that won’t matter to Eintracht Frankfurt I suppose.

Bundesliga MD31 results Bundesliga table MD31 1 Bundesliga table MD31 2Videos, interviews first:

Highlights:

Hertha v Bayern

VfB Stuttgart v Dortmund

1.FC Köln v Darmstadt

Schalke v Leverkusen

Wolfsburg v Augsburg

Gladbach v Hoffenheim

Eintracht Frankfurt v Mainz

Pictures from Bayern’s game:

Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 1 Thomas Müller – Hertha v Bayern 1 Thomas Müller – Hertha v Bayern 2 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 2 Robert Lewandowksi – Hertha v Bayern 1 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 3 Thomas Müller – Hertha v Bayern 3 Robert Lewandowksi – Hertha v Bayern 2 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 4 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 5 Thomas Müller – Hertha v Bayern 4 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 6 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 7 Thomas Müller – Hertha v Bayern 5 Mario Götze & Thomas Müller – Hertha v Bayern 1 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 8 Robert Lewandowksi – Hertha v Bayern 3 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 9 Robert Lewandowksi – Hertha v Bayern 4 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 10 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 11Pictures from Dortmund’s game:

Roman Bürki – Stuttgart v Dortmund 1 Roman Bürki – Stuttgart v Dortmund 2 Matthias Ginter & Erik Durm – Stuttgart v Dortmund 1 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 1 Erik Durm – Stuttgart v Dortmund 1 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 2 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 3 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 4 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 5 Thomas Tuchel – Stuttgart v Dortmund 1 Thomas Tuchel – Stuttgart v Dortmund 2 Thomas Tuchel – Stuttgart v Dortmund 3 Roman Bürki & Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 1 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 6 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 7 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 8 Roman Bürki – Stuttgart v Dortmund 4 Roman Bürki – Stuttgart v Dortmund 5 Roman Bürki – Stuttgart v Dortmund 6

Bundesliga MD29 2015/16

No doubt Thomas Tuchel had Liverpool in mind when he picked his team for the match against Schalke, that seems to have been the general consensus anyway. It’s also probably recognition of the fact that the Bundesliga title race is all but wrapped up by now. No team has ever overcome such a gap in the last four weeks of the season and Bayern seem unlikely to drop any points between now and then. With that in mind it seemed Dortmund were putting all their eggs into the Europa league basket so to speak. If that’s the case it’s a move which didn’t quite work out, in more ways than one. They did get a point at Schalke which is in all honesty a fair result but resting the number of players they did turned out to make no difference in the end as regards the Europa league.

The first half was largely uneventful for both sides, though overall Schalke had a few more chances. Dortmund’s best chance came in the 22nd minute for Christian Pulisic, he had just the keeper to beat but his shot went just wide. The second half things got better and fast. A fact which most likely had a lot to do with the appearance of Henrikh Mhkitaryan who replaced Mats Hummels at the start of the second half. Whatever the reasons anyway the game started to liven up and in the 49th minute Dortmund took the lead through a cheeky little goal from Kagawa. It was one of those goals which impressed everyone, even Thomas Tuchel. It was just perfect, both the lay-off from Moritz Leitner and the goal itself. Schalke had an answer almost immediately however because just three minutes later Leroy Sane pulled them level. After a largely dull first half it was a very lively and entertaining start to the second half. And things were about to get even better, not to mention stranger. Matze Ginter is becoming quite the derby expert. He scored in the reverse of the fixture too, back in November. Though his goal then was a lot more straightforward than this one. This time it was a deflection from a free kick which somehow landed perfectly for him to head into the net. Strangely enough Shinji Kagawa scored the first goal in that game too. Unfortunately for Dortmund that wasn’t the end of the goals, their lead lasted all of ten minutes. Sokratis was a bit unlucky to give the penalty away, I don’t know if it was a penalty or not. One commentator says no, the other says yes. I’d say it wasn’t but then I have to admit I’m slightly biased. If it was a penalty than Sokratis is at least lucky he only got a yellow card, since Ginter was covering Hunterlaar too, otherwise it would have been a red. Either way Hunterlaar had no problem converting said penalty, thus once again leveling the score. Despite Thomas Tuchel sending on an extra sharpshooter in the form of Aubaymeyang 2-2 is how it ended. Though not without a few more tussles and a couple more yellow cards, including one for Belhanda for elbowing Matze Ginter in the face.

Friday night saw another 2-2 draw and one which was an extremely surprising result. I know it’s not uncommon for a team who’ve sacked a coach and brought in a new (in this case temporary) one to benefit from a false revival of sorts but I didn’t think such a thing could or would happen to H96. Nor did I think Hertha would be in any danger of dropping points against them. Elsewhere in the relegation battle fellow strugglers Eintracht Frankfurt and Bremen both lost, both of them in a somewhat cruel fashion. Late goals it seems are becoming a feature for Hoffenheim under new coach Julian Nagelsmann. For once Bayern provided the entertaining game of the weekend, usually it’s their game which is a little dull to watch and Dortmund that provide the fun. Not so this time around, Bayern’s defeat of Stuttgart was plenty to fun to watch and the 3-1 scoreline flattered them a little in fact. Stuttgart may still be close to getting entangled in the relegation battle but they certainly gave Bayern a run for their money.

Bundesliga results MD29 Bundesliga table MD29 1 Bundesliga table MD29 2Stuttgart v Bayern highlights

Bremen v Augsburg highlights

Eintracht Frankfurt v Hoffenheim highlights

Schalke v Dortmund highlights

Schalke v Dortmund – 1st & second half & post-match interviews

Matthias Ginter – Schalke v Dortmund 1 Sokratis – Schalke v Dortmund 1 Erik Durm – Schalke v Dortmund 1 Erik Durm – Schalke v Dortmund 2 Sven Bender - Schalke v Dortmund 1 Matthias Ginter – Schalke v Dortmund 2 Erik Durm – Schalke v Dortmund 3 Matthias Ginter – Schalke v Dortmund 3 Roman Bürki – Schalke v Dortmund 1 Roman Bürki – Schalke v Dortmund 2 Kagawa, Ginter & Ramos – Schalke v Dortmund 1 Matthias Ginter – Schalke v Dortmund 4 Kagawa, Ginter & Ramos – Schalke v Dortmund 2 Kagawa, Ginter & Ramos – Schalke v Dortmund 3 Kagawa, Ginter & Ramos – Schalke v Dortmund 4 Matthias Ginter – Schalke v Dortmund 5 Matthias Ginter – Schalke v Dortmund 6 Matthias Ginter – Schalke v Dortmund 7 Roman Bürki – Schalke v Dortmund 3 Sokratis – Schalke v Dortmund 2 Erik Durm – Schalke v Dortmund 4 Sokratis – Schalke v Dortmund 3 Matthias Ginter – Schalke v Dortmund 9 Erik Durm – Schalke v Dortmund 5Matthias Ginter - Schalke v Dortmund post-match interview 1Matthias Ginter - Schalke v Dortmund post-match interview 2Matthias Ginter - Schalke v Dortmund post-match interview 3Matthias Ginter - Schalke v Dortmund post-match interview 4

Bundesliga MD23 2015/16: Battle of the former Freiburg Keepers

The Bundesliga rarely disappoints and despite several teams suffering from a post Europe hang-over this weekend was no exception. This weekend was a little different with no game of the week on Saturday, instead being an aptly named “Super Sunday.” Despite there being no official game of the week Wolfsburg v Bayern was obviously the top game everyone had their eyes on. There was unfortunately no repeat of the Lewandowksi show this time around. He just got the one goal. Wolfsburg battled hard against Bayern, no doubt very motivated to avoid the humiliation they endured earlier in the season.

The real action however was on Sunday with Dortmund playing host to Hoffenheim and as the title suggests two former Freiburg keepers battling it out. Roman Bürki for Dortmund and his predecessor in the Freiburg goal Oliver Baumann.The latter also going up against his former team-mate Matthias Ginter who remained on the bench. As it turns out they came a little closer to going head to head than two keepers usually would. On the subject of former players facing each other the game has another connection of that nature, Thomas Tuchel and Julian Nagelsman have a connection too. Tuchel having worked with him whilst he was the youth coach at Augsburg.

Visiting a high flying Dortmund would be nerve wracking enough for a team battling against relegation, let alone one that’s adjusting to life under new coach Julian Nagelsman. He certainly had a difficult job on his hands yet he didn’t disappoint. It’s ironic that a hard earned 1-1 draw with Dortmund was one of Hoffenheim’s few successes before sliding into the relegation battle. A lot has changed since then with the team on their third coach of the season. Naglesman was meant to take over in the summer but had to take over ahead of schedule after Huub Stevens was forced to step down because of health problems. Since taking over his presence has certainly made a difference and it most definitely showed against Dortmund. Going 1-0 up against Dortmund is incredible enough but holding onto that lead until the 80th minute is all the more so. It looked like Hoffenheim could do the impossible and hold onto what would be a vital three points, that is until Sebastian Rudy was sent off. What a day for him, his birthday, a potentially match winning goal and then a red card.

Mkhitaryan’s equaliser in the 80th minute promised an exciting end to an already pretty exciting game, and it did not disappoint. Those final nine minutes plus extra time provided plenty of drama. A late winner from Adrian Ramos who only came on the pitch ten minutes earlier and then Hoffenheim decided to throw everything at it. Even Baumann got in on the act coming up into the box in the final minutes before having to rush back. That wasn’t the end of the drama, after having a fairly uneventful and quiet game Aubameyang finally got his goal in extra time, making it 3-1. It is a result Dortmund didn’t really deserve but one that’s important for them in terms of keeping in touch with Bayern at the top of the table. It’s even more important considering they were to face Bayern the weekend after.

Bundesliga - MD23 results Bundesliga MD23 table 1 Bundesliga MD23 table 2Highlights:

Dortmund v Hoffenheim

Wolfsburg v Bayern

Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 1 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 2 Julian Weigel – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 1 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 1 Sven Bender – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 1 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 3 Julian Weigel – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 2 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 2 Sven Bender – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 2 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 3 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 4 Sven Bender – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 3 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 4 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 5 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 6 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 5 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 6 Sven Bender – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 4 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Hoffenheim 7

Bundesliga MD28 2015/16

The Bundesliga certainly wasted no time getting back into the swing of things after the international break.The weekend kicked off with Leverkusen v Wolfsburg in an encounter amusingly dubbed “El Plastico.” That’s even funnier when you consider Wolfsburg’s next opponents were Real Madrid who the same weekend beat Barcelona 2-1 in the real “El Classico.” Strange indeed, Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-1 yet a few days later lose 2-0 to Wolfsburg, and the latter find themselves outclassed by a team that got knocked out of the Europa League.

The real excitement was on Saturday though with Dortmund hosting Bremen. They have a pretty good record against Dortmund, though admittedly not at Signal Iduna Park. Regardless one thing was for sure, this was a fixture which guaranteed goals. The best attack in the league up against the worst defence in the league, you wouldn’t expect anything else. Say what you like about Bremen, more often than not they are good value for money as regards entertainment. Even when they lose they manage to be watchable and exciting. It was a big game for both teams but for very different reasons, Dortmund looking to keep up the pressure on Bayern and Bremen doing their best to distance themselves a little bit further from the relegation struggle.

It was as promised a very entertaining game, even though all the drama came in the last 25 minutes. Given their respective strengths it’s a surprise that Bremen started slightly better. Even with their obvious defensive emphasis (not taking any chances they lined up with five at the back) they managed to get a few chances early on. Dortmund were a team frustrated. After a slow start they managed to get going and pretty soon it was raining down on Felix Wiedwald’s goal but he denied them, several times. He’s been unable to keep a clean sheet all season, in fact he’s the only keeper in the league not to have done so but he was world class on several occasions in this game. Even Zieler with already condemned H96 has managed to keep at least one clean sheet, ironically enough against Bremen was the first time he did so. Here’s one of those saves from the first half:

Wiedwald_save_1_Dortmund_v_BremenWiedwald_save_replay_1_Dortmund_v_BremenWiedwald_save_replay_2_Dortmund_v_BremenIt’s thanks to such efforts that Bremen went into the break with the scores at 0-0. Considering it’s Dortmund they were up against that’s an achievement in itself. Though obviously it couldn’t last forever. Sure enough just seven minutes after the restart Aubameyang made it 1-0 to Dortmund. He had little trouble outrunning the last two defenders, for Vestergaard it was a case of almost but not quite. He just got there but too late to do anything and Aubameyang put the ball over a helpless Felix Wiedwald. The drama was not done however and the game far from over. The next goal did not as you might expect come from Dortmund, though I suppose in a sense it did seeing as how the next goal was an own goal scored by Gonzalo Castro. A stroke of luck for Bremen but they wouldn’t have cared, the celebrations would suggest so. It enlivened them and gave them the confidence to look for an equaliser. Dortmund were once again frustrated and more than a little rattled. Which may have had something to do with Bremen taking the lead in the 73rd minute. Not to take anything away from Zlatko Junuzovic, it was an excellent goal. Unluckily for them however Dortmund had not one ace up their sleeve but two in the form of Shinji Kagawa and Adrian Ramos. The latter rescued them against Augsburg and he did so again here, getting the winning goal. Dortmund left it late to get their result but then it’s not the first time they’ve done so this season. Better late than never and the three points meaning they at least theoretically have a chance of winning the title. It would be incredible were it to happen but I’m not sure it will. I just can’t see Bayern dropping any points between now and the end of the season, maybe against Gladbach but that’s all. Dortmund on the other hand, it’s not unthinkable to think of them doing so.

On the subject of Bayern they had a fairly uneventful game against Eintracht Frankfurt, winning 1-0 with a pretty awesome goal from Franck Ribery. It wasn’t a great game to watch, no doubt Bayern were saving their energy for their impending Champions League clash against Benfica. Niko Kovac said they were going to Munich with the intention of trying to win, brave words indeed but not as foolhardy as they may sound. Eintracht did draw 0-0 with Bayern earlier in the season after all. As it stands they of course lost but only 1-0, that could prove to be important in their fight against relegation. Speaking of relegation H96 continued their inevitable slide down into the 2.Bundesliga with a 3-0 loss to HSV. I don’t think anyone was surprised on Sunday morning when they announced the sacking of Thomas Schaaf. I got the impression his time was up from his post-match interview and his comments after the game. I guess the only question was would he leave of his own accord or be fired. As it turns out H96’s problems are too big for even him to solve. Meanwhile elsewhere on Sunday Hoffenheim made inroads to safety with an important 1-1 draw against Köln. They left it late, very late in fact, Kevin Volland scored the equaliser in the 90th minute. In the other game Gladbach humiliated Champions League hopefuls Hertha BSC 5-0 in a hugely entertaining affair making the battle for the Champions League spots just that little bit more interesting.

Bundesliga - MD28 results Bundesliga table 1 - MD28 Bundesliga table 2 - MD28Highlights:

Bayern v Eintracht Frankfurt

Dortmund v Bremen

Mainz v Augsburg

H96 v HSV

Darmstadt v VfB Stuttgart

Ingolstadt v Schalke

Picturesfrom Dortmund’s game:

Thomas Tuchel - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Erik Durm & Matthias Ginter - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Roman Bürki - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Sven Bender - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Matthias Ginter - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Sven Bender - Dortmund v Bremen 2 Erik Durm - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Thomas Tuchel - Dortmund v Bremen 2 Erik Durm - Dortmund v Bremen 2 Erik Durm - Dortmund v Bremen 3 Erik Durm - Dortmund v Bremen 4 Matthias Ginter - Dortmund v Bremen 2 Roman Bürki - Dortmund v Bremen 2 Matthias Ginter - Dortmund v Bremen 3 Thomas Tuchel - Dortmund v Bremen 3 Erik Durm - Dortmund v Bremen 5 Matthias Ginter - Dortmund v Bremen 4 Matthias Ginter & Roman Bürki - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Roman Bürki - Dortmund v Bremen 3

Bundesliga MD9 2015/16

Coming into MD9 Dortmund were without a win in three games, their last win being a 3-0 defeat of Leverkusen on MD5. They followed that up with two draws against Hoffenheim and Darmstadt, and then of course the 5-1 humiliation at Bayern. MD9 served up a game almost as special as that one, with it being Thomas Tuchel’s first return to Mainz as an opposition coach. His homecoming of sorts was a success as far as Dortmund were concerned, they got back to winning ways with a 2-0 defeat of Mainz. Nothing showy, just an effective and efficient win and I’m happy to say Roman Bürki played better than he did against Bayern. He had better luck then Weidenfeller did anyway. Last season Dortmund played Mainz on a Friday evening too, eventually the game ended 4-2 in Dortmund’s favour. But not before Dortmund went 1-0 down courtesy of a very humiliating goal which involved Weidenfeller almost falling into one of his own defenders and the ball then being put in the net by a very alert Elkin Soto who made good use of the keeper being way off his line.

Thankfully no such curse befell Bürki and he made a strong start to the game, making a good save against Muto just five minutes in:

Roman_B_rki_Mainz_v_DortmundHe wasn’t particularly busy throughout the first half but then neither was his opposite number Karius. Though it turned out not to matter because you only need to slip up once against Dortmund and they make you pay. Which is exactly what happened in the 17th minute. One misplaced pass intercepted by Mkhitaryan, two moves later and goal, Marco Reus slotting it home past Karius for his third of the season. The first half provided a few chances for both teams but nothing clear cut, the number of attempts on goal was far outweighed by the number of tackles.It was a closely contested affair to say the least, Sokratis in particular being his usual imposing self in defence for Dortmund. Matthias Ginter made a few important decisions too, in particular this clearance. Bürki probably would have got there anyway but why take that chance:

Ginter_clearance_Mainz_v_DortmundMarco Reus got an opportunity just inside the box to make it 1-o before the end of the first half but he failed to capitalize on the chance, the lay off from Aubameyang was decent but Reus’ initial pass could have been better. As could much of the passing in the final third throughout the first half. Dortmund went into the half time break with a hard earned 1-0 lead, but they didn’t deserve to be 2-0 up. They were handed an opportunity right at the start of the second half to make it 2-0 when Nico Bungert was judged to have brought Aubameyang down. It’s a penalty which should never have been given, not only did Bungert play the ball but the initial contact was outside the box. It’s perhaps karma then that the penalty was saved by Karius, according to the commentator he’s saved his last four penalties, so maybe more than just karma there.

After that the second half continued in a similar vein to the first with there being few real chances for both side. One such chance for Mainz when Muto found space between Park and Hummels was however effectively dealt with by Bürki:

Roman_B_rki_Mainz_v_Dortmund_2(1)Dortmund got the chance to double their lead in the 61st minute after a well placed pass from Ginter to Kagawa but Karius seemingly did enough to put him off and his effort went wide. They had a few more chances in the following ten minutes but most of them off target. Aubameyang however had a good chance in the 76th minute but was unable to take it, Bungert doing just enough to put him off. They finally made it 2-0 in the 82nd minute, Aubameyang setting up Mkhitaryan. The goal was nice enough but it’s not that I care about, what I care about is the reaction from Thomas Tuchel. Sokratis went over to celebrate with him, hugging him. What’s funny is he was trying to get away and Thomas Tuchel wouldn’t let go. It was such a great moment that pictures alone wouldn’t suffice, so I made a GIF too:

Thomas_Tuchel_celebrates_Dortmund_v_MainzThomas Tuchel and Sokratis - Mainz v Dortmund 1 Thomas Tuchel and Sokratis - Mainz v Dortmund 2 Thomas Tuchel and Sokratis - Mainz v Dortmund 3Random Freiburg related fact I have to mention, Florian Niederlechener made a substitute appearance for Mainz in this game, coming on in the 83rd minute for Muto. It’s funny, the future Freiburger (temporary of course – he’s only on loan) against former Freiburger’s Matze Ginter and Roman Bürki.

Florian Niederlechner - Mainz v DortmundElsewhere in the Bundesliga Bayern followed up their demolition of Dortmund with a surprising 1-0 win over Bremen, not surprising they won, just the scoreline. Holding Bayern to just the one goal is an impressive feat, though it makes no difference of course. Whilst beating Bayern would probably be expecting too much Bremen could certainly have done with the points. They could at least be grateful that both Augsburg and Hoffenheim lost.

Bundesliga MD9 results Bundesliga MD9 table 1 Bundesliga MD9 table 2Pictures from Dortmund’s game:

Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 1 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 2 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 3 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 4 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 5 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 6 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 7 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 8 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 9 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 1 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 2 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 3 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 4 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund 1 Sokratis – Mainz v Dortmund 1 Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 1 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 5 Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 2 Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 3 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 6 Marco Reus – Mainz v Dortmund 1Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 7 Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 4 Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 5 Sokratis – Mainz v Dortmund 2 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 8 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 9 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 10 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 11Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 12Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 13Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 14Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 15Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 16Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 6Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 7Sokratis – Mainz v Dortmund 3Sokratis – Mainz v Dortmund 4Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund 2Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund 3

Bundesliga MD25 2015/16: Der Klassiker Round 2

Sometimes after midweek games the weekend which follows can be a little slow, lacking in both goals and excitement. That wasn’t the case the weekend just gone, though ironically there were no goals in the biggest game of all. But then it didn’t need any, what it lacked in goals it more than made up for in terms of excitement. In one way it’s a good thing there were no goals because if there had been no matter who the goalscorer was it could not have bettered Pizarro’s goal against H96.

As for the other games on Saturday in total they racked up 26 goals with three high scoring games. Stuttgart’s 5-1 defeat of local rivals Hoffenheim, Bremen beating H96 4-1 and finally Leverkusen drawing 3-3 with Augsburg but only thanks to a last minute penalty. The Stuttgart game is interesting because the last time they scored five goals in a game was also against Hoffenheim, back in 2013 when they beat them 6-2. In charge of Stuttgart at the time was none other than Thomas Schneider. Bremen’s game was special and not just because they totally destroyed H96 which naturally I found most enjoyable. The main reason for it being special is Claudio Pizarro scoring his 100th goal for Bremen, because being the Bundesliga’s oldest scorer of a hat-trick at the age of 37 just wasn’t enough. Not only that but he’s the top scorer of the Rückrunde so far, having scored eleven goals. The only other draw of the weekend was Eintracht Frankfurt’s 1-1 draw with Ingolstadt, a result which turned not to be enough to save Armin Veh’s job. No big surprise there, with seven games without a win and the fans having turned against him weeks ago it seemed all but inevitable.

Ausburg v Leverkusen highlights

Köln v Schalke highlights

Wolfsburg v Gladbach highlights

Bremen v H96 highlights

Stuttgart v Hoffenheim highlights

Eintracht Frankfurt v Ingolstadt highlights

Dortmund v Bayern highlights

Mainz v Darmstadt highlights

HSV v Hertha highlights

Bundesliga MD25 results Bundesliga MD25 table 1 Bundesliga MD25 table 2Getting back to Dortmund the result of their game was anything but inevitable. I knew only two things for certain going into this game, that it wouldn’t end up quite as one sided as last time and it wasn’t going to disappoint. After the quarter finals of the DFB Pokal I was musing whether or not it would be good to see someone else in the final this year, a nice change from the Dortmund-Bayern match-up. I’ve changed my mind on that, I want them to go head to head once more. It’s tricky because I’d love for Bremen to get there too, but I think seeing a replay of this game especially seeing as it’s Guardiola’s last season at Bayern would be epic.

To be honest I wasn’t so concerned with the result as I was Roman Bürki not embarrassing himself like he did in the reverse of the fixture. He had a much better game this time round though he still had a few shaky moments in the opening minutes of the game, making two mistakes just a minute apart. I’ve seen the game twice and yet all that’s sticking in my head is not just Bürki’s mistakes but also the two great saves he made, one denying Costa the chance to score and secondly Vidal. The second one in particular goes some way to making up for the goal he almost gifted Müller in the first half. There is one non-goalkeeper moment I remember and that’s Erik Durm’s nice little turn and subsequent shot on goal in the 18th minute. Had that been a goal it would have been incredible, he scored midweek against Darmstadt but scoring against Bayern would have been a whole other world:

Roman_B_rki_mistake_1_Dortmund_v_Bayern Roman_B_rki_mistake_2_Dortmund_v_Bayern Roman_B_rki_v_Douglas_Costa_Dortmund_v_Bayern Roman_B_rki_v_Vidal_Dortmund_v_Bayern Manuel_Neuer_mistake_Dortmund_v_Bayern Erik_Durm_chance_Dortmund_v_BayernObviously there were other important moments in the game but in the excitement the rest is forgotten and to be honest overshadowed somewhat by Freiburg’s victory over RB Leipzig on Monday night. No matter how great Dortmund’s game was nothing compares to that, not even getting the half-time interview with Jogi. What I lack in words I can more than make up for in terms of videos and pictures, getting nine videos from this week’s game:

Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Erik Durm – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Erik Durm – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Mario Götze – Dortmund v Bayern Matthias Ginter – Dortmund v Bayern Robert Lewandowksi – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern pre-match show 1 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern pre-match show 2 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern pre-match show 3Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 4 Robert Lewandowksi – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Thomas Müller – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Thomas Müller – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 4 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 5 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 6 Robert Lewandowksi – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Thomas Müller & Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern Thomas Müller – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Thomas Müller – Dortmund v Bayern 4 Robert Lewandowksi – Dortmund v Bayern 4 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Robert Lewandowksi – Dortmund v Bayern 5 Manuel Neuer – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Robert Lewandowksi & Manuel Neuer – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Robert Lewandowksi & Manuel Neuer – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Robert Lewandowksi & Manuel Neuer – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 5 Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 6 Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 7 Erik Durm – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 8 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern 4