Bayern Munich have not looked all that dominant this season, but despite their struggles, the reigning Bundesliga champions still find themselves four points clear at the top after a 2-1 win over a red-hot Freiburg side.
Bayern were further boosted by the fact that their top three championship rivals — RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen, and Borussia Dortmund — all dropped points over the weekend and are increasingly looking incapable of mounting a serious title challenge.
Meanwhile, Union Berlin continued their impressive sophomore Bundesliga campaign, while Luka Jovic made a spectacular return from Spain.
Read on below as SBOTOP turns the spotlight on the big winners and losers from Matchday 16 of the Bundesliga season.
Winner: Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich extended their lead atop the Bundesliga after a big 2-1 win over Freiburg, who came into the match in sizzling form following five consecutive wins.
Robert Lewandowski gave Bayern an early lead, and Thomas Muller scored the winner 16 minutes from time after Freiburg equalised just after the hour mark.
Despite all of Bayern’s shortcomings this season — particularly in defence — they just keep picking up positive Bundesliga 2021 results, in large part thanks to Lewandowski’s goals.
That’s now 21 league goals on the season for the prolific Pole, nine ahead of Erling Haaland and Andre Silva.
As long as ‘Lewan-goal-ski’ remains healthy, Bayern should be in good shape to win a ninth-straight title.
Losers: Bayern’s top title challengers
With Bayern looking so wobbly, this season should have been the perfect time for the likes of RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen, and Borussia Dortmund to challenge for the championship.
But just a few games into 2021, and it’s increasingly looking like none of the three are equipped to do so. All three again dropped points this weekend, which allowed Bayern to pad their lead to four points.
Leipzig failed to win for the third time in four matches as they were held to a 2-2 draw away to Wolfsburg, which is admittedly a tough assignment.
Similarly, Leverkusen lost away to high-flying Union Berlin. But that’s now three losses in their last four, and all the positive momentum they had to start the season is slowly fading away.
Meanwhile, Dortmund – who picked up a huge 3-1 win over Leipzig last week — did what they always seem to do, which is to inexplicably drop points against inferior opposition, this time at home against bottom-side Mainz.
While it would be great to have a competitive title race in Germany for once, it’s becoming clear that none of these three teams seems to have the consistency needed to push even a less-than-stellar Bayern side hard for the title this season.
Winner: Luka Jovic
With Freiburg losing to Bayern, Eintracht Frankfurt are now the hottest team in the Bundesliga. The high-flying Eagles beat Schalke 3-1 to win their fourth game in a row, and they had Luka Jovic to thank.
The 23-year-old striker is back with his former club on loan from Real Madrid, and he made quite a return as he scored a brace after coming on as a substitute. He had scored just two goals in 32 matches with Madrid.
After a disastrous spell in Spain, Jovic is eager to get his career back on track at Frankfurt. And with him and Andre Silva (12 goals this season) leading the attack, the Eagles suddenly have a chance to soar to great heights in the second half of the season.
Loser: Borussia Monchengladbach
Gladbach were mere minutes from being just a point behind Union Berlin as they led Stuttgart 2-1 in stoppage time. But the Foals conceded a late penalty, which allowed Stuttgart to salvage a draw.
It’s been that sort of season for Gladbach, who have been quite unpredictable from week to week. They’re capable of coming back from two goals down to beat Bayern 3-2 in one game but then fail to hold onto a lead themselves the next.
With all the attacking quality on their side, Gladbach should still finish comfortably in the top half. But they will need to produce more consistent performances in the second half of the season to compete for the European places.
Winner: Union Berlin
Union Berlin’s unbelievable run continues. They are up to fifth in the table after beating Bayer Leverkusen 1-0, which extended their current unbeaten run to six games (3 wins, 3 draws). That impressive stretch also includes draws against Bayern and Wolfsburg and a win over Dortmund.
And Union have done all of this despite the absence of leading scorer Max Kruse, who has been out since the start of December due to a muscle injury.
The Bundesliga 2021 betting odds will be against Union as they take on RB Leipzig next week. But based on their fine performances this season, it would be foolish to bet against them against Leipzig.
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