Borussia Dortmund missed a glorious chance to keep the pressure up at the top of the Bundesliga this weekend after a catastrophic defeat at home to struggling Koln left them trailing Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig, who both collected three points.
Meanwhile, a first league win in 19 attempts has lifted Marcus Gisdol’s Koln out of the relegation zone and up to 15th in the league table. After a tough season last term which ended with a 14th place finish, this result was as surprising as it was invaluable for die Geissbocke.
Winners – Koln
It was one of the most shocking Bundesliga 2020 results of the campaign so far, which makes FC Koln the weekend’s big winners. The underdogs would have finished the round joint bottom had they not stunned BVB; so the psychological lift could be huge as they embark on another survival campaign.
Ellyes Skhiri was the hero, scoring twice, in almost identical circumstances, converting at the back post following a flick-on from Marius Wolf, first in the ninth minute, and then on the hour to double the lead before Thorgan Hazard pulled one back for the hosts. These were the only two clear cut chances the visitors had, but they made them count while packing the midfield to frustrate BVB’s creative players, with Jadon Sancho and Axel Witsel both finding space hard to come by. And when they did make progress, Koln had built a defensive wall which stood firm.
It was a classic backs-to-the-wall performance by a team desperate for points, and they executed their plan to perfection.
Losers – Borussia Dortmund
As a result of this defeat die Schwarzgelben have drifted in the Bundesliga 2020 betting odds to around 9.00 to win the league, but they only have themselves to blame, switching off twice to allow Skhiri to score; and that proved fatal.
Only last week, here at SBOTOP, we were hailing BVB and super striker Erling Braut Haaland, but a week is a long time in football, and when he had a great chance to level in the final minute the Norwegian steered his effort hopelessly wide with the goal at his mercy. Sancho had rattled the woodwork early in the game but a miss is a miss, no matter how close.
The result was a bitter blow to Lucien Favre’s team which was gathering some momentum, and I suspect defending at corners will be a regular feature in the coming week’s training schedule!
Winner – Christopher Nkunku
RB Leipzig took advantage of BVB’s defeat to climb into second place with a 2-1 victory over Armina Bielefeld. After Angelino had given die Roten Bullen an early goal Nkunku doubled the advantage with a peach of a strike just after the break, taking a pass from Dani Olmo and rifling an unstoppable shot into the top right corner.
The 23-year-old former PSG man has received call-ups to the France squad and this performance won’t have done his international chances any harm at all.
Loser – Kevin Mohwald
For every player who has a good day, there’s another who has a game they’d rather forget, and Werder Bremen’s Kevin Mohwald falls into that category. His team missed a chance to climb close to the European places having matched high flying Wolfsburg for most of their meeting at the Volkswagen Arena. The hosts were protecting an unbeaten record and Mohwald scored a header to make it 2-2 approaching half time.
But the 27-year-old midfielder picked up a yellow card for a rash challenge on Josip Brekalo, and with Werder chasing the game he picked up a red card after a pointless and nasty tackle on Wolfsburg’s Maximilian Phillip.
A promising day went sour for Mohwald who lost his place on the pitch while his team missed out on points as die Wolfe went on to win 5-3.
Winners – Bayern Munich
They are winners almost every week, and another good performance in a 1-3 victory over VfB Stuttgart keeps die Bayern top of the league, and now four points clear of BVB. Robert Lewandowski was on target again and the red hot Pole continues to hold off Dortmund’s Haaland in the race for the Golden Boot. Kingsley Coman and Douglas Costa also made the score-sheet.
Losers – Schalke 04
Bottom club Schalke 04 may have thought they were in for a good day when Benito Raman latched onto a through ball from Mark Uth, before smashing it home to level the scores, minutes after Florian Neuhaus had given Borussia Monchengladbach a lead. But that was as good as it got for Schalke 04 as die Fohlen ran riot to secure a 4-1 victory.
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