Eintracht Frankfurt 0-1 Bayern Munich
Bayern were in the Saturday evening kick-off knowing a win would put them nine points clear ahead of Dortmund’s Sunday visit to Augsburg.
Eintracht have been difficult opponents for Bayern recently, the Eagles recorded a 2-1 win in Munich earlier this season and have beaten the Champions in their last two visits to Frankfurt. However, this was not an Eintracht side in form. Oliver Glasner’s side had recorded four defeats and just one win in the six games since the winter break but were up against Julian Nagelsmann and his Bayern side who were unconvincing despite the 4-1 scoreline last week against Greuther Fürth.
The early indications were there that Frankfurt aimed to be direct: Jesper Lindstrøm nearly getting in-behind following a long ball from Kevin Trapp.
Frankfurt’s defending had been resolute; Kevin Trapp made a series of excellent saves as nine of Bayern’s 21 attempts at goal were on target. The ‘keeper receiving a bloodied nose whilst denying Jamal Musiala in the first half and was sharply out to deny Robert Lewandoski with half an hour to go. It was not only Trapp who was performing heroics on the goal line, Evan N’Dicka somehow managed to turn Niklas Sule’s header over the crossbar when an own goal looked certain. For all the good defensive work Eintracht put into the game, it was a simple through ball that was their undoing. Nagelsmann brought on Leroy Sane in the 67th minute and within four minutes the change had paid off. Sane managed to drift undetected between Da Costa and Martin Hinteregger as Tuta pushed forward to close down Kimmich, the midfielder setting up his international colleague, who needed just one touch with his left foot before finishing with his right for his 7th goal of the season.
The defeat consigned Frankfurt to a fourth home defeat in a row for the first time since 2011 – a season in which they were relegated – in stark contrast to last season’s undefeated home record.
Augsburg 1-1 Borussia Dortmund
BVB looked to build upon their morale building 6-0 win against Gladbach last week rather than focus on their Europa Leage exit to Rangers, as they knew anything less than a win would lessen their already slim chances of leapfrogging Bayern at the top. They faced relegation threatened Augsburg who had won just once in eight matches and occupied the relegation play-off place. Augsburg had enjoyed their own morale boosting win two weeks ago when they defeated Union Berlin, but failed to build momentum, then suffering back-to-back defeats against Gladbach and Freiburg. However, Dortmund had only won two of their last five visits to the Augsburg arena and would need to contend without Erling Haaland and Marco Reus.
Donyell Malen had already forced Rafal Gikiewicz into action in the first half before Dortmund opened the scoring. Thorgan Hazard weaving through the home defence to finish past Gikiewicz after 34 minutes.
Malen twice came close to extending the visitors’ lead in the second half, first thwarted again by a combination of Gikiewicz and the crossbar, then could only hit the side netting with an angled shot.
In a second half that Dortmund had dominated possession with a share of 67%, it looked like they would take the points. But substitute Noah Sarenren Bazee scored his first goal since May 2020 to draw the sides level with 13 minutes remaining – Augsburg’s only attempt on target in the second 45 minutes.
With the gap at the top now eight points, Dortmund may have to focus on maintaining second place from the advancing Leverkusen rather than chasing down Bayern. Augsburg’s point lifts them out of the relegation playoff place on goal difference.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-2 VfL Wolfsburg
Both sides had the opportunity to pull away from relegation troubles when they met at Borussia Park on Saturday. Gladbach had won once in the five games since that win at Bayern after the winter restart. Wolfsburg were looking to keep February’s improvements going; the first time Die Wolfe have recorded two league wins in a calendar month since October.
Jonas Wind, scoring in consecutive weeks, and Sebastiaan Bornauw’s first goal of the season had the visitors 2-0 ahead just over half an hour into the game, Wolfsburg scoring with their only two attempts on target. The home side found themselves behind despite starting brightly, Marcus Thuram nearly scoring after good work by Alassane Pléa. Jonas Hoffman was denied by Koen Casteels as they continued to be the more threatening before Wolfsburg’s second.
Gladbach got themselves back into it when Marcus Thuram nodded home Alassane Pléa’s cross three minutes before half time. Thuram grabbed his first goal of the season as he got 78 minutes of playing time, the most he has featured since the 12th of November against RB Leipzig.
The hosts were finally on level terms with just eight minutes remaining, Breel Embolo benefiting from another fine Pléa cross to header past Casteels. Pléa contributed nine key passes and created three key chances including his two assists in a good afternoon’s work for the Frenchman.
Adi Hütter’s side finished with 26 shots on goal, ten on target in the game – 18 of which came in the second half. Wolfsburg managed just one-off target shot in the second half but held on for the point.
Union Berlin 3-1 Mainz 05
Union improved to end a run of three straight defeats to win at home to European rivals, Mainz.
Genki Haraguchi’s first goal for Union put his side ahead in the seventh minute. The visitors had 15 attempts at goal over the course of the match, but rarely looked to carry a real threat; just one of the shots was on target.
The game seemed to be beyond Mainz on the hour mark. First, Union’s lead was doubled in the 56th minute through Sheraldo Becker, his excellent right-footed curling shot taking his season tally to two goals. Then, Dominik Kohr received two yellow cards in two minutes to leave his side a man down. Substitute, Taiwo Awoniyi, made sure of the points with 15 minutes remaining after good work in the build up by Sheraldo Becker, Awoniyi now on 10 goals for the campaign. Delano Burgzorg scored his first goal for Mainz in the 90th minute but it was nothing more than a consolation.
A clinical performance by Union, converting their only three shots on target into goals. It is the first time this season they have scored three times in a league game. Both sides remain well in the hunt for the European places Union three points behind the pack with Mainz three points Fürther back.
SpVgg Greuther Fürth 1-1 1. FC Köln
Fürth have given themselves a slight hope of survival in recent week with only two defeats in their last eight games. This run has also only seen two wins but will be encouraged by the seeming reluctance of Hertha and Stuttgart above them to pick up wins. Köln had five wins in their last seven games and have kept within touching distance of a Champions League place.
Seven minutes after the break, Florian Kainz’s cross-come-shot deceived the Fürth defence and landed in the corner of the net for 1-0. However, Köln have failed to keep a clean sheet away from home this season, so it was not surprising when Fürth equalised. Sebastian Griesbeck’s career has seen him play in five tiers of German football, this was a first Bundesliga goal for the 31-year-old.
Neither side could find the winner as Fürth move to within five points of second bottom Stuttgart but remain nine points from safety. Köln are now four points behind RB Leipzig in 4th place.
Elsewhere & a look at the table…
VfL Bochum welcomed RB Leipzig on Saturday but rued missed chances as the visitors went home with a 1-0 win. Christopher Nkunku got the winner eight minutes from time – his 14th of the season – to continue the resurgence under Domenico Tedesco.
1899 Hoffenheim came from behind to win 2-1 at home to VfB Stuttgart, as the visitors again conceded late to deepen their relegation woes.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen recorded a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Arminia Bielefeld – B04 with 72% possession and 21 shots on goal. Moussa Diaby added his 11th and 12th goals of the season in the second half to wrap up the win.
The difficulties in the Capital continued as Hertha BSC suffered another comprehensive defeat, this time at the hands of SC Freiburg. Augsburg’s draw with Dortmund drops Hertha to the relegation play off place on goal difference.
#BLMatchday 2⃣4⃣ complete! ✔️
Sum up your team’s season so far in one word… pic.twitter.com/LiwMKYuonq
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) February 27, 2022