Bayern Munich 3-0 RB Leipzig
Thiago (17′), Alonso (25′), Lewandowski (45′ (P)) | Forsberg (30′)
Review: Bayern went back to 4-2-3-1 for this game, albeit they did drop Müller, and put in their best performance of the season to show Leipzig how much further they have to come if they want to win the Bundesliga. Bayern were absolutely dominant in the first half, definitely wanting to exert their authority on the new kids on the block – and they did that with 3 first half goals (which could easily have been more) as Leipzig simply crumbled under the pressure like you would expect a young team to do. It will be interesting to see how they respond to this, given that they don’t have another league game for a month.
Our MotM: Thiago (Bayern) – Pushed into a more advanced position by the change of formation, Thiago ran the midfield – a goal and assist is less than he deserved for this performance.
Table Changes: Bayern stay top and open up a 3 point lead to RB Leipzig, who remain second.
Hertha Berlin 2-0 Darmstadt
Plattenhardt (53′), Kalou (66′)
Review: Hertha respond well to back to back defeats with a comfortable home victory over bottom club Darmstadt, who look doomed already. Darmstadt failed to muster up a single shot on target despite having some promising chances and were eventually punished in the second half as they failed to deal with Hertha’s ability from set pieces – first, Plattenhardt scored an absolute pearler of a free kick right in the top right corner before Kalou profited from some slack defending to head home from another free kick. Hertha look back on track.
Our MotM: Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha) – A great game from the full back, with an assist to add to his brilliant free kick. Was rarely tested defensively either, but looked assured when he was.
Table Changes: Hertha move up a place to 3rd, Darmstadt stay bottom of the league.
Frankfurt 3-0 Mainz
Hrgota (18′ 85′), Barkok (75′) | Córdoba (55′)
Review: Frankfurt end what has been a positive first half of the season with a comfortable victory against a Mainz side whose form has nosedived recently, with their form in their most recent 6 games (including this one) the 4th worst in the league. Mainz’s task wasn’t made any easier with the sending off of Córdoba, their only striker, ten minutes into the second half. Defensively, they were terrible as Frankfurt found space for all of their goals way too easily – and they punished their opponents, with 3 of their 4 shots on target going in!
Our MotM: Branimir Hrgota (Frankfurt) – Key performer in this game, scoring two and setting up the other.
Table Changes: Frankfurt rise 2 places to 4th, Mainz drop 2 places to 10th
Hoffenheim 1-1 Werder Bremen
Wagner (26′) | Gnabry (87′)
Review: Hoffenheim claim yet another draw to ensure that they are one of only two sides in Europe’s top 5 leagues to make it to Christmas unbeaten (along with Real Madrid). Their key weakness has been turning draws into wins, with 10 of their 16 games ending in draws – including 5 of their last 6. They shot themselves in the foot again in this game, as they conceded a late equaliser through some poor defending – Bremen hadn’t really deserved to get anything from the game, but are now unbeaten in 5
Our MotM: Kerim Demirbay (Hoffenheim) – An energetic performance in central midfield as he managed the most touches of any of Hoffenheim’s attacking players despite only playing 66 minutes. Also got the assist for Wagner’s goal.
Table Changes: Hoffenheim slip 2 places to 5th, Werder Bremen fall 1 place to 15th
Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Augsburg
Dembélé (47′) | Ji Dong-Won (33′)
Review: Another disappointing result for Dortmund means that they go into the winter break already 12 points behind leaders Bayern, albeit they managed to ensure that they had gone the whole calendar year unbeaten at home for the first time since they moved into the Signal Iduna Park. Tuchel made the decision to try playing 3 at the back for this game, and although they were still strong going forward (absolute domination possession-wise) they didn’t look anywhere near as assured at the back and were lucky that Augsburg aren’t good enough to punish them that much.
Our MotM: Martin Hinteregger (Augsburg) – Augsburg needed to be strong defensively in the second half, and Hinteregger certainly stepped up to the plate as he lead by example to keep Dortmund from adding to their early equaliser.
Table Changes: Dortmund drop a place to 6th, Augsburg stay 12th.
Köln 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Modeste (21′) | Wendell (44′)
Review: Köln continued their struggles as a draw with fierce rivals Leverkusen meant that they went 5 games without a win, despite another goal from the second top scorer in the Bundesliga – Anthony Modeste. Their poor form was evident from their nervous performance, with Leverkusen given too much respect for most of the game. Still, Köln should get better when all of their players are back to full fitness.
Our MotM: Frederik Sörensen (Köln) – With Leverkusen dominating for most of the match, Köln needed their defenders to stay strong – which Sörensen did to perfection, as well as managing to get the assist for Modeste.
Table Changes: Köln stay 7th, Leverkusen remain 9th.
Ingolstadt 1-2 Freiburg
Suttner (53′) | Niederlechner (34′ (P) 41′)
Review: Ingolstadt’s recent mini-revival is abruptly ended by Freiburg, bringing Ingolstadt back down to Earth with a bump. It was a stereotypical ‘game of two halves’ as Freiburg were in charge of the first half and found themselves 2-0 up at half time. Ingolstadt didn’t beat RB Leipzig and Leverkusen completely by luck though, and came back roaring in the second half – with 64% of the possession and 14 shots as they tried to claw their way back into the game. Despite a goal early on in the half, they were unable to force an equaliser as their good run ended.
Our MotM: Florian Niederlechner (Freiburg) – His two goals were enough to put Freiburg out of sight in the first half.
Table Changes: Ingolstadt slip back down a place to 17th, Freiburg move up 2 places to 8th.
Hamburg 2-1 Schalke
Müller (60′), Wood (82′) | Avdijaj (89′)
Review: Hamburg continued their recent revival with their 3rd win in their last 6 games to edge them out of the automatic relegation spots again. It was a deserved win for the strugglers, as Schalke put in a poor performance – 6 shots isn’t enough to win! Hamburg had enough chances to make the win more comfortable, with Djourou missing a penalty at 1-0. The plus side for Schalke was easily Donis Avdijaj finally scoring his first goal for the club!
Our MotM: Nicolai Müller (Hamburg) – A goal and an assist from Müller, he was the driving force behind this vital win.
Table Changes: Hamburg go up a place to 16th, Schalke stay 11th
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-2 Wolfsburg
Hazard (52′) | Caligiuri (3′), Gomez (57′)
Review: The final game of André Schubert’s reign was a defeat to fellow strugglers Wolfsburg, in what was only Gladbach’s second home defeat of the season. Gladbach seemed surprisingly lacking throughout, and despite seeing most of the ball could only muster 4 shots on target – 2 of which were for the goal (which only really happened due to a dreadful error from Diego Benaglio). Schubert has now been replaced by former Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking.
Our MotM: Daniel Caligiuri (Wolfsburg) – Gave the Gladbach defence a torrid time, starting with a finish that he had no right to get to in the 3rd minute. A great performance, and potentially a replacement for Draxler.
Table Changes: Gladbach fall a place to 14th, Wolfsburg replace them in 13th.
The Bundesliga has now stopped for the winter break. The next round of fixtures is in a months time (20th -22nd January 2017).