Borussia Mönchengladbach celebrates a perfect start to the second half of the season, FC Bayern München extends its lead in the standings, 1. FSV Mainz 05 surprises with a win against RB Leipzig – these are the topics in focus on the 18th Bundesliga matchday.
Bayern extends its lead in the standings
Fifty-three goals for the season after 18 matchdays – not even FC Bayern München had scored that many before. In the 4-0 win at Schalke, the record champions not only put in a brilliant performance on the offensive, but also set many records: Robert Lewandowski’s 2-0, for example, was not only his 23rd goal of the season, but the world footballer also scored in his eighth away game in a row in the Bundesliga. No other player has managed that before. The 32-year-old scored in the eleventh game in a row against FC Schalke 04: No other player has managed such a series against a club before.
The best thing for Hansi Flick’s men, however, is another fact: Because their rivals Leipzig and Leverkusen lost their matches, the triple winners from 2020 now have a seven-point lead in the standings. As a reward and for regeneration, Flick gave his team two days off, because: “I’m very satisfied with the nine points we’ve picked up from the past three matches.”
Perfect start to the second half of the season for Borussia Mönchengladbach
Borussia Mönchengladbach had lost eleven times in a row against Borussia Dortmund but finally won again at the twelfth attempt. Gladbach won 4-2 against the Black and Yellows on matchday 18 and thus started the second half of the season almost perfectly. Not only did Marco Rose’s team succeed in overcoming falling behind, but the “Fohlen” also got back into the race for a Champions League place by beating a direct competitor and even overtaking them in the standings.
And deservedly so. Marco Rose’s team put in a convincing performance over 90 minutes, left Dortmund little room to develop their game, and made the pinpricks at the right moments. The coach proudly declared after the game: “We believed in ourselves and stuck with it. Overall, it was a great performance by the team, and now we are happy with the victory,” Rose emphasised.
Frankfurt overruns Bielefeld
Eintracht Frankfurt is flying high. The Hessians won 5-1 against promoted Arminia Bielefeld and thus remained unbeaten for the seventh game in a row. Andre Silva scored a double in the triumph at the Bielefeld Alm (1-0, 25th and 3-0, 33rd), Filip Kostic advanced to his season’s best performance as the player of the match (2-0 in the 27th minute and assist for 3-0), and Luka Jovic scored again as a joker (5-1, 75th).
Adi Hütter’s team has won five of its last seven games and is now sixth in the table. “We have to think game by game and stay focused. Then we’ll see where we are in the end. There are no limits to the top,” explained Younes. Coach Adi Hütter knows that, too, and he wants to bring the same attitude to the pitch in the next games: “The position in the table is a great snapshot. We want to take the good form with us.” After this strong performance, the SGE now has a say in the race for the international competitions.
Mainz 05 find new hope in the relegation battle
1. FSV Mainz 05 got back into the relegation fight with a 3-2 win against top team RB Leipzig. The home win puts Mainz in 17th place in the table with ten points, five points behind 1. FC Köln, who are in relegation spot 16. It was a surprising three points, which the “Nullfünfer” had certainly not planned for before the game. Three points that keep FSV alive, and with which they put pressure on the Cologne team. Particularly remarkable was the morale of the Mainzers, who came back after being behind twice and eventually even turned the game around. They showed the necessary toughness and willingness to run against playful Saxons, who did not entirely bring their horsepower on the road in the Opel Arena.
With this mentality, there might be something left in the fight to stay in the league. The 05ers will certainly have to show this mentality in every game until the end of the season to keep their remaining chance.
Hoffenheim and Bremen also pick up big points in the fight to stay in the relegation zone
Not only 1. FSV Mainz 05 scored a success in the lower half of the table: TSG Hoffenheim won against 1. FC Köln with 3-0 (2-0) and extended their lead over the relegation place held by their opponents to five points with the home victory. Against the “Geißböcke”, Andrej Kramaric (7th) put the Kraichgauer on the road to success with a penalty kick, Christoph Baumgartner (25th) increased the lead before the break with an impressive back-heel, Kramaric converted another penalty kick in the second half (75th).
Alongside TSG, SV Werder Bremen also celebrated a big break-through in the relegation battle: Thanks to ice-cold exploitation of chances, the Hanseatic team won 4-1 (2-1) at Hertha BSC. Davie Selke (10th), Ömer Toprak (29th), Leonardo Bittencourt (57th) and Josh Sargent (77th) were responsible for the away victory for Bremen. The latter now has 21 points on their account and are six points ahead of the relegation zone.
In the other three games of matchday 18, Bayer Leverkusen lost at home against Vfl Wolfsburg 0-1, FC Freiburg defeated VfB Stuttgart in the Swabian derbi 2-1 and FC Augsburg won 2-1 against Union Berlin.