Bundesliga Update: Surprise Outcomes are the Story of Matchday 28
On paper, many of the matchups in the Bundesliga this weekend seemed predictable, but that is not the way they turned out. Matches featured many of the top six facing off with those battling relegation. Despite the surprises, the standings did not change too much and the teams find themselves in the same position now with only six matches to play. One thing is clear: there is no certainty in predicting the outcome of this season other than the team that has already claimed the league.
Bayern Munich 3, Hoffenheim 3
Hoffenheim snapped Bayern Munich’s 19-game winning streak in the Bundesliga with a 75th-minute goal by Roberto Firmino. Hoffenheim become only the third team to take points from Bayern all year and the champions have only lost six points. The starting 11 for Bayern was much changed after clinching the championship and a Champions League match looming. Tom Starke started in goal with Daniel Van Buyten and Diego Contento also featured. Starting midfielder Thiago suffered a major knee injury that will keep him out for six to eight weeks.
Fabian Johnson played the entire match for Hoffenheim, but had a quiet afternoon at right back. His team gave the champions fits all day and Firmino’s persistence paid off for the game tying goal. Sebastian Rudy had two late chances to give Hoffenheim the first victory over Bayern this year, but would only manage the one point.
Mainz 3, Augsburg 0
This match was expected to be a tightly played game with teams close to each other in the top half of the table. The dominant win propelled Mainz to sixth place and five points clear of Augsburg. An own goal from Marwin Hitz put Mainz up by two before the halftime whistle and they controlled the match from that point on. Augsburg faced adversity early in the second half as injuries forced two substitutions just after halftime. Mainz now hold down a Europa League spot with a potential Champions League spot only four points away.
Wolfsburg 2, Eintracht Frakfurt 1
The result may not be the surprise, but it is the way that Wolfsburg won that was stunning. Wolfsburg defender Naldo scored the game-winner for the favored team just before the end of regulation time. Frankfurt had the lead for 58 minutes after a Stefan Aigner goal in the 11th minute. Naldo’s bomb from about 45 yards out curled to the far post well away from the outstretched arms of the keeper Kevin Trapp, who may have been slightly out of position. Wolfsburg is now one point out of a potential Champions League spot.
Bayer Leverkusen 1, Eintracht Braunschweig 1
Leverkusen’s inability to get past the last-place team kept Wolfsburg’s Champions League hopes alive. There were some boos at the BayArena as Leverkusen left the field after the final whistle. The fourth-place team is now out of touch from the top three and will feel the pressure behind them in the table. Leverkusen used a second-half penalty to equalize the match, but were unable to find the winner. It looked as though the Leverkusen players felt the pressure and their fans began to turn against them with their second-half struggles. Mirko Boland actually had a chance to win it for Braunschweig in stoppage time, but was nicely saved by Bernd Leno.