The Bundesliga’s longest serving club look more doomed than usual, while Cologne have reverted to shooting themselves in the foot. At the other end, the only question is whether Bayern can break their own record.Good week for: Schalke, Stefan Kiessling, Headers, Mario Gomez
Bad week for: RB Leipzig, Gladbach, Timo Horn, Hamburg
– Hamburg seem to be reaching a new nadir every week. They missed a penalty and failed to beat debutant keeper Florian Müller on Saturday, despite playing against 10 men for the last half an hour. Their impotence comes as little surprise, HSV haven’t scored more than once in a match since November, average 0.72 goals per game and have won two of their last 23. Reports in Germany suggest Hamburg intend to clean house — both in the squad and in the front office — for what will presumably be a first ever Bundesliga 2 campaign in 2018/19.
– RB Leipzig’s winless run stretched to four games this weekend after they shared the points with Borussia Dortmund in a 1-1 draw. Perhaps the additional European schedule is slowing them down — they have played as many games this season (35) as they did in the whole of last term. Both sides relied on in-form forwards for their goals. Jean-Kevin Augustin and Marco Reus both have three goals in their last three games.
– But that pair have some work to do to keep up with the Bundesliga’s most in-form goalscorer Andrej Kramaric. The Hoffenheim man has six goals in his last five after failing to find the net between August and February, despite featuring in every league game.
– Bayern Munich’s 4-0 win over Freiburg means they are in with a decent chance of breaking their own record for the earliest Bundesliga title win. Three more wins will do it, but if Schalke, Dortmund and Frankfurt all drop points in the next two games, a sixth title in a row could be won at Leipzig on matchday 27 – which would break their 2014 record under Pep Guardiola. If not, Bayern could seal the tiltle at home against Dortmund on March 31.
– Headed goals may have only accounted for 3 of the 22 goals on matchday 25 , but they were all significant. Thomas Delaney’s goal on Friday helped spark a two-goal comeback in Mönchengladbach, Andrej Kramaric’s thundering header helped Hoffenheim dispatch Bundesliga surprise package Augsburg and Danny Da Costa’s first goal for Frankfurt lifted the Eagles to victory over Hannover.
– Stefan Kiessling’s career is slowly winding down, but that hasn’t stopped him for hitting a few more milestones. In Bayer Leverkusen’s 2-0 win against Wolfsburg, Kiessling made his 400th Bundesliga appearance when he replaced Julian Baumgartliner at the end of the contest. With 441 games under his belt, he has made the third-most appearances in Leverkusen history. If he plays twice more, he’ll leapfrog second-placed Ulf Kirsten.
“I’m just happy that I got another chance to play again. That is a special statistic.” — Stefan Kiessling to Sky Sports in Germany about his 400th Bundesliga appearance.
“Many names are being reported every week: Nagelsmann, Tuchel, Kovac. I’d almost be disappointed if my name wasn’t mentioned as well.” Freiburg coach Christian Streich on rumors linking him with the Bayern Munich gig.
“Well, to be honest, my feet feel like blocks of ice. It’s not pleasant, but that’s how it is.” Werder Bremen’s goalscorer Thomas Delaney on the sub zero temperatures that gripped Germany for most of the past week.
“We need a few extraordinary weeks, ” Hamburg’s sporting director Jens Todt appears to be losing hope.
“We are the hunters now, maybe this suits us a little more.” RB Leipzig skipper Willi Orban on his side’s slip to 6th.
Augsburg defender Kevin Danso picked up a knock in his side’s 2-0 loss to Hoffenheim.
“We have to wait for the diagnosis,” Augsburg sporting director Stefan Reuter was quoted by German sports magazine Kicker as saying. “I hope that is not something bad.”
There was also a scary moment for Foals fans when Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer had to be carried off the field after not being able to walk on his right leg. However, the club said it was just a trapped nerve. The World Cup winner trained on Saturday and is not expected to miss any time.
Cologne fans had got used to their team throwing away points early in the season but their goalkeeper taking matters in to (and then quickly out of) his own hands is another blow in an already-tough campaign. After their brief renaissance, Cologne had the chance to move within five points of safety on Sunday and looked comfortable at 1-0 up as the break approached against Stuttgart. Horn could do little about Mario Gomez’ first but seemed to still be dwelling on that as the German striker gently swung one towards him on the stroke of half time. Horn got behind the ball, got both hands to it but somehow managed to throw it in his own net before failing to get down quick enough to Stuttgart’s third in a 3-1 win.
“I think we played our best first half of the season and then something like that happens, I do not know when I last made a mistake like that,” said a disconsolate Horn after the match.