Five talking points from the Bundesliga weekend
Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund increased their advantage at the top to seven points despite a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt as champions Bayern Munich slumped to a 3-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen.
Here are five talking points from the Bundesliga weekend:
Pressure on Bayern Munich is mounting after their 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday that saw them drop to third in the Bundesliga.
The champions have a busy schedule in the coming weeks with their midweek German Cup clash with Hertha Berlin followed by the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 match against Liverpool later this month.
With Dortmund pulling away in the race for the Bundesliga title, coach Niko Kovac knows any more slipups could prove costly in success-spoilt Bayern’s hunt for silverware.
“After seven (league wins) in a row came this defeat,” Kovac said. “It is frustrating but we now have to start another winning run. We only need to look at the table to get motivated.”
For the first time in 33 years, Gladbach have won the first three games of the year. It is also their best points haul after 20 matches since the 1969/70 and the 1976/77 season when on both those occasions they ended up winning the Bundesliga title.
Coach Dieter Hecking’s Gladbach are also the only team yet to concede a goal in the Bundesliga this year.
It is the exact opposite for VfB Stuttgart who have gathered a meagre 15 points from their 20 games so far this season. This is the club’s worst points haul in their league history. Their 17 goals are also a negative club record.
To cap their lacklustre 2-2 draw against visitors Freiburg, former Germany forward Mario Gomez was sent off for the first time in his career with two bookings within five minutes.
REUS ON TARGET
Dortmund may have dropped two points in Frankfurt but Marco Reus keeps on scoring, and his 13th league goal on Saturday means this has been his most prolific season after 20 matchdays.
Despite a string of missed chances to add to his goal tally, just like the week before against Hanover 96, Reus is on track to beat his season best 18 league goals from the 2011/12 season when he was playing for Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Schalke 04 midfielder Alessandro Schoepf is doubtful for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery days ago for a damaged ligament in his knee and doctors discovering the ligament was completely torn.
The Austrian had been injured in their 2-2 draw against Hertha Berlin a week ago.
“We wanted to patch up the ligament but the ligament was not there. It was completely shredded,” said Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco. New signing Rabbi Matondo is an option for Schoepf’s position.
REUTERS/Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Amlan Chakraborty