Bundesliga Report: Bayern knock in seven, Dortmund fall to Leverkusen

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Goals! Goals! Goals galore! Ok, the majority of this weekend’s Bundesliga goals came courtesy of top side Bayern Munich. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the matches didn’t hold a bit of fun. Let’s take a peek.

Friday

Nurnberg 1-1 Mainz
Nurnberg wasted a chance to lift themselves up, well, not quite out of the danger zone, but at least to give themselves the opportunity to get out of the drop. Instead Per Nilsson’s fifth minute goal was canceled out by a 75th minute goal from Shinji Okazaki. Now Nurnberg remain in the relegation zone, with Mainz up in seventh.

Saturday

Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 Schalke 04
The visitors got things started with a penalty converted by Jefferson Farfán, but that was the brightest part of the day for Schalke. Raffael had things level by the 24th minute, and then Schalke went to pieces just before the break. Benedikt Höwedes picked up a second yellow for a handball inside the area and Max Kruse had no trouble putting Gladbach ahead with his conversion. The hosts were unable to capitalize on their man advantage in the second half, but that shouldn’t worry them much — especially since now they’re even with rivals Dortmund.

Eintracht Frankfurt 1-2 Hoffenheim
Eintracht are now just barely out of the relegation zone thanks to their performance against Hoffenheim. All the goals came inside five minutes: Sven Schipplock opened the scoring for the visitors, Joselu put Eintracht back on level terms, and three minutes later, Roberto Firmino sealed all three points for Hoffenheim.

Hamburg 0-1 Augsburg
Raul Bobadilla scored before 20 minutes were up, but, perhaps surprisingly, the visitors didn’t back off. Another goal never came but that’s ok. Augsburg are now eighth in the table, whereas Hamburg are 13th.

Stuttgart 4-2 Hannover
The two sides started the second half all even at 2-2. Martin Harnik and Vedad Ibišević scored for the hosts, Artur Sobiech and Salif Sané for the visitors. But, despite plenty of changes for Hannover in the second half, it was Stuttgart that came away with the win, with Ibrahima Traoré scoring the third and Konstantin Rausch putting it out of reach.

Werder Bremen 0-7 Bayern Munich
Wait, you really want all seven goalscorers for Bayern? Here goes. Werder Bremen kicked things off with an own goal from Assani Lukimya, and then the floodgates opened. Daniel van Buyten put in another six minutes later, and Franck Ribéry had Bayern up 3-0 by the break. Mario Mandžukić put in the first of the second half, Thomas Müller another seven minutes after, Ribéry grabbed a second and Mario Götze put the angel on the top of the Christmas tree with the seventh, in the 90th minute. Bayern: still unbeatable.

Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Leverkusen stretched their second-place lead over Dortmund to six points with a win at the Westfalenstadion. The goal, from Heung-Min Son, came in the 18th minute, and from that point on, the visitors’ primary objective was to make sure Dortmund didn’t score. Mission: accomplished. But now Dortmund have even more to worry about ahead of their final Champions League match against Marseille, with both Sven Bender and Nuri Sahin leaving the match with injury.

Sunday

Freiburg vs. Wolfsburg
Three points would lift Freiburg out of the danger zone. Three points against a side sitting in sixth. Have fun with that, Freiburg.

Braunschweig vs. Hertha Berlin
Hertha may have struggled a bit in recent weeks, but it seems highly unlikely that they’ll lose to bottom side Braunschweig, who have just eight points on the season.

Pressure builds on Borussia Dortmund manager Peter Bosz

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Borussia Dortmund has fallen to fifth in the Bundesliga table thanks to a trio of consecutive losses in league play, and suddenly there is loads of pressure on manager Peter Bosz.

The Dutchman came to Westfalenstadion after upper management pushed Thomas Tuchel out over the summer, and while he won seven of his first eight league matches in charge by a total goal differential of 21-2, things have come crashing down. The black & yellow have lost three in a row Bundesliga matches and four of their last five across all competitions, with their only win in that span coming over third-tier Magdenburg.

With fans feeling helpless over the departure of the wildly successful Tuchel that came as a result of a falling out between the German and his superiors, Bosz would always be on a short leash. He inherited a flawed squad, yet one that had achieved much under his predecessor, and immediate failures would naturally be lumped on the new man.

The most recent defeat, a 2-1 falter at Stuttgart, was a microcosm of Dortmund’s recent failures. The team conceded a comically poor goal five minutes into the match, worked hard to equalize just before the halftime break, and conceded again just after returning to the pitch. They controlled much of the match, but largely failed to capitalize.

The head man summed it up pretty well. “The defeat really hurts,” Bosz proclaimed after the final whistle. “We came here to win, so we’re very disappointed. When you see the goals we conceded, it borders on the ridiculous. It hurts because we actually put in a relatively good performance in the first half. The team performed well after conceding the early goal, only the final ball was lacking. The second half wasn’t as good. We need to keep going, we won’t give up.”

So what do the Dortmund executives do? Does Bosz get the benefit of the doubt based on performances? Or does he get blamed for the sudden dropoff in results? There is plenty of pressure given the team sits not only nine points back of Borussia Dortmund in league play, but is also third in a brutal Champions League group with almost no hope of recovery, and even threatens to miss out on a drop to Europa League play if they slip behind Cypriot club Apoel Nicosia, whom they find themselves level on points with.

Even if the club sticks with the Dutchman for now, his room for error has almost completely evaporated and it’s only mid-November. The next two matches will likely tell the tale, and it’s an uphill battle. Tottenham comes to Westfalenstadion on the backs of a disappointing defeat to North London foes Arsenal, followed by the home end of the Rivierderby against a Schalke side that sits second in the Bundesliga table, three points above Bosz and Dortmund.

Antonio Conte calls Tony Pulis a “really good manager”

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West Brom, after four straight defeats, sits 17th in the Premier League table, most recently suffering a 4-0 dismantling at the hands of Chelsea.

Yet Blues boss Antonio Conte has offered his counterpart an olive branch, supporting his fellow Premier League manager at a time of panic.

With reports that Pulis could be fired this coming week – some say as early as Monday – the Baggies boss is under heaps of pressure, but Conte doesn’t believe he should be. “I must be honest, I think Tony Pulis is a really good manager,” Conte said, hoping those in charge don’t make decisions based on Sunday’s result.

“He has great experience and it’s always very difficult to play against his team. This game became easy because we started very strong, with great concentration and desire to win. We showed from the start our will to win this game. But I repeat: Last season we struggled a lot against them.”

West Brom has lost four in a row in league play, and they haven’t picked up a win since August, and as The Guardian points out, they have the lowest average possession in the Premier League and have the second-lowest shots on target thus far. They registered just two shots on target against Chelsea, and held 39% possession, which is actually slightly above their average for the season.

Sergio Ramos suffers broken nose in Atletico Madrid draw

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Real Madrid trails Barcelona by 10 points in the La Liga title race just 12 matches in, and now they will have to play catch-up without their best defender.

Club captain Sergio Ramos suffered a broken nose after being accidentally kicked in the face by teammate Lucas Hernandez during the first half of Madrid’s 0-0 draw with cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid. He received treatment and remained on the field, but he was withdrawn at halftime.

Manager Zinedine Zidane was unable to give a timetable for Ramos’s return.

Ramos said via Twitter, alongside some graphic images of his bloody nose, “I would bleed a thousand times for this badge and this shirt. Thanks for your support. I’ll be back in no time.”

Up next for Madrid is Champions League group match against Cypriot club Apoel midweek before a league game against Malaga at home. Athletic Bilbao and Borussia Dortmund are also on the horizon. A masked Sergio Ramos could be in our midst soon.

Real Madrid has not lost a league match without Ramos since March of 2015, but they drew their only game this season with Ramos suspended, a 2-2 home split with Valencia.

Moyes roasts West Ham players after loss to Watford

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After his first game in charge of West Ham, David Moyes thought he had a better squad. Apparently he was mistaken.

A 2-0 loss to Watford gave Moyes a rude awakening as he looks to replace Slaven Bilic and pull the Hammers out of the relegation zone. He was not pleased with his players.

“Overall, that level of performance will not be good enough,” Moyes told reporters after the match.

He wasn’t done.

“I thought this was a big job, but there were some players with big reputations who disappointed me. There were some who I thought would show me more, and why they play for the team regularly. They need to show me, ‘If that’s your reputation, show me why you’ve got it.'”

He backtracked slightly, agreeing that the players are in a difficult position changing managers, but ultimately that excuse wasn’t enough for him. “It’s tough for the players – I could sense that – but I didn’t enjoy our performance in the end. I didn’t enjoy us giving the ball away too cheaply, too many times and I expected us to do better.”

Moyes even called out striker Andy Carroll, saying he removed the England international because he feared Carroll would pick up a second yellow card. Carroll could have been carded seven seconds into the match, leaving Marvin Zeegelaar with a bloody nose after an elbow to the face, something Carroll has been sent off for earlier this season. He was eventually given one in the 28th minute.

“I thought we defended OK,” Moyes said, “but then we gave away cheap goals by getting bundled off the ball and we didn’t really deal with it. We didn’t do well enough in all departments at different times.”

That’s about as ruthless as you’ll ever hear the mild-mannered David Moyes, and all West Ham players should beware that their places in the team are in jeopardy.