Bundesliga recaps and highlights
Getty Images

Dortmund, Bayern win before Klassiker

Leave a comment

Borussia Dortmund stayed hot ahead of their biggest match of the season, while Bayer Leverkusen pulled into third and hit Borussia Monchengladbach’s title hopes with a huge away win.

Elsewhere, Werder Bremen got a big win with help from VAR, while fellow relegation candidates Paderborn collected a rare point.

[ MORE: Bayern beats Eintracht in 7-goal fest ]

Below are the story lines, scorers, and status of three USMNT players to take the pitch in four 9:30 a.m. ET kickoffs.

Before we begin, though, an interesting note from our leader Joe Prince-Wright:

Wolfsburg 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

Goals from wingbacks Achraf Hakimi and Raphael Guerreiro have Dortmund hot on the heels of Bayern Munich before Tuesday’s Der Klassiker.

Dortmund is remains four points back of the top after Bayern won later Saturday.

Jadon Sancho subbed into the game and made a sensational run to set up Hakimi for Dortmund’s second.

There weren’t many true chances in the opening half, but Dortmund made theirs count with a little bit of help from an Erling Haaland slip.

[ MORE: Bundesliga table, box scores, schedule ]

Raphael Guerreiro got the goal on a pretty play started by another great Julian Brandt pass, as the Wolfsburg back line and keeper were focused on Haaland’s swing-and-miss.

The hosts probably should’ve been level early in the second half when Wout Weghorst sent Renato Steffen through on Roman Burki, but the Gladbach man beat the keeper and not the cross bar.

Dortmund made it 2-0 when super sub Sancho zipped into the final third to lay off for Hakimi, who slotted through the legs of Koen Casteels.

Sancho is worth his weight in gold. Maybe literally.

USMNT players: Wolfsburg back John Brooks went 90 minutes for Wolfsburg as the back line did a decent job with hot BVB forward Haaland, but Brooks failed with charges out of his space on both goals. He again passed well (94%, four of six long balls) and had a shot attempt but picked up a yellow card. Dortmund teen Giovanni Reyna entered after the second goal and showed no signs of the injury that cost him a start in the Revierderby last weekend.

Wolfsburg’s fate was sealed when Felix Klaus was sent off via VAR for an ankle tread late in the match.

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-3 Bayer Leverkusen

White-hot Kai Havertz scored another brace as Bayer kept its title hopes alive, pulling into third with a 3-1 win at Gladbach.

Kerem Demirbay set up a Sven Bender goal for Bayer’s third, as the visitors stay eight back of Bayern before the leaders’ match.

Bayer took the lead early through Havertz, who last week became the youngest player to score 30 goals in Bundesliga history.

Set-up by Karim Bellarabi, the soon-to-be 21-year-old Havertz coolly dinked over keeper Yan Sommer for a lead which would last into half.

Gladbach leveled after halftime on a wonderful bit of work from Marcus Thuram, who took the ball down and laid off before rushing to the back line to wait for Alassane Plea’s lovely cross through to goal. A clever finish for his eighth of the season made it 1-1.

It could’ve been two for Thuram within a minute of restart, who may’ve had a penalty if he hit the deck but instead was well-saved by Tomas Hradecky.

The penalty instead came at the other end, with VAR on the scene to award it. Havertz beat Sommer for 2-1.

Demirbay blazed the ball over an open goal with a chance to put away the game after Moussa Diaby’s shot was blocked onto his path.

Freiburg 0-1 Werder Bremen

Leonardo Bittencourt’s third goal of the year meant Bremen would take control of their relegation destiny due to a match-in-hand, and VAR helped make sure plucky Freiburg didn’t take a point.

Bremen is now two points behind current playoff side Fortuna Dusselfdorf, and has a match-in-hand. The two sides do not meet, though Bremen’s fixture list is rough.

Manuel Guide’s 89th minute goal looked to be a crushing blow to Werder Bremen, who had safety in their sites after seeing an early lead deep into the outing.

The hosts will be miserable, lamenting a missed chance to move sixth with Wolfsburg’s loss to Dortmund, especially given the status of their 17th-place visitors.

USMNT angle: American 20-year-old Josh Sargent went 64 minutes at center forward in his fourth league start of 2020. He was again on an island for struggling Bremen, and didn’t manage a shot. Sargent had 21 touches, winning five of 11 duels while making three clearances, drawing two fouls and fouling twice himself.

Paderborn 1-1 Hoffenheim

The visitors struggled to finish against lower table competition for the second-straight week, giving Paderborn a precious point after both teams scored in the first nine minutes.

Robert Skov scored for Hoffenheim and Dennis Srbeny for Paderborn.

The bottom-dwelling hosts have 18 points, five back of 16th-place Fortuna Dusseldorf who plays Sunday.  Padeborn is three points behind 17th-place Werder Bremen, who has a match-in-hand.

Hoffenheim is ninth, three points back of sixth after taking just one point from matches against Hertha Berlin and Paderborn.

Bayern Munich v. Eintracht Frankfurt — 12:30 p.m. ET

Matchweek 27 in the Bundesliga again saw games played in empty stadiums, which is the plan for the rest of the season and beyond. If you’re new to Germany’s top-flight, here’s a guide to help you pick a club to support.

You can check out the full schedulestandings and find out how to watch the action, while we will have you covered right here on ProSoccerTalk with analysis, reaction and more.

The 2019-20 season restart saw eight matches Saturday and Sunday with a Revierderby blowout and a Gladbach warning shot to its fellow title chasers, while leaders Bayern Munich got back to winning ways in Berlin.

The Bundesliga announced the remaining schedule for the rest of the season on Wednesday so you can plan time in front of the TV with a bratwurst and a beer with plenty of mouthwatering games coming up. Our lead writer Joe Prince-Wright has five players to watch this weekend here.

Sunday
Schalke v. Augsburg — 7:30 a.m. ET
Mainz v. RB Leipzig — 9:30 a.m. ET
Koln v. Fortuna Dusseldorf — Noon ET

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 27 19 4 4 80 28 52 10-2-2 9-2-2 61
 Borussia Dortmund 27 17 6 4 74 33 41 10-3-0 7-3-4 57
 Bayer Leverkusen 27 16 5 6 52 32 20 7-4-2 9-1-4 53
 Mönchengladbach 27 16 4 7 53 34 19 9-2-3 7-2-4 52
 RB Leipzig 26 14 9 3 63 27 36 7-5-1 7-4-2 51
 VfL Wolfsburg 27 10 9 8 36 33 3 4-6-4 6-3-4 39
 SC Freiburg 27 10 7 10 35 37 -2 6-2-5 4-5-5 37
 FC Schalke 04 26 9 10 7 33 40 -7 5-6-2 4-4-5 37
 1899 Hoffenheim 27 10 6 11 36 47 -11 5-1-8 5-5-3 36
 Hertha BSC Berlin 27 9 7 11 39 48 -9 4-3-7 5-4-4 34
 1. FC Köln 26 10 3 13 41 47 -6 6-2-5 4-1-8 33
 1. FC Union Berlin 27 9 3 15 32 47 -15 6-1-6 3-2-9 30
 Eintracht Frankfurt 26 8 4 14 41 49 -8 6-3-4 2-1-10 28
 FC Augsburg 26 7 6 13 37 54 -17 5-3-5 2-3-8 27
 FSV Mainz 05 26 8 3 15 36 55 -19 4-2-7 4-1-8 27
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 26 5 8 13 27 50 -23 3-4-6 2-4-7 23
 Werder Bremen 26 5 6 15 29 59 -30 1-2-9 4-4-6 21
 SC Paderborn 27 4 6 17 31 55 -24 2-2-10 2-4-7 18

PSG’s Mbappe praises Klopp, Liverpool in recent interview

Kylian Mbappe Liverpool
Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images
Leave a comment

This is going to delight the Anfield set.

Paris Saint-Germain mega striker Kylian Mbappe has admitted admiration for the way Liverpool plays, as conversations continue regarding his future.

[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news | Current table ]

Mbappe, 21, may be the most valuable commodity in the world given his position, accomplishments, and skill set. For France, he has a World Cup to go with 34 caps, 13 goals, and 10 assists. For PSG and Monaco combined, he’s scored 117 goals and 65 assists in 180 appearances.

He doesn’t turn 22 until December.

But there’s long been a thought that the World Cup winner will eventually have to leave PSG to cement his legacy given the relatively shallow competition in the league.

“This season, Liverpool have been a machine in the Premier League,” he told The Mirror. “They have made winning look easy but the truth is that it is never easy. Performances like they have been having don’t just happen.

“To be as ruthless as they have been would come from lots of hard work in training and from having a very good manager.”

Liverpool fans will be nodding along, beckoning the center forward with arms extended and hands waving him to them.

Real Madrid has often been the rumored destination, and we’ve argued that there’s no fee too high for this player considering how many years he has ahead of him.

With transfer fees possibly ducking low this summer after a wake-up call from the coronavirus, could Liverpool upgrade its dangerous front three with one of the top center forwards in the game?

The fact that the Reds reportedly negotiated a percentage of jersey sales into their new apparel deal could help, because it’s easy to imagine red Mbappe jerseys all around the world.

Canada’s Davies shines again as Muller brands him Roadrunner (video)

Alphonso Davies
Photo by FEDERICO GAMBARINI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Alphonso Davies sees your expectations and he moves past them with vigor.

The Canadian phenom again took the international spotlight and ran with it, past it, and over it on Tuesday as Bayern Munich put one hand on its eighth-straight Bundesliga title with a 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion.

[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news | Current table ]

We’ll get to the stats and the style in a bit, but let’s start with some video that showcases the elite physical package he’s built.

Davies isn’t grinding here and he’s actually a bit slow to recognize the danger as Erling Haaland works over David Alaba.

Haaland isn’t at top speed and balance, too, but it doesn’t matter. Davies is there in a hurry. And it’s also about what he does when he get there. There are plenty of speed merchants in the game, not all of them can tackle Erling Haaland.

[ RELATED: Real Madrid targeting Davies as Marcelo replacement ]

That’s why this viral soundbite from Thomas Muller is gaining a lot of traction (also because it’s funny).

The roadrunner quip is the main attraction, but hidden in it is the implication that Davies has these elite make-up skills but is only going to get better with experience and awareness. He’s cutting out Haaland a minute earlier.

Before you watch that, though, here’s what Davies said on the play.

“Obviously being a young player I get caught out of position a lot and I’m happy to have the speed I have. That’s a factor in my game that I use very well, but I think over the years going forward with this team I will definitely learn more about my position, better positioning so it doesn’t look like I’m out of position just running back as fast as I can to catch up.”

Davies moved from Vancouver Whitecaps to Bayern just last year, but is already the undisputed best player for the Canadian national team with five goals and eight assists in 17 caps.

His 54 tackles are tied for 16th amongst Bundesliga players (Remember: He’s 19).

His 72 dribbles are top in the league (Again: 19).

Only three players have won more duels than his 180 (Not 20 until November).

And his two professional matches of left back experience before October were with Bayern II in 3.Liga this Fall. That’s bonkers.

Meep-meep.

Bundesliga wrap: Bayer, Gladbach wobble; USMNT back is Eintracht hero

Bundesliga wrap
Photo by Arne Dedert/Pool via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Second-half goal explosions led to excitement in two of three late Bundesliga kickoffs on Tuesday, with an American making a super sub impact in Frankfurt.

Bayern won 1-0 at Dortmund earlier in the day, opening the door for a challenge on second. Bayer and Gladbach both declined to enter.

[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news | Current table ]

A loss for the former and draw from the latter all make this an absolutely wonderful day for the seven-time reigning champs in Bavaria.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Wolfsburg

A Maximilian Arnold set piece star show saw the German behind three goals as Wolfsburg firmed up its top six credentials with a big win against red-hot Bayer.

Marin Pongracic headed two of Arnold’s free kicks home with a third taking a turn off the wall to give Arnold a goal of his own. Renato Steffen also scored in the win.

Julian Baumgartlinger scored very late for Bayer, who sinks fifth with 53 points.

Wolfsburg’s win gives them 42 points, four more than seventh-place Freiburg.

Wolfsburg had the two best chances of the first quarter-hour and it could’ve easily been 1-0 or 2-0 if not for a crucial blocked from Bayer defender Edmond Tapsoba and a fine save from Tomas Hradecky minutes later.

Bayer found some footing in the latter stages of the first half, forcing a save out of Koen Casteels before Kai Havertz tempted the frame with a header off a set piece.

The visitors’ breakthrough came before halftime, as ex-Salzburg defender Pongracic rose high to meet a terrific Arnold free kick from the right side to make it 1-0.

Wolfsburg had two quick chances to start the second half, Hradecky making a right arm save and a second chanced missed by the visitors.

Arnold’s 65th-minute free kick then took a hard turn off Kai Havertz inside the Bayer wall en route to defying Hradecky for 2-0.

The third goal arrived in short order, smallish Steffen outleaping Wendell to a Joao Victor cross and heading home.

American defender John Brooks subbed off in the 82nd minute with Wolfsburg holding a 4-0 lead and Havertz in the midst of one of his worst matches in a while.

Brooks posted six clearances, three interceptions, and a tackle and had a rough passing day by his very high standards. Brooks completed 70 percent of his passes, including four-of-eight long balls (Sofascore).

USMNT teen Ulysses Llanez made the bench for Wolfsburg but was an unused sub despite the big score line.

https://twitter.com/FOXSoccer/status/1265372544305168389

Werder Bremen 0-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

The hosts built on a weekend win by going toe-to-toe with a still out-of-sorts Gladbach on Tuesday at the Weserstadion.

Gladbach moves fourth, level on points with Bayer Leverkusen but ahead on goal differential after the latter’s blowout.

Bremen is still 17th after gaining its 22nd point, two points back of 16th and five back of 15th.

Gladbach had the first half edge in possession and shots but could not break down Bremen, who matched them chance-for-chance on the day.

USMNT youngster Josh Sargent earned another start for Bremen, going 74 minutes with 26 touches, a clearance, an interception, and two fouls drawn. He wasn’t at his best in duels but, again, Bremen’s system puts center forwards on an island and you get the feeling Florian Kohfeldt designed for defense against powerful Gladbach.

Eintracht Frankfurt 3-3 Freiburg

USMNT back Timothy Chandler scored with his first touch of the game to complete a thrilling comeback for Eintracht in a 3-3 draw.

Chandler subbed into the game in the 81st minute and deposited Filip Kostic’s handiwork in the 82nd, three minutes after Daichi Kamada had pulled the hosts to within one.

Eintracht showed a lot of heart in the comeback, out-attempting Freiburg 34-10. The point moves Eintracht five points clear of the bottom three and seven ahead of the automatic relegation places.

Freiburg remains seventh, now four points back of Wolfsburg and capable of finishing the midweek as low as ninth.

Vincenzo Grifo scored a goal and later set up another for Freiburg, with Nils Petersen and Lucas Holer also finding the back of the net.

Grifo’s third goal of the season gave the visitors a 28th-minute lead that would last only seven minutes.

Andre Silva answered with his 10 goal in all comps for Eintracht on loan from Milan, and it was 1-1 at the break.

Freiburg scored in the 67th and 69th to take a lead and, seemingly, another step toward the Europa League.

Instead, it was Eintracht who firmed up their footing at the other end of the table.

Here’s Chandler’s equalizer, a nice feat of power and coordination.

Wednesday

12:30 p.m. ET: RB Leipzig v. Hertha Berlin
2:30 p.m. ET: Augsburg v. Paderborn
2:30 p.m. ET: Union Berlin v. Mainz
2:30 p.m. ET: Hoffenheim v. Cologne
2:30 p.m. ET: Fortuna Dusseldorf v. Schalke

Kimmich reacts to thrilling winner for Bayern in Der Klassiker

Joshua Kimmich
Photo by FEDERICO GAMBARINI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Joshua Kimmich isn’t an out-and-out scorer, but he looked the part after his heroics led Bayern Munich to a huge victory.

Ask him about his stunning chip over Borussia Dortmund in Tuesday’s Klassiker, and the Bayern Munich midfielder doesn’t tone it down.

“The best goal in my career,” the German midfielder said, via Bayern Munich. “It was very important.”

Kimmich has 28 senior goals between club and country, and this one was a beauty. Kimmich took a lay-off from Kingsley Coman and spun a ball over the flailing Roman Burki.

[ 3 THINGS: Dortmund 0-1 Bayern ]

Burki is a fine keeper and Dortmund had only allowed one goal in his last six outings before the derby. It was going to take something special to beat him.

Kimmich says that Hansi Flick’s staff had prepared the Bayern players for the habits of the strong and aggressive goalkeeper.

“We were previously informed that Bürki is always relatively high.”