Leon Bailey leads the way for Leverkusen | Bundesliga Matchday 20

Hertha Berlin 1 – 1 Borussia Dortmund

(Selke 46’ – Kagawa 71’)

Chances were few and far between in this match, and Dortmund had the first one. Just over 13 minutes in, Christian Pulisic put in a cross from the right that was just too high for Shinji Kagawa. The next half-chance came from a corner for Hertha. Niklas Stark headed wide from the set-piece, and both team went into the break having failed to muster a shot on target. Davie Selke amended that soon after the break, striking in a cross from the right wing. Hertha had another great chance with a two on two, and having beaten the goalkeeper, Salomon Kalou passed to an offside Ondrej Duda. Dortmund took charge later in the half, and nearly won it with a flurry of chances they failed to take. Youngster Jadon Sancho won the ball on the right hand side and drove into the box. Having failed on the initial attempt, Sancho provided a cross for the unmarked Shinji Kagawa to nod in. Andriy Yarmolenko had a penalty appeal denied shortly after Alexander Isak rattled the bar with his effort.

SC Freiburg 2 – 1 RB Leipzig

(Haberer 72’, Koch 76’ – Werner 65’)

Leipzig’s set-piece woes continued as two corner goals doomed them to a loss at Freiburg. Peter Gulacsi kept out Lucas Holler’s volley earlier in the game before his opposite number, Alexander Schwolow had to go off due to injury. His replacement, Rafal Gikiewicz, kept out Timo Werner once before the young German scored what many thought to be the winner. Alas, Leipzig’s poor corner defending came to haunt them. Janik Haberer and Robin Koch both found the back of the net in the space of less than 5 minutes to win it for Freiburg.

Hoffenheim 1 – 4 Bayer Leverkusen

(Szalai 86’ – Bailey 43’, Baumgartlinger 51’, Alario 70’, 90+3’)

Bayer stayed red-hot with an exceptional win over Hoffenheim. Leon Bailey opened the scoring with a sensational backheel from over 10 yards out. Hoffenheim surged out of the blocks in the second half, hitting the post once before firing narrowly wide again. Leverkusen pinned then back once more, with Bailey involved again. His deflected cross found Lars Bender, who laid it off for Julian Baumgartlinger to smash in a low drive from outside of the area. Julian Brandt placed an opportunity for third the wrong side of the post after a defence-splitting pass had sent him through. Lucas Alario more than made amends for that, putting the third past Oliver Baumann. Adam Szalai chipped Bernd Leno for a consolatory goal late on before Alario found himself unmarked for his second and Leverkusen’s fourth.

Wolfsburg 1 – 3 Eintracht Frankfurt

(Arnold 66’ – Haller 18’, Chandler 22’, Jovic 85’)

Both sides had early chances but Frankfurt were the first to convert, with Sebastian Haller turning well and smashing in. Ante Rebic gave Koen Casteels another panicky moment when he almost caught the goalkeeper off his line. Frankfurt got their second immediately after, as a Ante Rebic backheel found the path of Marius Wolf, who sent it across the area for Timmy Chandler to net his first Bundesliga goal in three years. Maximilian Arnold scored a tremendous free-kick to put Wolfsburg back into the game. His swerving effort left Lukas Hradecky and the home support stunned. However, Wolfsburg weren’t in the game for long as Landry Dimata picked up his second yellow of the game for a late challenge. Frankfurt sealed the win off of a set-piece, ending a 3 game losing skid.

Mainz 3 – 2 VfB Stuttgart

(Muto 45+2’, 52’, Holtmann 64’ – Hack OG 19’, Ginczek 90+1’)

A couple of errors by Ron-Robert Zieler ended up being the difference for Stuttgart in this pivotal relegation battle. Stuttgart went ahead when Holger Badstuber’s effort resulted in a comic own goal, which Alexander Hack was accredited for. Mainz thought they had an equalizer, but the VAR ruled it out for an alleged handball in the buildup. They got their equalizer soon enough, when Yoshinori Muto’s long-distance strike left Zieler embarrassed. Muto later got a more scrappy second, before Zieler found himself at fault for the third, this time Gerrit Holtmann exposing him. Daniel Ginczek headed in a late consolation for the visitors, who ultimately left with nothing.

Borussia Monchengladbach 2 – 0 Augsburg

(Ginter 10’, Hazard 90’)

High-flying Augsburg hit a wall today as early and late goals insured they took nothing from the game. Matthias Ginter converted a corner early on and Thorgan Hazard finished off a late counter-attack to seal the three points which draw Gladbach on level with Leipzig.

Hamburg 0 – 2 Cologne

(Terodde 27’, 67’)

Hamburg started brightly but retreated into their own shell more and more as the game went on. Simon Terodde stabbed home from a corner kick to give Cologne the lead and pull them within four points of the relegation playoff place. Timo Horn pulled off a many few fine saves to keep Cologne in the match before Terodde popped up again to finish off a cross, and the game.

Bayern Munich 4 – 2 Werder Bremen

(Muller 41’, 84’, Lewandowski 63’, 76’ – Gondorf 25’, Sule OG 74’)

The league leaders survived a close call but managed to pull sixteen points clear. Jerome Gondorf’s equaliser was countered by a superbly executed Thomas Muller volley. Sule scored an own goal off of a corner, but Lewandowski scored two in less than 15 minutes to pull away from the bottom feeders. Muller topped off a hard-fought victory with his 100th Bundesliga goal.

Schalke 1 – 1 Hannover 96

(Pjaca 16’ – Fullkrug 86’)

Leon Goretzka was back in the starting eleven after agreeing to join (who else?) Bayern on a free in the summer. The Gelsenkirchen fans were far from happy to see him on the pitch, taunting and jeering him every time he took a touch. Marko Pjaca gave them reason to cheer, scoring his first Bundesliga goal in his first start for Schalke. Hannover found a way back into the game, as they have done many times this season. Niclas Fullkrug scored an equalizer four minutes from time to Hannover their third straight comeback result.

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