Thomas Müller has been the sole record field player in FC Bayern's long history since matchday 20 in the Bundesliga. And the attacker personally puts his club on the road to victory in his record game. Follower Dortmund is struggling to win, TSG Hoffenheim cannot slow down the fall.
FC Bayern Munich - VfL Bochum 3:0 (1:0)
Before the Champions League celebrations, FC Bayern have completed their Bundesliga duties with Paris Saint-Germain thanks to friendly support from VfL Bochum. The Munich team initially benefited from a fatal bad pass by guest defender Saidy Janko, who made it 3-0 (1-0) and claimed the lead in the table, and who put Thomas Müller in the limelight when he scored the opening goal (41st minute). Müller played for Bayern Munich in a Bundesliga game for the 428th time - more than any other outfield player. Last weekend the attacker drew level with Gerd Müller. With his 429th appearance, Müller would soon draw level with Oliver Kahn, who has kept Bayern's goal in 429 Bundesliga games. The "eternal" record player of the record champions is goalkeeping legend Sepp Maier (473 Bundesliga games for Munich).
Substitute Kingsley Coman (64th) and Serge Gnabry (74th / penalty kick) ensured that the Munich team had a befitting afternoon thanks to more offensive speed after the change of sides. However, the series champions were far from a 7-0 win as in the first leg. Three days before the round of 16 first leg in Paris, coach Julian Nagelsmann was clearly dissatisfied with his ensemble's performance in the first half, in which he complained too vehemently after a foul and was shown a yellow card (43'). During the half-time break, the 35-year-old took a seat on the bench and gave Alphonso Davies, who had been brought in for Müller after the break, a few tactical instructions on the field. It was the first of five changes, and with the new stars there was more momentum in the game.
It was thanks to VfL that Nagelsmann was able to celebrate the lead. After the Bochum with the K.o. in the DFB-Pokal brought the district rivals Borussia Dortmund onto the road to victory with an unsuccessful liberation from goalkeeper Manuel Riemann, they also helped out a lot this time. Janko's second leg to Riemann failed completely. Although Müller initially failed because of Riemann, he quickly followed suit and Müller put the ball into the goal to make it 1-0. Shortly before the half-time whistle, Leon Goretzka did not miss much to make it 2-0 (44th) in the duel between the best offensive and the worst defense in the league.
Munich were clearly the superior team, but their attacks lacked speed and consistency for a long time. After all, the Munich goal streak lasted - in 50 home games in a row, at least one goal was always scored. The suspended Joshua Kimmich saw a lot more speed in the Munich offensive actions from his seat in the second round, but Bayern have to improve further for the PSG strength test. The game also gained in entertainment value because Bochum now dared a few more attacking attempts, at least briefly, against Nagelsmann's three-man chain, which was also expected in the first leg in Paris.
Above all, Bayern stormed with more consistency and power. The in-form and initially rested Coman relieved the tension after a nice combination through the center of the overall one-sided game. Gnabry safely converted a penalty kick caused by unlucky Janko.
TSG Hoffenheim - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1:3 (0:1)
Pellegrino Matarazzo experienced a very bitter debut as head coach at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and was unable to end the Kraichgau team's run of ten games without a win. In the 1: 3 (0: 1) against Bayer Leverkusen in Sinsheim, TSG played like a relegated team for a long time. In the table, the former European Cup aspirant is still 14th and has the same number of points as VfL Bochum. Four months after leaving VfB Stuttgart, Matarazzo now has a very difficult task ahead of him in Hoffenheim.
In front of just 20,619 spectators, Robert Andrich (6th minute), Moussa Diaby (47th) with his seventh goal of the season and Adam Hlozek (56th) scored the goals for a sovereign Bayer team. The Leverkusen team celebrated their first win in the second half of the season - just in time for the Europa League game against AS Monaco on Thursday. Defender Stanley Nsoki reduced the lead to 3-1 (77th minute). After a 4-1 loss against Mönchengladbach and a 5-2 loss in Bochum under head coach André Breitenreiter, who was on leave on Monday, Hoffenheim looked really bad again this time. "We can stabilize quickly and make our way up," Matarazzo said to Sky immediately before kick-off and demanded: "Everyone should go ahead!" Incidentally, his first home game as Hoffenheim’s assistant coach to Julian Nagelsmann in 2018 was lost 4-1 to Leverkusen.
The Kraichgauer began overly cautious and uncertain. Matarazzo had put on a double six in midfield with Dennis Geiger and new signing Thomas Delaney, but Andrich's second shot attempt hit goalkeeper Oliver Baumann. Ex-Hoffenheimer Kerem Demirbay played his 100th Bundesliga game for Leverkusen with the guests and made sure that Bayer let the ball run safely. The hosts hardly got into the duels in the first half hour.
National player Florian Wirtz, in particular, repeatedly let his opponents run into space, which is why he had to take a violent kick from the weak Hoffenheim defense chief John Anthony Brooks after 35 minutes. The Matarazzo team's first attack took place after 20 minutes but fizzled out.
Bayer coach Xabi Alonso had to do without striker Patrik Schick, last year's second-best scorer in the Bundesliga with 24 goals, but he was able to compensate for this. Jeremie Frimpong almost made it 2-0 after 26 minutes, but was denied by Baumann. After just one minute in the second half, Hoffenheim were countered and experienced the next setback: Wirtz initiated the attack, Frimpong served Diaby - and he increased to 2:0. Coach Xabi Alonso's team went one better with Frimpong's preliminary work thanks to Hlozek. After all, Hoffenheim still had a few chances and a goal - when Leverkusen managed the result.
1. FSV Mainz 05 - FC Augsburg 3: 1 (2: 1)
FSV Mainz 05 got into the carnival spirit with a 3-1 (2-1) win against FC Augsburg. With the third home win of this Bundesliga season, the Rheinhessen increased the gap to the relegation zone. Jae-sung Lee (21st/52nd minute) and Karim Onisiwo (24th) scored in the last home game before Shrove Monday in front of 22,200 spectators. Ermedin Demirovic (28th) scored the goal to make it 1-2 for Augsburg with a hand penalty.
The Swabians remained without a win in their fifth away game in a row and have to look towards the bottom of the table. The first quarter of an hour gave a foretaste of what was to characterize the game until the final whistle: a game with an open mind, tough duels. In the first 20 minutes, however, scenes in the goal area were scarce. After that, it all happened in quick succession and three goals followed in just seven minutes.
Lee scored the lead for the hosts, who played in the four-color Mardi Gras jersey. The South Korean had wrested the ball from Felix Uduokhai and passed it to 05 center forward Ludovic Ajorque. The Frenchman, who came to Mainz from RC Lens, initially stumbled the ball, but the charging Lee pushed it over the goal line from close range. A little later, Mainz increased to 2-0 through Onisiwo. Danny da Costa crossed FC keeper Rafal Gikiewicz unhappily in the middle, where Leandro Berreiro headed to Onisiwo, who headed his eighth goal of the season.
The goal was a bit unfortunate: Barreiro was shot in his own penalty area with his arm outstretched from a meter away, referee Sven Jablonski only decided on a hand penalty after video evidence. Demirovic converted safely. Mainz still had two big chances through Ajorque (42nd/43rd) before the break whistle. After the restart, things continued just as hectic and with great fighting spirit. In the 52nd minute it was Lee again who made it 3-1 with his second goal. The midfielder prevailed in a duel on the edge of the penalty area against Augsburg's Robert Gumny and shot in low. Lee bumped Gumny a bit, but after video evidence the referee decided in favor of Mainz.
Video evidence had to be used again when Augsburg's Fredrik Jensen pushed the ball over the goal line out of the crowd in the 75th minute. However, Jensen was previously offside - the goal was therefore not recognized.
Werder Bremen - Borussia Dortmund 0:2 (0:0)
Borussia Dortmund continued the impressive winning streak in 2023 at feared opponents Werder Bremen. Half a year after the last-minute defeat with three Werder goals in the last six minutes, BVB took revenge with 2-0 (0-0) and secured second place at least until the evening. A minute after coming on, 18-year-old Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (67) gave his team the lead. Born in Bremen, Julian Brandt (85th) made the decision in the entertaining game and secured BVB their sixth competitive win in a row in the new year. The long-equal climber from Bremen remains in the middle of the rankings.
Dortmund coach Edin Terzic changed his starting XI to five positions compared to the 2-1 win in the DFB Cup round of 16 on Wednesday at VfL Bochum. Among others, the winning goal scorer in the cup, Marco Reus, started. At Werder, captain Marco Friedl was absent in defense because of his fifth yellow card, but Mitchell Weiser returned to the right flank after his suspension. In front of 42,100 spectators, the guests took control of the game and combined well to see. Bremen initially concentrated on the defensive and left little room for BVB. Raphael Guerreiro tested Werder keeper Jiri Pavlenka for the first time (9th). Julian Ryerson, who was conspicuous in the early stages, narrowly missed Bremen's goal with a shot (12').
After 20 minutes, the hosts also discovered the offensive game for themselves. After a Weiser cross, Ryerson unintentionally tested BVB goalkeeper Gregor Kobel (21st). A minute later, Kobel defused Weiser's shot from the edge of the penalty area. After a foul by Leonardo Bittencourt, talented striker Youssoufa Moukoko apparently had to leave the field with an ankle injury, and Frenchman Sébastien Haller replaced him (29').
After the break, BVB remembered their attacking qualities, similar to the initial phase of the first half. Just seconds after the restart, Reus failed at Pavlenka. Even with Jude Bellingham's best chance from close range, the Czech responded terrifically in his 200th competitive game for Werder (50').
A moment of shock two minutes later: BVB defender Nico Schlotterbeck and Weiser rattled together. Both players required several minutes of treatment before they could continue playing. Weiser wore a turban.
After Dortmund's strong initial phase again, Bremen were equal again and continued to look for a way forward. When they seemed to have everything under control, Bynoe-Gittens scored for the visitors. Werder tried, but rarely got into dangerous positions. When Brandt scored to make it 2-0, the decision was made. A Werder miracle like in the first leg in Dortmund was canceled this time.
SC Freiburg - VfB Stuttgart 2: 1 (0: 1)
SC Freiburg is still in the top group and increases VfB Stuttgart's worries about relegation. In the 2-1 (0-1) home win, the Breisgauers turned the game around with two goals from the point without their suspended coach Christian Streich. Chris Führich gave VfB the lead after half an hour before Vincenzo Grifo kept his nerve after two penalties (60'/84'). In each case, the referee Sascha Stegemann only decided on foul after the video referee had spoken.
The Stuttgarters are still in danger of relegation due to the defeat and have not only been waiting for a win abroad since December 11, 2021. Under coach returnee Bruno Labbadia, they have not yet been able to win in five league games. Instead of Streich, his assistant coach Lars Voßler stood on the sidelines.
Daniel-Kofi Kyereh was also missing from Freiburg. The offensive player suffered a cruciate ligament tear in training. But VfB also had to cope with a short-term absence. Goalkeeper Florian Müller could not stand between the posts due to stomach problems. He was replaced by Fabian Bredlow, who was allowed to prove himself for the first time after less than half a minute. In the eleventh minute, the goalkeeper reacted quickly in his third appearance of the season.
At first, the guests hardly made an appearance on the offensive. Borna Sosa undertook the first harmless attempts. The Croatian, third in the World Cup, brought a few crosses into the penalty area within a few minutes of his comeback in the starting XI, but they did not pose a problem for the SC defense team. Führich did better in the 30th minute when he shot from distance. The 25-year-old had been repeatedly criticized for making wrong decisions in recent weeks. But he hit the right one with his opening goal, Mark Flekken in the Freiburg goal was powerless. Freiburg were unimpressed by the deficit. Labbadia sensed that his team was coming under more and more pressure. He loudly urged his players to take a more active part in the game again.
But even after the break, Freiburg remained more dangerous. However, Michael Gregoritsch was offside when he supposedly equalized, as the video referee confirmed (51st). A little later, the VAR intervened again. This time the Breisgauers were awarded a penalty. Grifo converted, despite Bredlow jumping in the right corner, and in the closing stages Grifo had the SC supporters cheering again. Things got tight again with a free-kick from Sosa, which, however, failed to hit the crossbar.