, August 01, 2021

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Bundesliga Week 28 Highlights: Der Klassiker Win Extends Bayern Lead While Top-Four Challengers Falter

  •   5 min reads
Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich
Thomas Muller celebrates Bayern Munich's win over Borussia Dortmund. Federico Gambarini/EPA.

The Bundesliga title race looks all but decided after Joshua Kimmich bagged the decider in Der Klassiker on Tuesday to lift Bayern Munich seven points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the summit.

That potentially pivotal result came just as Germany’s other top-four contenders forgot how to win in Week 28, with RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach also dropping points.

Leipzig leaked a late equalizer at home to Hertha Berlin to draw 2-2, while Wolfsburg thumped Leverkusen 4-1 and ‘Gladbach were held to a scoreless stalemate at relegation-zone Werder Bremen.

Hoffenheim capitalised on Freiburg’s dramatic draw at Eintracht Frankfurt and moved up to seventh after beating Cologne 3-1—their first win since the Bundesliga resumed—while Schalke’s 2-1 defeat at Fortuna Dusseldorf may have ended their hopes of European qualification.

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com.

Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Bayern Munich

It’s difficult to envision a future where Bayern don’t clinch a record-extending eighth consecutive Bundesliga crown this season after Hansi Flick’s men emerged as narrow victors at the Westfalenstadion.

Dortmund threatened early on and had cause to shout for a penalty via a questionable Jerome Boateng arm-block, but Kimmich’s deft chip over Roman Burki just before half-time proved the difference:

This was the lowest-scoring encounter between these two teams since November 2016, when it was Dortmund who came out atop a 1-0 result.

Germany’s most successful side look set for a 30th top-flight crown after stretching their unbeaten streak to 18 matches in all competitions, winning the last nine of those.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Wolfsburg

Just as all was running so smoothly at the BayArena, Wolfsburg helped oust Leverkusen from the top four with a devastating 4-1 victory away from home.

Oliver Glasner’s men responded well to their defeat against Dortmund on Saturday and sped into a four-goal lead. Maximilian Arnold scored Wolfsburg’s second and twice assisted 22-year-old centre-back Marin Pongracic, who notched his first goals for the club:

Renato Steffen was the Wolves’ other scorer, and Julian Baumgartlinger ensured Leverkusen at least got on the scoresheet late on. Wolfsburg remain 11 points below Tuesday’s hosts but maintain a three-point cushion over Hoffenheim in sixth.

RB Leipzig 2-2 Hertha Berlin

Leipzig would have moved up to second had they held on to collect all three points hosting Hertha, but Krzysztof Piatek’s late penalty saw the visitors go a fifth straight match unbeaten.

Marko Grujic put the capital club in a surprise lead after nine minutes, but Lukas Klostermann equalised before Rune Jarstein made a horrible mess of Patrik Schick’s innocuous-looking attempt in the 68th minute:

Matheus Cunha made the most of his side’s one-man advantage after Marcel Halstenberg was sent off for Leipzig mid-way through the second half, winning the late spot-kick for Piatek to convert. Hertha, who move into the top half and have scored at least twice in each of their last five outings, are still undefeated away from home in the league since November 24.

Eintracht Frankfurt 3-3 Freiburg

Late drama undid Freiburg once more on Tuesday when Eintracht Frankfurt struck twice in quick succession to salvage a much-needed point in their battle to avoid relegation.

Vincenzo Grifo, Nils Petersen and Lucas Holer each netted to put Freiburg 3-1 up with a little more than 10 minutes remaining, only for Daichi Kamada and United States international Timothy Chandler to rain on their parade:

Eintracht are still far from safe having failed to win in their last six league matches, though the draw is at least an improvement their previous run of five successive defeats.

Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-1 Schalke

Fortuna Dusseldorf look like the greatest threat to Frankfurt in the relegation battle after they moved within a single point of safety following a precious 2-1 win at home to Schalke.

David Wagner’s side are in free-fall and have lost each of their three matches since the season got back up and running, despite U.S. star Weston McKennie breaking the deadlock with a bulleted header:

Rouwen Hennings equalised and moved into the Bundesliga’s top five scorers this term with his 12th goal of the campaign before Kenan Karaman came up with the decider—his fifth in as many league outings—minutes later.

Fortuna now sit five points above the automatic relegation places and are unbeaten in six league matches, while Schalke dropped to ninth having not won since January 17.

Werder Bremen 0-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

Yann Sommer held up his side of the bargain for Monchengladbach away to Werder Bremen on Tuesday, pulling off seven saves to prevent an even worse fate than their disappointing 0-0 draw.

Marco Rose will be wondering what’s gone wrong after collecting one point from his last two games—the worst record in the top seven—though Sunday’s home clash with Union Berlin poses better omens.

Bremen still have one game in hand but remain 17th and are at least six points adrift of safety.

Hoffenheim 3-1 Cologne

Christoph Baumgartner was the man of the moment in Hoffenheim’s clash with Cologne, scoring twice and assisting another to seal a 3-1 win as both teams finished with 10 men on the field, per Statman Dave:

Sebastiaan Bornauw saw a straight red for Cologne in the 26th minute before Benjamin Hubner earned a second caution to grab an early shower of his own in the second period.

Steven Zuber scored Hoffenheim’s third before Florian Kainz collected a consolation for the guests on the hour mark, leaving Cologne without a win in their last four.

Union Berlin 1-1 Mainz

Mainz will feel aggrieved not to have taken maximum points from Wednesday’s visit to Union considering the home side played more than 45 minutes with 10 men following Robert Andrich’s dismissal.

Marcus Ingvartsen got the important leveller as Mainz failed to build on Ridle Baku’s early breakthrough. Achim Beierlozer’s men appear at risk of slipping into the bottom three following Dusseldorf’s latest win, with Mainz having won only twice in 11 matches this calendar year.

Augsburg 0-0 Paderborn

Augsburg are another outfit who won’t bank on their survival chances just yet, especially after failing to score in a home clash with bottom side Paderborn.

The two teams registered only four shots on target between them (two apiece), with Paderborn’s Gerritt Holtmann coming closest to a goal when he struck the woodwork after 60 minutes.

Basement outfit Paderborn have drawn three in three since the Bundesliga returned, but their survival hopes look lost as they lie eight points below the relegation play-off place with six games to go.

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