- Matchday 31
This was officially the weirdest matchday of the season. It contained a wild Ruhrderby, 3 of the bottom 4 teams winning and the remaining one, Nürnberg, getting a shocking draw against Bayern and both Hoffenheim and Bremen getting blown out.
Let’s start with BVB’s controversial loss against Schalke. At the end of the day Dortmund blew it themselves, of course referee Felix Zwayer didn’t help and Schalke had quite a bit of luck in that game but BVB cracked under the pressure when it turned out that a win could have put them on top of the table. To make matters worse both Reus and Wolf could be suspended for the rest of the season. The only silver lining for Dortmund is that they are still in the title race.
Surprisingly the title race did not end with BVB’s loss on Saturday because Bayern was not able to win in Nürnberg. Not even did Bayern miss the opportunity to virtually clinch the title but they also got lucky that they did not lose because Nürnberg missed a penalty late in the game.
The race for the Champions League is also heating up. RB Leipzig clinched their place with a 2:1 win over SC Freiburg. The 4th spot is still wide open. Six teams, from Eintracht Frankfurt to 9th placed Werder Bremen all have a chance to get into the Champions League.
Meanwhile the teams in the relegation zone all had a good weekend. Hannover and Stuttgart both secured 1:0 wins against Mainz and Gladbach respectively and Nürnberg got the aforementioned draw against Bayern. However because Schalke also won it will be tough for any of the three clubs to secure their place in the Bundesliga.
- Watzke contradicts Favre
Lucien Favre displayed a defeatist attitude after the loss on Saturday and declared the title race to be over. While the comments were made in the heat of the moment and nobody expected Bayern Munich to only get a draw in Nèrnberg but it was still a disappointing comment from Dortmund’s coach.
Hans-Joachim Watzke was quick to dismiss his coach and urged his team to not give up hope:
“We only give up when it is no longer possible mathematically, that’s our obligation to the fans.”
Despite the loss BVB are still in this although the position certainly got worse. BVB have to win the last three games and hope Bayern loses any of their games, a draw would not be enough due to Bayern’s advantage in goal differential. In addition Lucien Favre will likely have to close out the season without Marco Reus and Marius Wolf.