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2. Bundesliga Update - Matchday 23

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Derbies, Draws, and Deluges

Hamburger SV - FC St. Pauli Photo by Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty Images

A historic derby result shakes up the top of the table. Here are the results from Matchday 23:

Osnabrück 0 – Erzgebirge Aue 0

Both Osnabrück and Erzgebirge came into the match looking for their first win of 2020 and both sides will have to wait another week as they played out a rather tame nil-nil draw at the Stadion an der Bremer Brücke on Friday evening.

It was a battle between two well organized sides who were determined not to allow the other to gain much offensive advantage in the 90 minutes and despite having the majority of possession (61%-39%), Lila-Weiß were stymied by the East Germans throughout the match.

Both keepers did well to snuff out the few chances that did come their way, with Erzgebirge captain Martin Männel making two big stops in the second half to preserve the tie. Philipp Kühn did just as well at the other end. Quite simply, nothing was going to find the back of the net on this night.

The draw leaves both clubs smack dab in the middle of the table for another week.

Wiesbaden 1 – Greuther Fürth 1

Hosts Wiesbaden notched another point in their struggle for survival at the BRITA-Arena, holding visiting Fürth to a 1-1 draw.

A touchy opening 15 minutes in which neither side generated much in the way of chances was shattered in the 18th minute, when Wiesbaden’s Stefan Aigner lofted in a beautiful cross from the right that found the head of an unmarked Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, who nodded safely past keeper Sascha Burchert to give the hosts the early lead.

Wiesbaden won a succession of set pieces, but through a combination of Wiesbaden profligacy and stout play by Burchert, the score line remained 1-0 at halftime. Kleeblätter came out more determined in the second half and equalized shortly after the restart. Branimir Hrgota’s perfect pass picked out fellow Scandinavian Håvard Nielsen, who beat Wiesbaden keeper Heinz Lindner with a fine finish.

Despite some decent chances in the remaining minutes, neither side could find a winner, with Lindner making a vital save near the final whistle to preserve a point for the hosts.

Wiesbaden will likely be more satisfied with the result than Fürth, as they are still smack dab in the relegation fight and need every point they can get. Kleeblätter meanwhile are winless in their last 3 and remain 6th in the table.

St Pauli 2 – Hamburg 0

Derbies…

In what has otherwise been a largely forgettable season for St Pauli, the boys in brown swept both editions of the Hamburg Derby for the first time in the fixture’s history.

As expected for arguably the second biggest Derby in German football this season, the Volksparkstadion was jam packed to capacity and both sets of supporters were amped up. HSV, as befitting their status as one of the season’s best sides thus far, dominated possession early and often (67%-33%). Unfortunately, they couldn’t find the back of the net, with leading scorer Sonny Kittel hitting the crossbar with an 8th minute shot and Leverkusen loanee Joel Pohjanpalo clipping the outside of the post just two minutes later.

But in a scenario that will be all too familiar to Dortmund supporters, the lesser visiting squad was just as, if not more, up for the fixture as the hosts and they scored against the run of play in the 21st minute. Henk Veerman picked up a loose ball in midfield, dribbled past Hamburg center-back Rick van Drongelen to set up a one-on-one with keeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes, and coolly dinked the ball past the onrushing keeper to give Kiezkicker an unexpected lead.

St Pauli doubled their lead just 8 minutes later. Finn Ole Becker’s shot was charged down at the edge of the penalty area, but the ball fell to Sheffield Wednesday loanee Matt Penney, who rifled a crisp shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards out. The two goals seemed to sap some of the energy from HSV as play and possession evened out somewhat for the remainder of the first half with Kiezkicker in the ascendancy.

The second half was similar in that while HSV had more of the ball and more chances, St Pauli were more dangerous on the break. A St Pauli goal from Rico Benatelli was cancelled out by VAR due to an offside and Hamburg’s Lukas Hinterseer had one wiped out due to a handball in the buildup moments later.

Despite a few more chances towards the end, Hamburg ultimately had no answer to St Pauli’s well taken first half strikes and dropped a big match to their local rivals. To add insult to injury, the loss drops Hamburg to 3rd in the table and allows St Pauli to pull themselves further away from the relegation fight.

Bochum 2 – Dynamo Dresden 1

A stoppage time winner at the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion on Saturday afternoon gave Bochum a vital three points at the expense of bottom club Dresden.

Bochum’s Danny Blum struck the bar in the 11th minute and Dresden keeper Kevin Broll was called into action to stop the ex-Frankfurt man twice more in the opening half. Counterpart Manuel Riemann had to make a sprawling save just before the halftime whistle to keep out the hosts and maintain the nil-nil score line.

Things picked up in the final 35 minutes, particularly with the introduction of Bochum leading scorer Silvère Ganvoula M’boussy. The Congolese opened the scoring with his first chance, rifling in a splendid shot from the edge of the box with his left foot. Dresden would equalize just 5 minutes later however, when center-back Jannis Nikolaou headed in from Patrick Ebert’s corner.

But sadly for the hosts and their supporters, it was to be heartbreak at the death once again, as man of the match Blum set up teammate Vitaly Janelt for the winning header in the third minute of stoppage time to give Bochum all 3 points on the day.

Bochum pull further clear of the relegation zone while Dresden suffered their league leading 13th loss of the season.

Heidenheim 1 – Holstein Kiel 0

A rain soaked Holstein-Stadion played host to the weekend’s topspiel, as 4th placed Heidenheim outlasted 5th placed Kiel.

Conditions were not conducive to attacking oriented football, but both sides were able to create chances in the early minutes. Tim Kleindienst and Marc Schnatterer tested Kiel keeper Ioannis Gelios at one end of the damp pitch and Salih Özcan did the same to keeper Kevin Müller at the other.

Die Störche settled the match down for the remainder of the first half and controlled much of the possession. As a result, chances for the visitors became hard to come by for a long stretch, although Kiel weren’t able to do much in the way of attacking at the opposite end either.

The rain finally stopped midway through the second half and Heidenheim broke the deadlock in the 77th minute. It was a scrappy team goal in which full-back Marnon-Thomas Busch and midfield substitute Maurice Multhaup managed to barge their way through the Kiel defense and send the ball goalward. Midfielder Norman Theuerkauf stuck out an opportunistic leg and poked the ball past Gelios for the only goal of the match.

Heidenheim were able to hold on and secure all three points, but it came at the expense of leading scorer Kleindienst, who picked up a second yellow card in second half stoppage time and was sent off. He’ll miss at least the following league match against Darmstadt.

Stuttgart 2 – Jahn Regensburg 0

Two quick fire goals in the second half were enough to send Stuttgart past Regensburg at the Mercedes-Benz Arena and into 2nd place in the table.

Regensburg’s Marco Grüttner was denied early by Stuttgart keeper Gregor Kobel and Regensburg keeper Alexander Meyer kept out Daniel Didavi shortly thereafter at the opposite end. Midfielder Orel Mangala then appeared to give Stuttgart the lead in the 21st minute, but VAR disallowed the goal due to a foul in the buildup.

VAR again intervened in the second half when Regensburg thought they’d taken the lead after Kobel, under challenge by Grüttner, spilled the ball over his own goal line. After initially being given, the official decided that Grüttner had fouled the keeper, and chalked off the goal.

Stuttgart finally cashed in on their possession advantage (63%-37%) in the 58th minute, when Didavi curled a free kick from just outside the penalty area just out of Meyer’s reach and into the top corner. Gonzalo Castro doubled their advantage just a minute later after a fine cutback from Silas Wamangituka.

The visitors were unable to respond and Stuttgart took a deserved win, leapfrogging Hamburg into 2nd in the table, while Regensburg remain 7th.

Karlsruher 2 – Sandhausen 0

Karlsruher picked up their first win since November at the expense of a stumbling Sandhausen side at the BWT-Stadion am Hardtwald on Sunday afternoon.

The visitors made their intentions known early, when January signee Änis Ben-Hatira headed just over from a corner and midfielder Marvin Wanitzek snuck a shot just past the post shortly after. It was Ben-Hatira would who create the opener when he charged down the right hand side and put in an inch perfect cross to find the head of teammate Jérôme Gondorf who headed past a helpless Martin Fraisl.

Sandhausen had a shout for a handball a couple of minutes later when Mario Engels’s shot struck Manuel Stiefler’s upper arm at close range, but the referee and VAR adjudged no foul to have been committed. Instead, Ben-Hatira continued his excellent day by doubling KSC’s lead in the 22nd minute, side-footing into the far corner.

Dennis Diekmeier flashed a shot just past the far post for the hosts as they tried to get back into the match, and Kevin Behrens had an even more glaring miss when he scuffed his shot past the post after being picked out alone in the penalty area. Fraisl’s save from Philipp Hofmann in a one-on-one chance kept the match from becoming a rout, but Sandhausen were rather timid in the second half and KSC duly took a deserved win.

Sandhausen manager Uwe Koschinat was not a happy man after the match, as his side dropped their fourth consecutive league match. Karlsruher meanwhile, vault ahead of Wiesbaden to 16th in the table, but they are far from safe at this point.

Darmstadt 2 – Nürnberg 1

Nürnberg’s recent good form grinded to a halt at the Max-Morlock-Stadion, at the expense of visiting Darmstadt, who took their third consecutive league win.

After having an early penalty shout turned down, Nürnberg grabbed the lead in the 30th minute. Michael Frey’s cross from the left was punched clear by Darmstadt keeper Marcel Schuhen, but the ball only went as far as Nikola Dovedan at the edge of the penalty area. Schuhen couldn’t keep out the Austrian’s powerful shot and Der Club were out in front.

VAR made its presence known ten minutes into the second half. Nürnberg center-back Asger Sørensen dragged back Darmstadt striker Serdar Dursun in the penalty area. Referee Patrick Alt awarded a penalty and booked the center-back. After checking the replay however, Alt upgraded the card to a red one because Sørensen was the last man and suddenly Nürnberg were down to 10 men.

Tobias Kempe beat Christian Mathenia on the resulting penalty and knotted things up at one. Frey then had a golden opportunity to give Nürnberg the lead again in the 62nd minute after rounding the goalkeeper, but he wasted the chance by shooting high over the bar.

The visitors would win the match in the closing moments. Center-back Dario Đumić, up in the opposing half to try and help out, was given all the time and space in the world, and he produced a wonderful finish just inside the near post from approximately thirty yards out. Nürnberg had a second player sent off when Fabian Nürnberger was dismissed for excessive complaints after the goal and Darmstadt saw out the final minutes for their third consecutive win.

Darmstadt move up to 7th while Nürnberg drop to 15th.

Arminia Bielefeld 1 – Hannover 0

The wind and rain that effected most of northern Germany on the weekend forced a delay in the kickoff between league leaders Bielefeld and visiting Hannover at the Schüco-Arena. When the match finally kicked off 30 minutes late, the water logged pitch slowed down the action, making things difficult for both sides.

The visitors started well, with Bielefeld keeper Stefan Ortega just managing to deflect a Sebastian Jung shot around the far post for a corner in the early minutes. John Guidetti then got his head to a cross from the right, but Ortega was on hand once again to keep the ball out.

Bielefeld, who have been without midfielder and second leading scorer Andreas Voglsammer since he suffered a broken foot in Matchday 20, were on the back foot for stretches of the match and Ortega nearly gifted Die Roten the lead early in the second half. Under pressure from Guidetti, the keeper’s loose pass went straight to Cedric Teuchert, but he striker couldn’t find the target and spared Bielefeld’s blushes.

The introduction of substitute Reinhold Yabo in the 66th minute seemed to kick things into gear for Bielefeld. Yabo nearly scored the opener in the 77th minute, but slipped on the wet pitch and pulled his shot past the post.

The breakthrough finally came in the 83rd minute. Off a throw in, Hannover midfielder Jannes Horn also fell victim to the wet conditions and slipped when he tried to head the ball clear. The ball looped into the air and fell to the feet of Bielefeld’s Jonathan Clauss, who volleyed the ball goalward. Keeper Ron-Robert Zieler stuck out an arm to keep out Clauss’s thunderbolt, but the ball ricocheted directly to Yabo who kept his composure and tapped the ball over the line to score what would ultimately be the only goal of the match.

Despite the conditions and a determined effort by Hannover, Bielefeld’s win maintains their 3 point cushion at the top of the table.

Table

1. Arminia Bielefeld – 47 points

2. Stuttgart – 44 points

3. Hamburg – 41 points

4. Heidenheim – 38 points

5. Holstein Kiel – 33 points

Top Scorers

1. Fabian Klos (Arminia Bielefeld) – 15 goals

2. Manuel Schäffler (Wiesbaden) – 12 goals

T3. Sonny Kittel (Hamburg) – 11 goals

T3. Philipp Hofmann (Karlsruher) – 11 goals

T3. Silvère Ganvoula M’boussy (Bochum) – 11 goals

Key Upcoming Matches – Matchday 24 (February 28 – March 2)

Stuttgart @ Fürth – Saturday 2/29, 7:00 am EST

Hamburg @ Erzgebirge Aue – Saturday 2/29, 7:00 am EST

Heidenheim @ Darmstadt – Saturday 2/29, 7:00 am EST

Wiesbaden @ Arminia Bielefeld – Sunday 3/1, 7:30 am EST