Würzburger 0 – Braunschweig 0 (Friday, January 15 – flyeralarm Arena)
Talk about starting things off with a thud.
Braunschweig had two players sent off in the second half and yet were still able to hold Würzburger to a scoreless draw.
The visitors had the better chances in a largely uneventful opening 45 minutes, but Würzburger keeper Hendrik Bonmann made two saves to keep them out. It looked as if Braunschweig would continue to boss things in the second half, but things changed dramatically in the 51st minute, when Dominik Wydra, already on a yellow for a first half challenge, was sent off with a second yellow card for a high challenge.
Würzburger looked to seize the initiative thereafter and were given an even bigger advantage when Braunschweig’s Manuel Schwenk was given a straight red card on 66 minutes for a bad challenge on Dominic Baumann. But even with a two-man advantage, Würzburger couldn’t find the back of the net, so nil-nil it ended.
Greuther Fürth 1 – Paderborn 1 (Friday, January 15 – Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer)
A back-and-forth affair saw Fürth and Paderborn battle to a draw.
Kleeblätter took an early 8th minute lead when Sebastian Ernst headed in from David Raum’s cross from the left. Paderborn equalized roughly 15 minutes later when Dortmund loanee Chris Führich continued his fine season by scoring his 7th goal of the campaign.
Chances were plentiful across the remainder of the first half and into the second. Håvard Nielsen struck the post for Fürth on 56 minutes, and both keepers made wonderful saves to keep the score-line even. Ultimately, no second goal was coming for either side, and it finished all square.
Bochum 3 – Nürnberg 1 (Saturday, January 16 – Vonovia Ruhrstadion)
Bochum continued their recent run of good form and scored their fourth consecutive league win by scoring 3 unanswered goals to top Nürnberg.
The hosts were in the ascendancy early, but Gerrit Holtmann could only hit the outside of the post with a 10th minute chance. Der Club took advantage of Bochum’s profligacy in the opening half hour by grabbing the lead on the counter. Manuel Schäffler put the visitors ahead, but it was only momentary. Cristian Gamboa’s flicked header found Robert Žulj onside and the Austrian buried the shot to tie things up in the 31st minute.
Thing slowed down considerably in the second half, as a defensive struggle took hold in midfield. Nürnberg were content to play the counter, but they couldn’t do anything with their chances. This allowed Bochum to take the lead in the 73rd minute through a spectacular long-range finish from Robert Tesche. The ex-Hamburg veteran then put the match to rest 10 minutes later, volleying in from close range after being set up by Simon Zoller.
Düsseldorf 3 – Erzgebirge Aue 0 (Saturday, January 16 – Erzgebirgsstadion)
After a poor start to the season, Düsseldorf have turned things around. They went into Erzgebirge and took their sixth win in seven league matches.
On a snow swept pitch, Florian Krüger spurned an early chance for the hosts and this let off would prove to be all Düsseldorf needed. Dawid Kownacki put them ahead in the 24th minute after teammate Alfredo Morales split the Erzgebirge defense with a lofted through ball forward.
Despite a few chances in the second half, Erzgebirge just didn’t bring their scoring boots on this day, and Düsseldorf ultimately ran away from them in the final 10 minutes. Kenan Karaman got their second on 82 minutes, but it was a bit controversial. Keeper Martin Männel saved Kristoffer Peterson’s initial shot with his face, but collided with Karaman while going for the rebound, and the striker headed into an empty net. No foul was given and the goal stood.
The biggest example of how it just wasn’t Erzgebirge’s day came in the 84th minute, when Steve Breitkreuz hit the crossbar with a header from point blank range. Düsseldorf substitute Thomas Pledl got the final goal on the counter just before stoppage time to seal a fine win for the visitors.
St Pauli 3 – Hannover 2 (Saturday, January 16 – HDI-Arena)
A last-minute winner gave St Pauli a much needed 3 points at the expense of hosts Hannover.
Frankfurt loanee Rodrigo Zalazar gave Kiezkicker the lead in just the second minute. Ex-Smurfs striker Guido Burgstaller did the dirty work and put it on a plate for the young Uruguayan to place the ball in the back of the net. Burgstaller himself would double St Pauli’s lead on 10 minutes. Zalazar repaid the earlier assist with one of his own, crossing across the goal mouth for his counterpart to head home.
Keeper Michael Esser managed to keep St Pauli from scoring long enough for Die Roten to pull themselves together and get back into things in the second half. Genki Haraguchi was the danger man for Hannover and he pulled one back for the hosts on 53 minutes from the edge of the box. Haraguchi was on hand once more 2 minutes later with a header from close range to tie things up.
Both sides pushed hard for a winner in the final half hour, but Esser and counterpart Dejan Stojanović stood tall in their respective goals to keep the score tied until late. Hannover midfielder Jaka Bijol picked up a second yellow card in the 87th minute, forcing the hosts to play the final moments with 10 men. This would ultimately lead to their downfall as St Pauli went ahead for good two minutes into stoppage time. Substitute Max Dittgen knocked the ball out wide to Leart Paqarada, and his cross back into the Hannover box was toed over the line by Igor Matanović for a Kiezkicker winner.
This was just the second win of the season for St Pauli and their first since Matchday 2. It also pushes them closer to safety as we approach the halfway point of the season.
Regensburg 3 – Sandhausen 1 (Sunday, January 17 – Jahnstadion Regensburg)
Regensburg erased a first-half deficit with three quick fire goals in the second half.
Sandhausen grabbed an early 6th minute lead on the counter. Nils Röseler sprang Daniel Keita-Ruel free from the back and the striker just got the ball under keeper Alexander Meyer and banked it in off the far post. Regensburg had decent chances to equalize later in the half, but Jann-Christopher George and Kaan Caliskaner couldn’t put their shots on target.
The visitors couldn’t find a second goal however, and allowed Regensburg to stay in the match in the second half. Thus, the hosts equalized on 58 minutes when Albion Vrenezi’s scuffed shot fell to an onrushing George who bashed in from 6 yards out. The sides traded chances over the following 5 minutes before Regensburg grabbed the lead via a fine nutmeg and finish from Sebastian Stolze. Sandhausen were forced to commit numbers forward and Regensburg pounced on the counter in the 68th minute, George nabbing his second of the match via an assist from Benedikt Saller.
The win was Regensburg’s first of 2021, while Sandhausen dropped their 5th match in 6.
Karlsruher 3 – Holstein Kiel 2 (Sunday, January 17 – Holstein-Stadion)
Four days after scoring the biggest win in club history by knocking Bayern out of the DFB-Pokal on penalties, Kiel were unable to replicate the magic as they were beaten by Karlsruher at home.
Perhaps Die Störche were experiencing a hangover from their midweek win, but whatever the reason, they went behind to KSC in just the 6th minute. Marvin Wanitzek’s initial shot was saved by keeper Ioannis Gelios, but the rebound rolled all the way out to left-back Philip Heise who smashed a laser into the top corner. KSC almost went 2-0 up early on, but Gelios managed to stop Marc Lorenz’s long-range effort.
Fabian Reese skewed a great chance wide for the hosts on 24 minutes and Janni Luca Serra likewise missed a golden opportunity by heading wide from point blank range moments later. At the other end, Philipp Hoffman bounced a header off the post in the 43rd minute. Gelios saved another Hofmann header moments later, so on the subsequent corner, the striker decided to let someone else give it a go. He flicked the ball on to teammate Marco Thiede at the back post and the right-back made no mistake, lashing the ball in for a 2-0 KSC lead.
It looked like it wasn’t going to be Kiel’s day after Marco Komenda’s header missed in the 55th minute, but then from out of nowhere Serra pulled one back with a looping header at the hour mark. Lorenz almost restored KSC’s two-goal lead, but pushed his shot just wide on 65 minutes. Kiel turned up the wick and tied things up in the 78th minute. Gelios for some reason allowed Lee Jae-sung’s cross to roll past him, which left Serra simply to slide the ball into the net for 2-2.
But Karlsruher were ultimately not to be denied on this day. Center-back Robin Bormuth got his head to a Heise corner in the 85th minute and it bounced in off Gelios to put KSC back in front for good.
Heidenheim 3 – Darmstadt 0 (Sunday, January 17 – Voith-Arena)
Heidenheim took a deserved win over Darmstadt with 3 second half goals.
The best saves of the opening 45 minutes were not made by the keepers. Rather, they were made by Darmstadt defender Patric Pfeiffer and Heidenheim striker Christian Kühlwetter. First, Pfeiffer blocked Denis Thomalla’s goal-bound header with his face and forced a corner. Then, minutes later, Darmstadt’s Immanuel Höhn sent a free header toward goal at the other end of the pitch, only for Kühlwetter to head the ball clear off the goal line. Marcel Schuhen finally decided that it was time for a keeper to make a save and he masterfully pushed Kühlwetter’s 41st minute header over the bar.
With snow falling, Heidenheim took control of things early in the second half. Florian Pick’s 49th minute corner was flicked on by Patrick Mainka, and Kühlwetter rushed in to head home and give his side the lead. Mainka doubled their lead himself 10 minutes later, when he got to a Pick free kick ahead of his marker and more or less flicked the ball in with his boot. Thomalla wrapped up the scoring on the counter in the 83rd minute to seal the win for the hosts.
Hamburg 5 – Osnabrück 0 (Monday, January 18 – Volksparkstadion)
Hamburg manager Daniel Thioune saw his current charges comprehensively drub his former charges in his first match against Osnabrück.
This one was all HSV from the opening whistle. Sonny Kittel opened the scoring in the 16th minute with a nice curling effort. Lila-Weiß tried to make a match of it in the subsequent minutes, but Christian Santos had a goal ruled out due a handball in the buildup around the half hour mark. The hosts doubled their lead just before halftime, when Osnabrück keeper Philip Kühn couldn’t handle Tim Leibold’s cross and Bakery Jatta was on hand to tap in the rebound.
Jatta notched a brace just after halftime when he headed in from a Kittel corner on 47 minutes. Josha Vagnoman made it 4-0 seven minutes later, and Lila-Weiß conceded a fifth at the hour mark when center-back Maurice Trapp headed the ball into his own net. With the match all but over, the only remaining question was would Osnabrück at least get a consolation goal, but that never came.
It was an impressive win for HSV, especially considering that none of the 5 goals came from league leading goal-scorer Simon Terodde. They’ve now won 5 out of their last 6 league matches as the season barrels towards the halfway mark.
1. Hamburg – 33 points
2. Bochum – 32 points
3. Düsseldorf – 30 points
4. Kiel – 29 points
5. Fürth – 28 points
15. Sandhausen – 14 points (-17 GD)
16. Braunschweig – 14 points (-18 GD)
17. St Pauli – 13 points
18. Würzburger – 9 points
1. Simon Terodde (Hamburg) – 16 goals
2. Christian Kühlwetter (Heidenheim) – 10 goals
T3. Serdar Dursun (Darmstadt) – 9 goals
T3. Pascal Testroet (Erzgebirge) – 9 goals