The 2.Bundesliga is as tight as ever, one minute teams are dreaming of promotion, the next they’re looking over their shoulders in mid-table. In recent weeks two teams have found an extra gear and have started to edge away from the chasing pack, those two teams are RB Leipzig and Freiburg.
Freiburg 3-0 1860 München – The Black Forest club bounce back
After losing to promotion rivals Nürnberg last weekend, Freiburg responded quickly with an emphatic victory over league strugglers 1860 München.
After a couple warning signs in the opening half hour from 1860, Freiburg soon started to show their quality and the opener came ten minutes from the break. Vincenzo Grifo slipped the ball through to Maximilian Philipp, who calmly controlled before lifting the ball over Vitus Eicher.
Jonas Fohrenbach scored an own goal last weekend to win the game for Nürnberg, however made up for that this weekend by doubling his team’s lead. The fullback pounced on a rebound to tap in after Nils Petersen struck the post. 1860 München’s misery was complete after the hour mark as Grifo scored the goal of the game by firing a powerful effort from range in off the post. The win means Freiburg are now five points away from Nürnberg in third and only three points away from RB Leipzig.
Greuther Fürth 1-2 RB Leipzig – League leaders Die Bullen leave it late
RB Leipzig may not be everyone’s favourite German team, however they have the bragging rights over the winter break as they took the crown of 2.Bundesliga winter champions.
Leipzig took an early lead in the second half when Yussuf Poulsen broke free to round the keeper and finish into an empty net. The league leaders couldn’t build on that goal and were punished in the first minute of added time, a long ball into the box from Niko Gießelmann saw Benedikt Röcker beat everyone to the ball to head in.
Fürth thought they had snatched a point from Leipzig, however the leaders had a different plan. In the last minute of added time a freekick was flicked on by the head of Willi Orban and at the back of the pack of players stood Stefan Ilsanker to poke the ball home. Not a bad time to score your first for the club.
Heidenheim 0-3 Nürnberg – Der Club untouchable as they extend their unbeaten run
After an inconsistent start the season Nürnberg have got rolling and they breezed past Heidenheim this weekend to extend their unbeaten run to nine games, they’ve only tasted defeat once in the league in their last thirteen. Heidenheim went into the game on the back of two wins, however they were no match for their visitors on Saturday.
The first goal saw a freekick cannon off the post and three Nürnberg players were queuing up to tuck home the rebound, out of the three it was Guido Burgstaller that managed to squeeze the ball in for his ninth of the season. The second arrived on the hour mark as a low Mišo Brečko cross found its way to the back post where Alessandro Schöpf easily tapped in. The home side barely threatened and they were the masters of their downfall as they cheaply gave the ball away and after a slice of luck Hanno Behrens fired past Jan Zimmermann.
The league’s in-form team will look to continue their title challenge in the new year and will hope that the winter break doesn’t effect them.
What happened elsewhere?
On Friday night St. Pauli welcomed Karlsruher SC to Hamburg and they somehow didn’t make the most of their home advantage. Their dominance saw them deservedly take the lead thanks to a wonderful long range effort from Bernd Nehrig, who was certainly delighted with his first goal for St. Pauli. Manuel Torres then finished off a good team goal to level the scoring just after the half hour mark. Then twenty minutes from time Karlsruher scored to earn the win against the run of play, Jonas Meffert managed to hit the post twice from close range before he eventually poked the ball to Dimitrios Diamantakos who poked the ball across the line.
Elsewhere Union Berlin managed to defeat Sandhausen to add to their poor run. Bobby Wood thought he opened the scoring but after some debating between the officials his goal was correctly ruled out for offside. The breakthrough finally came fourteen minutes from time as Dennis Daube produced a great low effort from range, the strike flew in off the inside of the post for his first Union Berlin goal. Sandhausen head into the break having failed to win in their last four outings.
Friday also saw Arminia Bielefeld pick up there fourth win of the season as they fought back from a goal down to earn all three points against FSV Frankfurt. Fanol Perdedaj scored for FSV Frankfurt before the break, he was left unmarked in the box and made no mistakes in placing the ball into the bottom right corner.
Bielefeld quickly went about drawing themselves level and it was captain Fabian Klos that got the leveller. A corner was flicked on at the near post and six defenders were caught ball watching and this allowed Klos to run in unmarked and have an easy tap in. The away side grabbed the all important winner two minutes from time, Michael Görlitz drilled the ball into the area and at the front post stood Tom Schütz, who flicked the ball past Andre Weis for his first of the season.
Draws galore to end the year
Sunday brought as four teams that couldn’t be separated after ninety minutes of football and the pick of them was MSV Duisburg 0-0 VfL Bochum. There were obviously a lack of goals at the Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena, however this match did provide one of the surprises of the weekend with bottom side MSV Duisburg showing great spirit to keep out a very tough Bochum side who sit in sixth place.
The other draw on Sunday Eintracht Braunschweig were left wondering how they didn’t earn all three points against Kaiserslautern. After a handful of chances were wasted they were punished as Antonio-Mirko Colak scored fifteen minutes from time to cancel out Jan Hochscheidt’s first half opener.
Monday night was the curtain closer for German football till January and that too ended in a draw. Strugglers Fortuna Düsseldorf travelled to face fellow strugglers Paderborn. The home side edged things in the game, but disappointingly for their fans they couldn’t convert their chances and will go into the new year in the relegation play-off spot, Düsseldorf sit three points ahead in fifteenth.