Germany’s second tier returned to action on the weekend and it certainly didn’t disappoint with plenty of wins on show. The league is still as tight as ever with just six points separating sixth place from fourteenth and teams not knowing if they should look up or down.
RB Leipzig 2-0 Eintracht Braunschweig – Die Bullen’s first half blitz saw them move further ahead at the top
The league leaders Leipzig were in fine form going into the winter break and – where some have failed to continue to keep up their form in the past – it doesn’t look like that will be the case with Leipzig.
The hosts took the lead after 24 minutes and it was a strike fromEmil Forsberg that put them ahead; it wasn’t long before Leipzig built on Forsberg’s sixth goal of the season.
They doubled their lead on the half hour mark thanks to a howler from Braunschweig ‘keeper Rafal Gikiewicz. The Pole flapped at a free-kick into the box despite not being under pressure and Marvin Compper was on hand to fire the ball into the empty net for his first Leipzig goal.
Despite a spirited display from Braunschweig in the second half, they were unable to create can goals and although Leipzig didn’t look convincing in the second half they managed to hold on to their two goal lead. This victory was Leipzig’s sixth in a row and they now sit six points ahead of second place.
VfL Bochum 2-0 SC Freiburg – VfL move into the promotion mix with a hard fought win against Freiburg
Freiburg travelled to Bochum looking to continue their title push, however they struggled to make the most of their early dominance and were rightly punished. After having Manuel Riemann to thank for a number of saves Bochum took the lead after 13 minutes.
Onur Bulut delivered a lovely in swinging cross to pick out Marco Terrazzino, who broke free to head past Alexander Schwolow.
The three points were sealed with just over twenty minutes left, a corner came out to Timo Perthel who’s left footed effort looked to be heading wide until Tim Hoogland directed the ball on target and in with a clever flick. The win moved Bochum into fifth place, while the defeat left Freiburg in second place and six points behind RB Leipzig.
Third place Nürnberg are now three points ahead of St. Pauli in fourth after they managed to see off second from bottom 1860 Munich. Nürnberg were certainly relieved when the final whistle arrived as they were largely dominated by the home side, Der Club earned the three points due to Raphael Schäfer’s outstanding performance and 1860 being very wasteful. Nürnberg’s Patrick Erras scored the only goal of the game as he fired a brilliant strike from range which flew into the top left corner.
The other 1-0 victories came from Sandhausen and Heidenheim. Sandhausen managed to earn a home win as Paderborn failed to clear their lines from a corner and this allowed Tim Kister to pounce and fired the ball into the roof of the net for his first of the season.
The win sees Sandhausen go into seventh place, while Paderborn fail to win once again and find themselves in the relegation play-off spot.
In Düsseldorf the home crowd failed to see their team win asHeidenheim picked up their seventh victory of the season thanks to a goal from Robert Leipertz. Robert Strauß clipped a perfectly weighted ball over the top and Leipertz managed to fire in from an angle with twenty minutes left on the clock.
Perhaps the game with the most drama came in the Friday match between Kaiserslautern and Union Berlin. The home side took the lead when Ruben Jenssen headed home Jean Zimmer’s cross from close range. Zimmer was the provided once again six minutes later as the red devils doubled the lead, Zimmer played the ball across to Marcel Gaus, who calmly fired in from just inside the area. The game looked to be buried, however Union had other plans as they produced a late comeback.
14 minutes from time Fabian Schönheim was left totally unmarked and the defended excellently headed home. Then with four minutes remaining Bobby Wood provided a moment of brilliance, Wood showed off his footwork to dance through the area to squeeze the ball in at the near post when Marius Müller was caught slightly off his line.
The other draw came in Karlsruher SC as they were held 1-1 by FSV Frankfurt. The pair couldn’t be separated in a game where three points would’ve been appreciated, FSV Frankfurt youngster Lukas Gugganig opened the scoring before it was canceled out by Ylli Sallahi seven minutes later.
St. Pauli were able to get back to winning ways as they traveled to Bavaria and earned a 2-0 victory over Greuther Fürth. St. Pauli took the lead through Marc Hornschuh, the defender tapped in from close range after a great cross saw Bernd Nehrig flick the ball on towards the back post. The win was sealed on the hour mark as Waldemar Sobota managed to get his name on the score sheet.
The last match of the weekend saw Arminia Bielefeld defeat bottom side MSV Duisburg on Monday. The action was over rather quickly as all three goals arrived in the first half hour. Duisburg edged in front through Thomas Bröker before Fabian Klos leveled things with his seventh of the season. The vital goal arrived just four minutes after Bielefeld went level and it was Christopher Nöthe that grabbed the winner.
Next week has plenty in store with a number of potential crackers, just some of those sees St. Pauli hosting RB Leipzig and Bochum traveling to Nürnberg.