After a 69-day break due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Bundesliga returned for its 26th matchday at the weekend, and there was a full set of fixtures as the race for the title continued as well as the battle to beat the drop.
We look back at every game from Germany’s top tier, which saw 27 goals and some special moments from an action-packed couple of days.
Dortmund thrash Schalke in Revierderby
Title-chasing Borussia Dortmund continued their charge to an eighth Bundesliga title with an impressive 4-0 success over rivals Schalke at an empty Signal Iduna Park. And after a slow start to proceedings, the hosts stepped up their game and opened the scoring through the prolific Erling Braut Haaland, before Raphael Guerreiro made it two just before the break. Royal Blues goalkeeper Markus Schubert was at fault for Dortmund’s third goal, as he let Thorgan Hazard’s powerful shot past him when it looked straightforward for the shot-stopper. Then Guerreiro wrapped it up with a fourth for Lucien Favre’s men to secure his brace and three points for The Black-Yellows in the Revierderby.
Late VAR drama in Leipzig
Coming into the clash, RB Leipzig hadn’t lost in eight, while Freiburg had just won one of their previous four matches, but this proved to be close contest in East Germany. Even though the hosts dominated the opening stages, it was Christian Streich’s team who scored against the run of play when Manuel Gulde steered home Vincenzo Grifo’s corner. It was a similar story in the second-half as Leipzig pilled on the pressure, and they found an equaliser on 76 minutes through striker Yussuf Poulsen. But the visitors almost nicked a winner in injury-time as Robin Koch volleyed in from close-range, however, the goal was ruled out for offside. A one-all draw in Saxong.
European-chasing Wolfsburg win away at Augsburg
Wolfsburg stretched their unbeaten league run to seven matches, continuing where they left off, by squeezing past 14th-place Augsburg. The visitors dominated the first-half and scored the opening goal minutes before the break as Renato Steffen met a cross to expertly head into the corner. Augsburg levelled just after half-time when John Brooks flicked a dangerous free-kick onto his own crossbar, before Tin Jedvaj made sure from close-range. And the hosts thought they’d gone in front, but Felix Uduokai’s strike was ruled out for offside. However, it was The Wolves who managed to grab a winner in stoppage-time after Daniel Ginczek tapped home from a few yards to ensure Oliver Glasner’s men stayed in touch for a European spot.
Düsseldorf and Paderborn play out goalless draw
The battle to survive in Germany’s top tier continued as 16th-placed Fortuna Dusseldorf took on rock bottom Paderborn, and this proved to be a tight encounter between two struggling sides. Despite creating the better opportunities, Uwe Rösler’s Fortuna couldn’t grab a winner against their relegation-fighting counterparts. Valon Berisha came the closest for the hosts as he struck the post with a fierce volley, before the Kosovan headed against the crossbar from close-range. Paderborn could’ve won it late on after creating a glorious chance – their best of the game, but Christopher Antwi-Adjei fired the ball over from six yards.
Hertha secure an impressive away win in Hoffenheim
In a mid-table clash, Hertha Berlin got the better of Hoffenheim at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena to stretch their unbeaten away league run in 2020. After creating many clear-cut first-half opportunities, it took until the 58th minute for Hertha to score, and it came in fortuitus fashion as a long-range strike was deflected into his own net by Kevin Akpogomu. Venad Ibisevic made it two just moments later with a powerful header, before Matheus Cunha scored an outrageous solo goal, dribbling past his marker and firing home from a tight angle. Despite pilling on some late pressure, Hoffenheim couldn’t grab a consolation and therefore stretched their winless run in all competitions to seven matches.
Mönchengladbach off to a flying start at Eintracht Frankfurt
Another one of the chasing pack, Borussia Mönchengladbach, kept up the pressure on the top three with a fine away win in Frankfurt. It didn’t take the Foals long to take the lead when Alassane Plea slotted the ball home within 37 seconds for his ninth of the campaign. Ramy Bensebaini set-up Marcus Thuram to make it two on seven minutes, before the Algerian fired in another from the penalty spot mid-way through the second-half for their third of the contest. Although the hosts pulled one back through Andre Silva, Gladbach held on to move up to third, two points behind second-place Dortmund.
Mainz come back from two-down to seal a draw in Cologne
Mainz staged a late revival to rescue a precious draw against Cologne in an entertaining clash at the RheinEnergieStadion. The home side were awarded with an early penalty after Mark Uth was brought down inside the box. The on-loan Schalke striker converted the spot-kick into the bottom right corner, past the goalkeeper who dived the right way. Cologne doubled their advantage just after the break when Florian Kainz headed in an excellent Dominick Drexler delivery. But Mainz began to pile on the pressure, and on the hour mark, they pulled a goal back. Robin Quaison’s disguised pass found Ridle Baku, who crossed for Taiwo Awoniyi to score from close-range. And the visitors’ comeback was complete with 20 minutes to go as Pierre Kunde scored a brilliant individual goal, weaving from deep to slot home past Timo Horn. A point apiece in Cologne.
Bayern stretch lead at the top with victory at Union Berlin
Bundesliga holders Bayern Munich ensured they would make it a seventh successive win in all competitions with a hard-fought victory over Union. After Thomas Müller had a goal ruled out for offside, the Bavarian’s were awarded a penalty just before the break – which was coolly converted by Robert Lewandowski. Benjamin Pavard added a second with a powerful header on 80 minutes, before Union had an excellent chance to pull one back, but Manuel Neuer denied Felix Kroos’ powerful drive. Bayern held on to move a step closer to another Bundesliga title with eight games remaining.
Havertz bags a brace in convincing win for Leverkusen
Bayer Leverkusen closed the gap on the Champions League spaces and pilled more misery on relegation-threatened Werder Bremen as they secured an emphatic away win at the Weserstadion. In an even opening half hour, Kai Havertz continued where he left off after he headed the visitors into the lead, before Theodor Gebre Selassie levelled for Werder with an improvised finish. However, it didn’t take long for Havertz to add his and Leverkusen’s second when he steered home a right-wing cross before the break. Moussa Diaby notched another assist as he set-up Mitchell Weiser to head in a third goal, before Kerem Demirbay put gloss on the score line with a sumptuous dinked effort, as Bayer ended matchday 26 with a comprehensive victory.
Results in full:
Borussia Dortmund 4-0 FC Schalke 04
RB Leipzig 1-1 SC Freiburg
TSG 1889 Hoffenheim 0-3 Hertha Berlin
Fortuna Düsseldorf 0-0 SC Paderborn 07
FC Augsburg 1-2 Vfl Wolfsburg
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-3 Borussia Mönchengladbach
1. FC Köln 2-2 1. FSV Mainz 05
1. FC Union Berlin 0-2 Bayern München
SV Werder Bremen 1-4 Bayer 04 Leverkusen