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Bundesliga Weekly: Leipzig, Leverkusen, Bayern claim big wins, Dortmund stutter

Hold onto your lederhosen, Bundesliga fans, because Matchday 15 was a rollercoaster!

From last-gasp equalisers to title-race twists, let’s dive into the week’s biggest talking points.

Late drama as Ducksch denies Gladbach win after Reitz brace

The action began with Borussia Monchengladbach hosting Werder Bremen. 

Bremen opened the affair in the sixth minute through striker Rafael Borre, who applied a deft finish to Romano Schmid’s gorgeous cross. 

Gladbach pushed for an equaliser and found it just as the half-time whistle was about to go, with Rocco Reitz pouncing on a loose ball in the box before angling a shot beyond Michael Zetterer.

The second half began at a blistering pace. Gladbac’s Manu Kone made a good run into the Bremen box and struck the woodwork before Zetterer saved Alassane Plea’s rebound effort.

Gladbach came pouring forward again, seeking to get their noses in front. Robin Hack set up Reitz, who finished calmly to make it 2-1.

Unfortunately for Gladbach, they couldn’t see out their lead as a mistake from goalkeeper Moritz Nicolas allowed Bremen talisman Marvin Ducksch to level the game at 2-2. 

Die Fohlen are in 11th position while Bremen sit three places below them.

Dortmund stumble again as Augsburg stalemate extends winless streak

Borussia Dortmund have failed to win any of their last five games in all competitions after a draw versus Augsburg this weekend.

Die Fuggerstadter took the lead as captain and talisman Ermedin Demirovic manhandled Nico Schlotterbeck before finishing beyond Gregor Kobel.

BVB equalised in the 35th minute when Niclas Fullkrug linked up play with Donyell Malen before the Dutchman speared in a shot. 

Both sides had great chances to take all three points, with Demirovic seeing his shot cleared off the line and Augsburg goalkeeper Finn Dahmen producing a spectacular stop to deny Fullkrug’s acrobatic effort.

Dortmund remain in fifth place and are seemingly out of the title race, while Augsburg are in tenth after a decent start under Jess Thorup.

Leipzig extend winning streak with a 3-1 victory over Hoffenheim

RB Leipzig beat TSG Hoffenheim 3-1 to extend their winning run to four. They took the lead as Lukas Klostermann blasted a loose ball into the back of the net.

Leipzig kept coming forward, and Xavi Simons stung the gloves of Oliver Baumann a minute after the goal.

Hoffenheim could barely get forward, but they netted an equaliser three minutes before the break as Ozan Kabak rose highest to meet Robert Skov’s free-kick.

Leipzig keeper Janis Blaswich should have done better with the floated ball, but Emil Forsberg spared his blushes, collecting a pass from Lois Openda before firing into the net to restore his side’s lead.

It was Forsberg’s last game at home for Leipzig as he will move to Major League Soccer club New York Red Bulls on the first day of January.

Mohamed Simakan stabbed home another goal to collect all three points for Leipzig. The Red Bull-owned club are third in the table, while Hoffenheim are in seventh.

Boniface blitzkriegs Frankfurt as Leverkusen remain Bundesliga kings

Bayer Leverkusen defeated Eintracht Frankfurt to retain their spot at the top of the standings.

Die Werkself opened the scoring early on as Florian Wirtz released Victor Boniface, and the Nigerian international found a little space to angle his shot beyond Kevin Trapp. It was Boniface’s ninth league goal of a successful debut season.

Leverkusen wing-back Alejandro Grimaldo then clipped the top of Trapp’s post with a free-kick.

Xabi Alonso’s men doubled their lead after the break as Boniface forced a save from Trapp before Jeremie Frimpong slammed home the rebound. 

Boniface was torturing Frankfurt’s backline with his movement. He came deep and held the ball up before releasing Wirtz in the 57th minute, who finished calmly to make it 3-0.

The duo have been one of the deadliest in Europe, and the German international struck the post late on.

Die Rekordmeister roar back from defeat with a 3-0 win over Stuttgart

Harry Kane bagged a brace as Bayern Munich downed VfB Stuttgart at the Allianz Arena to keep the pressure on Leverkusen.

Die Rekordmeister were keen on bouncing back from a humiliating loss at the hands of Frankfurt last week and laid down a quick marker.

Bayern loanee Alexander Nubel rushed out of his goal to clear a long ball and misread the situation, allowing Leroy Sane to get to the ball and set up Kane’s opener in only the second minute.

Kim Min-jae scored in the 25th minute, but it was disallowed. Bayern came swarming forward again with Sane. Stuttgart’s defence kept backing off before he pulled the trigger, but Nubel palmed the shot away.

Kane stung Nubel with a shot again, and Jamal Musiala somehow fired over from close range.

Kane notched his brace early in the second half, pouncing from a corner before Min-jae added another.

Around the grounds

Marvin Pieringer’s goal in the 12th minute was the difference as Heidenheim put Mainz 05 to the sword.

FCH scored through a well-worked free-kick routine that freed Pieringer to blast home from close range.

The 05ers are up to 17th but are level on points with now bottom of the table Darmstadt 98. Heidenheim are 12th and avoiding the relegation battle with all their might.

Wolfsburg beat Darmstadt to end their run of six games without a win. An early Maxence Lacroix red card made matters difficult for the Wolves, but they showed resolve to get the job done.

Fulham target Jonas Wind produced a fine lay-off for Lovro Majer, who struck the ball sweetly beyond Marcel Schuhen to send Die Lillen to the bottom of the standings.

The Wolves are up to tenth and will hope that they can build momentum from this win.

Bochum thrashed Union Berlin 3-0 at home to climb to 13th in the Bundesliga. Takumo Asano netted on the stroke of half-time to give Bochum the lead before Goncalo Paciencia doubled it ten minutes into the second half.

Kevin Stoger netted a late penalty to ensure all three points for his side and leave Union in 16th as the Berlin club succumbed to their first league defeat under their new manager, Nenad Bjelica.

SC Freiburg continued their impressive run with a third consecutive Bundesliga win after beating FC Koln.

The match was one-way traffic as Vincenzo Grifo forced Marvin Schwabe into a comfortable save. Koln centre-half Julian Chabot earned himself a second booking and a sending-off after the break.

His side paid the price three minutes later as Freiburg attacker and substitute Michael Gregoritsch fired a loose ball from a corner into the back of the net.

The Austrian striker had another chance minutes later but found Schwabe in his way.

Roland Sallai was also electric off the bench and hit the bar before completing the win with a brilliantly angled header.

Freiburg move up to sixth place while Koln are 16th. However, the Billy Goats are level on points with Union in 15th and will be desperate to claw their way out of the dreaded relegation area.

Player of the Week

Rocco Reitz bagged a brace to earn his side a point against Bremen. The double takes his tally for Die Fohlen to four goals and an assist for the term.

It was not only the goals – the 21-year-old was brilliant in the centre of the park for his side, winning six of his ten duels. He had 59 touches of the ball and completed 30 of his 39 passes (77%), making two tackles and one interception. 

The homegrown talent has been in impeccable form over the past few weeks. The two goals this weekend only solidified those showings.

Matches to watch out for on Matchday 16 

This midweek will see the final round of games before the winter break throws a blanket over Bundesliga action.

Bayern will take on Wolfsburg while Leverkusen welcome Bochum. Stuttgart versus Augsburg should also make quite the clash.

Leipzig face Bremen, while Dortmund will look to turn a corner when they host Mainz at the Signal Iduna Park.

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