Bundesliga race for third heats up as Leverkusen occupy spot

Bundesliga race for third heats up as Leverkusen occupy spot

Forget Bayern Munich, forget Borussia Dortmund. They were expected to win. And they did. The Bavarians may have won 3-1 at Augsburg and Die Borussen got a 1-0 home victory against Hannover 96, but the Bundesliga weekend winner was, ultimately, Bayer Leverkusen, and you could also probably slip FC Mainz in as well.

Schalke lost. Hertha Berlin lost. Borussia Monchenhgladbah lost. Leverkusen’s 2-1 victory away to Darmstadt 98 gave them three points and, crucially, took Bayer to third place on the grid on 35 points, level with Hertha Berlin, and three within the chasing pack.

The tone began on Friday night. These mid table sides can refuse to follow the script. Mainz moved past Monchengladbach to sixth place after a 2-1 victory over Schalke 04. Goals by Frenchman Gaetan Bussmann and Julian Baumgartlinger sandwiched Younes Belhanda strike for Schalke, who now drop to fifth, level on points with their conquerors, Mainz.

Hertha, third when the weekend began are fourth due to a poor goal difference. Travel to VfB Stuttgart produced zilch points for the capital side. Two unanswered second half goals by Ivorian Die Serey and 23-year old Serbian midfielder, Filip Kostic, were enough to take the wind out of Hertha’s sails.

It wasn’t enough. Monchengladbach have experienced interesting times lately. From third on the table a while back, the Foals have now dropped to seventh on 32 points. They came back from Hamburger bruised after a 3-2 defeat. Gladbach had led in the game, a Fabian Johnson goal giving them a 14th minute lead. 

Once Die Borussen’s defender Martin Hinteregger scored an own goal to equalize for the hosts, two more goals followed, one from Artjoms Rudnevs four minutes from the half time whistle and Ivo Ilicevic’s in the 80th minute, to make it 3-1 for the hosts, before Gladbach’s Brazilian forward, Raffael, halved the deficit two minutes from time.

That leaves a happy Leverkusen. For now. Because, Dortmund will be visiting the BayArena  coming weekend, before clashes with Mainz and a tricky Werder Bremen ensue.

Read more on : Commentary


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