While we are gradually gearing up for football to return to the rest of Europe and the world, all eyes are still set on the German Bundesliga.
The German Bundesliga title looks all set to be heading back to Munich for yet another year, but a fierce fight for Champions League football is unfolding between four Bundesliga giants. And that’s without even mentioning the ugly battle at the basement of the table, as the league’s stragglers give it their all to avoid the heartbreak of relegation.
Bayern did fall beyond when Lucas Alario broke the offside trap and beat Manuel Neuer at his front post, but their lead lasted only 17 minutes, as Kingsley Coman brought parity to the German champions. And from that moment, Die Roten went from strength to strength, ripping Leverkusen apart twice more in the first half, with Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry applying two emphatic finishes.
Robert Lewandowski put the game beyond doubt with a bullet header on 66 minutes, although Florian Wirtz did add a consolation strike for the hosts. But Bayern saw the game out and took another huge step towards their eighth consecutive Bundesliga title.
Borussia Dortmund hosted a revived Hertha Berlin in what happens to be an evening kickoff, and Lucien Favre’s men were made to earn their 1-0 win the hard way. The breakthrough came just a few minutes before the hour-mark when Emre Can rounded off a lovely team play with a calm, slotted finish from just inside the penalty area.
Hertha tried all their best to get back into the game, but they struggled to break down a compact Dortmund defense, and Der BVB held on to cement themselves in second place.
The biggest shock of the evening came at Leipzig, where the last team on the log Paderborn snatched a late equalizer to throw the hosts’ Champions League ambitions into serious doubt.
On-loan striker, Patrik Schick swept home on 27 minutes to deal a huge blow to the lowly visitors, but the visitors were given a glimpse of hope when Dayot Upamecano saw a second yellow card on 43 minutes for kicking the ball away in frustration.
Paderborn from that moment eyed their chance to make the headlines, and their efforts were rewarded in injury time when Christian Strohdiek smashed home a rebound to condemn Leipzig to a shock and agonizing 1-1 draw.
Fortuna Dusseldorf and Hoffenheim played an entertaining 2-2 draw, in a match which saw Fortuna’s guest battle for over 80 minutes with ten men.
At the bottom of the standings, Mainz shocked Eintracht Frankfurt, claiming a 2-0 win at Frankfurt to open up a three-point gap above 16th place Fortuna. Moussa Niakhaté powered a header home just before half time, and the three points were confirmed when Pierre Kunde capitalized on a defensive error from Frankfurt to add a second.
Kunde then celebrated by taking a knee, following in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho and Marcus Thuram in supporting the recent movement against racism, after the tragic death of George Floyd in America.