Lukas Podolski joins Arsenal, Marko Marin joins Chelsea, Shinji Kagawa doesn't yet join
Manchester United and Lucas Barrios ends up in China. There's quite a bit more movement on the
transfer market already, than in the Bundesliga table. But here is what happened anyway.
There are many ways to say Auf Wiedersehen.
Dortmund's title win was finally made official. And while the pundits discuss, whether we are
looking at a dynasty in the making, elsewhere clubs compete for the right or burden to play two
Dortmund are deserved winners.
In a matter of eleven days, Dortmund have now beaten the second, third and fourth placed teams in
Dortmund are champions. Kaiserlautern are relegated. Both just awaiting official confirmation.
But still plenty to play for in between the top and bottom.
A good bench is a sign of continuity.
Bayern Munich's ambitions to beat Mainz at any cost with a make-shift squad was greatly diminished
by Dortmund's win over Schalke earlier.
Time to sift through the aftermath of that game between Dortmund and Bayern. And since the other
16 teams in the league decided to do nothing particularly unexpected, it'll be in a bit more
The title hasn't been decided yet, but the near future.
Dortmund have apparently been handed the title already by pretty much everybody, who has anything
to say about football.
Sorry for my recent absence. Been moving places. Little time to catch up with Bundesliga footy.
Luckily, next to nothing has been decided in the meantime except for Kaiserslautern's relegation,
which is a mere mathematical formality now. In fact, things have been opening up quite a bit most
promisingly, at the very top.
On August 24th, 1963, 17 minutes into the first matchday of the inaugural Bundesliga season,
1860 Munich striker Rudolf Brunnenmeier nutmegged Eintracht Braunschweig keeper Hans Jäcker to
give his side a 1-0 lead. It was 1860 Munich's first ever Bundesliga goal. It was the first
Bundesliga goal that was caught on camera.
Markus Babbel is a welcome guest in Munich. Markus Babbel is a young promising
Bundesliga coach, who has done reasonably well at his clubs so far. That is, as long as he doesn't
have to pay a visit to his former club. His Hertha side conceded three goals in 13 minutes earlier
The title race has turned into a title procession. Just a couple of weeks ago,
we could gloat over the most fascinating Bundesliga title race in recent years. Now we have to
conclude that Borussia Dortmund are simply far too consistent and everybody else, well, is not.
Dortmund went seven points clear at the top, with a confident win over Mainz, that only briefly
like two minutes looked to be in doubt.
Dortmund have the right backups for a successful title defense. Dortmund had
already benefitted from Robert Lewandowski's and Felipe Santana's breakthrough performances in the
absence of Lucas Barrios and Neven Subotic in the Hinrunde. Now, they benefit from Shinji Kagawa's
and Kuba's excellent form, in the absence of Mario Götze.
Impressions are still fresh, which makes it easier to indulge in hyperbole, but during the first
45 minutes against Schalke, Gladbach delivered some of the finest team football the Bundesliga has
seen this season. On top, there was a goal for every personal preference in football artistry
anyone could have: a great individual goal by Marco Reus, an even greater team goal finished off by
Mike Hanke and a beautiful goal from a free kick by Juan Arango.
The big freeze produced one big winner. Germany's winter so far: a mild
December was followed by a warm January was followed by a frigging cold February. It's probably
some strange global warming phenomenon again, or 2012, or... It meant that matchday 20 took place
under arctic circumstances.
Marco Reus finds all the right answers to Bayern's trash talk. Reus'
announcement to move to Dortmund in the summer, triggered a series of trademark taunts from down
south during the winter break. Reus supposedly demanded a guaranteed starting spot at Bayern. He
chickened from trying to fight for his place in the team.
Gladbach coach Lucien Favre is visibly delighted with his team's performance against Bayern
(Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Raul → Draxler → Raul → Huntelaar → Draxler → Goal.
This is one of the better team goals you'll see this season. And what makes it even more
remarkable, is the small fact, that it was scored by a team coached by all things defense expert
Na tactics can compensate for individual mistakes. Bayern's 3-0 win over
Cologne was rich in absurdity. Ribery blew a fuse. The match ball blew out. Cologne blew a one man
advantage. You could add Solbakken's one-off idea to bring back the five man backline to this list.
Except, that it actually worked out pretty well to frustrate Bayern most of the time.