The winners and losers of Bundesliga matchday 19

Bundesliga matchday 19 provided yet another weekend of intriguing action throughout the nine matches, with Bayern Munich closing the gap on Bayer Leverkusen, Stuttgart ending their poor run in style and Borussia Dortmund keeping up their 100% start to the year.  Here we bring you the winners and losers from the weekend fixtures.

Winners 

Deniz Undav & VfB Stuttgart

Ser-who? If VfB Stuttgart fans were worried about the absence of top scorer Serhou Guirassy and where the goals were going to come from, they needn’t have been concerned as Deniz Undav is proving he is more than capable.

The loan signing from Brighton took his season’s tally to twelve with a stunning hat trick against RB Leipzig on Saturday. He scored with his right foot, his left foot and with a header to complete the perfect set.

“It was a very important game and a very important win for us” the striker said after the final whistle. “We know how strong we can be at home and that we needed to show a reaction after the last couple of games. Thankfully, we managed to do that. It was a very intense game and we played brilliantly today. I’m happy I was able to score three goals and help the team.”

The morale-boosting win ends Stuttgart’s poor start to 2024 following consecutive defeats to Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfL Bochum. 

Niclas Füllkrug & Borussia Dortmund

Last season’s Bundesliga top scorer helped himself to a hat trick against VfL Bochum in the Ruhrderby, which kept up BVB’s perfect 100% record this year so far and moved them into the top four ahead of RB Leipzig.

His early penalty opened the scoring, beating ‘Elfmeter Killer’ Manuel Riemann and his header to restore Dortmund’s lead on 72 minutes was a typical Füllkrug header as he powered his way onto Marcel Sabitzer’s cross. His first Dortmund hat trick was completed in the 91st minute with a second penalty, sending Riemann the wrong way again with an expertly taken spot kick.

It wasn’t vintage BVB and there are still big defensive issues to sort out, but Ian Maatsen was a stand-out again and the absence of Julian Brandt and Gregor Kobel wasn’t felt too badly. They are the only side now to have taken the maximum nine points in the calendar year so far.  

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Aleksandar Pavlovic

Injury to Joshua Kimmich meant that 19-year-old Aleksandar Pavlovic was drafted into the centre of the Bayern midfield to partner Leon Goretzka and he responded by scoring his first senior goal for the club. His 23rd strike came with Augsburg enjoying a great start to the game and put the Rekordmeister on the way to an important three points. 

“I’m very happy, these are very important points” he explained after. “We had to keep a clear head today. The penalty at the end somewhat tarnished the result, but overall we played smartly and deserved to win.”

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Julian Malatini

Scoring on your debut is always the dream situation and that is exactly what happened for new Werder Bremen defender Julian Malatini. The 22-year-old Argentine, recently signed from Club Atlético Talleres, came off the bench in the 90th minute and was on the scoresheet straightaway. 

Finding himself upfield he capitalised on a poor back pass, before rounding Freiburg goalkeeper Noah Atubolu and slotting home Werder’s third of the match. “Everyone here has welcomed me really well and I feel very comfortable in the club,” he said after the match. “Everyone makes me feel like I’ve arrived and I hope it continues like that.” 

Two minutes, two touches, one goal, three points. Not a bad start!

Tobias Krull

Wolfsburg fan Tobias Krull’s afternoon took an unexpected turn at the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday when he found himself swapping his seat in the stand for a role as the match’s fourth official.

The game against Köln was halted in the 14th minute when assistant referee Thorben Siewer was hit in the face by a clearance. Dazed and in need of treatment, he was replaced on the sideline by fourth official Nicolas Winter meaning a new fourth official was required and an appeal went out to the crowd appealing for any qualified referees to step forward.

32-year-old Krull, who is a goalkeeper for local sixth-division club MTV Gifhorn, offered his services and swapped his jeans for a DFB tracksuit.  “Tobias did a great job and helped out very, very well. A great performance,” referee Storks said after.  

Losers

RB Leipzig

Having started the New Year with successive home losses to Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen, it was imperative that RB Leipzig got a positive result from their trip to Stuttgart this weekend, but things have in fact just gone from bad to worse.

Die Roten Bullen were on the end of a 5-2 thrashing at the MHP Arena with the Swabians ending their own poor start to the year and gaining revenge for the 5-1 defeat at the Red Bull Arena earlier in the season. 

“This was exactly what we didn’t want to happen” explained coach Marco Rose after the defeat. “The results from the last few weeks have their left their mark on the team. We made too many mistakes right from the start of the game. We weren’t good enough in possession and couldn’t control the match at all.

“Stuttgart ultimately deserved to win. We now have to work hard in order to improve things as quickly as possible.” 

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Kingsley Coman

Bayern Munich’s squad was already a little thin after international absentees and injuries to Dayot Upamecano, Joshua Kimmich and Konrad Laimer, but the situation has taken a turn for the worse after Kingsley Coman was forced out of Saturday’s clash with Augsburg in the first half.

The winger will be absent for quite a while having suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee. “It’s obviously a real blow,” said sporting director Christoph Freund. “But knowing Kingsley, he’ll come back even stronger. We wish him a speedy recovery.”

Attila Szalai

It’s not been a great season so far for Hungarian midfielder Attila Szalai. He joined Hoffenheim in the summer and then scored an own goal on his debut on matchday 1 of the season. He has since been loaned to Freiburg for the remainder of this season, but his debut as a second half substitute for the Breisgauer away at Werder Bremen on Saturday also went awry.

2-1 down going into injury time, he under-hit a simple back pass to goalkeeper Noah Atubolu and allowed Werder’s Julian Malatini to score the Grün-Weißen to add a third goal. 

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The bottom two

It wasn’t a good weekend for the two sides occupying the automatic relegation spots with both Mainz and Darmstadt suffering defeats. The Nullfünfer had good spells against Frankfurt on Friday and were arguably the better side in the first half, but a severe lack of a cutting edge once again cost them dearly and a 1-0 defeat kept them on 11 points.

Darmstadt had the opportunity to climb above Mainz on Sunday, but a 1-0 loss away at fellow strugglers Union Berlin means they remain bottom of the pile with a worse goal difference than Mainz. It doesn’t get any easier for the Lilien with the visit of leaders Bayer Leverkusen to the Böllenfalltor next Saturday. 

Nico Schlotterbeck

Borussia Dortmund’s first goal conceded in 2024 was one that really should have been avoided with an horrendous defensive mix up between goalkeeper Alexander Meyer and Nico Schlotterbeck leading to VfL Bochum’s equaliser just before half-time. 

The visitors pressed well to win the ball wide on the left, but Patrick Osterhage’s whipped, low cross looked destined to be scooped up by Meyer, only for Schlotterbeck to take it into his hands to attempt a clearance. His effort succeeded only in ending up in the back of the net with the keeper looking on bemused. 

He was caught out again just after the hour mark with a poor back pass which needed the last-ditch intervention of Ian Maatsen to deny Bochum another goal.  

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About Mathew Burt 1053 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball