The winners and losers of Bundesliga matchday 22

Another exciting weekend of Bundesliga football was served up this weekend with the title race hotting up at one end of the table, while the clubs at the other end of the table were also battling intensely for potentially vital points. So just who were the winners and losers from the matchday 22 fixtures?

The winners

Bayer Leverkusen

After the high of beating Bayern last weekend, it was a trip into deepest Baden-Württemberg for Bayer Leverkusen this weekend and the potential banana skin that was 1.FC Heidenheim. The Werkself lifted their game to another level against the champions in their 3-0 win, and there was a real danger that they could get a rude awakening if they didn’t approach their game on Saturday with the requisite amount of intensity.

There was however no chance of that happening and Xabi Alonso’s side showed a side to their character which lends even more evidence to the case for them being genuine title contenders this season. The Voith Arena is not an easy place to go and win, but win they did with goals from Jeremie Frimpong and Amine Adlie. A late consolation from Tin Kleindienst was the only blot on a good afternoon’s work.  

“Not a spectacular game but we were serious, professional” was coach Xabi Alonso’s perfect summation.  

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Bo Henriksen

It’s been a long time since the Mainz fans have been able to enjoy a win at the Mewa Arena, but they were in good spirits on Saturday as new trainer Bo Henriksen got his rescue mission at the club off to the perfect start with a 1-0 win over Augsburg. The last three points (and only ones this season) celebrated by the Nullfünfer fans was back on matchday 10 when Jan Siewert won his match in charge against RB Leipzig. 

A Sepp van den Berg header just before halftime sealed the win and there is finally something to get positive about at Mainz. “I know that when I pass on energy and passion to the players, they do their best. That’s what we saw today. It’s not about me,” explained the new head coach. 

“Of course, the fans were wonderful too, they gave everything for us from the first minute. The players felt that straight away. I think we played very well in the first half. I’m proud of the players. They did everything we set out to do. Everyone played at full throttle, played with energy, passion, emotions and without fear. The next step has to be that we do that every time.”

Brenden Aaronson

It’s safe to say that US international has not been a huge success at Union Berlin since arriving from Leeds United in the summer, but his best moment for the Eisernen certainly arrived on Saturday as he came off the bench to score what turned out to be the winner away at Hoffenheim. 

The 23-year-old was the beneficiary of a good run and pass from fellow sub Jorbe Vertessen and his excellent finish gave Hoffenheim keeper Oliver Baumann little chance and his first Bundesliga goal in his 18th appearance helped the Köpenickers to a valuable three points in their battle to extricate themselves from the nether reaches of the table.  

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Omar Marmoush & Ansgar Knauff

Eintracht Frankfurt very nearly left the Europa Park Stadion with only a point following a 3-3 draw against Freiburg, but it wasn’t through a lack of effort from Adler duo Omar Marmoush and Ansgar Knauff that they didn’t take all three.

Egyptian striker Marmoush opened the scoring in the 27th minute with a good finish (his ninth of the season) before playing an excellent pass to assist Knauff for the club’s second goal after the home side had equalised. Knauff then doubled his tally for the afternoon with his seventh goal of the campaign (a career best) in the 72nd minute to make the score 3-2 to the Adler.  It could and should have been the winner, but Michael Gregoritsch popped up to bag a late equaliser and deny Dino Toppmöller the three points. 

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VfL Bochum

Okay the pressure was on Bayern, but did anyone see this coming. Bochum were fully deserving of their 3-2 win at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion having to come from behind against the champions, who looked set for a straightforward win after the opening quarter of the match. Bochum kept going and hit three goals as the visitors’ frailties appeared. They are now nine points ahead of the bottom three.

The losers

Bayern Munich

Dear, oh dear, it just goes from bad to worse for the reigning champions.  The loss to Bayer Leverkusen was a shock to the system for the gulf between the two sides, and a bad week got even worse when they lost to Lazio in the first-leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie.  

With Leverkusen opening up an eight-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table on Saturday, it was imperative that Bayern got back on track against VfL Bochum on Sunday both in terms of the title race and easing the talk of a crisis. Things started well with an opener from Jamal Musiala, but the afternoon turned sour when the home side hit back to lead 3-1. A late Harry Kane goal made the last minutes tense, but Bochum held out to heap more woe on Bayern and under-pressure coach Thomas Tuchel.  


With every week that goes by and the elusive points continue to stay out of Darmstadt’s reach, the harder it becomes to have any faith that the Lilien can survive this season in the Bundesliga. With Mainz winning this weekend they now find themselves bottom in their own right and four points behind Köln in 16th.  

Trainer Torsten Lieberknecht is saying all the right things. “If we continue to show what we showed today, I am still very optimistic that we can stay in this class through relegation. I won’t lose faith in my boys and will continue to support them.”

He may be talking a good game, but his side currently are not playing one.  

Pellegrino Matarazzo

In what was dubbed a must-win game in some circles, a draw would have possibly been seen as falling short for Pellegrino Matarazzo, but the fact that his Hoffenheim side went down to a 1-0 home defeat to Union Berlin means that the pressure will ramp up another notch.

The Sinsheimer have now not won in their last eight and only have one victory in the previous thirteen league outings.  The club are publicly backing the under-fire coach, but that as we know can be worth not very much. “We are not known for overheating and making decisions overnight with our heads spinning,” said sporting director Alexander Rosen. 

“Rino has proven often enough, in Stuttgart and with us, that he is storm-proof, that he can withstand such things. Of course it’s about results, but I’m a big fan of looking at the team as well as how the crowd reacts. The atmosphere today was fantastic. We are in ninth place, have nothing to do with the bottom and would still be within striking distance of sixth and seventh.”

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The red card quintet

There were five red cards this weekend across four matches with all players now having to serve a suspension. Dayot Upamecano received his second red card in the space of two days when his elbow caught Keven Schlotterbeck. To make matters worse a penalty was also conceded that led to Bochum’s 3-1 lead.  The Frenchman was dismissed against Lazio in midweek to make a bad week even worse.

Both Stanley Nsoki and Kevin Volland were sent off by referee Robert Hartmann in the first half of Hoffenheim versus Union Berlin after collecting two yellows. Pascal Stenzel was given his marching orders at the end of the first 45 minutes of Stuttgart’s win away at Darmstadt. The final player on the naughty step this weekend was Augsburg’s Mads Pedersen after a nasty looking foul on Leandro Barreiro.  

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About Mathew Burt 1058 Articles
Former writer at 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

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