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Other Happenings to Care About | January 24-26, 2014

VfB Stuttgart and Hamburger SV both fall closer to the drop zone, Eintracht Frankfurt keep its ship afloat, and Arsenal try something a little new in its FA Cup victory.

Stuart Franklin

We at Bavarian Football Works are trying something else new. This series of posts will concentrate on FC Bayern München's next opponents as well as the important players to keep tabs on. Let us know what you think!

Bundesliga: VfB Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt

VfB Stuttgart 1-2 1. FSV Mainz 05 – Bundesliga

Mohammed Abdellaue clumsily clipped the rebound from Vedad Ibišević's header into the back of the net in the fifth minute, VfB Stuttgart's third shot of the match. Shinji Okazaki capitalized on his return to Mercedes-Benz Arena, scoring the equalizer for Mainz just before halftime after a collision between goalkeeper Sven Ulreich and Gotoku Sakai just outside the area. The 87th minute winner for Mainz came from Benedikt Saller, receiving the ball from Ja-Cheol Koo that sailed over the Stuttgart defense and finishing on a short angle past Ulreich. With the defeat, Stuttgart now sit in 12th on 19 points, just three points above the relegation zone.

Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 Hertha Berlin SC – Bundesliga

An error from Hertha's Per Skjelbred on a ball forward from Marco Russ allowed Alexander Meier to maneuver his way to the top of the box and beat Thomas Kraft for the only goal in the 37th minute. In a match which only saw three attempts on frame in its entirety, Russ and Viktor Zambrano thrived, winning 85 and 70 percent of their aerial duels respectively. Frankfurt lifted them self a little farther away from relegation, but still remain two points above the relegation zone.

UEFA Champions League: Arsenal FC

Arsenal 4-0 Coventry City – FA Cup

In his second start back from injury, Lukas Podolski scored two goals in the first half, one with his right foot off a ball through from Mesut Özil and another with his head on a corner kick flicked on from Per Mertesacker. Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla both scored off the bench in the waning minutes to secure the inevitable. Arsene Wenger did not field a traditional holding midfielder, putting Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Özil in midfield. The Gunners drew Liverpool in the FA Cup fifth round, which means they will face Liverpool and Manchester United before hosting FC Bayern in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

DFB Pokal: Hamburger SV

Hamburger SV 0-3 FC Schalke 04 – Bundesliga

Jefferson Farfán got all of Marcell Jansen as the Hamburg back four continue to struggle. Jansen did not close down Farfán when the Peruvian crossed the ball into Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, which allowed the Dutchman to out-jump Heiko Westermann and score in his first appearance since August. A miscommunication between Jansen and keeper Jaroslav Drobný allowed Farfán to score on an empty net, and Farfán broke forward again three minutes later finding Max Meyer between two center backs for a quick 3-0 advantage. Hamburger SV have now conceded 41 goals this season, second worst only to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

Players of interest

Sebastian Rode had a decent match, although a bit of recklessness lead to four more fouls, increasing his total to 42, tied for sixth most in the Bundesliga... While Robert Lewandowski did not get on the score sheet, his fascilitation at the top for Dortmund lead to a good handful of chances... No update on the progress of Jan Kirchhoff, who tore the syndesmosis in his right ankle during Schalke's stay in Qatar. He's expected to be out until March...

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