Bayern Munich's win against SC Freiburg was paired with another late loser for Bayer 04 Leverkusen against FC Schalke 04. It is the second six-point swing in the favor of the Rekordmeisters in the Rückrunde of the Bundesliga, once again pushing up the earliest date that FC Bayern can clinch its 24th Bundesliga Title.
Earliest Championship Date: April 12 vs. Borussia Dortmund
A midweek performance that did not see much going forward became another result the Gunners had to grind out. What showed was Arsene Wenger's insistence to keep Olivier Giroud on the pitch despite a lack-luster performance, a sign that the French manager will not change anything tactically if his side is in trouble. One will wonder how much weight Arsenal put on this match considering the FA Cup clash against The Reds at the weekend.
Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool (FA Cup)
1-0 Oxlade-Chamberlain, AFC (16')
2-0 Podolski (47')
2-1 Gerrard (P 59')
A deflection sitter for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after a set piece and a counterattack goal from Lukas Podolski were all that Arsenal needed to avenge its 0-5 beating at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain was electric on the right flank, putting the lamentations of Theo Walcott on the back burner. Wenger fielded two holding midfielders this time around, with Mathieu Flamini providing primarily defensive assistance. The back was very organized, but some marking mistakes still persisted, leading to a few Liverpool chances. If Arsenal continue to lay off the ball as much as they have, FC Bayern will have a field day.
Bundesliga: Hannover 96
1. FSV Mainz 05 2-0 Hannover 96
1-0 Malli (51')
2-0 Choupo-Moting (90+3')
Both teams coming off of losses the week before, Hannover 96 tried and failed to create chances with its possession, and Mainz eventually caught them on a counterattack in the beginning of the second half. New addition Artijoms Rudnevs provided the most contributions in attack, while the defense was organized until it was caught off guard when Yunus Malli scored. A whole different attack from that which took on FC Bayern twice in September will not matter if Hannover do not find an effective way to get their strikers the ball.
FC Erzgebirge Aue 1-0 1. FC Kaiserslautern
1-0 Sylvestr (5')
Not exactly the result that Kaiserslautern were looking for, but not a bad performance. A turnover in the midfield led a break away that Jakub Sylvestr finished off by dribbling by Tobias Sippel. Despite holding onto the ball and showering Aue's goal with 16 shots, Kaiserslautern were not able to find a breakthrough. The club now sits one point behind SC Paderborn for the promotion playoff spot in a very tight top of the 2. Bundesliga table.
Players of Interest
He only scored one goal from the penalty spot in two games, but Robert Lewandowski bounced back at the weekend against Eintracht Frankfurt after a shadow performance at midweek. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang forced the spotlight to himself with his stellar finishing ability, but Lewandowski did a lot of dirty work in the attacking half... Armin Veh left Sebastian Rode off the team sheet during the weekend match against Borussia Dortmund, but the midfielder once again had a solid day, working alongside Marco Russ... Schalke 04 tweeted on Friday that Jan Kirchhoff, out since January 6 with an ankle injury, will have a screw removed on Monday and then "increase the workload," an indicator that he could return in March.
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- Bayern Munich vs. SC Freiburg | Match Recap & Analysis
- Xherdan Shaqiri Injured Against SC Freiburg; Winger to Miss Arsenal Match