A Lewandowski-less Borussia Dortmund squeaks passed SC Freiburg to keep the Bundesliga gap at 20 points. Julian Schieber replaced the injured Robert Lewandowski, although it was the heroics of Sebastian Kehl that lifted the Schwarzgelben. They once again become the sole candidates for the second place behind the overwhelming Bayern Munich machine.
Earliest Championship Date: March 29, 2014
1-0 Mesut Özil (7')
1-1 Romelu Lukaku (32')
2-1 Mikel Arteta (P 68')
3-1 Olivier Giroud (83')
4-1 Olivier Giroud (85')
The unconvincing, chance-lacking team that took the field in the Britannia Stadium a week ago was a distant memory. An early goal from Mesut Özil set the tone, Arsenal getting forward with more urgency than recent matches. Mikel Arteta stepped in beautifully for the injured Jack Wilshere, and Olivier Giroud baffled off the bench, doing his best Mario Gómez impression. The Gunners showed the number of gears they have, although which gear they will be able to switch into in Munich is another matter.
Bundesliga: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Hannover 96 (1-1) Bayer 04 Leverkusen
0-1 Gonzalo Castro (28')
1-1 Artjoms Rudnevs
The progressive fall of Leverkusen took another dip, unable to overcome the direct pressure Hannover put on at home. Stefan Kießling was invisible, barely having a touch and only firing one shot before Eren Derdiyok relieved him after 79 minutes. Omir Saphic anchored the defense from constant Antjoms Rudnevs and Leonardo Bittencourt barrages, Simon Rolfes and Emre Can assisting a suspect defense. The attacking fortitude shown earlier this season has lost its wind, a bad omen for a Munich side that pounded six goals passed VfL Wolfsburg.
1. FC Kaiserslautern (2-1) SV Sandhausen
0-1 Danny Blum (10')
1-1 Simon Zoller (60')
2-1 Daniel Schulz OG (73')
A pedestrian first half that saw the Red Devils surrender another early goal was followed by an inspired second. Kosta Runjaic once again deployed two attackers, a tactic critical to Kaiserslautern getting back into the game. Simon Zoller went into a he-man transformation in the second period, forcing both goals passed the Sandhausen defense. He and Srdjan Lakic will be the two key players for the Semifinal, the attacking load likely resting on their shoulders.