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Other Happenings to Care About | March 15-17, 2014

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Mainz storms back against Hoffenhiem, Lewandowski returns for Dortmund, Jan Kirchhoff still a ways away from a return, and Kaiserslautern hold top-team Köln to a scoreless draw

Alex Grimm

Borussia Mönchengladbach stormed Signa Iduna Park, handing Borussia Dortmund its fifth home loss of the season. Raffael and Max Kruse both scored in the first half, executing with precision, and Miloš Jojić scores his second goal to give Dortmund a chance. The loss increases Bayern München's lead to 23 points, once again bumping up the championship match.

Earliest Championship Date: March 25, 2014 vs. Hertha Berliner SC

Logo DFL © Foto: Bongarts/GettyImages Bundesliga: 1. FSV Mainz 05 1. FSV Mainz 05

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (2-4) 1. FSV Mainz 05

1-0 Eugen Polanski
2-0 Roberto Firmino
2-1 Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
2-2 Benedikt Saller
2-3 Shinji Okazaki
2-4 Shinji Okazaki

Rather good at keeping goals out, Mainz held one of the Bundesliga's best attacks to a scoreless first frame, although the numbers it committed forward was not enough to test a suspect Hoffenheim defense. Once Polanski unleashed off of a corner, Mainz opened up a bit to try and get back into the game. Shinji Okazaki and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting carried most of the attacking load, with a fortunate deflection off of Benedikt Saller equalizing the match. Mainz are still a bit prone on the wings, a perfect order for Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben to gobble up.

Germany DFB-Pokal: 1. FC Kaiserslautern 1. FC Kaiserslautern

1. FC Kaiserslautern (0-0) 1. FC Köln

Holding the best team in the division scoreless might be a good thing, but not creating an effective scoring chance is another. The disconnect between the midfield and the two forwards was glaring, especially since Mohamadou Idrissou did not do enough on his own to warrant an absent playmaker. In their Rückrunde struggle for promotion, the lack of threatening shots is has pulled Kaiserslautern back to mediocrity. There is little doubt in the parked-bus approach Kosta Runjiac will be forced to employ, but Kaiserslautern do not have enough power to strike on a counter.

Players of Interest

Robert Lewandowski returned from his knee injury, putting in a full shift for the Schwarzgelben. He did not get on the score sheet, but did link up the play well and broke forward with relative confidence... Jan Kirchhoff has not yet graduated to full training, still rehabbing and doing stability exercises, according to While sport directer Horst Heldt remains optimistic, Krichhoff believes he is still far away, and would be "very disappointed" if he could not play again this season...

UEFA Champions League Domestic Scores

Barcelona (7-0) Osasuna
Paris Saint-Germain (2-0) AS Saint-Étienne
Atlético Madrid (1-0) Espanyol
Aston Villa (1-0) Chelsea
Málaga (0-1) Real Madrid
FC Augsburg (1-2) FC Schalke 04
Borussia Dortmund (1-2) Borussia Mönchengladbach
CSKA Moskva (1-0) Zenit St. Petersburg
Manchester United (0-3) Liverpool
Olympiakos CFP (2-0) Panthrakikos