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By Gavin Faucette
Matchday 31 ended with Bayern still holding onto their 7 point lead over Dortmund with three games remaining in the Bundesliga. Bayern only needs one more win to secure the league title. At the bottom of the table, Werder Bremen, Düsseldorf, and Mainz all desperately need points if they want to remain in the Bundesliga next season…
RB Leipzig’s winter signing Danni Olmo was wearing a brace in the win over 7th place Hoffenheim though did not appear to be a concern. Hoffenheim started off strong as Christoph Baumgartner was inches away from scoring in the 4th minute. Just a minute later, VAR reversed a penalty decision by the referee for a very arguable handball. RB Leipzig quickly turned the game around. Their winter signing Danni Olmo scored two goals in quick succession one in the 9th minute and the other two minutes later. Both finishes were incredibly clinical, showing off the young Spaniard’s talent. Hoffenheim continued to attack but struggled to finish off chances. For the second week in a row the future Chelsea striker Timo Werner missed a golden opportunity on a break away. Chelsea fans will hope he returns to form in the last three Bundesliga games. Leipzig are in a strong position to finish 3rd in the league for the second year in a row. Hoffenheim will look to finish above Wolfsburg who are currently 3 points and sitting in the second Europa League spot.
Erling Håland is back! The young Norwegian returned from injury being subbed on in the 61st minute. In the 95th minute, Håland scored a magnificent header to keep Dortmund in the title race. His goal was heartbreaking for 16th place Düsseldorf, who put up quite a fight creating three great chances. Raphael Guerriero scored an incredible volley 65th minute but it was negated by VAR for a handball. Dortmund remains 7 points behind Bayern who only need to win one more game to secure the title. Düsseldorf remains 3 points from safety behind Mainz.
Bayern Munich continued their winning ways against 5th place Gladbach. It seems unlikely they will not pick up a win to secure the title from their last three games. Gladbach got off to an unfortunate start when their leading scorer Marcus Thuram had to be subbed off in the 10th minute. However, his replacement, the young Swiss international Breel Embolo, played quite well. Gladbach’s keeper Yann Sommer, overestimated his passing ability in the 26th minute, passing it straight to Joshua Zirkzee who calmly finished on the open net. Bayern returned the favor in the 37th minute as Benjamin Pavard misplaced a clearance into his own net. Redemption for the young Frenchman came with 4 minutes remaining when he assisted Leon Goretzka’s winning goal. Bayern looks to lock up the title next weekend against a Werder Bremen side who is in dire need of points to avoid relegation. Gladbach will be determined to pass Bayer Leverkusen for the last Champions League place.
At this point, Schalke might end the season without a win in the last 15 games of the Bundesliga season. Amazingly, they are still mid table. American Weston Mckennie had the first real chance of the game with a blistering strike from long range. With only 27% of possession Schalke struggled to create chances. In the 51st minute they were luckily awarded a penalty for a highly questionable handball by Leverkusen defender Edmond Tapsoba. Daniel Caligiuri finished off the penalty to give Schalke the lead. Leverkusen consistently put Schalke under pressure for the remainder of the game. Eventually, Leverkusen got their equalizer off a Wendell cross to his fellow Brazilian Paulinho, which Schalke defender Juan Miranda inadvertently kicked into his own net. With the draw, Bayer Leverkusen remains one point ahead of Mönchengladbach for the last Champions League spot. Schalke will look to end their winless streak with only 3 games remaining.
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