Bundesliga fans have seen their teams play three games in just the span of a week, as this weekend's fixtures came just days after a midweek round. Matchday 29 is nearly complete, save for one more clash featuring Cologne and RB Leipzig, set to take place later on Monday, and that match will be especially interesting as there could be another shake-up in the league standings once it concludes.
Der Klassiker, which was the highlight of the midweek round, ended up going to Bayern for the third straight time, leaving Dortmund's already slim title hopes in tatters, but die Schwarzgelben clearly showed this weekend that they aren't giving up just yet.
Without further ado, here are five key stats and facts from this weekend's round of fixtures, and a quick preview of the upcoming tie between Cologne and Leipzig.
1. Onwards and upwards for Bayern under Flick's tenure
Initially appointed as an interim boss following Niko Kovac's departure, Hans-Dieter Flick was then rewarded for his good efforts with a longer-term contract this past April.
Things continue to improve under his guidance, as Bayern are still unbeaten so far in 2020 and are marching onwards towards another consecutive Bundesliga title. Furthermore, their comfortable win over Fortuna over the weekend helped Flick establish a record that no other manager has done with the Bavarian titans to date:
22 - Hansi #Flick is the first manager to win 22 of his first 25 games with @FCBayernEN in all competitions since their promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965 (Guardiola has won 21 of his first 25). Winner. #FCBF95 pic.twitter.com/IG06LW0o2G— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) May 30, 2020
2. A tale of two halves, part one...fireworks then peace
Meanwhile, it took a solitary goal to finally decide the battle between Mainz and Hoffenheim, but what made that game really notable is now the match played out. The first 45 were a really chippy, aggressive affair, to the point that a record number of cards were dished out:
Oddly enough, after this scrappy period, the second half of the game was a lot more relaxed - despite Mainz going down by a goal. It's quite likely, though, that many players were concerned about being sent off and decided to take a more calmer approach to trying to winning the ball back from their opponents.
3. A tale of two halves, part two...the calm before the storm
On the opposite end of the spectrum was the clash between Paderborn and Dortmund. The hosts ended up being humiliated 6-1, but the first half was relatively calm. So calm, that in fact, it's worth taking note, perhaps:
1 - There was only one foul in the first half between Paderborn and Dortmund (Delaney, 27th minute) - negative Bundesliga record since the start of detailed data collection (2004-05). Peace. #SCPBVB pic.twitter.com/ZNa4q2Hxqt— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) May 31, 2020
However, the second half was a different affair entirely. Not only were all seven goals scored in the second 45 minutes of action, but the fouls really started picking up, with a total of five yellows dished out as oppoed to zero during the first 45.
4. Lewandowski completes his list
This past weekend saw current top goal-scorer Robert Lewandowski add a couple more goals to his growing tally as he chases down the record of 40 goals scored in one Bundesliga campaign that was set by Gerd Müller back in 1972.
More significant is the fact that his brace was against Fortuna, which until this weekend, was the only Bundesliga team that the Polish ace had never scored against. However, he has now scored against every single Bundesliga team has has faced, including newcomers Union Berlin, and yes, even against current club Bayern (when, of course, he was playing for Dortmund).
With 29 goals (and counting), he just could end up matching (or possibly surpassing) Müller's record, which has stood for nearly 50 years by the time this season ends.
5. A very interesting battle evolving at the bottom of the table
As things stand, Paderborn are looking set to be relegated, following their loss to Dortmund. However, there are three teams: Mainz, Fortuna, and Werder Bremen who are all in a very curious position. Each of these teams have a good shot at remaining in the Bundesliga, yet at the same time, each of these teams could end up either being relegated or having to fight for their top-flight status through the play-offs.
So with the title race pretty much decided in Bayern's favor, one of the interesting battles to keep one's eyes on will be on which of these teams ends up in the relegation spot, which in the play-offs, and which avoids it all together. Other teams like Köln and Augsburg also are not out of the woods just yet, and could end up being dragged into this unwanted three-horse race of sorts should they not be able to turn things around.
Still, this stat may give 17th-placed Werder Bremen and their nervous fans, who have picked up seven points since the league restarted, even more hope of perhaps avoiding the drop:
3 - @werderbremen_en have collected 3 consecutive clean sheets in the Bundesliga for the first time under manager Florian Kohfeldt and for the first time since 2013-14. Turnaround. #S04SVW pic.twitter.com/9kVbsHpBGq— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) May 30, 2020
Preview: Köln vs RB Leipzig
After cruising to a 5-0 win over Mainz during which Timo Werner finally ended his frustrating drought in front of goal, RB Leipzig dropped further points in a disappointing two-all draw with Hertha Berlin. Having now drawn four of their last five fixtures, die Bullen are not only well out of the title race, but are also in danger of slipping out of the top four entirely if they do not stop dropping valuable points. Julian Naglesmann's side come into this game in fifth place, albeit they do have a game in hand, so a win over their upcoming opponents will help them jump into third ahead of the upcoming matchday, but it looks set to be a very close battle between Leipzig, Gladbach, and Leverkusen for just two Champions League spots.
The visitors will be missing several players, including Ethan Ampadu, Yussuf Polusen, Ibrahmia Konate, and Kevin Kampl due to injuries, while Marcel Halstenberg is suspended.
As for Köln, they sit in 11th ahead of this game, but have won just one of their last five games. Overall, since the league re-started, they have picked up just two points out of a possible nine and come into this match having suffered a 3-1 defeat to Hoffenheim. While they are not in danger of relegation thanks to a solid run of form prior to the COVID-19 pandemic spreading to Germany and forcing a shut-down of the Bundesliga, they are just seven points from 16th and the team that occupies the play-off berth.
As such, it goes without saying that the hosts will try to take advantage of Leipzig's less than consistent form as of late to snatch a much-needed point and build an even bigger buffer between themselves and the bottom three sides.
Where to watch Köln vs RB Leipzig live on June 1, 2020
Köln vs RB Leipzig kick off at 11:30 PST/14:30 EST/18:30 GMT/20:30 CET
USA: Fubo TV, Sling TV, FOX Soccer Match Pass, SiriusXM FC, FOX Deportes, Foxsports.com, Fox Sports 2
Australia: beIN Sports 1, beIN Sports Connect, Kayo Sports
Canada: Sportsnet World Now, Sportsnet Now, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet West, Sportsnet World, Sportsnet Pacific
France: Free, beIN SPORTS CONNECT, beIN Sports 1
Germany: TeleClub Sport Live, DAZN
UK: BT Sport App, BT Sport 1, Talksport 2 Radio UK, BTSport.com
Live elsewhere? Here's where to watch Köln vs RB Leipzig in your location:
Köln vs RB Leipzig Broadcast Information
Stadium: RheinEnergieStadion (Köln)
Canada: Sportsnet World, Sportsnet Now, Sportsnet West, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet World Now, Sportsnet Pacific
France: beIN SPORTS CONNECT, beIN Sports 1, Free
Germany: TeleClub Sport Live, DAZN
India: Star Sports HD 1 Asia, Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select HD2, Star Sports 1 Asia
Indonesia: Fox Sports 2 Indonesia, Mola TV, Fox Sports 2 Cambodia
Malaysia: Fox Sports 2 Malaysia, Unifi TV
Netherlands: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 4, Fox Sports Go
Nigeria: StarTimes App, Startimes World Football
Portugal: Eleven Sports 1 Portugal
Spain: Movistar+, Movistar Liga de Campeones
Turkey: S Sport 2, S Sport+, Idman TV
United Kingdom: BT Sport 1, Talksport 2 Radio UK, BT Sport App, BTSport.com
United States: Foxsports.com, SiriusXM FC, FOX Deportes, FOX Soccer Match Pass, fuboTV, Fox Sports 2