Final UEFA group matches in the books and Bundesliga clubs know whether to prepare for knockout phases or not.
Bayern Munich shook the European landscape as in Munich they soundly beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1. Despite not overturning the goal difference to finish first in the group much was on display. Perhaps best was keeper Sven Ulrich. His number of saves meant that Bayern was never worrying about gaining just a point. Kingsley Coman had been doing well of late but his supply line to Coretain Tolisso meant a brace for the young Frenchman.
Borussia Dortmund was soundly beaten by the best in Europe. Real Madrid made sure that BVB fans were keeping track of the other match in the group instead. Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang scored a brace but that never was threatening Madrid. In a 3-2 loss the Black and Yellow earned a spot in the Europa League as due to the other group result they progressed via better goal difference.
RB Leipzig had a rough Saturday losing to Hoffenheim was rough but it went one more. Losing 2-1 to Besiktas, a team already qualified, at home will sting. Qualification to the Europa League means that they continue their initial European campaign.
In the Europa League only Koln had a chance to qualify for the next phase. It would not be for them as they fell to Red Star Belgrade 1-0 and exited the UEL. Hoffenheim, already eliminated, sent out a weakened side and still for the home fans get a share of the prize money in their 1-1 draw against Ludogorets of Bulgaria. Hertha Berlin, also already eliminated, did must the same as Hoffenheim in their 1-1 draw.
Bundesliga Talking Points-Who will actually survive relegation?
The Bundesliga is always tricky unexpected but perhaps more this season that in previous season.
Last season SC Freiburg, Werder Bremen, and FC Koln were qualifying for Europe or just missing out and now they make up the bottom three.
SC Freiburg lost Max Phillip and Vincenzo Grifo who were the two main stars of the team that finished seventh in the Bundesliga last season. This always happens to this club but should the club be able to survive then they should bounce back as they always do because of the continuity in their management with Christian Streich.
Werder Bremen was up there because of an unreal run of form that led them just outside of Europe. Alexander Nouri has been fired and nobody had come in to take the job. Under youth coach Florian Kohfeldt Bremen has eeked out a few wins but only staying injury free will equal survival. The big loss was Max Kruse being out so long.
FC Koln let go of their sporting director first, then their coach. Sad that after so many years of stabilization and moving up the table slowly that they overextended themselves. Not finding a replacement for Anthony Modeste is key as the big signing of Jhon Cordoba has been a bust. They needed to get more depth but did not in the summer and their injury crisis has meant they are bottom of the Bundesliga.
Bundesliga Matches of the Week
Eintracht Frankfurt has been a squad that earns points on the road. In the Bundesliga they have the best road form despite being in eighth place. Should this team show their home fans what they can do they need to do so against Bayern Munich.
Bayern is coming off a massive Champions League victory over PSG and is the team that if you make mistakes will punish you. But with so many injuries and coming off a tough European mid week the reigning champions might look a little tired at the Waldstadion.
FC Koln v SC Freiburg is probably the most unsexy match of the weekend and yet so massive, prime definition of a relegation six pointer. FC Koln have looked good in the recent weeks but the question is what happens now that Peter Stoger is gone. SC Freiburg has one single point on the road this season, needless to say that against bottom Koln is the best chance to change this.
Borussia Monchengladbach looked on cloud nine after defeating Bayern. Sadly came down to Earth falling to Wolfsburg. Schalke earned a moral win in their come from behind draw against Dortmund then drew with Koln. Each is in the Champions League places and the stakes could not be higher. Winner takes full control as they look to progress this season.
Bundesliga on Fox
Friday gets the Bundesliga started right. Leverkusen and Stuttgart face off on Fox Sports 2.
Saturday has a solid early slate with three opening Saturday matches. Bayern Munich visits Eintracht Frankfurt on Fox Sports 1. Borussia Dortmund looks to changer their fortunes against Werder Bremen on FS2. RB Leipzig looks to return to winning ways against Mainz 05 on Fox Soccer Plus.
Saturday traditional topspiel is a traditional big match. Schalke paying visit to Borussia Monchengladbach will be on FS2.
Sunday is Super Sunday with three matches. The relegation special between Koln and Freiburg is first on FS1 followed by Hannover 96 hosting Hoffenhiem on FS1. FS2 takes the end of the match day with Augsburg vs Hertha Berlin