Bundesliga Week 12 recap: Dortmund within nine as Bayern draw, Schalke lose

Alexander Hassenstein

Bayern Munich didn't have their best day in the Bavarian Derby on Saturday, but Schalke had an even tougher time. Borussia Dortmund defeated Fürth, but they're still nine points behind first place.

If a team is going to drop points, there are worse times to falter than in an away match against a regional rival, and on a day when your other rivals falter. Bayern Munich were held by Nürnburg on Saturday, but their position on top of the Bundesliga table wasn't affected in the slightest as second-placed Schalke fell to Bayer Leverkusen. Unlike Schalke, Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund managed to win their matches, keeping some small hint of pressure on the league leaders.

Borussia Dortmund 3-1 SpVgg Greuther Fürth

Dortmund went up three minutes in, courtesy of Mario Götze, who had a dominant first half. Robert Lewandowski scored the opener, though he didn't do much more than stand in the right place and let the ball bounce off him after a terrific run from Götze. Incredibly, Fürth came up with an instant answer. BVB's defense fell apart on a through ball by Robert Zillner, which was chipped in over Roman Weidenfeller by Zoltán Stieber.

In the 15th minute, Bernd Nehrig hauled down Jakub Blaszczykowski in the penalty area, and Lewandowski converted the spot kick for his second goal. Götze sealed the win for his side in the 42nd minute with a spectacular goal, scored from close range after he beat multiple defenders and the goalkeeper.

Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-2 VfB Stuttgart

The days of 'Gladbach as Champions League contenders and media darlings appear to be long gone. Martin Stranzl fired his team into the lead after seven minutes, but their lead was erased instantly on the ensuing kickoff, by a Martin Harnik header. Stuttgart's winner was a very unlucky one for 'Gladbach, scored by Roel Brouwers on his own goal. He stuck out his leg in an attempt to block a cross, but instead deflected the ball past Marc-André ter Stegen.

Hannover 96 1-2 SC Freiburg

Freiburg have somehow, miraculously, become a significantly better team since selling Papiss Cisse. They improbably avoided relegation last season, and they're looking like a solid mid-table side this season. Their road record is hilariously much better than their home record, and they improved it further this weekend with their best result of the season. Jonathan Schmid scored the opener on an empty net, turning in a cross by Daniel Caligiuri. Mohammed Abdellaoue converted a penalty later in the first half to fire his team back into the game, but Jan Rosenthal scored a deserved equalizer for the visitors in the 55th minute, after a bad turnover by the Hannover defense.

Nürnburg 1-1 Bayern Munich

Well, you can't win them all. This was a generally cagey affair with neither team doing much to create scoring opportunities. Mario Mandžukić put the visitors up just three minutes in, turning in a ball by Toni Kroos. Just after halftime, Markus Feulner stunned Bayern with a 30-yard stunner, leveling the match less than a minute into the second half. The following 30 minutes were even until Timo Gebhart picked up a red card for Nürnburg, at which point the hosts had to stop attacking and simply attempt to hold on for a draw. They were successful, as Bayern controlled possession but failed to score.

Hamburg SV 1-0 Mainz 05

This game didn't feature a lot of chances, but did feature a controversial goal. Son Hueng-Min was probably a hair offside when he turned in a ball into the box by Maximilian Beister to win the match for HSV.

Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 FC Augsburg

They didn't exactly make it easy on themselves, but Frankfurt won again to stay in the top three. They got off to a brilliant start with two early goals -- the first of which came by way of an own goal -- but Koo Ja-Cheol scored to bring Augsburg back within one goal just before halftime.Alexander Meier, who is in absolutely ridiculous form, scored Frankfurt's third goal seven minutes after the break. Sascha Mölders atoned for his earlier error, making up for his own goal by scoring one for his own team to bring them back within one, but Augsburg gave away a 75th minute penalty that Meier converted to clinch the win for Frankfurt.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Schalke 04

We return to your regularly scheduled Schalke letdown match. Andre Schürrle netted an absolute stunner just before the break in this match, and Stefan Kiessling doubled his side's lead with a 67th minute strike. The score could have been worse, if not for a missed penalty. We'll chalk up this terrible performance to the Königsblauen looking ahead to Champions League.

Werder Bremen 2-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Werder improbably found a winner with 10 men late in their match on Sunday, through on-loan attacker Kevin De Bruyne. The match didn't start well for them, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos hauling down Robbie Kruse in the penalty box early. Jens Langeneke stepped up to finish, putting the visitors in front. Nils Peterson scored in the 51st minute to put Werder back on the right track, but Assani Lukimya-Mulongoti's 77th minute red card appeared to derail their chances of finding a winner. Instead, they continued to attack Düsseldorf, and De Bruyne turned in a cross by Aaron Hunt to steal three points for his side.

Hoffenheim 1-3 Wolfsburg

It's annoying that these two extremely talented teams are really bad. Apparently, Hoffenheim are more bad. Goals by Makoto Hasebe, Bas Dost and Naldo sunk the home side. Eren Dierdyok scored a late consolation goal.

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