Wins for Wolfsburg and Bayern over Jena and Duisburg left the top of the table unchanged, as Essen picked up a big three points in Potsdam and Frankfurt saw off Bremen. Elsewhere it was scoreless draws for Sand at home to Hoffenheim as well as Jena to Köln before Wolfsburg eased past Bremen midweek.
Reshuffled for a rearranged fixture, a noticeably weakened side went to work against the Jena side that had only just held Munich scoreless three days previously. A sharp cross from the right eight minutes in open the match up, Kristine Minde’s ball taken first time by Alex Popp only for Justien Odeurs to parry. Scrambling back to her feet, Popp rolled the ball home at the second time of asking.
Struggling with balls from wide areas, the hosts succumbed to a second, another ball from Minde on the flank enough to set Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir free, her short ball to Tessa Wullaert buried. Knocking at the door for third, the Wolves found it after the break, Cláudia Neto’s corner headed in by Gunnarsdóttir minutes into the second half.
Able to make more changes throughout the half and give minutes to those reserved for European commitments, the visitors only got stronger as the match progressed. League top-goalscorer, Pernille Harder needed just six minutes to claim her fifteenth of the campaign, completing a one-two with Wullaert to slip-through and fire the ball beyond Odeurs.
Close to giving the visitors the lead at a first half corner, Marith Prießen broke the deadlock just before the hour, the centreback up for a subsequent corner. The low ball was flicked on by fellow defender Kathrin Hendrich for Prießen, the Frankfurter able to slot the ball home with ease having peeled off from marker, Stephanie Goddard. In a mixed season, the three points keep Frankfurt in touching distance of the two teams above them though leaves Bremen without a win in eight.
An even contest between two teams capable of shocks against big teams, neither were willing to settle for a draw though neither side found their best in front of goal, with most efforts wayward. Carina Schlüter was the busier of the two goalkeepers, asked a couple of questions over the match, the young shot-stopper holding onto her clean sheet well. With the table assured of being unchanged no matter the outcome of the match, the two remain seventh and eighth, clear of the league strugglers but out of reach of the stronger teams.
USV Jena 0-0 FC Köln
With four teams well in the drop zone, the draw benefited the visitors fractionally more than the hosts in Jena. The two poorest defences in the league sparring, though with the pair also comprising the two weakest attacks in the league the result could have been predicted before kick-off. A frustrating game that saw both sides struggling for real purchase, both remain very much in danger of going down come the end of the season.
Still looking for some semblance of safety, Duisburg faced a Munich side looking to bounce-back from a scoreless trip to Jena, the Bavarians on the scoresheet a quarter of an hour in. With the ball laid off to her by Jill Rood, Sara Däbritz fired low past Lena Nuding to give the visitors purchase in the match. The lead doubled at the start of the second half by Roord for her sixth of the season, arriving in the far side of the box to volley Nicole Rolser’s cross home.
Persevering well, the Zebras pulled one back soon after, Kathleen Radtke’s header at free kick enough to give the home side some short-lived home, heads sinking after Marina Himmighofen received a second yellow moments later. With the tie less than secure the visitors continued to look for a cushion as the hosts pushed for an equaliser, taking care of their numerical disadvantage. The match decided seven minutes from time when Fridolina Rolfö slipped through the box before slotting the ball home to keep Munich well in second.
With her third in as many matches, Svenja Huth gave the hosts the lead half-way through the first half with a low finish, after Lara Prašnikar had fluffed a brace of chances. Well in the match, Essen equalised moments into the second half, Irini Ioannidou’s shot parried as far as Linda Dallmann, the attacker gratefully volleying into the far side of the goal. An inability to clear the ball came back to bite the hosts minutes later as Dallmann made it two, persistent to put the ball home at the third time of asking as the defence scrambled. SGS continued to ask questions, looking for the third, the crossbar all to deny Lea Schüller’s bicycle kick before the hosts had a goal incorrectly ruled out. Seconds after coming on, Nina Ehegötz let fly from outside the box, the ball clipping the underside of the bar before bouncing down into the turf behind the line and back out. The goal not signalled but only clarified with slow-motion replays. Though with Essen the stronger team in attack, few could be too upset with the result, both home and away left to go for places with their last four matches of the season.
Werder Bremen 0-5 VfL Wolfsburg
The Bremen defence showed their weaknesses early on in the match, Zsanett Jakabfi’s thirteenth minutes in the start of a long match for the hosts. Failing to mark Ella Masar-McLeod at a subsequent corner saw the visitors claim a second, the American left in space at the back post to head home from a yard out. Having already slipped through the defence as if it wasn’t there once, Jakabfi grabbed a second, getting a head of the backline to slot Wullaert’s cross beyond Lena Pauels.
Losing some rhythm after the break, frequently caught offside by a harder working Bremen side, Wolfsburg struggled to hit the high notes as they had in the first half. The fourth goal coming about after the hour to give Jakabfi a deserved hat trick, her rocket from Issy Kerschowski’s pull back enough to leave Pauels grasping at the air. Their fifth match in 18 days, the Wolves began to slow down as the match neared its inevitable conclusion, Bremen given room to mount a sporadic attack or two, the hosts tied up with defending. The match granted one more goal, Kerschowski’s ball across deflected straight to Jakabfi for the Hungarian to bring under control before firing left as Pauels went right. The goal enough to mark the second time Werder have conceded five this season, the hosts sinking deeper into the relegation scrap.