There were plenty of draws on show in the 2. Bundesliga this weekend which further demonstrated how close the league still is despite RB Leipizg looking to edge away from the pack. Four team's fighting in mid-table fought brilliantly in two draws that finished 2-2, Leipzig bounced back and FSV Frankfurt sprung a surprise.
RB Leipzig 3-0 Union Berlin - Rangnick's RB Leipzig return to winning ways.
Leipzig were too much for their guests Union Berlin on Friday night as the table toppers managed to get back to winning ways following last weekend's loss to St. Pauli. Ralf Rangnick's men were lucky that title rivals SC Freiburg dropped points as well last weekend and they made sure that this weekend they got things spot on.
Union Berlin had their injury problems going into the game and it certainly showed as a strong RB Leipzig side dominated for most of the game. The 4,300 away fans missed the game's opener as they decided not to walk into the ground till fifteen minutes had passed.
During that time the home side side took the lead, thirteen minutes into the game Emil Forsberg easily breezed down the left and his pass across was horribly missed by Marcel Sabitzer, fortunately for the youngster Dominik Kaiser was behind and able to slot past Jakob Jensen for his fourth of the season.
Twelve minutes later Leipzig doubled their lead, Kaiser's freekick wasn't cleared well and a high looping ball back into the area saw the ball strike Marvin Compper's back before deflecting off a defender and into the path of Willi Orban, who had plenty of space to tap in his first goal for RB Leipzig.
Forsberg came close to scoring on two occasions, the first came from his freekick and Union were saved by the crossbar and the second attempt saw the Swede being denied by Jensen after being played through on goal.
The three points were sealed just seven minutes into the second half as a lovely ball out wide found Kaiser and the Leipzig captain fired in a quality cross which saw Yussuf Poulsen excellently finish across goal. The victory was Leipzig's fourteenth of the season and it was fully deserved, as for Union Berlin that brought an end to their four game unbeaten run and it also meant they dropped down to thirteenth place.
St. Pauli 1-3 FSV Frankfurt - FSV bounce back to cause a stunning upset.
FSV Frankfurt travelled to Hamburg to face promotion challengers St. Pauli, who have just come off the back of a impressive win over RB Leipzig. FSV on the other hand sit just above the relegation zone and needed a victory sooner rather than later.
The away side came close to scoring early in the game but were very unlucky as the ball struck the post and the rebound wasn't converted. FSV were then punished for their missed opportunity as ten minutes into the game St. Pauli took the lead, a long punt up field from Robin Himmelmann saw Lasse Sobiech head the ball down and Marc Rzatkowski managed to control twelve yards out before firing on the turn past Andre Weis.
The response from the away side was instant, St. Pauli barely stopped celebrating when Yann showed excellent footwork to break away from two players before he charged forward to play two one-two's with Dani Schahin and calmly slot the ball into the bottom corner for his first FSV goal.
After Weis was forced into two saves Frankfurt managed to take the lead for the first time after thirty minutes, Fanol Perdedaj unleashed a powerfully effort from a long way out, the midfielder thought he scored as it cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and bounced on the line, fortunately Schahin was alert and fired in the rebound.
FSV grabbed a third goal eight minutes into the second half, Zsolt Kalmár whipped in a corner and at the near post the ball struck Sobiech to see the corner directed into St. Pauli's net. Both teams were guilty of wasting chances and the goal tally could've been a lot higher. With that victory FSV moved up into fourteenth place.
Draws, draws and more draws
This weekend had plenty of draws on show with a whopping six draws out of the nine matches. The first draw of the weekend came on Friday night as Greuther Fürth hosted bottom club MSV Duisburg. Struggling Duisburg took the lead just after the break, a freekick from the wing was only headed to the edge of the area where Kevin Wolze was waiting and the midfielder fired an effort on goal and it flew in thanks to deflection.
Fürth were able to equalise twenty minutes later after James Holland pulled down Robert Zulj to concede a penalty and find himself earning a early shower. Jürgen Gjasula stepped up for the hosts and the Albanian brilliantly fire the penalty into the top left corner.
On Sunday there were two draws as second from bottom 1860 München earned a 1-1 draw at home to Bochum. The Lions managed to get on the score sheet first when their danger man Rubin Okotie was allowed plenty of space in the area for him to head home Michael Liendl's corner.
The lead was unfortunately lost just before the break, Simon Terodde controlled and turned past two players, after being tripped advantage was played and this allowed Marco Terrazzino to fire from range, the effort took a slight deflection and went in after clipping the post.
The other draw on Sunday saw Paderborn take the lead after half an hour away to Arminia Bielefeld, a freekick into the area was cleared and when another cross came in Thomas Bertels knocked the ball down to Nicklas Helenius and the Dane took his chance to grab his first goal for Paderborn. The home side were able to equalise after the hour mark, a long ball over the top from Manuel Junglas picked out Christopher Nöthe and the forward showed great composure to slot the ball past Daniel Heuer.
The last 1-1 draw came on Monday evening as struggling Fortuna Düsseldorf welcomed the in-form Nürnberg to the ESPRIT arena. The home side went a goal ahead and the goal was controversial as the referee awarded a penalty to Düsseldorf.
Mišo Brečko couldn't believe it as Sercan Sarare went down in the box, it looked like the Turkish midfielder took a dive, despite that the penalty was given and Kerem Demirbay stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to convert. Nürnberg left it late to equalise and extend their unbeaten run to twelve games, Sebastian Kerk delivered a corner eight minutes from time and Niclas Füllkrug broke free from his marker to head in his fifth of the season.
Sandhausen 0-2 SC Freiburg - SCF stay in touch with Leipzig.
With RB Leipzig winning on Friday night the pressure was on Freiburg to also pick up a victory. The second place team travelled to Sandhausen and did what was asked of them, two goals in the second half sealed the three points.
The opening goal came just six minutes into the second half, Marc-Oliver Kempf lofted in a freekick which struck Maximilian Philipp as he was falling to the ground, however the youngster quickly reacted to strike the ball while still on the floor and fire past Marco Knaller.
A Sandhausen comeback was soon made ten times harder after Damian Roßbach pulled down Florian Niederlechner as he broke through on goal. Vincenzo Grifo took the responsibility of taking the penalty and despite sending the keeper the wrong way he couldn't double his sides lead, the ball struck the inside of the post and stayed out.
With the extra man Freiburg finally sealed the win six minutes from time, they broke quickly for the middle of the pitch and this saw Niederlechner burst forward before playing the ball wide to Christian Günter. The left back then provided a perfect cross for the free Nils Petersen and the substitute fired home to score just two minutes after coming on.
Two close to separate in four goal thrillers
The first of the two thrilling draws saw Kaiserslautern take on Heidenheim, the two were separated by just a couple of points before the game and that remained the case afterwards as they couldn't be separated on the pitch. Heidenheim took the lead on half time as a cross from the right made it back to Arne Feick and the left back produced an excellent low shot from the edge of the area and it flew into the net.
Kaiserslautern equalised ten minutes into the second half, a freekick from Jean Zimmer was headed down to the unmarked Markus Karl, who blasted the ball in for his first of the season. The hosts then took the lead fifteen minutes from time, once again it was a Zimmer freekick, this time the ball was planted straight onto the head of Stipe Vucur who headed home from four yards out.
There was late drama as Heidenheim pulled themselves level on the 90th minute, Feick brought the ball out towards the left and fired a cross in with pass and this allowed Robert Leipertz to guide the ball past Marius Müller. Before the final whistle Kaiserslautern were reduced to ten men after Daniel Halfar received a second booking for a late tackle.
The second of 2-2 draw came at Karlsruhe as they hosted Eintracht Braunschweig. The away side took the lead after twenty minutes and it was arguably the goal of the week as Mirko Boland crafted some space for himself and unleashed a thunderbolt of a strike which rocketed into the top left corner. The lead lasted just seven minutes as Karlsruhe were given a penalty for handball, Manuel Torres stepped up and luckily for him Rafal Gikiewicz hand wasn't strong enough and the spot kick went in.
Braunschweig regained the lead after the break as a short corner was eventually put into the area and ended up finding Saulo Decarli, who had enough space to control and fire in. The hosts played the last thirty minutes with ten men after Ylli Sallahi grabbed a second booking for kicking out.
That didn't seem to matter as five minutes later they equalised once more, Enrico Valentini broke down the right and his fantastic cross picked out Dimitrios Diamantakos at the back post and the young striker was able to slide the ball home.
RB Leipzig still lead at the top of the table and the chasing pack are there waiting to pounce on any slip ups they have. The bottom three however need to find wins somewhere as they're close to falling too far behind in the race against the drop.