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The first half of the 2018-2019 Bundesliga season, Part 1: The Top Three
Creative Commons - photo Ungry Young Man - logos added Borussia Dortmund The best and most exciting team in the first half of this season was definitely Borussia Dortmund. Even though they eventually lost against Fortuna Düsseldorf on the 16th match day, they showed a very impressive series of 15 games without defeat. After a run of 12 wins and 3 draws the BVB could therefor not without reason claim the unofficial title of winning the autumn championship, and after the last game before the winter break they are now sitting on the top with 42 points. 6 points more than the second, the German champion from München. Dortmund convinces with a strong defense and under coach Lucien Favre the squad has grown together to a real team, which could also assert itself in the Champions League and win its own group. The highlight so far was the impressive 4-0 home win against the Spanish team Atletico Madrid. Next year the are going to meet Tottenham Hotspurs and this constellation surely promises two fiery an thrilling matches. An important reason for the strength of the BVB is the performance of Marco Reus, the captain has been injury-free for a long time and is with his 11 goals an essential support of his team. Only joker Paco Alcacer has a better yield with 12 goals in his 12 appearances so far. In the second half of the season, we can expect many more fantastic games from BVB and I personally would be delighted if this great team remains at the top of the league until the end of the season. Bayern München Much has been said and written about the reigning champion from München in the last weeks and months. From crisis to downfall, all scenarios were brought up and ad early as in October had many commentators already written off the reigning champion from München. The new coach Niko Kovac was of course also heavily criticized from all sides and publicly given the count after the previous three defeats,which came in quite early this season. The team seemed vulnerable and somehow unusually slow. And not only because of some of the Bayern player's ages, also quite old and without the freshness and energy the BVB has been demonstrating. Same goes internationally. Even if the own Champions League group was won without defeat, the games against AEK Athens were not a highlight of the season so far. But especially in the last weeks the record champion seems to have recovered and at the end of the year they won some important games and points. You can't write off the Bayern yet, they are now back in second place just before the start of the winter break And 6 points behind is nothing a top team like Bayern can not make up for in the remaining 17 games. Especially as experienced top performers like Ribery have shown in the last games why they are still rightly standing on the pitch. And also top scorer Robert Lewandowski is a guarantor for goals and therefore important securing necessary points for the team from München. He has scored 10 goals so far and I am sure he wants to add even more in spring. However it remains to be seen whether FC Bayern will actually pass BVB. The team is in a state of transition and should they experience some barren spell again as the did this autumn, it could quickly end in a big crash, and the days of coach Kovac could faster be over than everyone is expecting it now. Borussia Mönchengladbach Mönchengladbach was long sitting on the second place, and only in the last game of the first half they were caught up by the Bayern. On the 17th matchday they saw a defeat against the leader in Dortmund, but especially in the home games they proved that they are a strong power in their own stadium. All 8 games before their own audience were won, and also away they could celebrate some big wins like when the battled the champion in München's Allianz Arena. In October, Bayern were swept 3-0 out of their own stadium and Borussia Mönchengladbach was approaching the top of the league. Borussia hast some hungry players as well, Alassane Plea and Thorgan Hazard have both scored 9 goals and with 36 goals they have the second best offense of the whole Bundesliga. And also the defense was a very important pillar in many games and has only allowed 18 goals so far. Just as much as the BVB and the Bayern and only one goal more than the team with the strongest defense, RB Leipzig. Coach Dieter Hecking is nevertheless surprised to see Borussia Mönchengladbach in third place in the standings, where they will now spend the winter. If they can then continue their strong performances which they showed in most games after the winter break, this team will also be a side to reckon with in the further course of the season. In the end, I assume it won't be enough for winning the German championship, but a direct qualification for the Champions League should be possible. And if they could even finish ahead of the famous FC Bayern, that would be a small sensation. And this is what (almost) all of football Germany hopes for. How do you see the fight for the Bundesliga title this season? Who will win the race for the German championship in the end? I`m looking forward to your comments and everyone please stay tuned for the second part of my little analysis of the first half of the 2018-2019 Bundesliga season.
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