As ever, we're bringing you all the reaction from the latest weekend of Bundesliga football.
MATCHDAY 24 RESULTS:
VfB Stuttgart 0-0 Hertha Berlin
FC Augsburg 1-0 VfL Wolfsburg
FC Schalke 04 3-1 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
SC Freiburg 0-1 SV Werder Bremen
Hannover 96 1-3 FC Bayern München
Hamburger SV 0-0 Borussia Dortmund
1. FSV Mainz 05 2-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
1. FC Köln 4-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
SC Paderborn 07 0-3 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
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Monday 9 March
Liebe Fans Auch solche Spiele wie gegen Mainz gibt es... Abhaken und weiter gehts nächsten Sonntag im Borussia Park! pic.twitter.com/VOR01rPqil— Yann Sommer (@YannSommer1) March 9, 2015
As ever, we want to hear from you following the latest round of action. Head to our homepage to choose your favourite from the three-man Player of the Week shortlist, then check out the Goal of the Week contenders in the video below and vote for the best strike here. The winners will be announced tomorrow!
We have heaps of videos from Matchday 24 for you to enjoy. As well as individual highlights of all nine Bundesliga games, we have exclusive post-match video interviews with numerous stars, including Kevin De Bruyne, Xabi Alonso, Manuel Neuer, Bas Dost, Andre Schürrle, Max Meyer and many more. So just head to our WATCH page, sit back and hear what some of the game's biggest names had to say.
Köln’s Polish international Pawel Olkowski faces an indefinite spell on the sidelines after bruising his left ankle in yesterday’s entertaining 4-2 victory over Frankfurt, the promoted club have confirmed. Olkowski's team-mate Kevin Wimmer, meanwhile, has been banned for one match after seeing red against the Eagles.
Welcome back in Training Philipp!!!! pic.twitter.com/fdByzZx76y— Claudio Pizarro (@pizarrinha) March 9, 2015
Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung puts Ruhr district rivals Schalke and Dortmund under the microscope after the two sides experienced quite different post-Revierderby fates. “Di Matteo gives his young talents a chance, and the Royal Blues fans love it,” writes the local newspaper after Schalke’s Hoffenheim win, while commentating on BVB's draw in Hamburg: “Dortmund lost two points on Saturday, their below-par performance leaving sporting director Michael Zorc understandably disappointed.”
There was no doubt about Dante’s disappointment after the Brazilian centre-back was substituted for forward Robert Lewandowski half an hour into Bayern’s 3-1 success at Hannover, but Süddeutsche Zeitung quotes Pep Guardiola explaining the change was purely “of tactical nature. And [Dante] knows it.” Sports magazine kicker, meanwhile, said after the defending champions went 11 points clear at the top of the standings: “Bayern are well on their way to clinching the title.”
Sunday 8 March
Aubameyang at the barbers
What might Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's hair look like by the time that Dortmund-Hoffenheim cup tie rolls around on 7 or 8 March? While you mull that over, we'll bid you adieu, but don't forget to catch up with us again tomorrow, when we'll have more reaction from the weekend that was and build-up to the midweek action in the Champions League and Europa League. Ta-ra.
Ein von Aubameyang (@aubameyangpe) gepostetes Foto am 8. Mär 2015 um 12:43 Uhr
Billy Goats' day
After an end-to-end affair, Köln produced their best performance at home all season to romp to a 4-2 win against Frankfurt. Here's our match report from the RheinEnergieStadion.
's equaliser in Mainz's 2-2 draw at Gladbach on Saturday was the Japanese international striker's first goal in 754 minutes - the second longest barren spell of his Bundesliga career. "He played like he trained," said 05ers head coach Martin Schmidt. "He earned it."
Werder Bremen boss Viktor “Victory” Skripnik (r.) was a happy man indeed after the Green-Whites returned to winning ways in Freiburg following defeats both in the Bundesliga and the DFB Cup last week. “We showed a great reaction, but we also played good football. [Franco Di Santo’s winning] goal was pure class.”
Tough game yesterday! Still we managed to get three important points. Thanks for your amazing support. pic.twitter.com/PJEx6H58dN— Basti Schweinsteiger (@BSchweinsteiger) March 8, 2015
Coach Roberto Di Matteo was full of praise for Max Meyer (l.) after the 19-year-old Schalke gem struck twice in the Royal Blues’ 3-1 success at home to fellow-European hopefuls Hoffenheim. “The whole team played well, but Max stood out today. He was key to our win.” The victory saw Schalke move into fourth ahead of today’s set of games.
Despite seeing Dortmund's four-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday, Mats Hummels seemed in positive spirits after notching a draw at struggling Hamburg. "The result's good to maintain the gap below us," he said, despite admitting that "it's too little to climb any higher." Find out more in our post-match quotes.
Good morning Bundesliga fans old and new. League leaders FC Bayern München were the big winners on Saturday afternoon, but there were also important victories for FC Augsburg, SV Werder Bremen and FC Schalke 04. As usual, we'll be bringing you all the reaction to the weekend's action as well as the build-up to today's fixtures. Eintracht Frankfurt travel to Köln, before SC Paderborn 07 look to stop the rot at home to in-form Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Don't go anywhere!
Saturday 7 March
We're winding down our Bundesliga coverage for today, but make sure you check back with us tomorrow for more reaction to today's games. Then, in the afternoon, Frankfurt and goal-machine Alex Meier face Köln, before Leverkusen round off the matchday with a trip to promoted side Paderborn. Bis dann!
Discover what some of the key players in the 2-2 draw between Mainz and Gladbach made of the game, including World Cup winner Christoph Kramer, Foals keeper Yann Sommer and Mainz goalscorer Johannes Geis. Click here for more.
FC Bayern are now 11 points clear at the top of the league once again following their 3-1 win win at Hannover and Wolfsburg's 1-0 defeat at Augsburg. Thomas Müller bagged a brace to help down the Lower Saxons, and after the game revealed how Ron-Robert Zieler had failed with some mind games before his penalty that made it 2-1:
Hannover - Bayern
Hamburg - Dortmund
BVB: Weidenfeller - Kirch, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender, Gündogan - Mkhitaryan, Reus, Kagawa - Aubameyang #hsvbvb— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) March 7, 2015
Schalke - Hoffenheim
Augsburg - Wolfsburg
Freiburg - Bremen
Startformation für #scfsvw: Wolf - Gebre Selassie, Prödl, Vestergaard, Garcia - Bargfrede, Fritz, Junuzovic, Öztunali - Bartels, Di Santo.— SV Werder Bremen (@werderbremen) March 7, 2015
Wunderschön! pic.twitter.com/qCj3gBQg1X— FC Schalke 04 (@s04) March 7, 2015
You can catch some of these in action this afternoon, but if you want to find out more about Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg, Davie Selke (r.), Marc Stendera, Johannes Geis and Loris Karius, take a look at our report on the Bundesliga's rising stars.
There are two important Bundesliga 2 games underway with struggling FC St. Pauli at Eintracht Braunschweig and VfR Aalen hosting Greuther Fürth. To be sure you don't miss any of the goals, follow us on Twitter or click on the two fixtures to get to our live ticker service.
Good day for a game of football
Perfect weather for football in Freiburg!
A photo posted by SV Werder Bremen (@werderbremen) on Mar 7, 2015 at 3:54am PST
There is a distinct European feel about this afternoon's Bundesliga action with the ties between Augsburg and Wolfsburg, Schalke and Hoffenheim and Freiburg and Bremen all carrying a European flavour. Find out more by reading our round-up preview of the 15:30 CET kick-offs.
Wondering how to catch the thrills and spills of Bundesliga action this afternoon and tomorrow? It's simple! You have three ways: Click here to find which is your local television broadcaster. Alternatively, two more games are broadcast live on Bundesliga radio here. Finally, you can follow all of the action as and when it happens via regular Twitter updates here. So no excuses for missing even a second.
Friday 6 March
We'll leave you with some post-match reaction from Stuttgart, where VfB have drawn 0-0 with Hertha. Find out what the Swabians' skipper Christian Gentner (r.) and the other protagonists had to say by clicking on the link above. Join us tomorrow as we look ahead to Saturday's Matchday 24 action. Bye for now!
Hertha Berlin held rock-bottom VfB Stuttgart to a 0-0 draw at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena on Friday evening - a result that does little to help either sides' relegation troubles. Chances were few and far between in Matchday 24's opening clash, although Nico Schulz, who was sent off in the dying stages, could have won it for Hertha with a shot that trickled just wide of the far post late on. Huub Stevens' side remain rooted to the foot of the Bundesliga standings.
bundesliga.com looks ahead to three Matchday 24 encounters that could prove pivotal in the race for the European places. Schalke welcome Hoffenheim to the Veltins Arena, Freiburg host in-form Bremen and high-flying Wolfsburg travel to Augsburg. Click here for more...
"We're not putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves. We want to go into the game feeling good. We've got to have fun and be relaxed. There are phases when a success story is absent. How do you get out of it? Hard work. Internally it's about keeping our heads clear."
"We have fond memories of the 2-2 draw in Leverkusen earlier this season. The support of the fans gave us goosebumps. The atmosphere in training has been fantastic. At some point the deciding moment will arrive when we find the back of the net. I'm convinced that it will happen on Sunday."
"We don't just want to put in one good performance, but rather two, three or even more. It's all about producing consistency. Even with all the difficulties and setbacks we're in the midst of a positive development. We're looking forward to the game and are convinced we'll have a good outing."
"Köln are a very uncomfortable opponent and their side took a lot of positives from their last encounter. The Billy Goats will set themselves up in a very compact manner and will keep things tight whilst looking to advance quickly. this game will not be easy to control."
It's become somewhat commonplace, but featuring in a victory over Hannover 96 on Saturday would see Arjen Robben break the Bundesliga record for fastest time taken to reach 100 victories in the German top flight. This weekend's encounter
would represent his 126th appearance.
It could have been a battle of Sweden's top two left backs, but with Mainz 05's Pierre Bengtsson out with the flu, the Swedish showdown with Gladbach's Oscar Wendt is off the table. The 26-year-old remains confident though: "We're strong at home. We won't talk before the match, that'll take place in the stadium."
Juan battling for starting berth
FC Bayern's 4-1 win over 1. FC Köln last weekend was the first time this season that summer signing Juan Bernat failed to make an appearance in a Bundesliga outing for the record titleholders. However, the Spaniard appears to be undeterred as he looks to win back his place for the trip to Hanover.
Leading the Bundesliga scoring charts with 17 goals to his name, Arjen Robben poses the biggest threat to Hannover 96, but Christian Schulz has a plan to keep the flying Dutchman quiet: "Taking him out of the game in one-on-one situations is impossible. We've got to try and keep him in check as much as possible and hope that he's not at his best."
Hannover 96 have come up with a novel approach to preparing for the visit of league leaders FC Bayern by completing a series of hand-holding exercises aimed at promoting close control and composure on the ball. "We want to play together as a team and maintain contact with our team-mates," explained head coach Tayfun Korkut.
Hertha Berlin could move eight points clear of their hosts with a victory this evening. Hopefully left-back Marvin Plattenhardt and Co. got a good night's rest as the capital city side go in search of picking up back to back wins for the first time in the current campaign.
Today is a Bundesliga Matchday! Getting the 24th round of action in Germany's top flight kicked off, Hertha Berlin will be looking to get the better of bottom-of-the-table VfB Stuttgart, who are without a win in their last eight home games. Click here to read bundesliga.com's exclusive preview.
Thursday 5 March
That's all folks!
Our live Bundesliga updates have concluded for the day, but make sure you check back with us from Friday morning as the countdown to Matchday 24 begins in earnest. Stay tuned!
With Nuri Sahin already sidelined and Marco Reus a major doubt for Dortmund's trip to Hamburg on Saturday, the BVB faithful are hoping in-form attacker recovers from a back injury in time to play. "He's still not completely pain-free," said coach Jürgen Klopp. "But he was able to cycle yesterday and jog a bit."
may not be particularly well-known even to the most die-hard of Bundesliga fans, but the 19-year-old Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder is well on course to becoming a household name. Check out our exclusive video portrait for more on the supremely-gifted attacker.
As part of our Interview of the Week series, we caught up with Japanese star ahead of Mainz's make or break meeting with high-flying Gladbach on Saturday evening. To discover what the 28-year-old thinks about his side's current plight, his own form and what it takes to succeed in the Bundesliga, click here.
Bayer Leverkusen forward Heung-Min Son has been speaking about life at the BayArena in a recent interview for the UEFA Champions League's Facebook page. Click here to find out what the South Korean international had to say about die Werkself, his former club Hamburger SV and his favorite pastimes.
Luiz Gustavo and Roberto Firmino have both been named in the Brazil squad for the Selecao's upcoming friendlies against France and Chile this month. Gustavo has been an integral part of a Wolfsburg side that is second in the Bundesliga, while Firmino has scored six goals and provided seven assists for Hoffenheim this term.
Roberto Di Matteo has admitted he has "a lot of thinking to do" ahead of the visit of Markus Gisdol's side. Die Knappen lost 3-0 to bitter rivals Dortmund last time out, but it was the manner of the loss at the Signal Iduna Park that has hurt Schalke fans the most. "I need to see what the best solution is," added the Italian.
After eight months on the sidelines with a muscle problem, Schalke youngster Leon Goretzka has been named in the Royal Blues squad for their match against Hoffenheim on Saturday. "I feel good at the moment and am ready to make my comeback," the 20-year-old said on Thursday. It’s a good feeling to be back on the pitch."
VfB Stuttgart centre-back Georg Niedermeier has been frank in his assessment of the clubs' clash with Hertha Berlin. "It's one of eleven finals," explained the 29-year-old. "We won't be relegated or saved after the Berlin game, but irrespective of that we've got to treat the game like a cup final."
Benatia in the final stretch
There was further good news for FC Bayern München after the club announced that centre-back Medhi Benatia had returned to first-team training. Head coach Pep Guardiola is unlikely to rush the Moroccan back into action, but it looks like it won't be long before he's back in contention.
"I'm really hope that [Marco] Reus and [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang are fit in time to feature on Saturday. They're incredibly important players for us, even though we have several options to rotate up front."
"We've had some spectacular games against Hamburg. We want to pick up three immensely important points on the way to achieving our target. We're still in a precarious situation and are only concentrating ourselves on a relegation battle, but we have picked up some great wins in Hamburg in the past."
"The Borussia Dortmund team have the potential to be competing much further up the standings. Everybody is eagerly anticipating taking on BVB. Every player is up for it. The head coach is too! [Ivica Olic and Marcell Jansen] are returning with a lot of self-confidence and a positive outlook."
"We're playing against an absolutely top team, who are the best in the Bundesliga by some margin. We've got to be an uncomfortable opponent and break up FC Bayern's rhythm. I know that we haven't been that convincing on home soil of late, but we've got to make sure that changes this weekend."
The pre-match press conferences are coming thick and fast in the Bundesliga so stay tuned for all the best snippets from the men in charge in Germany's top flight.
"Mit Leidenschaft, Mut und 100 % Einsatz können wir auch gegen Champions-League-Anwärter wie Gladbach was holen." pic.twitter.com/uU6p6AXBce— 1. FSV Mainz 05 e.V. (@1FSVMainz05) March 5, 2015
"Ciro Immobile remains a part of our first-team plans. Issues with settling in are completely normal, but he’s always stayed sharp. He’s scored a couple of important goals for us, not just against Dresden, but in the Bundesliga as well. He’s making good progress in his development."
"Pierre-Emerick Aubameang will return to first-team training tomorrow at the very latest. Marco Reus’ bruise has, at present, discoloured most of his thigh so we’ll have to see what happened. It doesn’t look like Nuri Sahin is going to be fit in time. He’s still experiencing discomfort."
"It feels like we've got something to make up for in Hamburg because we've unnecessarily let points drop. I think Hamburg have taken enough points off of us in the last couple of years. We’re expecting a different outcome this time around, but it’s going to be a super intense encounter. HSV are a team that run a lot."
"We’ve had games in which we put in similar first-half performances to that which we produced against Schalke, but then we didn’t have the necessary power. That’s not the case anymore. Every successful experience, both big and small, has done us a world of good in the second half of the season so far."
Jürgen Klopp takes the stand
Coming up the best quotes from Jürgen Klopp's pre-match press conference ahead of Borussia Dortmund's Saturday afternoon showdown with Hamburger SV.
Set to miss out on Friday having undergone an operation on his left knee, Hertha's Julian Schieber is confident his team-mates can get the job done in his stead. "Every game is extremely important.," the 26-year-old told herthabsc.de. "I'm convinced that we'll pick up points. We've got a super squad and I have full faith in the lads."
Hertha Berlin coach Pal Dardai, who has presided over two wins in four games so far at the club, has also been speaking to the media ahead of Friday night's relegation six-pointer. "We're optimistic going into the Stuttgart game," said the Hungarian, referring to last week's 1-0 home win over FC Augsburg. "Everyone could see how important that win was."
Dardai: it's been a short week, but everyone could see how important that win was, there's a good feeling in the team— Hertha English (@HerthaBSC_EN) March 4, 2015
Huub Stevens was the first Bundesliga coach to meet the media and discuss the upcoming Matchday 24 action. He insisted his side are "concentrating" on Friday night's relegation battle with Hertha Berlin, reporting "good impressions in training", which he now wants to see reproduced on the field.
Hello and welcome to the latest round of bundesliga.com's updates ahead of Matchday 24. If you want to keep on top of everything which is happening in and around Germany's top flight this weekend, make this your first port of call.