GOALMANIA in the Bundesliga well and truly lived up to its name across Matchdays 26, 27 and 28.
A total of 1.16 million spectators witnessed 88 goals across the 27 matches over the last ten days, with an average of 42,700 fans in attendance per match. Both the average attendance and average number of goals (3.1) over this period for the Bundesliga are more than the English Premier League (36,889 and 2.6 goals per game), Spain’s La Liga (27,674 and 2.86), France’s Ligue 1 (23,529 and 2.2) and Italy’s Serie A (17,706 and 3.3).
Those are the numbers, but what are the stories behind them?
A Bundesliga Englische Woche brings games thick and fast, providing teams a good chance to build momentum and make a move up (or down) the table in double-quick time. Whilst Bayern Munich emerged victorious in the standout fixture of GOALMANIA – Der Klassiker – there were some big winners over the last ten days, both in terms of teams and players.
Ingolstadt put in a record-breaking performance over the last three matches by winning the lot. Besides RB Leipzig, they were the only team to win all three games during GOALMANIA, and are now on the longest-ever winning run in their Bundesliga history.
Die Schanzer looked almost dead and buried at the bottom over the previous international break, with the gap to safety an imposing ten points. A week on, and thanks to their own outstanding form and slips by the teams above them, they are just one point from safety.
Although still conceding goals, Ingolstadt are doing what football is all about and scoring plenty themselves. For the first time in their Bundesliga history, they have scored three goals in two consecutive games, and their total of eight over the last ten days can only be bettered by Bayern and Bremen’s ten.
Israeli Almog Cohen has been a key player in Ingolstadt’s current survival push by scoring in back-to-back Bundesliga games for the first time in his career, scoring or assisting four in total against relegation rivals Augsburg and Darmstadt.
Leipzig were the other big winners from the last week. The promoted club also picked up nine of a possible nine points to continue their push at the top. Although they only made up three points on leaders Bayern, their biggest gain was from the teams below them.
Top four decided?
Hoffenheim and Dortmund both dropped points to increase Leipzig’s cushion over third to seven points. However, the most important aspect is their lead over Hertha and Freiburg in fifth and sixth, respectively.
With Leipzig hosting their fellow promoted side on Matchday 29, it means a win for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side guarantees them a top-four finish if Hertha drop points at Mainz. Even a Berlin win may would make RBL’s place in at least the UEFA Champions League qualifier a mere formality due to the promoted side’s vastly superior goal difference.
Top scorers' race intensifies
Robert Lewandowski: the perfect goal scorer for GOALMANIA. Now the Bundesliga’s outright top scorer for the season on 26 ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Bayern forward also topped the goal scoring charts for GOALMANIA.
With five goals in the three matches, the Poland captain came out ahead of Hoffenheim’s Andrej Kramaric and Wolfsburg’s Mario Gomez (four each), and Ingolstadt’s Almog Cohen, Leipzig’s Naby Keita and Bremen’s Thomas Delaney (three). Lewandowski, Gomez and Delaney were also the only three players to score GOALMANIA hat-tricks.
Speaking of Kramaric, the Croatia forward has enjoyed quite the week with Hoffenheim. Having scored in each of his previous five appearances, the 25-year-old extended his goal scoring run to eight this week, being the only player to score in all three rounds of GOALMANIA. A particular highlight for Kramaric will no doubt be his match-winning goal against the champions Bayern, which was voted Goal of the Week by fans.
We also can’t forget about Europe’s assist king Emil Forsberg. The Leipzig winger took his assist total for the season to 14 when he laid the ball on a plate to Yussuf Poulsen for the injury-time winner against Bayer Leverkusen. The Sweden international set up the most goals during GOALMANIA, providing four assists to his teammates in the three matches.
Bundesliga legends spread the word
There were also Bundesliga Legend tours to Mexico City and Los Angeles with Pavel Pardo and Jens Lehmann, respectively. The former Bundesliga winners were across the Atlantic to talk first-hand about the German top flight and provide expert analysis on the events happening back in Germany, as well as delighting Bundesliga fans who came out to meet them.
The final winner to come out of GOALMANIA was, of course, the fans. Whilst over one million fans were present to watch the top European league with the most goals in the flesh, matches were also broadcast to over 200 countries around the world.
GOALMANIA may be over, but the exciting conclusion to the 2016/17 campaign is only just beginning.