There are several big stories coming out of Germany after Week 11, including Leverkusen’s shift into first place. Of primary concern, though, is the health of Schalke’s Mark Uth. Uth left the field after suffering a scary head injury early in the first half of their match with Augsburg. The second half comeback offered a glimmer of hope and may yet serve as a turning point for Royal Blue’s season, a rally for their fallen comrade. However, it cannot be said that Schalke went all out for a win here. Augsburg missed a few opportunities but salvaged a point in injury time. Final score: 2-2.
Will the goal by Richter prove to be the dagger in the heart of this storied side? Will Schalke spiral, or use this drama to rally around Mark and to rally as a club? Augsburg will certainly harbor a grudge against the officials with the questionable second yellow to Florian Niederlechner and the slow play of Schalke. The good news is that despite the seriousness of the injury, Mark Uth’s condition appears promising for a full recovery. The bad news is, Schalke remain winless and at the bottom of the table.
A few kilometers away in Dortmund, the Black and Yellow embarrassed themselves against a Stuttgart side that’s just happy to be back in the top flight. After a 1-5 loss, management swung the ax swiftly and parted ways with Lucien Favre. Munich did not do much better but Lewandowski did come through to save the Bavarians a point against Union Berlin. But with a huge game from Baily, Leverkusen rise to the top spot. With Leipzig’s positive result against Werder, Red Bull keeps pace, just behind Munich on goal differential.
Leverkusen surge atop the real standings AND the Martindex with their win on Match Day 11, followed by Wolfsburg, Union, and Stuttgart. These four teams have found incredible value and performance from their squads on the pitch. They continue to outperform expectation while Munich slides a bit below where they should be “on paper.” In the case of Leverkusen, their defense has truly stymied all opponents this year, only conceding about half the number of goals as Munich.
The top teams not named Bayern do not have their big brothers’ offensive firepower but take better advantage of their scores with tighter back lines. Leon Baily’s early brace delivered the home side a comfortable lead going into the break. But in the second half Christoph Baumgartner’s prayer of a goal, delivered from distance, back-heeled the Workself for a few moments until Wirtz added his own tally. Alario added a penalty in the closing minutes as a slap in the face to Hoffenheim.