5 Talking Points from Matchweek 15 of the Bundesliga
"A victory for Bayern Munich" is becoming the norm once again in the Bundesliga, following a shaky start to their season, but it's the happenings at Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund and Cologne that's creating all the talking points.
Last week, we saw Peter Stoger lose his job at Cologne, while this week, we’ve seen another Bundesliga coach dismissed following a poor run of results. Peter Bosz was officially relieved of his duties at Borussia Dortmund on Sunday morning, to be replaced by, who? None other than Stoger.
Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach are all making up for their poor campaigns in the 2016/17 season.
That said, here are 5 key talking points from matchday 15 of the Bundesliga:
#5 Heiko Herrlich, Bayer Leverkusen’s saviour
Bayer Leverkusen took all three points at Stuttgart on Friday night as they continue their good run of 10 undefeated Bundesliga games.
Kai Havertz opened the scoring before captain Lars Bender doubled Leverkusen’s lead late on, but it’s perhaps head coach Heiko Herrlich, who deserves the credit.
Behind the scenes, the 46-year-old has transformed Leverkusen from a crisis club who finished 12th under Roger Schmidt and Tayfun Korkut last season, to a club that is now a serious contender to compete for a place in Europe once again.
And against newly-promoted Stuttgart – who remained unbeaten at home before Friday’s defeat – Herrlich got the tactics spot on.
Instead of fielding their normal 4-4-2, Leverkusen opted to match their opponents' 3-4-3 formation which proved problematic for Stuttgart. Rather than pressing high up the pitch as we’ve seen so often this season from Herrlich’s Leverkusen, they sat back and countered with the pacey Leon Bailey being the main outlet for Bayer, who recorded both assists.
Following their slow start to the 2017/18 Bundesliga campaign which saw Leverkusen pick up just one win in five, the 2002 Champions League finalists have really turned their season around with five wins and five draws – carry that on and Herrlich may just qualify for Europe once again.