Köln vs. Borussia Dortmund  1 - 6

Article

Room for improvement, says Dortmund´s Kagawa

26 March 2012 07:17

Borussia Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa says his team must make improvements despite a stunning 6-1 win over Cologne in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

The Japan international, who scored a brace and assisted Dortmund's fourth goal, was not particularly happy with the way his team played the first half, in which the German champions found it difficult to create goal-scoring chances.

"It's not them (Cologne) being good, it's that we were bad. I wish I'd gotten the ball more, and I was calling for it but it didn't come," Kagawa said.

"I thought I'd definitely have an opportunity to create chances in the second half, and I'm glad I was able to convert with a header."

The former Cerezo Osaka man revealed hot conditions did not help his team in the first half, making player movements slower than usual.

"It was really hot today, so in the first half everyone's movement was a bit slow, and in that our opponents scored first and it was a difficult start," he said.

"I'd like it if we could start more games with the sort of play that we showed in the second half."

Bayern Munich had won earlier in the day to keep the pressure on Dortmund at the top of the table, a fact Kagawa said was not lost on he and his team-mates.

"Understanding that Bayern had won, and play 90 minutes on the road meant that we knew it would be a really difficult match," he said.

"The result itself may have been a landslide, but if you look at the match as our performance in the first and second half, there's a lot of points that need to be improved. But right now the most important thing is winning."

Article

Bundesliga wrap: Leaders Dortmund rout Cologne

25 March 2012 20:17

Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund thrashed Cologne 6-1 on Sunday to restore their five-point advantage atop the table.

Milivoje Novakovic opened the scoring to give Cologne a surprise 13th-minute lead at RheinEnergieStadion.

Juergen Klopp's men drew the game level prior to half-time through Lukasz Piszczek, before they ran rampant after the break.

Shinji Kagawa netted a brace to go with strikes from Ilkay Gundogan, Robert Lewandowski and Ivan Perisic to seal an impressive victory.

Dortmund were made to pay for a sloppy start when a Martin Lanig cross found Novakovic, who sent a looping header over Roman Weidenfeller.

The visitors equalised in the 26th minute when Marcel Schmelzer picked out Piszczek with a lovely cross, and the Poland international applied a skilful header to beat Michael Rensing.

Dortmund dominated the second half and Kagawa started the rout when he gave his side the lead with a powerful volley that cannoned in off the bar.

The Japan international was involved in Lewandowski's goal, releasing Jakub Blaszczykowski, who squared for the striker to apply a simple finish.

They made it 4-1 when a superb one-two between Kagawa and Gundogan split open the Cologne defence.

Gundogan was left to easily convert to pile more misery on Stale Solbakken's team, before Kagawa completed his brace by poking home a Piszczek cross and Perisic put the icing on the cake with Dortmund's sixth.

In the day's other game, Stuttgart extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a 1-0 win over Nuremberg.

Cacau scored the only goal of the encounter in the 78th minute, collecting a Martin Harnik pass before placing into the bottom corner.

Nuremberg missed several chances throughout the contest, and were unable to make anything out of their 14 corners.

Article

Bundesliga preview: Schalke sense Champions League berth

23 March 2012 23:14

Schalke can take a big step toward Champions League qualification if they defeat Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Coached by Dutchman Huub Stevens, Schalke came from a goal down to beat Kaiserslautern 4-1 away from home last Sunday.

A day earlier, fifth-placed Leverkusen went down 2-1 at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach.

The weekend's results left fourth-placed Schalke 10 points clear of Leverkusen, and with a firm grip on the final Champions League qualification berth.

Schalke welcome Leverkusen to the Veltins-Arena knowing a victory will increase their buffer to 13 points, with eight rounds of the Bundesliga season remaining.

"It's true," Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby said when asked about his team's favourable situation.

"As far as that (Champions League qualification) goes we're in a comfortable situation now. We're aiming to keep the pressure on the teams above us."

Much of Schalke's success is down to their deadly strike partnership of Spanish veteran Raul and Netherlands international Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Holtby offered a glowing endorsement of 34-year-old former Real Madrid captain Raul.

"Raul's a role-model, simple as that," he said.

"I'm thankful to God that I can play on the same team as him."

And according to Stevens, former Milan and Real striker Huntelaar is among the best goal-poachers in the sport.

"He's in a class of his own inside the penalty box, for me he's the best in the world there," Stevens said.

Elsewhere this week, the round begins on Friday with mid-table Wolfsburg in action at home to Hamburg.

Bayern Munich, second in the table, will look to continue their recent goal glut with victory at home to Hannover on Saturday.

Third-place Moenchengladbach await the visit of Hoffenheim, while second-bottom Hertha Berlin travel to Mainz.

After Kaiserslautern's loss against Schalke cost coach Marco Kurz his job, assistant Oliver Schaefer and goalkeeping coach Gerry Ehrmann will take charge of the team's crucial relegation battle away to third-bottom Freiburg.

And sixth-placed Werder Bremen host Augsburg, who are just one point outside the bottom three.

On Sunday, Nuremburg travel to face Stuttgart in a mid-table clash, and defending champions Borussia Dortmund are on the road at Cologne.

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
1 34 +55 81
2 34 +55 73
3 34 +30 64
4 34 +25 60
5 34 +8 54
6 34 +17 53
7 34 -4 48
8 34 -13 44
9 34 -9 42
10 34 -11 42
11 34 -6 41
12 34 -16 40
13 34 -4 39
14 34 -13 38
15 34 -22 36
16 34 -26 31
17 34 -36 30
18 34 -30 23