Bundesliga wrap: Bayer Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiessling scores ‘ghost goal’
Bundesliga wrap: Ben Barker looks back at the weekend's biggest talking points including Stefan Kissling's ghost goal
Ghost goal debate rages on
During Leverkusen’s 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim, Stefan Kiessling ‘scored’ from a corner to double his side’s lead. The inverted commas are out because replays, and even real-time footage, showed that Kiessling’s header went wide of the left hand post, and through a hole in the side netting. His reaction, and those of his team-mates shows that they all saw it too. The only person not to have seen it was referee Felix Brych, who let the goal stand to the disbelief of players from both sides and viewers across the globe. The goal isn’t the first of its kind, and it certainly won’t be the last. The question now remains, what to do now? After a similar incident occurred during Bayern Munich’s 2-1 victory over Nurnberg in 1994, a replay was forced, which Bayern in turn won 5-0. Hoffenheim coach Markis Gisdol has called for a replay, while Leverkusen legends Rudi Voller and Michael Ballack have stated that replaying a match from 0-0 would disadvantage B04, as they were leading the match at the time of the incident. Ballack’s request to replay the final 20 minutes is a little far-fetched, but everyone is awaiting the decision of the Bundesliga officials. Goal-line technology, which has just been introduced to the Premier League, will not be installed (albeit in a different medium) for Bundesliga games until 2015, but many will call for that date to be brought forward in light of recent events. Kiessling in the mean time, has apologised for the phantom goal, yet given his reluctance to admit that the ball had passed through the side netting at the time means the apology holds little weight. Kiessling’s header doubled his side’s lead after Sidney Sam had scored his seventh goal of the campaign.
Braunschweig let lead slip twice
When you’re down at the bottom, you need things to go your way. Unfortunately for Eintracht Braunschweig, luck is hard to come by. The Lions took the lead twice against Schalke, but were pinned back and eventually succumbed to defeat in injury time. The visitors seemed lethargic, and only really kicked into gear after falling behind to each Braunschweig goal and with first choice goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand injured before the game, Schalke looked to his replacement Ralf Fahrmann to make an impression between the sticks. Things didn’t get off to a great start for the deputising goalkeeper, as he let Ohran Ademi’s strike go through his legs for the opener. Nine minutes later, Schalke responded through Max Meyer, as he hammered home after Daniel Davari could only push Adam Szalai’s header into the path of the youngster. Schalke already had a lengthy injury list before Marco Hoger was taken off with a knock to the knee. His replacement Leon Goretzka scored the scrappy equaliser to cancel out Karim Bellarabi’s goal earlier in the second half, before Roman Neustadter won it for the Royal Blues in extra time. Schalke were temporarily catapulted into fourth with the three points, while it’s only through the continued futility of Freiburg and Nurnberg that Braunschweig remain within touching distance of 16th place.
League sees first goalless draw of season
It was only a matter of time, but matchday nine signified the first goalless draw in the Bundesliga since 28 April 2013. Werder Bremen and Freiburg played out the stalemate, with particular onus on the stale. The drab affair was briefly sparked into life when Matthias Ginter slammed the ball onto the crossbar before settling down once again. The draw was the 999th in Bundesliga history, and meant that Freiburg are still searching for a first win this season while Bremen haven’t won in their last three. The two sides can take heart that several teams found it hard to score this weekend, as the fixtures brought only 26 goals, making it the least prolific weekend of the season. However, 264 goals thus far this season makes 2013/14 the highest tallying at this stage since 1985. Stats.
Berlin leapfrog Monchengladbach into fourth
Hertha Berlin rode out a Monchengladbach storm to hold on to a precious victory and leapfrog their opponents into fourth place. Adrian Ramos scored the only goal of the game ten minutes before half time, and it proved to be the winner as Monchengladbach failed to make their possession and dominance count. Juan Arango tested Thomas Kraft in the Berlin goal in both halves, while Raffael should have done better on several of occasions. To their credit, Hertha had two goals disallowed, but Monchengladbach still saw more of the ball than their opponents without reaping any of the benefits. Their miserable evening was compounded when their captain, Martin Stranzl picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes to see red right at the end of the game. It was unnecessary, and his side will rue his ban when they face Frankfurt next week. The loss also means Borussia Monchengladbach have not won two games consecutively since February 2012, something they will need to address if they want to make a go at cracking the top four.