Bundesliga Top Five, Round 17: Koln and Leipzig celebrate wins

Rafael Czichos leads the rankings after his dominating defensive performance.

10:00am on Monday 23rd December 2019
Martin Macdonald
Rafael Czichos
D (CR) - 1. FC Köln - 29 yrs
Dec 21, 2019

Koln made it three wins on the bounce this weekend and put further potentially vital ground between themselves and the relegation zone after a 1-0 victory at home against Werder Bremen. Key to the three points gained was Rafael Czichos, who was excellent in defence to curb many attacks from the opposition. He won 100% of his tackles (4/4), 100% of his aerial duels (4/4), and 9/13 ground duels. His presence at the back proved too formidable for Bremen, as he halted numerous attacks with 11 ball recoveries, one interception, and two clearances.

Achraf Hakimi
D (LR) - Dortmund - 21 yrs
Dec 20, 2019

For the second week in a row, Dortmund surrendered a lead to lose out on a victory, with Hoffenheim this time the beneficiaries of their capitulation, with the hosts coming from behind to win 2-1. One BVB player particularly unlucky to be on the losing side was Achraf Hakimi who set up the opening goal of the match after an overlapping run followed by a square pass for Mario Gotze to score. He sent 34 passes into the final third, made 10 ball recoveries, and was one of only four players in the Bundesliga this weekend to enjoy 100 or more touches.

Christopher Nkunku
M, F (C) - RB Leipzig - 22 yrs
Dec 21, 2019

While Dortmund lost their lead, RB Leipzig did the opposite, coming from a goal down to beat Augsburg 3-1. The best player on the pitch was Christopher Nkunku, who pulled his team back into contention with his control of the play in midfield, as well as assisting the second goal for Patrik Schick with a curled corner to the centre of the box. He completed 32/35 passes on the day, but it was quality as well as quantity as 16 of these were sent into the final third.

Konrad Laimer
M, DM (C) - RB Leipzig - 22 yrs
Dec 21, 2019

Staying with Leipzig, now, and Konrad Laimer was also instrumental in securing the comeback as it was he who scored the equaliser to make it 1-1 in the second after. After initially winning the ball back himself, he dances his way into a position to allow him to guide a beauty of a finish into the right corner. His passing was superb, too, as he completed 56/60 balls to team-mates as well as making seven ball recoveries.

Ellyes Skhiri
DM, M (C) - 1. FC Köln - 24 yrs
Dec 21, 2019

Ellyes Skhiri's performance in the centre of midfield for Koln was important for the 1-0 lead to be held, as Werder Bremen pressed for an equaliser. His ability to defuse attacks was the most impressive aspect of his game, as he won 12/17 duels, 100% of his tackles (5/5), and 3/6 aerial duels, as well as making seven ball recoveries, two clearances, and three interceptions.


Eintracht Frankfurt were defeated 2-1 by Paderborn, but the best player in the match was Filip Kostic (8) who caused plenty of problems down the left wing. If not for the profligacy of his team-mates, he would have had an assist, as he sent 17 successful crosses into the box.


Adam Szalai (5.2), Ruben Vargas (5.2), Pascal Kopke (5.2), despite all being attackers, contributed zero goals, zero assists, two crosses, and just three shots between them this week for Mainz, Augsburg, and Hertha respectively.

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