De Bruyne, Goetze and Schuerrle Feature in Bundesliga Team of the Week
The gap between the Bundesliga's top five and the rest of the pack widened in round 12, as Leverkusen, Dortmund and Frankfurt all earned victories while the likes of Hannover and Mainz slumped to defeat.
Wolfsburg, Freiburg and Stuttgart earned big away wins, while Leverkusen dispatched Schalke at the BayArena. Dortmund's win over Fuerth made up ground on the table summit, as Bayern's draw in the Bavarian derby saw the leaders drop points for the second time in four games.
As always, there were many heroic performances in this week's Bundesliga action. Read on for the best 11, who can fit into a 4-1-3-2 formation.
Goalkeeper: Sven Ulreich
Ulreich has been in fine form this season, and Saturday's win against Moenchengladbach was no exception.
The 24-year-old looked cool and composed as he dealt with wave after wave of Gladbach attacks. Crosses, shots on goal, through passes: the Stuttgart goalkeeper was confident and capable of taking on anything.
Defender: Makoto Hasebe
Wolfsburg took three points away to Hoffenheim on Sunday and have Hasebe to thank for making the result a rather comfortable victory.
The Japan international fired in the opener after just seven minutes, setting the tone for the rest of the match. Deployed in midfield, he never stopped running and proved a strong asset at both ends of the pitch.
Defender: Philipp Wollscheid
There were goals aplenty in the Bundesliga this round, with only two clean sheets kept among the nine matches. Leverkusen defied the odds, holding Schalke's illustrious attack scoreless for just the second time in the Gelsenkirchen side's 18 games this season.
Wollscheid was at the heart of Leverkusen's success, limiting Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to just 25 touches of the ball, none of which resulted in an attempt on goal.
Defender: Timm Klose
Nuernberg took a point from their Bavarian-Franconian derby with Bayern Munich on Saturday, and Klose deserves much of the credit. After a calamitous start that saw FCN concede inside the opening three minutes, the hosts closed down shop, holding their opponents to the final whistle.
Bayern applied pressure again and again, and their push for a winner only increased after Timo Gebhart was sent off with a quarter hour left. Klose was always where he needed to be at the back, heading and hoofing the ball out of danger again and again.
Defender: Gonzalo Castro
Andre Schuerrle may have stolen the highlights with his stunning strike from distance, but Gonzalo Castro was arguably the man of the match for Leverkusen in their 2-0 win against Schalke.
The versatile attacking and defending all-rounder was Leverkusen's go-to man for distribution in midfield, and he made his mark as he assisted Stefan Kiessling's goal to make the score 2-0.
Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne
Bremen went behind early against Duesseldorf on Sunday but came back to take all three points with thanks to De Bruyne. The Chelsea took responsibility in the center of the park and ended the game with more touches than any other player. After Bremen got the equalizer, he fired home a late winner as the hosts claimed the spoils.
Midfielder: Jakub Blaszczykowski
Featuring in his first match since October 7, "Kuba" played as though he had never missed a day. The Poland captain used his agility and dribbling skill to tear through the Fuerth defense time and time again. He won the penalty that led to BVB's second goal and played a pinpoint first-touch through pass to assist Mario Goetze for the third.
In his comeback from a nasty ankle injury, Kuba played 83 minutes. BVB fans can accordingly look forward to seeing more of the crafty winger in Wednesday's Champions League clash with Ajax.
Midfielder: Mario Goetze
Heading into Matchday 12 of the Bundesliga, Goetze had often been on the cusp of greatness without actually hitting peak form. Against Fuerth, the 20-year-old was at his sharpest once more.
He did all the work to set up a tap-in for Robert Lewandowski in the opening minutes and showed finesse and patience as he dribbled a critical third goal into the visitors' net before the interval.
Goetze's day was cut short as he was replaced after just over an hour. He made his impression felt when it mattered, though and is honored accordingly.
Midfielder: Andre Schuerrle
If you haven't seen it yet, find a highlight reel and behold the splendor that was Schuerrle's opener against Schalke. From a seemingly impossible distance and with seemingly impossible precision, his shot cannoned into the top-left corner of the net.
Schuerrle's goal put Leverkusen in the driver's seat at the end of a lackluster first half, and the hosts never looked back. The Germany international came close on numerous other occasions and won a penalty late in the game.
Striker: Alexander Meier
Frankfurt snapped a three-game winless streak on Saturday as they earned a 4-2 victory over Augsburg. Meier was the man of the match for the hosts as he scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season, in both instances restoring a two-goal advantage.
Meier was not just a poacher on the day, however. He brilliantly played the role of supporting striker, linking between midfield and attack.
Striker: Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski scored twice against Augsburg last week and—faced with another Bavarian team in Fuerth on Saturday—matched his previous goal tally.
The ever-lethal Poland international was arguably the man of the match. He put BVB ahead in under three minutes and restored the hosts' lead from the penalty spot after Fuerth had equalized.
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