Matchday 28 of the Bundesliga is over, and the trend of home teams struggling without fans has continued. The trend of Schalke floundering has also continued, while the relegation battle is taking shape. Eight games brought 24 goals, and while two home teams won on Wednesday, the percentage of home teams winning currently at just 18 percent since the league returned earlier this month.
Here are the scores for the matchday and five takeaways.
All times Eastern
Tuesday, May 26
Bayern Munich 1, Borussia Dortmund 0
Wolfsburg 4, Bayer Leverkusen 1
Eintracht Frankfurt 3, Freiburg 3
Werder Bremen 0, Borussia Monchengladbach 0
Wednesday, May 27
RB Leipzig 2, Hertha Berlin 2
Hoffenheim 3, Cologne 1
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2, Schalke 1
Augsburg 0, Paderborn 0
Union Berlin 1, Mainz 1
1. Schalke's struggles continue
Schalke lost its third straight game since play resumed, and the club's Europa League hopes might be completely dashed. The club trails Wolfsburg by five points with six games to go, while having two other teams ahead of them for the sixth-place spot. It was another lackluster performance in defense where the club was slow to react, but the lone bright spot was the play of American Weston McKennie. He scored the opener for Schalke with a fantastic header in what was the club's first goal in 81 days. The team's last goal was also scored by McKennie back on March 7.
Here's Wednesday's goal for the 21-year-old:
It's a lovely header, but boy did they need points. Schalke is now closer to being in the bottom half of the table than it is a Europa League spot, and the pressure has to be mounting on head coach David Wagner.
2. Fortuna has life
Don't look now, but Fortuna Dusseldorf has real life when it comes to league survival. With five points from nine, including the come-from-behind win over Schalke, the club is now just one point back of safety. Mainz is in Fortuna's sights in 15th place, which is a coveted spot as it ensures the team gets to stay in the Bundesliga next season. The 16th-place finisher has to compete in a playoff match to stay up. Dusseldorf has a much tougher remaining schedule including playing the top three teams over its last six games, but the club at least put itself in position to stay up.
3. No fans, no advantage?
There is nothing like playing at home, especially when the stadium is filled with fans that provide that extra jolt of energy when you really need it. Fans add belief, passion and comfort for the home team and make it more challenging for the visitors -- at least they did.
Without fans in the Bundesliga during the coronavirus pandemic, the home-field advantage is gone, and the numbers show it. Out of 27 matches since the league came back May 17, only five teams have won at home. Officially, it's five wins, 10 draws and 12 losses.
Hoffenheim and Fortuna Dusseldorf were the latest teams to get home wins on Wednesday.
At first it seemed just like a coincidence, but now it looks like a real trend. It seems each match is basically a neutral-site game with an even playing ground for both.
4. Bayern on verge of wrapping up title
It would take a major slip-up for Bayern Munich to let go of the 2019-20 Bundesliga trophy after Tuesday's result. Bayern would have to lose three of its remaining six games and Dortmund would have to win out. Considering that Bayern has only lost four of its 28 games this season, it's nearly impossible to see the club losing three of six to close it ou,t especially with the team on a fine run of form and a favorable schedule.
They might as well go ahead and start engraving Bayern's name on the trophy.
5. Brooks put together a fantastic performance
Bayer Leverkusen was humbled by Wolfsburg on Tuesday, and American John Brooks was a big reason why. The United States men's national team's top centerback had himself a game after a rough showing against Dortmund over the weekend. He came out with his team up 4-0, and Leverkusen scored just moments after he left the pitch. But while he played, he won 100 percent of his tackles, recovered the ball nine times, had three interceptions and bottled up one of the league's top players in Kai Havertz.
His timing was near perfect and the American put forth one of the better defensive performances we've seen since the Bundesliga returned.