My bad entirely on this monthly update, I totally forgot to screenshot the league tables! However, you can rest assured that I'm roughly eight points behind a rampant Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and I'm three points ahead of Real Madrid in La Liga, but they have two games in hand. Anyway, on to the results!
BORUSSIA DORTMUND 2-0 HERTHA BERLIN
Marco Reus, Karim Bellarabi
PARIS ST.-GERMAIN 2-1 BORUSSIA DORTMUND
FRANKFURT 0-1 BORUSSIA DORTMUND
BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1-0 WOLFSBURG
HANNOVER 2-4 BORUSSIA DORTMUND
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Karim Bellarabi, Ron-Robert Zieler (OG), Samuel Umtiti
As the 2014 calendar year comes to a close, despite another string of positive results for Brian Laudrup's men, there isn't all too much for fans of Borussia Dortmund to be celebrating over the Bundesliga's annual winter break. Trailing Bayern by eight points and finishing second in their Champions League group, the second half of the year is set to be twice as hard as the first.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Reus, and Karim Bellarabi were in fine form this month, each player scoring two goals. The trio, who are the three attacking midfielders behind the lone striker, have had to pick up some of the goalscoring slack left by the misfiring Ciro Immobile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and the out of favor Adrian Ramos.
The lack of goals was made very apparent in a stretch of three games where der BVB could not muster more than a single goal, most crucial in the loss against Paris St.-Germain. The game in France carried another problem as well; Matthias Ginter, already deputizing for Sven Bender and Sebastian Kehl in defensive midfield, pulled his hamstring, ruling him out all month.
This loss means that Borussia Dortmund will have an extremely difficult test in the First Knockout Round of the UEFA Champions League; FC Barcelona. The Spanish giants, currently battling Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid for La Liga, could knock der BVB out of the Champions League quite early and potentially add more distaste to this season.
Now, though, the German sides will all have a month off of football due to the Bundesliga's winter break. With the Hannover game taking place on the 20th of December, they will not play again until the 24th of January when they take on Paderborn at Signal Iduna Park. Perhaps this chance to refresh is exactly what they need before the second half of the year.
NUMANCIA 0-3 ATLETICO MADRID
(COPA DEL REY)
Raul Garcia, Jose Gimenez, Saul
ATLETICO MADRID 2-0 LUDOGORETS
Raul Garcia, Antoine Griezmann
ATLETICO MADRID 4-1 VILLAREAL
Mario (OG), Koke, Antoine Griezmann, Mario Mandzukic
ATLETICO MADRID 3-0 NUMANCIA
(COPA DEL REY)
Mickael Gaffoor (OG), Mario Mandzukic, Arda Turan
ATHLETIC BILBAO 2-2 ATLETICO MADRID
Guilherme Siquera (pen), Mario Mandzukic
It's been an amazing couple of months for Atletico Madrid; that final draw of the year against Athletic Bilbao snapped an incredible thirteen game win streak for Michael Laudrup and his men who have suddenly began to scintillate the country with their caution-to-the-winds, all-out attacking football.
A 6-0 dismantling of Numancia over two legs in the Copa del Rey was a big positive for Atletico as they moved on to the next round, where they will play fellow La Liga side Malaga in January. A win over Ludogorets in the Champions League also assured they won Group E easily over second placed Ajax.
This has not spared them much in the First Knockout Stage, however, as the Mattress-Makers will be forced to take on Italian champions Juventus. The Old Lady of Italy finished second in their group on goal difference against Atletico's archrivals, Real Madrid, and will now have to beat another Spanish side if they are to advance.
Surprisingly, as we head into the new year, it seems Los Colchoneros are in a very strong position for the title. After losing Simeone over the summer, most people assumed the squad would not have the harmony to keep fighting, and yet here they are, right up among the front-runners, battling to defend their title.