Matchday 14 in the Bundesliga produced some very interesting results and also gave berth to some equally interesting possibilities as the German football season nears the half-way point. Here are the lessons learned.
Brilliant Bayern back on track
FC Bayern Munchen hardly endured a tough start to this season but a 2-0 loss to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and a draw to VFL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga plus a 3-0 defeat to PSG in the UEFA Champions League were enough for the powers that be to push the panic buttons and get rid of Carlo Ancelotti in late September.
Jupp Heynckes has started well but a 2-1 loss to VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach last weekend would have had him worried. However, Bayern bounced back nicely on Matchday 14 as they beat Hannover 96 in convincing fashion.
The result was as important as the performance – both showed that Heynckes seems to have the dressing room on-board.
Leipzig far from the finished product
Much has been made of RB Leipzig’s performance in the Bundesliga in the last two seasons but the Red Bull-backed outfit are clearly lacking the experience it takes to WIN the Bundesliga rather than merely CHALLENGE for it.
That much was confirmed on the weekend as they slumped to a bad 4-0 hammering away from home at the hands of Hoffenheim. Six points now separate Leipzig and Bayern at the top of the table. And their problem is this; Bayern know how to win big trophies, Leipzig, unfortunately, do not.
Their poor form in the Champions League has further reinforced this point. Leipzig’s policy to back youth is admirable but at some stage, they will need to acquire a few more experienced heads if they are to lift the Bundesliga.
Dire Dortmund really on the slide
How is this for a stat!? After their 1-1 draw with Bayer 04 Leverkusen on the weekend, Borussia Dortmund have now won just one of their last 11 matches in all competitions.
They occupy sixth in the Bundesliga and are in a very bad way. Their performance against Leverkusen told the real story. The opposition were reduced to 10-men just before half-time but Dortmund were unable to make that really count.
Andriy Yarmolenko’s 73rd-minute equaliser for Dortmund came against the run of play. If Peter Bosz cannot turn things around and do it quickly, he simply has to go. Interestingly, the club voiced their support for him after the frustrating stalemate.
Koln alive but only just
1. FC Koln showed that there is still life within their ranks as they battled hard to earn a point against FC Schalke 04 on Friday.
The 2-2 draw gave them just their third point of the season. Manager Peter Stoger parted ways with the club after the match. The next few weeks will undoubtedly define their season.
Battle at the bottom is big
After Matchday 14, only seven points separate 16th placed SC Freiburg with 10th placed Hannover. That means that six teams are very much apart of a relegation battle.
Among those are some established Bundesliga clubs like Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg.
As the season progresses, those clubs will be doing everything they can to distance themselves from the drop-zone. Easier said than done though.