Julian Brandt, Harry Kane and Loïs Openda (l-r) all had Matchday 8s to remember. - © Getty / Imago
Julian Brandt, Harry Kane and Loïs Openda (l-r) all had Matchday 8s to remember. - © Getty / Imago

5 takeaways from a thrilling Matchday 8


The blistering start to the Bundesliga season continued apace with an intriguing matchday that saw wins for all of the top five and some of the league's elder statesmen take a starring role. bundesliga.com runs through the five biggest talking points from the weekend's action...

1) Big boys still bossing

If the 2023/24 Bundesliga season were a long-distance cycle race, then you could say there are signs of a breakaway group forming at the front right now. The top five at the end of Matchday 8 all picked up wins - despite four of them playing away from home.

Borussia Dortmund had been the only team in the leading pack with a home fixture, taking a workmanlike but important 1-0 home victory over Werder Bremen on Friday night. That sent them top overnight, but by Saturday evening they were back down in fourth - with leaders Bayer Leverkusen taking an impressive 2-1 win in Wolfsburg, Stuttgart racing to a 3-0 success at Union Berlin, while Leipzig and Bayern Munich both collected 3-1 away wins at Darmstadt and Mainz, respectively.

Watch: Highlights of Bayern's 3-1 win at Mainz

The top four are separated by just two points at the end of the matchday - with RB Leipzig hot on their heels a further three points back. Leverkusen, Bayern and Dortmund all remain unbeaten this season.

2) Golden oldies 

There has been plenty of talk about young starlets lighting up the Bundesliga this season, but Matchday 8 showed that there is often nothing quite like experienced shoulders when you need someone to step up and get the job done.

Dortmund had been locked into a tough battle with a determined Werder Bremen side on Friday night until Emre Can, who turns 30 in January, slotted a delightful defence-splitting pass for 27-year-old Julian Brandt to turn in the winning goal on his 300th Bundesliga appearance. 34-year-old Mats Hummels expertly marshaled the defence to a clean sheet on his fifth straight Bundesliga start as last season's runners-up ground out three vital points. 

Watch: Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Werder Bremen - highlights  

Bayern Munich are similarly reaping the benefits of stars in their golden years. Harry Kane turned 30 this summer before making his high-profile move to the Bundesliga champions, and became the first man in Bayern's illustrious history to score nine goals in his first eight appearances with a header against Mainz. Thomas Müller remains a key presence in the Bayern dressing room at the sprightly age of 34, and although he managed only a few minutes as a late substitute against Mainz, he made history in the process by becoming the Bayern player with the most Bundesliga wins.

3) Openda seizes the stage

Leipzig's Belgian striker always looked to be a shrewd summer signing, but he showed with his first brace in the Bundesliga in Darmstadt just how crucial his explosive finishing could prove to be for his side this season.  

Loïs Openda scored his first brace in the Bundesliga for RB Leipzig in a 3-1 win at Darmstadt on Matchday 8. - Getty Images

Openda tucked the ball in after just 43 seconds of play to send Leipzig on the way to a quickfire 2-0 lead. He then pounced on a loose ball in the area in the 72nd minute to defy a spirited Darmstadt fightback and secure the points.

The pair of strikes took the 23-year-old to six goals for the season and joint fifth in the race to be crowned top goalscorer. Coach Marco Rose praised Openda afterwards, calling him "a great guy to have around. He is good fun and willing to work" before saying he thinks he can get even better.

4) Eagles flying under the radar

Eintracht Frankfurt are not a side that has attracted too much attention so far this season after a fairly unspectacular start - they stood on two wins out of seven and only two teams had scored fewer goals before the latest matchday. 

Eintracht enjoyed an impressive win in Hoffenheim at the weekend. - IMAGO/Jan Huebner

The Eagles have shown some serious stability under new coach Dino Toppmöller - and they currently boast the Bundesliga's meanest defence with just six goals conceded after eight matches. Their 3-1 win at Hoffenheim on Saturday was their second successive win, first away victory, highest-scoring game and arguably most impressive performance so far. 

Omar Marmoush, Ansgar Knauff and Ellyes Skhiri all bagged goals in the first half to create an upset of sorts at in-form Hoffenheim. If the goals continue to fly in with such abandon on top of the impressive defensive platform Toppmöller has built, Frankfurt - now in seventh - have every chance of enjoying a fine campaign.

5) State of the Union 

The fears of some Union Berlin fans ahead of the autumn of Champions League action have come to pass - the side from the capital were comprehensively beaten at home to Stuttgart on Saturday in their eighth defeat in a row in all competitions. It was also their sixth successive league loss - for the first time in the Bundesliga. 

Watch: Union Berlin's top 3 goals in the first four matchdays

The latest loss leaves Union down in 14th, but they did not make it from the lower leagues of German football into the Champions League without serious reserves of the kind of grit needed to see them through the current dip of form and back into a happier place. With a deep squad too after a number of high-profile summer signings, it surely can't be too long until Die Eisernen show the kind of quality once more that took them to two wins and eight goals in the first two matches of the season.