Harry Kane (l.), Florian Wirtz (c.) and Jadon Sancho (r.) all had weekends to remember in the Bundesliga. - © Imago
Harry Kane (l.), Florian Wirtz (c.) and Jadon Sancho (r.) all had weekends to remember in the Bundesliga. - © Imago

Bayer Leverkusen lead the way on blistering Matchday 25 that left plenty to talk about


Grimaldo the Great, Wizard Wirtz, Colossal Kane and Super Sancho: it was a weekend to remember in the Bundesliga with the star names shining bright as the goals flowed. bundesliga.com picks out the key talking points fans will be discussing after Matchday 25.

1) Bayer Leverkusen edge one step closer 

A testing trip to rainy Baku and a Thursday-night fightback against a battling Qarabağ were factors that were supposed to hinder Xabi Alonso's side as they picked up their Bundesliga title challenge against visiting Wolfsburg. Not a bit of it, as the league leaders made light work of a Wolf-pack reduced in number following the first-half sending off of Moritz Jenz. The hosts passed and passed their way through the evening at the BayArena as they sought openings against their visitors, and they found one chink of light when the awesome Álejandro Grimaldo provided a picturesque assist for Nathan Tella to net the opening goal. It was Grimaldo's 10th assist of the season and Tella's fifth Bundesliga goal. 

Rarely troubled, Leverkusen nevertheless took their time to ensure a club-record equalling 21st top-flight win in a single campaign. Yet when they did make it 2-0, it was another strike to savour, Florian Wirtz bagging his sixth goal of the campaign - and first this year - after latching onto Exequiel Palacios's dream pass.

Now unbeaten in a club-record 25 Bundesliga games, Bayer also made it 36 undefeated outings in all competitions in 2023/24. The treble-chase continues with Thursday's Europa League second-leg against Qarabağ while a visit to Freiburg follows in the Bundesliga next Sunday.  

Watch: Leverkusen march on with victory against Wolfsburg 

2) Bayern are still brilliant

Do not let the gap on leaders Leverkusen and all the doom amid their recent flurry of defeats deceive you - Bayern Munich remain a quite astonishing machine once they get going.

Mainz were the latest side to find this out to their cost, arriving at the Allianz Arena with a bold approach but getting blown away by a blistering display of attacking might in an 8-1 drubbing

Harry Kane bagged his fourth Bundesliga hat-trick and reached the 30-goal mark in his astonishing debut season in the Bundesliga. Leon Goretzka chipped in with a brace, as did the tirelessly magnificent Jamal Musiala and Thomas Müller.

The greatest treat in the banquet of brilliant goals was provided by Serge Gnabry, who had the audacity in his first minutes of Bundesliga action of the year after an injury break to flick a heel at a Goretzka cross and sink a simply sumptuous volley.

Whatever the talk and the headlines, the clear fact remains that Bayern are a quite brilliant collective of elite footballers capable of putting on a dazzling show. Darmstadt's defenders are no doubt already on high alert ahead of their Matchday 26 encounter with freescoring Bayern.

3) Sancho's star rises highest 

Jadon Sancho's superb solo strike at Werder Bremen looked to be setting Dortmund on course to a comfortable victory when it was struck towards the end of the first-half. After Marcel Sabitzer's red card just before the break and a brave Bremen fightback that saw the Black and Yellows cling on by the skin of their teeth for victory, the value of Sancho's strike became even greater.

The England winger was recruited in the hope that he would recreate the fabulous form of his first spell in Dortmund to make decisive contributions in tight encounters. Dortmund had indeed struggled to fashion clear openings despite dominating possession in the first half, so it really took the class of an acrobatic Donyell Malen finish and a Sancho chasing behind the backline before delivering a crisp near-post finish to see them to the victory.

Small wonder that Dortmund coach Edin Terzić was singing Sancho's praises post-match, telling bundesliga.com how he has been working his way back to full form. If the winger can build on his first goal since returning to the club on loan in January, Dortmund's hopes of keeping their spot in the top four would seem to be solid. 

Sancho himself had told bundesliga.com in an interview last month that "I'm just happy to be back playing football." There was an effortlessness and joy in his strike in Bremen that suggests he is indeed well placed to produce further memorable moments. 

4) The Rhine derby is wonderful

Their positions towards the lower reaches of the Bundesliga table might make their intense rivalry a little overlooked. However, if any convincing were needed that Borussia Mönchengladbach and Cologne are always prepared to battle over local bragging rights, the evidence was there for all to see in Saturday's thrilling Rhine derby. Determined to put up a stern fight to stave off the threat of relegation, the Billy-Goats twice led against their rivals at a jam-packed Borussia-Park thanks to a couple of Faride Alidou goals. Franck Honorat and Robin Hack kept Gladbach on terms in a pulsating second half and with the home fans bouncing, Hack then grabbed his second to push the Foals ahead for the first time. Damion Downs - who was born in Germany to an American father - then scored his first Bundesliga goal before Hack missed an opportunity to complete his hat-trick in the dying moments. 

Watch: A Rhine Derby that had it all 

"I don’t know if I’ve ever been that emotional whilst celebrating," Hack later said of his brace, with Gladbach coach Gerardo Seoane adding, "It was a thrilling and entertaining derby with a lot of emotion."

Cologne boss Timo Schultz added: "It's the best attacking performance that I've seen since I've been here. We were able to score three and could have scored more." It will take some time for emotions to settle after one more Rhine derby to remember.