bundesliga

The slick stats that tell the tale of Bayern, Lewandowski and the best of the rest

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Goals, glamour and great football: the Bundesliga has been bringing us the usual feast of glorious action and sensational skills during the first half of a highly entertaining season so far. With champions Bayern Munich and their prolific Polish marksman Robert Lewandowski leading the way, bundesliga.com crunches the half-term numbers for your festive pleasure.

The Bavarian behemoth is blazing a trail at the top once again in 2021/22. Julian Nagelsmann's band of brothers are nine points clear of nearest rivals Borussia Dortmund in the standings, meaning they are also winter champions - or Herbstmeister - for the 25th time in their history. And it is history that is on Bayern's side as they look to make it a record-extending ten top-flight titles in a row next May.

In 21 of the 24 previous times FCB were top at the halfway stage of a campaign, they went on to lift the Meisterschale as German champions. That's an 88% success rate!

Watch: Brilliant Bayern reach winter wonderland !

In the iconic Thomas Müller, Bayern can boast the division's highest assist provider once again this season, the 32-year-old weighing in with an incredible 13 passes that have directly led to goals - five more than second-placed Florian Wirtz of Bayer Leverkusen. And speaking of leaders, Lewandowski's 19 goals already this term would have been enough to earn him the top scorer trophy back in the 2014/15 campaign as a whole.

The super striker's current collection has helped Bayern to rack up a new record of 56 goals in the opening half of a season while the ever-present Lewy also recently trumped Gerd Müller's previous best of 42 goals in the 1972 calendar year.

The one and only, Thomas Müller - Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Yet despite the current leaders' dominance to date, the chasing pack of Dortmund, Freiburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt et al will be able to draw on plenty of inspiration as they seek to close the gap in the second half of the season.

Along with each looking to build on their own stunning numbers so far, there is also the sensational story of Wolfsburg's 2008/09 season to study in the Bundesliga's history books. Back then, Felix Magath's men were eleven points off then leaders Hoffenheim after 18 Matchdays, a deficit the Wolves would eventually overturn to be crowned champions for the first and only time in their history.

Watch: Fantastic Freiburg on fire in Gladbach

With over 4,000 shots across the opening 17 Matchdays, it comes as no surprise that the goals flew in, with several sides even setting record highs. Freiburg scored their biggest-ever Bundesliga win - a 6-0 drubbing of Borussia Mönchengladbach - in early December with the victory all the more incredible for the visitors' registering all six of their goals in the game's first 37 minutes - a club record in itself. Leverkusen chalked up their biggest home win when downing Greuther Fürth 7-1 while there was a record loss for Bochum (7-0) away to Bayern Munich in September.

Hertha Berlin suffered their heaviest Bundesliga loss (6-0) at Leipzig yet the highest scoring game of the first-half of the season arrived when Hoffenheim won 6-3 at Fürth in late November. Amazingly, teams across the division scored five or more goals in a game a total of 13 times.

Watch: Spectacular scenes as Bochum beat Hoffenheim

It's not just the plethora of goals that have been creating new records, the Bundesliga elite have also been playing fairer than ever too. The division has never seen just 16 sendings off at this stage since the introduction of the second yellow card back in the 1991/92 season.

There have also been 22 fewer penalties (41 in total) compared to this time last year. Bochum's Manuel Riemann and Koen Casteels of Wolfsburg have saved two apiece, accounting for four of the nine misses from the spot. Riemann also became the first goalkeeper to take a penalty since Jörg Butt did so back in January 2010. This time around, the Bochum shot stopper sent his spot kick over the bar on Matchday 11.

Watch: Czech out Leverkusen's Patrik Schick

And while on the subject of penalties, a special mention too for Patrik Schick, who is currently second on the Bundesliga scoring charts with 16. When Leverkusen's goal-getting Czech converted a Matchday 15 penalty, he became the 1,000th different penalty taker in the Bundesliga, taking the division's 5,000th spot kick!

And so, as the players in our favourite league take a well deserved break after their respective efforts in 2021/22, we can all look forward to an exciting second-half to the season where more records look set to tumble.