bundesliga.com casts a light on the five major talking points to emerge from Matchday 8 in the most unpredictable league in world football.
Three months and six days on from German commentator Tom Bartels screaming “Finish it! Finish it! He’s done it! Mario Götzeee!” down a microphone, Germany’s 2014 FIFA World Cup hero is still riding a wave of euphoria. A 6-0 win over bottom-of-the-table SV Werder Bremen can be considered run of the mill for record titleholders FC Bayern, but for the Bundesliga’s top goalscorer, it was yet another exhibition of the outstanding form that currently has him at the pinnacle of the world game.
Following a turbulent start to the 2014/15 season, Schalke and new head coach Roberto Di Matteo appear to be a match made in heaven as a 2-0 win on home soil in his first game in charge ensured the 44-year-old left the Veltins Arena happy. The manner in which his side and in-form Klaas-Jan Huntelaar posed a threat in the final third, whilst maintaining their defensive discipline, should serve as warning to sides separating the Royal Blues from a place in the top 4.
There appears to be no end to the misery in sight for five-time champs Borussia Dortmund. Despite welcoming Ilkay Gündogan, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus - an enforced inclusion due to Erik Durm picking up a pre-game injury - back into the first-team fold, BVB suffered their third straight defeat in the 2-1 loss to 1. FC Köln, a streak experienced just once before since Jürgen Klopp assumed the role of head coach, between Matchday 20 and 22 of the 2009/10 season.
There are several apparent similarities when looking at the high-flying trio of Borussia Mönchengladbach, 1899 Hoffenheim and 1. FSV Mainz 05, from their fast-paced, dynamic style of play to their enterprising, tactically astute head coaches. This season though, all are unbeaten after eight games, a club record for Mainz and a feat last achieved by Gladbach 38 years ago when they lifted the Bundesliga title. However, the question remains: who of Bayern, Hoffenheim, Gladbach and Mainz can keep it up the longest?
Eight games into their first-ever Bundesliga campaign, there can be no doubting SC Paderborn 07’s top-flight quality. The newly-promoted side’s ability to play without fear has won over neutrals and opponents, with their 3-1 win at home to Eintracht Frankfurt moving them seventh on 12 points, 20 shy of the tally that kept VfB Stuttgart safe in 2014/15. In comparison, it took 2012/13 Bundesliga 2 runners up, Eintracht Braunschweig, 18 games to reach the 12-point mark last season.