bundesliga.com looks back on the five major talking points to have emerged from the midweek melee…
League leaders FC Bayern have failed to hit the ground running in the Rückrunde, following up the defeat in Wolfsburg by failing to take three points on home soil for the first time in 2014/15 after a 1-1 draw with Schalke. The last time the Bavarians dropped points in consecutive league games when they hadn’t already clinched the title was on Matchday 30 (a 1-0 loss to Dortmund) and 31 (a 0-0 draw against 1. FSV Mainz 05) in 2011/12.
The record titleholders still boast an eight-point cushion at the summit though, after Wolfsburg, so impressive in their triumph over FC Bayern, failed to capitalise on the table-toppers' stalemate in Munich. In fact the Wolves, boosted by the deadline-day signing of 2014 FIFA World Cup winner Andre Schürrle, had to rely on an 88th-minute equaliser from the Bundesliga’s most in-form player, Kevin De Bruyne, to snatch a 1-1 draw against Frankfurt.
In complete contrast to their hosts on Wednesday, Augsburg are riding a wave of success in the race for European qualification. The team and coaching staff are still playing down their chances of a top-six finish, but with head coach Markus Weinzierl still working his magic, the Fuggerstädter have collected 21 of a possible 27 points in their last nine league fixtures and boast a seven-point lead over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in seventh place.
Both Bremen and Hamburg picked up their second away wins of the season during midweek to engineer some breathing space above the drop zone. Werder have come flying out of the traps in the Rückrunde with the 2-1 win over Hoffenheim marking a run of three straight victories, a feat last achieved in 2011/12 under Thomas Schaaf, while Hamburg picked up their biggest win since February, beating Paderborn 3-0.
From title contenders to a relegation-threatened side in half a season and now without a win in five outings: they may have only been 13 points adrift of the top four coming into the second half of the season, but after suffering a 1-0 loss to FC Augsburg, their 500th in Bundesliga history, there is no longer any denying that the BVB are firmly ensconced in a battle for top-flight survival. Their latest defeat led to passionate remonstrations between fans and players post-game.
I would like to take this opportunity to speak with my heart and tell you that I am fully concentrated on all my duties with @BVB.— Henrikh Mkhitaryan (@HenrikhMkh) February 5, 2015
Right now we may be going through a tough situation in the Bundesliga, but together we will fight to get out of it. My heart is with @BVB.— Henrikh Mkhitaryan (@HenrikhMkh) February 5, 2015