From important maiden Rückrunde wins for FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund to a debut to remember, bundesliga.com rounds up the major talking points from the latest round of action in Germany's top flight.
The relief was palpable when the final whistle sounded in Freiburg on Saturday as Dortmund ended a five-game winless streak and banked their first Bundesliga victory since 5 December 2014 with a 3-0 triumph. BVB are still down in 16th place, but the three points and the manner of their display will have done wonders for the confidence in Jürgen Klopp's side. If they can follow it up with success at home to Mainz next week, we may well start to see the Borussia of old again in the coming weeks.
The Bundesliga pacesetters may not have been in quite as dire need for victory as their main rivals for domestic superiority in the last few years, but the fact that Bayern München had to wait until the third round of second half of the season matches to chalk up a win was remarkable in itself. Two brilliant strikes from Arjen Robben (r.) and David Alaba (l.) earned a 2-0 victory away to VfB Stuttgart, although Pep Guardiola admits that his side "must still improve".
VfL Wolfsburg's headline-grabbing winter signing Andre Schürrle returned to the Bundesliga with a bang at the weekend, turning in a match-winning display in his side's 3-0 triumph over 1899 Hoffenheim. The World Cup winner had a hand in each of his team's goals, grabbing an assist as early as the third minute when he teed up Bas Dost for the opener, and linked up superbly with fellow attacker Kevin De Bruyne. By his own admission still short of match fitness, Schürrle looks set to light up the league.
In 2013/14 Schalke had an unexceptional first half of the season (28 points), but followed that up with the best Rückrunde in the club’s history, amassing 36 points from their last 17 games. They look to be on course for something similar this term, as after collecting 27 points prior to the winter break, Robert Di Matteo’s Royal Blues are now in fine form, winning two and drawing one so far this year, including an impressive 1-0 victory over top four-rivals Gladbach last Friday.
The improvement that SV Werder Bremen have made since the installation of Viktor Skripnik as coach is truly remarkable. After ending 2014 win a win over Borussia Dortmund, the Green-Whites have succeeded in their first three games of 2015, climbing to eighth in the table. They lead the form table since the Bundesliga resumed and are the only club yet to drop a point in the Rückrunde so far following their 2-1 win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The nickname 'Victory' Skripnik is starting to catch on...