The Bundesliga is nearing the end of its winter break so we’ve had plenty of time to crunch the numbers on a fascinating first half of the campaign.
Let’s start with the biggest one. A whopping 6,783,162 fans attended a top-flight match during the first 17 weeks of the season – an average of 44,335 per game.
What did supporters see when they got inside a stadium? Goals, and lots of them. There were 424 goals across the league in the first half of the season, compared to 408 in the 2016/17 Hinrunde.
Hertha Berlin’s Vedad Ibisevic got the quickest one – scoring after only 20 seconds against Wolfsburg on Matchday 11. Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, however, was on the scoresheet more often than anyone else. The Polish international leads the scoring charts with 15 goals, closely followed by Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (13) and Augsburg’s Alfred Finnbogason (11).
After netting 31 times, Aubameyang pipped Lewandowski to the top goalscorer crown last season and he can consider himself unlucky not to be closer in this year’s race. The Gabon striker hit the woodwork five times in the first half of the current campaign – more than any other player in the league.
Aubameyang has also scored more goals than anyone else at home (11), while Augsburg’s Michael Gregoritsch is the league’s topscoring midfielder with eight strikes to date.
Finnbogason and Gregoritsch have netted a combined 70 per cent of Augsburg’s 27 goals so far to help their team to ninth in the table. But major credit must also go to their team mate Philipp Max – the left-back had a league-high nine assists going into the winter break.
Dortmund had the biggest win of the Hinrunde, when an Aubameyang hat-trick lifted them to a 6-1 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 6.
Die Schwarzgelben were involved in the highest-scoring game of the first half of the season too as their four-goal lead was wiped out in a chaotic Revierderby draw with Schalke in November. That 4-4 scoreline was repeated on the final matchday before the winter break when Hannover drew with Bayer Leverkusen.
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In terms of discipline, Bundesliga teams were on their best behaviour. Not since 1990 have there been so few yellow cards (516) while only 23 players were sent off – 12 fewer than a year ago. Tricky Schalke winger Amine Harit was the most fouled player (57 times).
When it comes to goalkeepers, Timo Horn was the busiest. A total of 108 shots hit the target when he was in goal for Cologne, the league’s bottom side, while Jiri Pavlenka had a league-high save percentage rate of 79 for fellow strugglers Werder Bremen.
Bayern led the table going into the new year for the seventh time in a row and, to go with Lewandowski’s goals, they had plenty of other standout performances. Less than six per cent of Niklas Süle’s passes failed to find a team-mate, which was the best record in the league, and the defending champions conceded only three goals in the 11 matches that Javi Martinez played.
Referees have the help of video technology this season and that possibly explains why 57 penalties were awarded – the highest total since 1985. Ten were missed, including five saved by the keeper.
The total of 36 goals scored on Matchday 17 was a high for the season – and left us licking our lips in anticipation ahead of the league’s resumption on January 12.
When the penalty spot went walkabout in a winter wonderland... ❄️ pic.twitter.com/FpfUsnSR9j— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) December 14, 2017