Memorable for some, forgettable for others: players and fans alike experienced a real mishmash of emotions on Bundesliga Matchday 13.
bundesliga.com reviews the weekend’s biggest talking points...
Leverkusen's goal guarantee
A man who simply cannot stop scoring, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez's exploits in front of goal are fast becoming the stuff of legend for fans of a Bayer 04 Leverkusen persuasion. The 27-year-old took his tally for the season to 12 goals in all competitions after netting his maiden Bundesliga brace in Die Werkself’s 3-1 win away to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, and is now the Bundesliga’s all-time leading Mexican scorer with six goals in ten games.
Auba goal not enough for BVB
Borussia Dortmund went into Friday’s game at Hamburg on a real high after winning their four previous Bundesliga fixtures by an aggregate score of 13-4, but an uncharacteristically disjointed display contributed to HSV running out surprise 3-1 winners. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 15th Bundesliga goal of the season proved scant consolation for the visitors.
Bayern persistent as ever
After suffering only their second defeat of the current Bundesliga campaign, Dortmund were hoping for a huge favour from local rivals FC Schalke 04. The Royal Blues held their own for long periods against FC Bayern München on Saturday evening, but the defending champions' insatiable appetite eventually told as Javier Martinez and Thomas Müller popped up with second-half goals to extend the Reds' lead at the top of the table to eight points.
Martinez the all-rounder
Bayern's 12th Bundesliga win of the season was a particularly special occasion for Martinez. Not only did the uncompromising defensive specialist restore the league leaders' advantage with a header most strikers would have been proud of - incidentally his first goal since 18 May 2013 - but he also excelled at the heart of the back four alongside fit-again Morocco international Medhi Benatia, giving very little away and finding the mark with no less than 96 per cent of his attempted passes.
Wolves rediscover old strengths
To say VfL Wolfsburg hit their straps on Matchday 13 is a massive understatement. SV Werder Bremen were simply no match for the Wolves, who treated the partisan home crowd inside the Volkswagen Arena to an attacking display par excellence. Six goals without reply was the least last season’s runners-up deserved as Dieter Hecking’s men moved to within five points of second-in-the-table Dortmund.
Wolfsburg's six-star display means they are now undefeated in their last 29 Bundesliga matches at the Volkswagen Arena. It is currently the longest unbeaten home run across Europe's top five divisions, with the Wolves' last Bundesliga reverse on their own patch coming at the hands of FC Bayern on 8 March 2014.
Schubert's unblemished record
Wolfsburg have ever-improving Borussia Mönchengladbach, among others, for company in the nip-tuck battle for the UEFA Champions League places. The Foals were made to work hard for all three points against Hannover 96, but a late strike from Raffael ensured Andre Schubert’s tenure as permanent head coach got off to a winning start. Gladbach are now unbeaten in eight Bundesliga matches on the Kassel native’s watch.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, FC Augsburg breathed life into their faltering campaign with an emphatic 4-0 victory over fellow strugglers VfB Stuttgart. The result - only Die Fuggerstädter’s second league win of the season - moves the Bavarian outfit to within two points of outright safety, whilst leaving Stuttgart looking anxiously over their shoulders at the automatic relegation places, with a league-high 31 goals conceded.
Hertha's cold feet
Hertha Berlin are flying high in the 2015/16 campaign and moved up into fourth place at the end of play on Matchday 13 after becoming only the second side in Bundesliga history – since the advent of recorded data – to win without registering a shot on target. The capital city side had to battle wintry conditions and only had one effort on goal in their 1-0 win over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, but secured three points and back-to-back victories for the first time this season thanks to Eugen Polanski’s own goal.
Ingolstadt with signal of intent
FC Ingolstadt 04’s debut Bundesliga season has been full of firsts and their 3-1 win over SV Darmstadt 98 on Sunday was no different. Robert Bauer scored with his first-ever shot in the Bundesliga to become die Schanzer’s youngest scorer in the German top-flight, Moritz Hartmann became the first Ingolstadt player to score a Bundesliga brace and Ingolstadt scored three times for the first time in the club’s short top-tier history. However, beyond their unsurprising record-breaking feats, the newly-promoted side continue to impress and currently sit just five points adrift of VfL Wolfsburg in third.