Cologne – Eight Matchdays down, 26 to go. The 53rd Bundesliga season is in full swing and already a different picture is being painted to the previous campaign. We take you through the best game from each of the eight weeks of the season so far.
Thomas Tuchel could hardly have wished for a better start to the season. His Borussia Dortmund team were electrifying, dominating Borussia Mönchengladbach from the word go. After just fifteen minutes, Marco Reus had smashed in the opening goal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan added two more in the first half, profiting not only from the fluidity of Dortmund's front line, but also from Mats Hummels' delightful distribution from the back.
Dortmund's front four of Reus, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa were on fire, and they added another after the break with Mkhitaryan hitting the top corner from inside the area. Kagawa could have netted the fifth late on, but his shot squirmed wide. For Gladbach, it was a dark indicator of things to come.
Both Hamburger SV and VfB Stuttgart had narrowly avoided relegation last season, and both had lost their opening games in 2015/16.
Twenty minutes passed without a great deal of action before the game suddenly exploded into life. Daniel Didavi's through ball found Daniel Ginczek, who crashed home a shot from just inside the area. Hamburg equalised shortly afterwards, Ivo Ilicevic getting on the end of a long ball from Johan Djourou. Just before the break, however, Ginczek knocked in a second to regain the lead.
The game was turned on its head again in the second half after Florian Klein was sent off for a dangerous challenge. Hamburg capitalised, equalising with just six minutes to go through Pierre-Michel Lasogga. The final blow came moments later, Djourou scoring his first ever Bundesliga goal to claim a late win for Hamburg.
After a stuttering win over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Matchday 2, FC Bayern München were back to their imperious best as they dispatched Bayer 04 Leverkusen to make it three wins in three. Douglas Costa was the man of the moment in the first half, showing off his lightning pace to provide the assist for Thomas Müller to score the opening goal. Costa came close himself a little while later, his shot striking the woodwork. Just before half time, Hakan Calhanoglu's free kick also struck the frame of the goal, leaving Leverkusen a whisker away from an equaliser.
Bayern had a little help wrapping up the points in the second half. Leverkusen's Roberto Hilbert gave away two penalties, which were duly converted by Müller and Arjen Robben.
Alexander Meier celebrated his return from injury with a hat-trick as Eintracht Frankfurt stunned an in-form 1. FC Köln side on Matchday 4.
Frankfurt were 3-0 up with only 23 minutes played, Luc Castaignos stroking home their second goal, and Meier responsible for the first and the third. It was the Frankfurt captain's third consecutive brace against Köln. Anthony Modeste got one back for the visitors on the half-hour mark, before Castaignos completed his brace just two minutes later to make it 4-1.
Castaignos set up Haris Seferovic to make it 5-1 just after the break, before Köln struck back again from a Dominique Heintz header. Meier wrapped up his hat trick to put Köln out of their misery in the 87th minute.
Dortmund's perfect start to the season continued into Matchday 5 as Thomas Tuchel's side inflicted another 3-0 defeat on Roger Schmidt's Leverkusen. With 19 minutes gone, Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno was left red-faced as he misjudged a long ball to allow Jonas Hofmann to slot the ball home for the opener. Dortmund took full control from that moment on, allowing the visitors only a couple of chances.
On the hour mark, a wonderful array of short passes ended with Kagawa toe-poking the ball in to double Dortmund's lead. After Wendell conceded a penalty late on, Aubameyang was on hand to drill the ball home from the spot to keep his side top of the table. Dortmund's record after five games was the best in Bundesliga history.
Robert Lewandowski grabbed all the headlines with his incredible five-goal haul as Bayern demolished potential title rivals VfL Wolfsburg in Munich.
Wolfsburg had been the better side in the first half, taking the lead on 26 minutes thanks to a fine strike from Daniel Caligiuri. Pep Guardiola's answer to his team's travails was to bring on Robert Lewandowski at half time.
The Polish superstar did not disappoint. His five goals in eight minutes and 59 seconds broke an archive full of Bundesliga records. It was the fastest hat-trick, the fastest four-goal haul and the fastest five-goal haul, as well as the first time a substitute had scored more than three.
After their winning streak had come to an end against Hoffenheim in midweek, Dortmund were keen to get back to winning ways at home to SV Darmstadt 98. Marcel Heller, though, had other ideas. After Darmstadt hit a dominant Dortmund on the counter-attack in the 17th minute, Heller fired home an exquisite volley to open the scoring. Dortmund were unable to respond until after half-time when Aubameyang poked the ball in to score for the seventh consecutive game.
Aubameyang put Dortmund into the lead shortly afterwards, and it looked as though Tuchel's side had the three points wrapped up. In the 90th minute, though, Darmstadt punted a hopeful free kick into the box, and captain Aytac Sulu poked the ball in to grab a late draw for the underdogs.
The eyes of the world were on the Allianz Arena in Munich as Bayern welcomed Dortmund for the much anticipated Klassiker on Matchday 8.
After an even but exciting opening 25 minutes, Müller put the hosts in front, getting on the end of an exquisite long pass from Jerome Boateng. Müller then doubled Bayern's lead from the penalty spot after Thiago had been brought down during a Bayern counter-attack
Dortmund struck back immediately, with Aubameyang continuing his brilliant scoring run, netting from close range to score his tenth goal in nine games. Dortmund were stunned just seconds after the restart though, Boateng hitting another long ball into the path of Lewandowski, who rounded Roman Bürki to poke it home.
From then on, Bayern stole the show. Lewandowski got a second, capitalising on a divine cross from Mario Götze, who then wrapped up the 5-1 victory in the 66th-minute. Bayern had crushed their nearest rivals, and extended their lead at the top of the table to seven points.