What. A. Start. As beginnings go, the opening to the 2018/19 Bundesliga season has been astonishing. From gorgeous goals and mesmerising moves to on-field artistry performed by players at their peak, the current campaign is measuring up to be one of the most memorable yet.
The international break providing pause for thought, bundesliga.com looks back at the story of the season so far …
After just seven rounds of games, we’ve witnessed so many goals that our favourite division is in danger of being branded with a government health warning. The spectacular strikes and handsome headers have flown in to the tune of 189 goals across 63 games; that’s 35 more net-busting moments than at the same stage last season.
Dortmund starting with a bang
And, just as seven matches into the 2017/18 season Borussia Dortmund thrilled as league leaders, that Black and Yellow band of brothers are once again back at the summit and bending the Bundesliga to their breathtaking will.
The table after Matchday 7 - happy or sad with your team's position? 😃😠 pic.twitter.com/d2tg79Oqxl— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) October 7, 2018
This time around, Swiss overseer Lucien Favre is fixing on keeping his thrilling young team top of the pile and should BVB maintain their current scoring rate of a goal with every four shots, they will prove difficult to displace.
Boasting back to back Goal of the Month winners, Dortmund – who have at times fielded a side with an average age of 23 years and five months, their youngest XI since 2011 – are soaring. The epitome of vision and touch, captain fantastic Marco Reus has been magnificent for Die Schwarzgelben, now the only remaining unbeaten side in the Bundesliga thanks to their five wins and two draws.
Reus’ receipt reads four goals and four assists. With plenty of change to spare, the effervescent Jadon Sancho has managed six top-flight assists while Spanish sensation Paco Alcacer is already a hero in front of the Yellow Wall thanks to his six goals in just three substitute appearances and 81 mind-blowing minutes.
Watch: Marco Reus - the man making BVB tick!
The Champions' early struggles
If Dortmund are merry on a mojo high, defending champions Bayern Munich are still seeking to find the perfect formula under new coach Niko Kovac. Despite the Bavarians racking up most shots and completing most passes in the division to date, some surprising results have left the men in red off the pace in sixth. Reverses against Hertha Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach followed a draw at home to Augsburg and means Bayern are winless in three [four in all competitions] and eager to put things right when the action returns on 19 October.
Adding to the champions’ sense of frustration has been the sprightly form of several energised teams intent on taking advantage in the table. RB Leipzig lost a high-profile opener against Dortmund on Matchday 1 but have since recovered to rise to second and in doing so, reminding everyone of their memorable 2016/17 debut campaign in the division when they bagged the runners-up spot.
The best of the rest
Forward Yussuf Poulsen has been particularly impressive, bringing four goals to the cause while Timo Werner celebrated his 50th and 51st Bundesliga goals during a strong opening that included the club’s biggest ever Bundesliga win: a 6-0 drubbing of Nuremberg.
Gladbach, meanwhile, are also bringing the nostalgia with their booming beginning that has taken in wins against last season’s second place finishers Schalke, DFB Cup holders Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen and their biggest ever away triumph against Bayern.
Gladbach’s record signing from Nice, French forward Alassane Plea, has proved to be one of the stars of this season so far with the 25-year-old managing five goals in his seven top-flight appearances thus far. Thorgan Hazard has also been impressing, the Belgian winger providing three goals and an assist to the Foals, who are up to third.
Elsewhere, a 40-year-old Claudio Pizarro is still pumped to be playing in what is his fifth stint for Werder Bremen, the team in fourth prior to this international break. The Green-Whites' Matchday 6 defeat against Stuttgart saw the Peruvian post his 450th Bundesliga appearance while he is just eight goals shy of his 200th in Germany’s top-flight. "I enjoy playing football, even at 40,” Pizarro said recently. “I will keep doing it until my body says no more.”
Hertha Berlin coach Pal Dardai hailed his “little artist,” Ondrej Duda, with the September Player of the Month nominee producing five goals and creating as many chances in a superb start for the Slovak. With goals in wins against Schalke, Gladbach and Bayern, the 23-year-old has been one of the key components in a Hertha team flying high in fifth.
Watch: Ondrej Duda's long journey to stardom with Hertha Berlin
Yet it hasn’t all been about the goals in the first seven weeks of the season. The Crazy Glasses Challenge provided an alternative chance to win early season honours. And speaking of which, it was Borussia Dortmund who took top spot in an exciting race to the finish in the Bunducksliga final.
Wolfsburg full-back Jerome Roussillon clocked a cameraman with his fierce strike on Matchday 3 and was suitably relieved when the snapper emerged merely dazed as a result. And there was plenty of love shown by global superstar Will. I. Am. when he visited the Allianz Arena for Bayern’s home win against Leverkusen.
Indeed, with the likes of Leverkusen, Schalke and Hoffenheim preparing to mount post-international-break comebacks and Bayern chomping at the bit to get their title defence back on track, we’ve got a feelin’ that this season is about to explode. So let’s get it started!