Football is finally back! It feels weird to say it out loud, but the Bundesliga is due to return today with fixtures such as the Revierderby between Schalke and Borussia Dortmund and a relegation battle in Fortuna Düsseldorf against Paderborn taking place behind closed doors.
It’s been a competitive season at both ends of the German top-flight, with previously dominant Bayern Munich being challenged for the title by Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen respectively.
Meanwhile near the bottom the unique relegation playoff game, which sees third from bottom in the Bundesliga take on third place in the second division in a two-legged battle for top-flight status, means a three-way dogfight between strugglers Paderborn, Werder Bremen and Fortuna Düsseldorf for the chance of survival is heating up despite all three teams being cast adrift in the relegation zone.
But as we look ahead to the future and gear up for a dramatic finish, let’s not forget there’s been plenty of drama so far in the German top flight, as we look back at the five best games of this Bundesliga season so far.
Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1 Bayern Munich
With second-year Niko Kovac already in the hot seat after a poor start to the season, the last thing he needed was a drubbing at the hands of his old team. In a reverse of the game which won his team the title the previous season, Frankfurt exacted revenge on their old boss by putting five past his already shaky defence. Not only was this a high scoring and entertaining affair, but it was extremely shocking to see the monopoly Bayern Munich had on the Bundesliga start to crumble before our very eyes. This game also signalled the end of Kovac’s tenure in Bavaria, he left the club by mutual agreement shortly after the loss.
Bayern Munich 4-0 Borussia Dortmund
What was perhaps more shocking than their 5-1 loss was the way Bayern bounced back the game after. Borussia Dortmund travelled to the Allianz Arena as members of the Bundesliga’s title hopefuls, Bayern had just fired their coach after an embarrassing defeat and had installed the inexperienced Hansi Flick as interim boss. If anyone were expecting a 4-0 drubbing, it would be at the expense of Bayern and not the other way round. Robert Lewandowski had other ideas though, showing why he’s the world's best striker by scoring twice and becoming both the first player to score a goal in the first 11 match days in the Bundesliga and the first player to have reached 16 goals by this point in the season.
Augsburg 3-5 Borussia Dortmund
Erling Braut Haaland joined the Bundesliga as one of the hottest young prospects in world football, with Dortmund reportedly beating clubs such as Manchester United and fellow Bundesliga title challengers RB Leipzig to his signature. There was a lot of buzz surrounding his debut, but few would have predicted the Norwegian would come off the bench to score three goals in a 17-minute spell to lead a comeback which saw him become the second-youngest player in the Bundesliga to score a hat-trick. The game wasn’t too bad either, with Haaland’s side coming back from two goals down to seal a win in an emphatic eight-goal thriller.
Bayer Leverkusen 4-3 Borussia Dortmund
Not only did this clash between two of the Bundesliga’s most storied clubs have title implications, but it also had goals and last-minute drama. The eventual victors Leverkusen went 2-1 down at the hands of their former star man Emre Can, but a first-half brace from Kevin Volland laid the foundations for a spectacular comeback. Raphael Guerreiro’s 65th-minute strike looked to have sealed the win for Dortmund going into the last 20 minutes, but two goals in the space of two minutes from substitute Leon Bailey and captain Lars Bender sealed a massive win for Leverkusen in a topsy turvy game with many missed chances from both sides. The loss led to more questions over Dortmund’s defence as Lucien Favre’s young side continually scored goals but let themselves down at the other end of the pitch.
Borussia Dortmund 3-3 RB Leipzig
You begin to see why there have been questions asked over Dortmund’s defensive capabilities, as they feature on this list in a high scoring game for a whopping third time. In all fairness to Lucien Favre’s men know how to put the ball in the back of the net at the other end of the pitch, but that hardly mattered to Dortmund fans as there were serious calls for Favre to be sacked following this game despite the superb job he had done up to that point at the Westfalenstadion. Dortmund yet again took the lead in this game, but within six minutes of the first half, they found their two-goal lead eradicated at the hands of a Timo Werner brace. Boy Wonder Jadon Sancho put Dortmund ahead ten minutes later, but substitute Patrik Schick’s strike with 20 minutes to go left it all square in another thrilling clash between two title contenders.
This article was written exclusively for golear.co.uk