The Bundesliga might be the most exciting top division in Europe at the moment. It’s certainly the tightest with just four points separating first-placed Borussia Mönchengladbach from eighth-placed Borussia Dortmund following Matchday 7.
Matchday 7 kicked off on Friday with Hertha Berlin hosting Fortuna Düsseldorf. And for the first time in seven games, the club from the capital managed to score a victory over Fortuna thanks to goals by Vedad Ibisević, Javairô Dilrosun, and Vladimir Darida, the attacking midfielder scoring the decisive goal after a fantastic assist by former Fortuna forward Dodi Lukebakio. US national team goalkeeper Zack Steffen was without a chance as his club is now without a win in six games.
Two other clubs that will be fighting against relegation all season met in Benteler-Arena, where Paderborn hosted Mainz. A must-win for both clubs and Mainz had the better in this relegation battle thanks to the excellent goalkeeper Robin Zentner and goals by Robin Quaison and Daniel Brosinski. Whereas Paderborn are still looking for their first win this season, Mainz climb to 13th spot.
SC Freiburg were another club that was tipped to be part of the relegation battle this season. But Die Breisgauer held Borussia Dortmund to a 2-2 draw at the Schwarzwald-Stadion and head into the international break in fourth spot. Dortmund took the lead twice, first through Axel Witsel and then Achraf Hakimi. But Luca Waldschmidt, who is expected to make his national team debut on Wednesday and an own goal by Manuel Akanji meant that Dortmund once again threw away a lead. For Freiburg, the place in the sun continues, but the Black and Yellows are now in full crisis mode.
A crisis mode that has now also arrived in Munich. FC Bayern were fantastic midweek in the Champions League against Tottenham. But the Rekordmeister were unable to carry over their Champions League form against TSG Hoffenheim for whom Sargis Adamyan was the hero. The Armenian national team forward scored two goals in the 2-1 win to secure Hoffenheim’s first-ever win over Bayern. As a result, the reigning seven-times-in-a-row champion head into the international break in third-place. Despite an Oktoberfest visit on Sunday, the Bavarians have very little to celebrate.
Bayern, however, were lucky that they did not drop down the table even further. Both Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig could have jumped ahead of Bayern in the standings. Both clubs tried to overcome defeats in the Champions League this weekend—Bayer lost 3-0 to Juventus, Leipzig 2-0 to Lyon. As a result, it was an attractive game with plenty of chances on either side, but a 1-1 draw means that neither team could leapfrog Bayern.
Another team that could have leapfrogged Bayern was Schalke 04. Die Knappen hosted newly promoted 1.FC Köln in Saturday’s Topspiel. Suat Serdar, who was nominated for Germany this week, scored the go-ahead for Schalke in the 71st minute. The Royal Blues were over-reliant on goalkeeper talent Alexander Nübel, the 23-year-old, was excellent throughout the game but could not prevent Jonas Hector’s 92nd-minute equalizer.
Instead, it was up to Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfL Wolfsburg to benefit from Bayern’s and Dortmund’s problems. Gladbach smashed Augsburg in their 5-1 victory on Sunday and are now top of the table for the first time in eight years. Their closest followers? Wolfsburg, who recorded a 1-0 victory over Union Berlin. What stands out is that in Marco Rose and Oliver Glasner Gladbach and Wolfsburg are coached by coaches, who finished first and second in the Austrian Bundesliga last season.
Finally, Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen rounded up the matchday on Sunday night. Two late goals by both clubs, André Silva in the 88th minute and Milot Rashica in the 92nd minute, meant that the two clubs took a point each in a 2-2 draw.
Germany's top flight will join the other major leagues on an international break . The Bundesliga will be back on Friday, October 18, with Frankfurt hosting Bayer Leverkusen.