BERLIN (Reuters) – Here are five talking points from the weekend in Germany.
Bundesliga leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach are enjoying their finest run in decades and their 4-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt allowed them to stay top of the league for a third straight week.
That has not happened since the 1976/77 season when Gladbach ended up winning the last of their five league titles.
But Gladbach are not the only surprise team this season, with Freiburg delivering yet another superb team performance to muscle their way past RB Leipzig and move into third place in the league.
Coach Christian Streich’s magic touch with the introduction of Vincenzo Grifo in the 34th minute proved crucial as the player added instant pace and helped prepare the winner for Nils Petersen, who was brought in after 30 minutes.
Petersen also set a record for most goals by a substitute with his 22nd strike off the bench, surpassing Claudio Pizarro.
VfL Wolfsburg stumbled to a 0-0 draws against Augsburg to fall behind in the title race but the Wolves, along with Italy’s Juventus, remain the only unbeaten teams left in the top European leagues.
Their goalless draw was also the first game under coach Oliver Glasner where they failed to score.
Bayern Munich’s 2-1 over promoted Union Berlin kept them a point off the top in second place but pressure on coach Niko Kovac keeps mounting as media speculation of possible successors widens to include Ajax Amsterdam’s Erik ten Hag.
“I am happy with it (Bayern interest). That means he’s doing well,” Ajax technical director Marc Overmars told Dutch media on the weekend. “You must always remain realistic. If such big clubs come for you, how often do you get that chance?”
Borussia Dortmund counterpart Lucien Favre is in a similar position after his team’s lavish spending in the summer and hopes of a strong title run.
Dortmund have won just one of their last five league games and their goalless draw at Schalke 04 did little to lift the gloom, especially after their midweek loss to Inter Milan in the Champions League.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Michael Perry)