Borussia Dortmund made up ground on league leaders Bayern Munich, but the team of the moment are Borussia Mönchengladbach. The Foals beat Hertha Berlin - putting their coach in the history books.
When André Schubert was promoted from Borussia Mönchengladbach's youth ranks to coach of the first team earlier this fall, he would hardly have imagined himself equalling one of the Bundesliga's longest standing records. But with the Foals' 4-1 win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday, Schubert's sixth straight victory, he matched Willi Entenmann's best-ever coaching debut with Stuttgart from 1985.
The most amazing thing is that the streak came after Gladbach had lost their first five matches of the season.
The Foals had a relatively easy time of it in the German capital against a passive Hertha side, who themselves have been strong so far this season. Oscar Wendt and Raffael took the visitors to a first half-lead, exploiting their opponents' defensive lapses. Granit Xhaka added a penalty and Harvard Nordveit a late strike after the interval. Alexander Baumjohann's penalty for Hertha was a mere blip on the capital club's otherwise flat-lining EKG.
Despite the one-sidedness of the match, some of the main factors in Gladbach's unique recovery were on clear display. The Foals' defense has benefited from greater playing time given to experienced individuals, like Alvaro Dominguez. Schubert is also wise to put his trust in speedster Ibrihima Traoré, who drew Gladbach's penalty.
With nearly everything going right, the Foals now have the sort of self-perpetuating momentum that allows them to brush aside teams like Hertha. The capital-club had yet to lose a home match prior to Saturday and had the Bundesliga's third best defense. But they had no chance against a streaking Gladbach side that has now risen all the way to the top third of the table.
Dortmund take advantage, Wolves go third
If you close your eyes and wish really, really hard, you might almost be able to convince yourself that the title race is back on. At least the gap in the table between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund is back down to five points, after Thomas Tuchel's men cruised past Werder Bremen 3-1.
Marco Reus, who finally seems to have recovered from his numerous knocks and niggles, was the man of the match, finishing off passes from Henrikh Mkhitaryan in minutes 9 and 72. Mkhitaryan himself headed in a marvelous cross from Mats Hummels just before the break, after Anthony Ujah had equalized. Werder looked more switched on than in recent weeks, but they were no match for Dortmund and will look forward to facing easier opposition next week.
Completing a pleasant afternoon for Dortmund fans was the fact that arch-rivals Schalke could only manage a 1-1 draw at home against newly promoted Ingolstadt. The visitors took the lead through journeyman defender Tobias Levels - only his third strike ever in the top flight - just before half-time.
Wonderkind Leroy Sané spared the Royal Blues' blushes when he headed home the equalizer a quarter of an hour from time. Schalke's strong season start seems to have run its course. They're winless in their last two Bundesliga matches and crashed out of the German Cup during the week.
Saturday's late match between Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen was also an even affair, with the teams nearly equal in the main statistical categories. Nicklas Bendtner opened the scoring after 34 minutes after a pass that should have been ruled offside. Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez tied things up six minutes later, but with just 13 minutes to play, substitute Julian Draxler bagged the game-winner with his first Bundesliga goal for the Wolves. The 2-1 victory takes Dieter Hecking's side up to third in the table.
Pair of draws for two strugglers
Draws come in many varieties. Augsburg's 3-3 at home versus Mainz was nothing short of a heart-breaker.
The hosts got off to a horrid start with Yoshinori Muto scoring a pair in the first half hour but battled back to overturn that deficit. Paul Verhaegh converted a controversial penalty late in the first half before Ja-Cheol Koo found the mark shortly after the restart, and Raul Bobadilla had the home fans cheering ten minutes from time when he completed the turn-around.
But Muto completed his hat-trick in the third minute of added time to deny Augsburg a much needed win and keep the southern Germans in last place.
Hoffenheim's fans were hoping for a turnaround under new coach Huub Stevens. The Dutchman, who's becoming famous for saving teams from the drop, once described his philosophy as: 'the first and foremost thing is keeping a clean sheet.' And that's exactly what the Hoff got in his debut - a goalless draw against Cologne.