Even though there are still a few weeks until Christmas, several Bundesliga teams picked up early presents on matchday 14. Bayern unraveled, Dortmund dominated and the league continues to be exciting.
Good week for: The Bundesliga, Lucien Favre, Jadon Sancho, Jonathan Schmid, Timo Werner, Ramy Bensebaini
Bad week for: Bayern, Wolfsburg, Florian Kohfeldt, Cologne, Javi Martinez
— Gladbach secured a stunning comeback win against Bayern Munich to stay top of the table, and seven points clear of the defending champions. Having been outplayed in the first half, the visitors emerged stronger in the second after going a goal down. Hero of the day was Ramy Bensebaini. The Algerian left back scored a powerful header and then a last-minute penalty that saw Javi Martinez sent off. For the second week in a row, Bayern were left wondering how they lost a game. Gladbach and Marco Rose, meanwhile, feel pretty good about life at the top.
— Dortmund found their groove again, smashing Fortuna Düsseldorf who now look a side in trouble. Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho both scored two and assisted one in a breakout second half from the home side. Wearing a slick all black kit dedicated to the city's mining heritage, Dortmund left the visitors chasing shadows. The win puts them two points clear of Bayern, and five off Gladbach. Now they just need to stay consistent.
— Christian Streich deserves yet another medal for yet another season of defying the odds. Granted there's a way to go, but Freiburg are fifth with the Christmas break not far away. Jonathan Schmid from a set-piece proved enough for the club that now has one more point than Bayern. Augsburg also deserve credit for upsetting the odds, albeit on a different level. Martin Schmidt has done a great job with a limited squad and the team are firmly placed in the middle of the table after beating a previously resurgent Mainz side.
— Union Berlin's win against Cologne was a result of yet another solid performance from the hosts. It was also a reminder that despite Cologne's rich history, it's Union who look far more at home in Germany's top flight. Under Urs Fischer, the club have won their last four home games without conceding. They now have seven more points than their Berlin rivals Hertha and are just five points off Bayern Munich. What a season so far for the newcomers.
— With Gladbach leading the table, there hasn't been much room to talk about the side in second but RB Leipzig may well win the title this season. They have given themselves a great chance, thanks largely to Julian Nagelsmann's ability to manage his team, in particular Timo Werner. The German striker just keeps scoring, and two more against Hoffenheim helped them on their way to their fifth straight win. Watch out.
"What can I say about it? I'm a goalkeeper."
Manuel Neuer on Bayern Munich's poor chance-conversion rate
"Whoever plays good football needs a good pitch."
Bayer Leverkusen's Peter Bosz
"This is something for the ages. On December 7, 2019, Freiburg were ahead of Bayern Munich after matchday 14. That's great for a historical follow-up."
Freiburg's Christian Streich
"It's a bit annoying because I don't like to talk much."
Jonathan Schmid on all the interviews he had to do after his goal
"It's Christmas, it's in the club shop. It's a great Christmas present. It was appropriate for today. After the home win I was in a great mood, and then I'm game for anything. It's the second Advent, three points, nice jumper - everything fits."
Augsburg's Martin Schmidt on his choice of attire for the press conference
"Work is on the to-do list. And Swabians love to work."
Jürgen Klinsmann, who grew up in and around the region of Swabia, on how the next few weeks look for Hertha Berlin
— Dortmund have scored in each of their last 31 Bundesliga home games (87 goals). That's a club record.
— Four of Union's last seven goals have been Sebastian Andersson headers.
— Jonathan Schmid's direct free kick for Freiburg against Wolfsburg was the eighth direct free kick goal of Schmid's career. No current Bundesliga player has scored more.
— Bayern have now lost 21 games in Mönchengladbach. The record champions have not lost more games anywhere else.
— RB Leipzig had 25 shots on goal against Hoffenheim, a record high for them this season.
— Thorgan Hazard is now the all-time leading Belgian goalscorer in the Bundesliga with 34 goals.
— Claudio Pizarro is the first Bundesliga player to have faced 38 different opponents.
The VAR saga will endure, but late on Sunday Paderborn felt the joy of the technology working in their favor. In an otherwise drab game, Paderborn stole a late win in curious fashion. A long-range shot deflected off Streli Mamba to land at the feet of Sven Michel, who tapped in. The original decision was offside, but the VAR stepped in and noticed that Bremen defender Gebre Selassie was keeping Mamba onside and so the goal was given, which allowed Paderborn to seal just their second win of the season. Michel and the Paderborn fans were sent into delirium, proving that the technology can be a hero and not always the villain.