Bundesliga Matchday 11: Top five talking points | Bundesliga | DW | 20.11.2016
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Bundesliga Matchday 11: Top five talking points

There's a new league leader for the first time in over a year, the gap between third and seventh is zero points and there are signs of life at the bottom of the table. Here's what you need to know about Matchday 11.

1. RB Leipzig can mount a serious title challenge

Friday's dramatic 3-2 win away at Bayer Leverkusen sent RB Leipzig top of the Bundesliga - and with no European distractions and money to spend in January, there is no reason to believe they couldn't still be there come May.

They might be unpopular with some fans and the club's structures may be unconventional but their detractors can have no complaints about their football. Ralph Hasenhüttl and Ralf Rangnick have built a young, hungry side whose pressing game and rapid transitions have seen them take on three of Germany's four Champions League representatives - and beat two of them.

They travel to the Allianz Arena to face the final member of that particular group on December 21.

2. Carlo Ancelotti doesn't appear to have a plan

Fußball Trainer Ancelotti Bayern Muenchen v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Bundesliga

Carlo Ancelotti is struggling to impose a playing style at Bayern

The champions will be taking that Christmas clash with RB Leipzig extremely seriously. For the first time in 39 weeks, the Bavarians are no longer at the top of the pile after their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund and questions are starting to be asked of Carlo Ancelotti.

Unlike his predecessor Pep Guardiola, and unlike Hasenhüttl in Leipzig, the Italian doesn't appear to know how he wants his team to play. It was to be expected that Ancelotti's Bayern would enjoy less possession than the incarnation under Guardiola, but what is the Italian's new plan?

Bayern Munich's best chance on Saturday came from a deflected cross as Thomas Tuchel's Dortmund won the tactical battle with ease.

3. Thomas Tuchel definitely does have a plan

Bundesliga | Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke 04 | 9 Spieltag 2016/2017 | BvB Trainer Thomas Tuchel

Tuchel's side have looked impressive of late

In contrast to Bayern, there are signs that, having overcome a raft of injuries, Thomas Tuchel's players are beginning to grasp what their manager is demanding of them.

Dortmund are longer as reliant on the high-pressing, counter-attacking style preached by Jürgen Klopp, nor are they as focused on possession as Guardiola, who Tuchel is known to admire. By playing two up front and five at the back on Saturday evening, Tuchel intentionally sacrificed the center of the pitch in a tactical master class that Bayern just could not cope with.

One question remains for Dortmund - are they chasing Bayern … or Leipzig?

4. HSV show signs of life

1899 Hoffenheim - Hamburger SV

Hamburg have started to score again but look shaky at the back

Bottom-of-the-table Hamburg are still looking for their first win but produced some of their best football of the season as they drew 2-2 away at high-flying Hoffenheim.

Having gone seven games without scoring in the Bundesliga between September 10 and November 5, Markus Gisdol's side has now scored twice in two consecutive games. Against Hoffenheim on Sunday, strikers Filip Kostic and Nicolai Müller scored well-taken goals (Kostic's solo effort was particularly impressive) whilst Lewis Holtby was creative in midfield, the ex-Tottenham man registering four shots on goal, three decisive passes and three interceptions.

Unfortunately for Hamburg, they'd conceded 23 goals going into Sunday's match and sloppy defending cost them two more. The Bundesliga's only ever-presents finally showed signs of life but there is a long, long way to go.

5. The Bundesliga is exciting again - for now

A new leader in RB Leipzig is one thing but the true strength in depth in the Bundesliga can be seen slightly further down, where five - FIVE - teams are now level on points - from third to seventh.

With Borussia Dortmund, 1.FC Köln, TSG Hoffenheim, Hertha BSC and Eintracht Frankfurt all on 21 points, the battle for those precious Champions League places could be more intense than ever.

But before we get over-excited, there have to be some doubts over the ability of the chasing pack to sustain a challenge. Cologne are heavily reliant on Anthony Modeste, who has scored 12 of their 18 league goals so far this season, whilst Hoffenheim proved profligate in front of goal against struggling Hamburg.

Alex Meier's equalizer for Frankfurt showed how important he still is to Nico Kovac, despite starting on the bench, and Hertha BSC drew a blank away at Augsburg. The Bundesliga looks exciting again - but it's still early days.

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