Bundesliga Matchday 8: Top five talking points | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 22.10.2016
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Bundesliga Matchday 8: Top five talking points

From late, American drama in Ingolstadt to Hertha and Cologne vying to be Bayern's neighbor, there was plenty to talk about on Saturday afternoon's matchday 8 action.

1. Capital gains

Vedad Ibisevic and Anthony Modeste traded goals, Hertha and Cologne traded blows, but it was the capital club who held their nerve. Cologne's defensive stability eventually gave way. Not even a sterling display from Timo Horn could stop Cologne conceding two - half the goals they've conceded all season. It was a great game to watch, with a host of talented players showing exactly how much they've improved and how much of a difference confidence makes. A double kiss from the woodwork and a disallowed goal proved that it just wasn't Cologne's day. The question now is, will it be Hertha's season?

2. Dortmund dip

Rotation hurts, set-pieces continue to be an issue and concentration is proving costly. Borussia Dortmund delivered their worst performance of the season away in Ingolstadt as Thomas Tuchel's changes (Roman Weidenfeller, Adrian Ramos and Park Jo-Hoo all started) failed to deliver the improved freshness. Christian Pulisic's injury-time equalizer saved the visitors from real embarrassment. In truth, the American was the game-changer for Dortmund's attacking purpose when he came on at the break. Once again though, Dortmund's Achilles' heel of not beating inferior opponents came back to haunt them. As things stand, Dortmund are in sixth. The last four games have taken the shine off the summer spend and that's bad news with the derby next week.

3. Wunder Wagner

Deutschland Fußball Bundesliga Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Getty Images/Bongarts/L. Schulze)

How much longer can Sandro Wagner's form be ignored?

It's as unlikely as Thomas Tuchel not signing a new contract at Borussia Dortmund, but Joachim Löw is running out of reasons not to consider Sandro Wagner for the Germany squad. Having proved that at the Euros that the old striker still has a role to play, can Löw really afford to have no real strikers for Russia 2018? With Gomez looking a shadow of the player that shined in France this summer, Wagner has stepped up. Beyond his goals (four in seven, 14 in the year of 2016), it's his interplay that has excited most. This year, he's been involved in 17 Bundesliga goals. His touch and hold-up play is impressive, even his temperament (often an issue in the past) appears to have calmed with age. A member of the famous Germany U21 class of 2009, perhaps the 28-year-old will finally get the chance in the first team.

4. Wolfsburg woes

If Darmstadt are dominating you, then you know you have problems. Wolfsburg didn't expect Valerien Ismael to be the savior, but some improvement against a side with just one win this season was supposed to be possible. In a wet Darmstadt, though, Wolfsburg were as harmless as their season has been so far. Ricardo Rodriguez in the centre of defense didn't work, Wolfsburg's possession was wasted, creativity was absent and even when Mario Gomez ended a 600-minute goal drought, there was no fight on show. Duly, they were punished. Whoever takes the permanent job at Wolfsburg has some serious work on their hands.

5. King Julian

It's been said before, but it's worth repeating. Julian Nagelsmann is doing a fantastic job at Hoffenheim. The 29-year-old head coach guided his side to a 3-0 win away against Leverkusen and while an early red card for former favorite Kevin Volland certainly helped, it was another purring performance from the side from Sinsheim. No defeats in eight games and a place in the top three is a continuation of the good work that Nagelsmann started at the end of last season. What happens next could be the story of the season, quite frankly.

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