The referee is in focus after Bayern Munich's late, late leveller while there is the creeping feeling that Werder Bremen and Eintracht Frankfurt's seasons are reverting to type. Dortmund win...but it was only Wolfsburg.
When is time up?
Beating Bayern Munich is hard enough without the referee playing six minutes of injury time having indicated he would play five. Of course, the whistle goes when the referee thinks time is up, not when the clock is up. Stoppage time can be added in stoppage time. But Pal Dardai undoubtedly gave the officials an earful at the end of Hertha Berlin's 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich following Robert Lewandowski's 96th minute equalizer.
The decision to start with Thomas Müller and initially rest Lewandowski almost backfired, but it was that man again to save the Bavarians, albeit from the bench.
Sure, Carlo Ancelotti would be well within his rights to rest Lewandowski in a home game against Darmstadt, but this was an away game against a very strong home team in the European positions.
The Pole was clearly fit or else he would not have come on after 60 minutes. And it is not as if he is needed for the Arsenal second leg next month…
Dortmund don’t need the South Stand or Götze
Yes Dortmund were helped on their way by a ridiculous own goal from Jeffrey Bruma, but they easily halted their mini-slump with a 3-0 win over Wolfsburg. They did it without the whole of their famous Südtribüne (south stand) and with Mario Götze now ruled out for two weeks with another injury.
It is not as if Götze has appeared much anyway and the saga with the banned fans just adds to the roller-coaster season Dortmund have been having.
The fact they could shrug it all off after two straight defeats and professionally get an important win indicates they could be finally turning things around. But Thomas Tuchel will remind his troops that it was only Wolfsburg – a team who have made no real improvement under new coach Valerien Ismael.
Bremen may get out of trouble after put fans through the wringer
Werder Bremen had not won in six and had lost their last four. But you never count them out once the end of the season comes around. Just like Saturday’s 2-0 win at Mainz, they will find a way to get enough points to again escape relegation somehow.
They don’t seem to gel at all and then suddenly click out of the blue. Saturday’s goals were fabulous, Serge Gnabry’s header was as well positioned as you can get and Thomas Delaney’s free kick had the perfect weight, pace and dip.
If they can produce those little bits of quality now and again over the coming weeks, they will be safe, especially when Claudio Pizarro is fit to start again.
Frankfurt’s rise was perhaps a mirage
Two defeats in a row, including Saturday’s woeful 2-0 defeat at home to second bottom Ingolstadt, suggest Eintracht Frankfurt’s unexpected bolt to the Champions League spots has very much run out of steam.
It always felt that they were artificially high up the table, as much a cause of the rest of the league being poor as opposed to Frankfurt suddenly being world beaters.
David Abraham’s stupid red card and Makoto Hasebe’s woeful penalty and rebound miss summed up their day as they gave Ingolstadt hope in their survival quest.
Havertz could become a superstar
Many teenagers have been hyped up after a few good performances and then disappear from trace. But Leverkusen’s 17-year-old forward Kai Havertz looks like he is here to stay. He produced another superb performance in Friday’s 3-1 win at Augsburg, setting up two goals and showing amazing composure for someone so young.
He looks like he has been playing professionally for a decade. Nothing fazes him and he has the belief to use his skill and embarrass supposedly top class defenders.
Leverkusen have been on a bumpy ride this term but by banking on a 17-year-old, they are looking very much at the future, a strategy that could pay huge dividends.