The 14th matchday has shown that even the last-placed team can beat the first-placed team. This means the excitement is back and the Bundesliga is fun again, writes DW sports editor Olivia Gerstenberger.
Around this point of the past few seasons we collectively moaned: "How boring!" Everybody knew who was going to win the Bundesliga title, everything was pretty predictable. It was no different in the relegation battle either.
One year ago Bayern Munich were top of the table, eight points clear of Dortmund, who in turn were seven points ahead of Wolfsburg. Bunched together at the bottom were Bremen, Augsburg, Stuttgart, and Hoffenheim. One of these teams wound up getting relegated in the end, while the others were only able to save themselves at the last minute.
In the 2014-15 season things looked quite similar. FC Bayern were at the top of the table, seven points ahead of Wolfsburg, while Freiburg, who would get relegated at the end of the season, were near the bottom. How boring is that?
This season, things are a bit different. Let's look at two examples from Saturday's games. The last-placed club, Ingolstadt, beat the first-placed club, RB Leipzig. And 14th-placed Werder Bremen won their first road game of the season against Hertha Berlin, who had won all of their previous home contests.
Nobody is way out in front or way behind
A look at the standings reveals that things are a lot tighter in the league this season. Newly-promoted Leipzig are tied on points at the top of the table with the team that has won more German championships than any other. The last time that two teams were tied at the top on points after 14 matchdays was five years ago, when Dortmund were top of the table and Gladbach were level with them on 29 points, followed by Bayern on 28. Dortmund went on to win the title that year.
Darmstadt are currently bottom of the table with just eight points, but they are also just two points off the safety of 15th place. And anybody who saw how the Lilies performed in Freiburg on Saturday is bound to agree that they really didn't play like a team bound for the drop.
If those are too many numbers, simply put, Matchday 14 was fun. The results were surprising, many of the games exciting, the teams evenly matched. Many of the matches weren't decided until the closing minutes of play. This is how we like it. This gives us hope that the rest of the season will be exciting and open. Only one thing was business as usual on Matchday 14: Bayern Munich won - in a blowout. However, the perennial champion only needed outside help to return to the top of the table. That too was good news.