The Royal Blues' record of futility against their local archrivals is finally at an end. Missing Götze, Gündogan, Schmelzer and others, the champions Dortmund went down to a 2-1 defeat that had to hurt.
Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp no doubt sensed early on that this was going to be a long afternoon at the office.
In minute 13, Ibrahim Afellay, on loan to Schalke from Barcelona, struck first blood with a tremendous volley. In the build-up, playmaker Jefferson Farfan was given far too much space on the edge of the box.
It was typical of the defensive lapses that have plagued Dortmund this season - although the uncertainty at the back may have also come from the fact that the injury-plagued champs started the match in an unconventional 3-5-1-1 formation.
After half an hour, Klopp ended that experiment, restoring the back four in which Sven Bender replaced Marcel Schmelzer. Dortmund looked better but went into the dressing room behind.
Dortmund then slept through the restart. Only two minutes had been played, when Lewis Holtby sprang Marco Höger on the break, and he doubled the visitors' advantage. But just when the Dortmund faithful were contemplating collective hari-kiri, Robert Lewandowski headed in a free kick to give the hosts hope.
As the second half wore on, Schalke seemed content to defend their one-goal lead while Dortmund's intensity noticeably increased, although without any immediate reward. And the Royal Blues hung on to hand their arch-rivals their first league home loss in over a year and put a major dent in the two-time defending champs' chances of a title three-peat.
Best ever start for Bayern
Bayern München rolled into Düsseldorf as the overwhelming favorites against their newly promoted hosts. But there was a bit of extra pressure, as the Bavarians could set a new Bundesliga record for the best-ever season start (eight wins) with a victory.
Value-for-money striker Mario Mandzukic took the heat off the visitors when he opened the scoring in minute 28. And Luiz Gustavo put another into the net eight minutes later.
And, 10 minutes after the restart, Thomas Müller gave Bayern a bit of insurance with a third goal, after Düsseldorf stood back and admired Munich's ball skills. Müller and Rafinha added a pair of goals in the dying minutes to make the final score 5-0.
The win not only kept Bayern at the top of the table. It also gave them a perfect 24 points after eight rounds - something no team had ever accomplished before.
Close contests elsewhere
In Frankfurt, Karim Matmour headed in from close range in minute five to put the hosts ahead against Hanover. And Sebastian Jung doubled Frankfurt's advantage 13 minutes later after some slick passing. Mohammed Abdellaoue handed Hanover a lifeline just before the break.
The game remained on a knife's edge. But Frankfurt veteran Alex Meier sealed a 3-1 win for the hosts with a header in minute 83. The three points keep surprise package Frankfurt second in the table.
Leverkusen left it until late in the first half before taking the lead against visitors Mainz, with Stefan Kiessling doing the business in minute 43. Adam Szalai levelled for Mainz in minute 58.
Then a quarter of an hour from time, Szalai jumped on a terrible back pass by Daniel Carvajal and found midfielder Marcel Risse, who put Mainz in the lead. But Gonzalo Castro struck three minutes from time to salvage a point for Bayer Leverkusen. Mainz will be disappointed to have secured only a 2-2 draw.
In Wolfsburg the day didn't start well for the hosts with defender Naldo tripping up Freiburg's Erik Jendriksen in the area in the first half. Daniel Caligiuri converted from the spot.
As time dribbled away in the second half, Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath substituted on a third striker for defender Emanuel Pogatetz. But that strategy backfired as Freiburg's Julian Schuster completed the 2-0 scoreline six minutes from time.
Things are now sure to get hot for coach Felix Magath, whose Wolves are dead last in the table - with only two goals scored in eight rounds. It's not inconceivable that Magath, who won the Buindesliga with the Wolves in 2009, could be getting his marching orders.
In Saturday’s late match, Bremen were clearly the stronger side in the first half against Mönchengladbach, and they took the lead in minute 37. Nils Petersen bundled the ball home with his shin after a poorly defended corner. And Marko Arnautovic doubled the hosts’ lead seconds before the halftime whistle, lobbing Gladbach keeper Marc-André ter Stegen on a counterattack.
In the second half, Bremen were content to lock down their lead, and Gladbach, try as they might, couldn’t really threaten. Substitute Niclas Füllkrug salted the three points away in minute 76 after an excellent assist by Arnautovic. And Zlatko Junuzovic secured the 4-0 win for the hosts just before the final whistle. The win took Bremen – for a night at least – into the top half of the table.
On Friday, round 8 got off to an exciting start with Hoffenheim and Greuther Fürth playing to a 3-3 draw. Hoffenheim thought they had all three points wrapped up when striker Joselu, who had a brace, put them ahead with only a couple minutes to play. But substitute Lasse Sobiech equalized for visitors Fürth on the very last play of the game.
On Sunday, Nuremberg play Augsburg, and Hamburg host Stuttgart.