For now, we’re at something of a status-quo, as Bayern Munich keep their one point lead over Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga. While the champions got themselves in a complicated situation against Hertha Berlin (still coming up with the 3-2 win), Dortmund were fantastic in their 3-2 win over Schalke, claiming their first Revierderby after two consecutive losses.
The biggest rivalry in Germany produced surprising results last season, with Schalke winning twice. This time, as Dortmund have learned that simply basing everything on counter attacks might work better, things went back to normal, or at least recent years normal. The first goal came through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who just might be the fastest player in Europe right now, and as Schalke kept pressing forward, Dortmund became more and more dangerous.
First it was Nuri Sahin with a wonderful goal off a Henrikh Mkhitaryan assist that made it quite impossible for Schalke to catch up, and the third was another perfect example of how just how great Dortmund are as a counter attacking side, with Mkhitaryan leading the break and setting up Kuba for the third goal, with Dortmund eventually winning 3-1, and Schalke bemoaning Kevin-Prince Boateng missing a penalty kick. It still wasn’t that close.
Bayern Munich ran into some trouble against Hertha Berlin, conceding an early goal from the visitors. That didn’t last long. Mario Mandzukic is almost unstoppable in the air, and it was quite funny he didn’t even start. He came on for Arjen Robben in the 26th minute who was injured and scored twice by simply towering over the Hertha defense. Mario Gotze added the third, also coming off the bench for the injured Toni Kroos, as Bayern might be finally getting the most out of their expensive summer arrival, but are losing players left and right to injuries in the process.
More good news for Bayern was Javi Martinez resurfacing, coming on for Thomas Muller. Martinez might have been the biggest secret weapon they had last season as the romped through every competition in Germany and Europe. It’s still a question of where Guardiola will play him – centre back or defensive midfielder, but it’ll be impossible to ignore him and not use him in the lineup, even if he isn’t the best passer in the world.