We have reached the exact midpoint of the 2018/19 German Bundesliga season. The following is a review of Round 17, which took place last weekend.
It started last Friday, as first-placed Borussia Dortmund faced Borussia Mönchengladbach who were in second. Just like their rivals Schalke 04 had done the round before, Dortmund made the game a tribute to the coal-mining industry, which is leaving the region. It had been a key feature of the area for ages.
On the field, the teams were feeling each other out for a relatively long time. But BVB turned out to be by far the stronger eventually.
Jaden Sancho gave them the lead in the 42nd minute, before Christoph Kramer bizarrely equalized out of nowhere before halftime.
Early in the second half, Marco Reus provided the 2-1 winner for Dortmund.
On Saturday afternoon, Bayer Leverkusen defeated Hertha BSC Berlin 3-1 to end a tough first half of the season in midtable. The victory was not enough to save the job of coach Heiko Herrlich, however. Dutchman Peter Bosz will replace him officially in the coming days.
Elsewhere, RB Leipzig beat Werder Bremen 3-2 in a captivating game. Schake also overran VfB Stuttgart 3-1
Meanwhile, Fortuna Düsseldorf continued its upward trend by beating Hanover 96 1-0. 1.FC Nuremberg hurt its chances of staying in the Bundesliga by losing 1-0 to SC Freiburg.
On Saturday evening, Bayern Munich defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 in a game in which they were not necessarily three goals better, but the far cleverer team. Frank Ribery again took the headlines, by scoring the first two goals.
On Sunday, VfL Wolfsburg continued its trend toward Europe by outlasting FC Augsburg 3-2.
Later that night, TSG Hoffenheim and Mainz 05 drew 1-1 in a match in which the fans of both teams stole the spotlight, by singing Christmas carols for much of the second half.
The Bundesliga is now in its winter break until the 18th of January.