Four of the five Bundesliga teams that have reached the knockout stages of one the two major European club cup competitions were in action this week.
Two of them fell to 1-0 losses in their first leg encounters, while the other two celebrated lopsided victories that should be enough to comfortably send them through to the next round, if nothing unusual happens in leg 2.
As reported on Tuesday, Borussia Dortmund lost its Champions League Round of 16 first leg away to Benfica Lisbon.
On Wednesday, Bayern Munich had a nearly-perfect second half, in which they turned a disappointing 1-1 halftime score at home to Arsenal, into a 5-1 victory.
Despite this already very good result, it could have been significantly better, were it not for some unfavorable refereeing decisions and several good stops by Arsenal keeper David Ospina.
Arjen Robben had given the Bundesliga leaders the early 1-0 advantage, before a rebound from a saved penalty via Alexis Sanchez put the London-based club back in contention at the half-hour mark. Arsenal finished the first half the stronger of the teams and seemed to begin the second half in the same way.
That all changed after Robert Lewandowski gave the Bavarians the 2-1 lead in the 53rd minute. The visitors were then no longer able to cope with Bayern. Thiago scored two goals a few minutes apart, to make it 4-1 and Thomas Müller added the fifth toward the end.
On Thursday, it was Europa League day, with Borussia Mönchengladbach first hosting Fiorentina in their Round of 32 first leg encounter. In the first half of that match, the home team created and missed chance after chance.
Just before the end of the half, they got the punishment for their lack of a finishing touch, when Federico Bernardeschi hammered in a free-kick from distance, to give the Italian team the unexpected lead.
In the second half, Gladbach was still the more active team, but showed more desperation and frustration than dominance. Thus it remained 1-0 until the end.
Later on Thursday, Schalke 04 took on PAOK Thessaloniki away from home. It was a not an easy game for the Royal Blues, in a very hostile environment. But by being compact defensively and taking advantage of virtually all of their few chances, they managed a 3-0 victory.
The Bundesliga team slowly worked itself into the match and went ahead after less than half an hour, via Guido Burgstaller. That was the halftime score. The second half provided almost no scoring opportunities, apart from the late goals by Max Meyer and substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar.
The second legs of the Europa League Round of 32 take place next week, as does the Champions League Round of 16 first leg between Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid.
Bayern and Dortmund both play their second leg matches in three weeks, while Leverkusen plays theirs in four weeks.
It will be interesting to see who will have the honor of representing the Bundesliga in Europe for the rest of this season and for how long.