So, we are halfway through the season, and the arrival of the winter break gives us a chance to mull over another exciting and eventful Bundesliga Hinrunde. Let’s take a look back at the first half of the season and sum up some key events in numbers . . .
The number of points collected by Borussia Mönchengladbach in their opening six Bundesliga matches, ultimately leading to the resignation of Lucien Favre (who led them to third place last season). Andre Schubert took interim control of the Foals and duly led the club to six wins on the bounce. As it stands, Gladbach have climbed from bottom of the table to fourth having suffered just one further defeat and having ended Bayern Munich’s unbeaten start.
Bayern Munich have been crowned Herbstmeister for the fifth consecutive season and the 25th time in total. Pep Guardiola’s side opened up with ten straight wins before being held goalless by Frankfurt on the Friday night of match day 11. They looked to be on course for an unbeaten Hinrunde before they came off the rails with a 3-1 loss at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the first player in Bundesliga history to score in eight consecutive matches to start a league campaign. The Gabonese forward opened his account against Borussia Mönchengladbach and was on the scoresheet on match day 8 in the 5-1 defeat at Bayern.
He then failed to score at Mainz before bagging a hat trick in his next game against FC Augsburg. All in all, he’s fired in 18 goals in just 17 appearances to put him at the top of the Bundesliga goal-scoring charts going into the winter break.
The number of seconds it took Hoffenheim striker Kevin Volland to score against Bayern Munich on match day 2 at the Rhein-Neckar Arena. To make it even more impressive, it was Bayern who actually kicked-off! A poor pass from David Alaba to Jerome Boateng was pounced upon by the German U-21 international who then fired home past a helpless Manuel Neuer. Sadly for the home side, Bayern would ultimately triumph 2-1 thanks to a last-minute winner.
Nine is also curiously the number of minutes it took Robert Lewandowski to bang in five goals against VfL Wolfsburg on match day 6. Starting from the bench, the Polish hitman was introduced at halftime with the visitors leading 1-0.
His equaliser on 51 minutes started the comeback, and for a stretch, it seemed that every time he touched the ball he was putting it in the back of the Wolfsburg net. By the time he scored on the hour mark, Bayern were remarkably 5-1 up. His goal-scoring feat even put him in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The number of minutes it took newly promoted FC Ingolstadt to find the back of the net at home in their debut Bundesliga campaign. Their opening three games at the Audi-Sportpark saw them shutout by Dortmund, Wolfsburg, and Hamburg. The goal drought in front of their own fans was finally broken by Pascal Groß’s 78th minute opener against Eintracht Frankfurt on match day 8. Just like busses, you wait ages for a goal and another comes along soon after. Six minutes after the Groß goal, Stefan Lex added a second.
Goals scored in the Hinrunde, an average of 2.8 per game. Fans at the Signal Iduna Park witnessed the most, with Dortmund matches contested there enjoying 36 goals. Allianz Arena finished just one behind with 35. Fans at Köln’s Rhein-Energie Stadion were comparatively goal-starved, having witnessed just 13.
The first goal of the 2015-16 season was an ugly effort going in off the shoulder of Mehdi Benatia, setting Bayern on the way to a 5-0 win over Hamburg. The final goal before the winter break was Oscar Wendt’s late winner against Darmstadt to seal a 3-2 victory for Mönchengladbach.
Bayern became the first club to notch a thousand Bundesliga wins with their 4-0 victory over Köln on match day 10. The club’s first-ever Bundesliga win came way back on 21st August 1965 when they beat Eintracht Frankfurt at the Grünwalder Stadion in front of 30,000 supporters.
A rather less desirable record however fell to Werder Bremen, who on match day 11 became the first Bundesliga club to concede 1000 goals in their own stadium, reaching the dubious honor during a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund. The Weser Stadion has seen plenty of goals down the years, with the problem the past few seasons being that too many have been scored by visitors.
Bayern may be the tiki-taka kings of the Bundesliga, but Borussia Dortmund’s midfield has matched the Bavarians in their passing style this season. The player with the most passes played is Ilkay Gundogan with 1403. The most-accurate passer though is Bayern’s David Alaba with an impressive completion rate of 92%.
When Mainz’s Yunus Malli scored to put his side 2-0 up against Eintracht Frankfurt on match day 14, he scored the 49,000th goal in Bundesliga history. Borussia Dortmund’s Timo Konietzka famously scored the first after just 58 seconds back in 1963.
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