Dortmund’s lead is now 11 points and is the biggest lead at this stage of a Bundesliga season. A win at Eintracht Frankfurt next week will see them secure the most points before the winter break in Bundesliga history. On the other side of the coin, Werder Bremen have made their worst start to a Bundesliga season since 1998/99. The distractions of European football which may have seen them take their eye of the league can now be put to one side as, despite a 3-0 win over champions Inter Milan in their final game, a fourth place finish in their Champions League group means that the 2009 Europa League finalists only have domestic matters to focus on in 2011.
The only team to beat Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, are now the nearest challengers. A 4-2 win over SV Hamburg saw them climb into second place. Goals from Sidney Sam, Arturo Vidal, Renato Augusto and a Frank Rost own goal were enough to overcome an inconsistent Hamburg side, who remain in 9th place.
The Bundesliga is without a doubt one of the most competitive in Europe, and this can be seen in the fact that smaller teams such as Hannover 96, FSV Mainz 05 and SC Freiburg are all battling for European places. Hannover moved briefly into second place with a 2-1 win over a struggling VFB Stuttgart side. Ivorian striker Didier Ya Konan’s double strike gave Hannover a record breaking 5th consecutive Bundesliga victory. The defeat plunged Stuttgart deep into relegation trouble, now five points adrift of safety.
Mainz dropped into 4th place as they suffered a 1-0 home defeat to a resurgent FC Schalke 04 yesterday afternoon. A goal by Jefferson Farfan lifted the side from Gelsenkirchen into 10th place with a fourth win in six games. Freiburg stayed in 5th place with a 3-0 win over bottom placed Borussia Monchengladbach thanks to a double from Papiss Demba Cisse.
Bayern Munich recovered from their defeat at Schalke last week with a scrappy victory over cult club FC St Pauli. A wonderful 25 yard effort from Hamit Altintop gave Bayern an early lead, but they struggled to finish off the side from Hamburg. It was only when goalkeeper Thomas Kessler brought down Sebastien Schwiensteiger and was sent off that Bayern looked comfortable. Philipp Lahm tucked away the penalty, and Frank Ribery added a third to put some gloss on the scoreline.
The other games saw 1899 Hoffenheim draw 1-1 with 1. FC Nuremburg, Eintracht Frankfurt go down 1-0 at 1.FC Koln and FC Kaiserslautern draw 1-1 with Steve McLaren’s VFL Wolfsburg.