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Five Observations from Matchday 11 in the Bundesliga

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Borussia Dortmund take Der Klassiker. Borussia Mönchengladbach are hot on their tail. The bottom half of the table is bad and close.

BREMEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 10: Alassane Plea of Borussia Moenchengladbach celebrate after he score his teams third goal during the Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Weserstadion on November 10, 2018 in Bremen, Germany.
BREMEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 10: Alassane Plea of Borussia Moenchengladbach celebrate after he score his teams third goal during the Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Weserstadion on November 10, 2018 in Bremen, Germany.
(Photo by Christian Verheyen/Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images)

Bayern Munich’s loss reverberates throughout the Top 6.

At the conclusion of Matchday 11, Bayern Munich were in fifth place and only one point up on sixth place. It’s an unusual place in recent seasons for Bayern to find themselves, and it continues to give hope to the other good teams in the Bundesliga.

Borussia Dortmund sit atop the table on 27 points after their victory over Bayern in Saturday’s Der Klassiker, and Hoffenheim are down in sixth place on 19 points after their victory against Augsburg. In between them sit Borussia Mönchengladbach on 23 points, RB Leipzig on 22 points, and Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern Munich on 20 points.

Without Bayern running away from everyone to start the season, the Bundesliga is the second tightest of the major leagues in Europe (La Liga’s 1st and 6th places are separated by four points.) It’s a nervy time for Bayern fans. It’s joy for the rest of the league.

Five points separate 10th and 18th place.

The bottom half of the Bundesliga is just as competitive as the top half of the table, but boy oh boy is it not fun to watch. Stuttgart are still holding up the bottom of the table with eight points (and that is AFTER they beat Nürnberg this weekend), while Augsburg are in 10th place on thirteen points.

Those bottom nine teams won three and lost nine games this past weekend, and two of those three wins came against fellow bottom nine teams. Only Fortuna Düsseldorf won a game against a top half of the table team (Hertha Berlin).

It’s going to be interesting to see if any of them can turn it around, or if this will be the group battling it out to avoid relegation all season long.

Borussia Mönchengladbach are really good.

Alassane Plea scored a hat trick to lead Borussia Mönchengladbach past Werder Bremen to the tune of 3-1. The three points saw Gladbach stay in second place, four points behind Borussia Dortmund.

Dieter Hecking has done a tremendous job of getting this team playing at a high level, and a lot of that comes down to the terrific play up top of their record signing Plea. He now has eight goals on the season, good for second place in the race for the Torjägerkanone.

If Plea and Thorgan Hazard can keep finding the back of the net, Gladbach could be in this until the end. We’ll find out once the Bundesliga returns after the November international break as Gladbach have matches against RB Leipzig, Hoffenheim, and Borussia Dortmund.

So are RB Leipzig.

Slow and steady wins the race. At least, that’s what Ralf Rangnick is surely telling his squad after eleven matches. RB Leipzig lost on opening day to Borussia Dortmund and haven’t lost since. They’ve piled up six wins and four draws in that time, pushing them all the way into 3rd place in the table.

While the accolades will always go to goalscorers like Timo Werner (6), Yussuf Poulsen (4), and Jean-Kevin Augustin (3), Leipzig’s defense has been the standout star this season. After conceding four in the opener to Borussia Dortmund, Leipzig’s defense has been stellar in the Bundesliga, allowing only five in the next ten games, including six shutouts.

Wow.

Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke are... still bad.

Maybe they won’t turn their seasons around?

Both Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke suffered big time 3-0 losses on the road on Sunday to top clubs RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt. While that result is probably to be expected considering the position that both clubs find themselves in currently in the table, it definitely puts a major dampener on the “are both clubs finding their way back up the table” nonsense that I’ve been peddling here for weeks.

They are both bad teams right now. Sure, maybe they will turn it around at some point and find their way back up to the top half of the table. They currently occupy 13th (Leverkusen) and 14th (Schalke) place. For the most part, their schedules for the final six matches before the winter break do feature some winnable games.

Until then, expect to see fewer updates in here about both of these bumbling clubs.

Matchday 11 Results

Table