One of the most exciting fixtures in this week's German Bundesliga was Borussia Dortmund versus Gelsinkirchen-based rivals Schalke, a game known as "The Revierderby." It ended in a well-deserved 2-0 for the defending champions with goals from Polish international Robert Lewandowski and stand-in defender Felipe Santana.
Also that day, Bayer Leverkusen travelled to the country's capital to play newcomers Hertha Berlin in the Olympic Stadium. After a strike from former Leverkusen youth teamer Pierre-Michel Lasogga and an own goal from German-born Turk Omer Toprak, the Bayer-owned club fought back with a hat trick from Swiss forward Eren Derdiyok. A final goal in the last 10 minutes, once again by Lasogga, saw the game end in a 3-3 draw.
Elsewhere in Germany, Mainz to be exact, heavyweights Bayern Munich were downed by 1. FSV Mainz 05. Goals from Austrian international Andreas Ivanschtiz, midfielder Marco Caligiuri and Bochum-born defender Niko Bungert saw Mainz never go behind to the former league toppers. The visitors had two goals to their name, both scored by 33-year-old Daniel van Buyten.
Earlier that day, Werder Bremen retaliated from their devastating loss to Gladbach last week with a 2-0 win over southerners Stuttgart. A goal apiece by defender Naldo and German Aaron Hunt saw the hosts run away with it.
Jumping back to Friday, title contenders Borussia Monchengladbach reiterated their threat in a 3-0 win over fellow North-Rhine Westphalia-based club 1. FC Koln. A brace from Hanke and a goal from Arango was enough to do the trick.
Other final scores include a 2-0 downing of Wolfsburg by Augsburg, a one-all tie between Hoffenheim and Freiburg, a 1-0 win by Nurnburg over Kaiserslautern and another 1-1 draw between Hannover and Hamburger.
Where does this leave us now in the table? BVB has moved up to the top of the table due to goal difference, equal in points with Borussia Monchengladbach (they stand at 29 points). Right behind them is Bayern Munich with 28 points. Following after is Werder Bremen at 26 points.
Now with only three weeks left until the Bundesliga winter break, what could this weekend be forseeing?
Before the season began, some predicted Dortmund would have difficulties holding onto their title, especially without Nuri Sahin. This game and last weekend's win over Bayern Munich prove Dortmund still has what it takes to win the title.
The title race looks set to heavily involve defending champions Dortmund, Bavarians Bayern Munich, unexpected Gladbach and possibly Schalke.
In contrast, the relegation battle looks to include Augsburg, Freiburg, Kaiserslautern and possibly Wolfsburg, Nurnburg or Hamburg.
This weekend further proves that, in addition to the games against Monchengladbach and Dortmund, Bayern is not invincible. It'll be a long road if they were to win the Bundesliga. As it would be for all contending clubs.
Currently in the relegation zone is Kaiserslautern, Freiburg and Augsburg. With the winter break approaching, the forms of these teams could completely turn around upon return. The convincing win over Wolfsburg this weekend could suggest this very possibility for Augsburg, although it will extremely difficult.
As with clubs in the lower half of the table, it is possible for teams in the upper half to also have a turnaround in form after the break. Last season, upon return from the winter break, Borussia Dortmund had a dip in form, only winning two of their first five matches. Bayern Munich succeeded in only three of their first five games, which included a loss to 1. FC Koln. That will be something to watch for.
This will once again reminded everyone of difficulty of predicting in the Bundesliga. Thus is the nature of the 18-team league, adding to its excitement!