A hat-trick from Nils Petersen secured top spot would be SC Freiburg's at the end of matchday 15, as they breezed past SC Paderborn.
Freiburg dominate the opening half
Freiburg were ahead after just three minutes, and Nils Petersen couldn't have asked for an easier way to open his account. A wonderful piece of play between Maximilian Philipp and Mike Frantz saw the latter burst to the by-line and rifle the ball into the six yard box, where the 2. Bundesliga topscorer was able to tap into an open net.
Paderborn were not disheartened and some snappy passing of their own allowed Süleyman Koc to play a brilliant through ball into Nick Proschwitz's path. The striker, now in his second spell with the club, chipped the ball over Alexander Schwolow but also over the bar; he knew he had missed a massive opportunity.
Proschwitz was immediately made to pay for passing up the chance, and Petersen netted his second. After Daniel Brückner was dispossessed by Frantz mid-way through the half, the Freiburg midfielder whipped in a great delivery towards Petersen. The 26-year-old rose highest and magnificently guided the ball into the far bottom corner, leaving Lukas Kruse with no chance.
Things would go from bad to worse in the space of two first-half minutes for the visitors, as they found themselves a third goal behind. Vincenzo Grifo had threatened twice from range, but he would not be denied a third time. After he was brought down by Marvin Bakalorz, the Paderborn captain was sent-off and Grifo stepped up to find the top corner from a difficult angle, putting the game beyond any doubt.
Narey goal is spectacular consolation
As the light began to fade and the snow started to fall, Petersen wrapped up his hat-trick. Frantz was not the provider this time, but instead Marc Torrejon. The Spanish defender produced a fantastic cross to the unmarked Petersen, who comfortably tucked in from just two yards out to seal his hat-trick.
The rest of the half was rather uneventful. However, there would be a last-gasp consolation for Paderborn. Khaled Narey, on loan from Borussia Dortmund, stole back the ball in the Freiburg half and burst past Jonas Föhrenbach with immense speed. The right-back then made it to the Freiburg box and went to the by-line, sending an audacious shot past Schwolow and into the back of the net. That was as good as it got for the visitors, however.