Bundesliga Matchday 16: Three things we learned
(Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Matchday 16 was a weekend that presented jubilation, frustration, and a sense of trepidation all in equal measure. The results from this weekend may prove crucial for many sides in terms of either helping or hindering their season. So, what did we learn?

Bayern do what the rest cannot - win 'ugly' 

Hansi Flick's side showed this weekend just what is needed to win a league title, and that is to grind out results when you are not playing particularly well. Their 2-1 win over SC Freiburg was less than convincing and they were saved their blushes after Nils Petersen hit the crossbar in stoppage time.

But it was Thomas Müller who, embodying this winning mentality, provided an assist for Robert Lewandowski's goal to set a new Hinrunde record  (21 goals) for the Polish international before getting a goal of his own. 

Whilst Bayern's fortunes were more favourable in overcoming a lesser opponent, the same cannot be said for Dortmund and Leipzig who both failed pick up three crucial points this weekend. Though the Roten Bullen's tie against VfL Wolfsburg may be more excusable, Dortmund drawing 1-1 with joint-bottom side Mainz 05 is anything but. 

Dortmund captain Marco Reus publicly apologised to his team mates after the game having missed a penalty late on. "I could have decided the match - and I didn't do it, I am really sorry to all of my team," said Reus.

Bayern's winning pedigree is shining through as we approach the halfway point in the season, whilst the chasing pack are beginning to show exactly why the Bavarian side have won the past eight titles: they just know how to win dirty.

More misery at the bottom

It was a weekend in which none of the bottom six sides managed to pick up a victory. No side in the relegation battle - with the exception of Werder Bremen - was able to stake their claim to stay in the division with any sort of rigour. 

Through a pair of 0-0 draws, one between TSG Hoffenheim and Arminia Bielefeld and another between FC Köln and Hertha Berlin, much of the pack cancelled each other in this attritional fight against the drop.

It will be of great concern to Hertha and Hoffenheim that they find themselves in this position at this point in the season, with both having much higher hopes at the start of the campaign. Bielefeld, who quite remarkably have now accumulated 14 points despite having scored only 10 goals, will be the happiest of the lot as they spend another week outside of the relegation zone.

Schalke 04 were unable to capitalise on last week's record-avoiding win as they fell to a Luka Jovic-inspired Eintracht Frankfurt. Mainz's draw compounds things for the Royal Blues as the result means they take back their position at the foot of the table on goal difference. 

The race for Europe closer than we expected

As the weekend drew to an end on Sunday night, there were just four points between Bayer Leverkusen in 3rd and Borussia Mönchengladbach in 8th. 

There is a real mixture of narratives in this collection of teams chasing Europe. From Union Berlin, who before the season would never have had European aspirations, to Gladbach, who will bemoaning their congested fixture list for their relatively poor showing so far.

Similarly, Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Frankfurt will all be quite content with their points return this season, whilst Dortmund's 4th place position seven points off Bayern will be cause for concern for fans and players alike. 

They will all be looking to put some breathing space between them and the competiton as the Bundesliga continues to heat up and the drama develops even further.

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