The Bundesliga continues to heat up at both ends of the table with teams beginning to falter under the pressure, whilst others are thriving. Here's three things we learned from this weekend's results.
Two unlikely names emerge in the top four
As the table is starting to take an established shape, two unexpected teams have tussled their way into the Champions League positions. The first of which, VfL Wolfsburg, secured a very impressive 3-0 win at home to SC Freiburg on Sunday. Oliver Glasner's side have improved steadily from last campaign and most notably, have become a lot more free-scoring than last time out.
Led by the ever-formidable Wout Weghorst, Die Wölfe have proven a very difficult outfit to beat and now find themselves viably challenging for Europe and are holding their own amongst the league's best. As they showed against a more than capable Freiburg side this weekend, their ability to adapt their game to overcome different opposition has been their strength. They continue to build momentum and will hope their good form leads them to competing in Europe's premier competition next season.
Even more surprising, however, is the sudden emergence of Eintracht Frankfurt at the top end of the table. Die Adler seem to be going from strength to strength, as they left it late to beat Hertha Berlin this weekend, helped by an Andre Silva brace, his fifth time scoring two goals this season already.
For a team who for much of the season had been struggling for goals and wins, it is quite remarkable that they have become one of the league's most potent attacks and most impressive teams, losing only one of their least nine matches. Adi Hütter will hope his side can last the length of the season and at least finish in one of the Europa League side. If performances continue as they are, that should be well within reason.
Köln manage to keep their heads above water
FC Köln will have been presently surprised at the ease with which they managed to knock off fellow relegation candidates Arminia Bielefeld this weekend, given their own poor form and the stubborn style of their opponents. Thanks to a pair of first-half strikes from Marius Wolf, Die Geißböcke helped themselves to three crucial points in their fight against the drop.
Markus Gisdol will take great comfort in his side being able to win convincingly against a team around them at the bottom of the table, having struggled in the 'relegation six-pointers' up until this point. It will also be a real relief for all those in Cologne that they have moved out of the relegation play-off with this win and applied pressure on those below them.
They will be hoping this is the start of a positive run, having brought in Max Meyer on loan from Crystal Palace as well as securing the services of highly rated Emmanuel Dennis of Club Brugge. With the new attacking signings bringing plenty of promise, a string of good results would go a long way to securing top flight football for next season.
RB Leipzig just about keeping tabs on Bayern
Going into Saturday night's Topspiel, RB Leipzig needed a win if they were to have any hope of staying in the title race and desperate to bounce back from last week's shock defeat to Mainz 05. In a game of attrition and few chances against Bayer Leverkusen, it was a Christopher Nkunku strike which meant the three points stayed in Saxony.
Much of the game was a story of two high quality teams cancelling each other out, with physical duels playing out all over the pitch. Both sides defended resolutely, but Julian Naglesmann owes a lot of thanks to his back three of Dayot Upamecano, Nordi Mukiele and Lukas Klostermann who afforded Leverkusen's attack very little in the way of chances.
Had Die Roten Bullen failed to win here, it would likely have spelled the end for any chances of a team other than Bayern Munich winning the Meisterschale. They have shown themselves to be more than able when it comes to competing at the very top, but the pursuit of their first ever Bundesliga title will require them to make very few mistakes between now and the end of the season. Whether they'll be able to do it remains to be seen, but edging out games against top tier opposition like they did this weekend will go a long towards achieving their ultimate dream.