suffering their first defeat of the season at home to Hamburg
last weekend, the chasing pack in the early race for the Bundesliga
title must have sensed blood.
But the result which was expected to begin the restoration of normality to the league standings, appears to have been merely a blip for the team affectionately known as "the O-Fives."
And whilst Mainz got back on track in the league, the chasing pack continued to endure a slow start to the campaign.
This was no more prevalent than in Friday night’s game, which saw Mainz defeaters, Hamburg, host Bayern Munich.
With both teams yet to hit top form in the league this season, a 0-0 draw did little for either side’s ambitions.
Saturday saw Schalke 04’s woes continue, despite success in the Champions league in mid week.
Felix Magath’s side had to settle for a point from the 0–0 away draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.
The result left the team third from bottom and with pressure mounting.
It was a similar story for Wolfsburg who enjoyed another torrid time away from home, going down 2-1 to Nuremberg.
The home side took the lead through IIkay Gundogan on 11 minutes, but Wolfsburg were soon level, just before the half hour mark through Brazilian striker Grafite.
The goal marked his sixth in six starts this season.
But Nuremberg continued to test Wolfsburg’s fragility in defence in the second half and soon found themselves back in front on 63 minutes through midfielder Mike Frantz.
Wolfsburg had chances before the end, but couldn’t find a way through with the result seeing the home side go above Wolfsburg into 12th. Steve Mcclaren’s team meanwhile remain fourteen points off top spot.
The table certainly makes interesting reading for any neutral fan, with only six points separating Wolfsburg in 13th, from Hannover 96 in third.
The latter enjoyed another win at home, this time to admittedly deflated opposition in Cologne. Ivory Coast striker Didier Ya Konan settled Hannover early with a brace in the first 15 minutes of the match.
Martin Lanig pulled one back for the away side with five minutes to go, but it was a well deserved win for the Reds who leapfrogged Hoffenheim into third whilst Cologne dropped to bottom place.
Werder Bremen also took full advantage on the road as they travelled to relegation threatened Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The home side had yet to win a game at Borussia Park and found themselves two goals down within fifteen minutes after first Marko Marin and then Wesley put Bremen in control.
Aaron Hunt added a third just after half time before Gladbach briefly threatened a fightback, as Per Mertesacker put through his own net to reduce the arrears.
But the revival was soon quashed, with Claudio Pizarro scoring with fifteen minutes to go, leaving the final scored at 4-1 to the away side.
The final game of Saturday saw Freiberg come from behind to win at home to Kaiserslautern. The away side took the lead through Schalke loanee Jan Moravek.
But Freiburg continued their good start to the season with goals from Senegalese striker Papa Cisse and midfielder Stefan Reisinger to stay a point above Bremen and level with Hamburg on 15 points.
Sunday saw three more games, with VFB Stuttgart recording a long overdue win against newly promoted cult favourites St Pauli. The win was only their second of the campaign so far and came courtesy of goals from defender Georg Niedermaier in the first half and Zdravko Kuzmanovic in the second.
The win saw Stuttgart leap four places, thus escaping the relegation zone, just eleven days after the sacking of coach Christian Gross.
Yet the main focus of Sunday was undoubtedly the top of the table, with leaders Borussia Dortmund and Mainz in action.
It was the latter which had arguably the tougher test, as they travelled to perennial challengers Bayer Leverkusen. In a tight contest, the teams were ultimately separated by one goal from Mainz’s Austrian playmaker Andreas Ivanschitz.
With Mainz getting back on track after last week’s defeat, Dortmund were expected to maintain their impressive form at home to Hoffenheim.
Until this fixture, the home side had enjoyed seven consecutive wins in the league, but when Demba Ba scored for the visitors after nine minutes it always looked unlikely to continue. Dortmund had an ideal chance to equalise on 15 minutes with a penalty. And when Sahin was forced to re-take the spot kick, only to miss, the home fans may have feared the worse.
Despite dominance in possession and pressure, Dortmund couldn’t find a way through.
It was only during an eventful stoppage time period which saw Hoffenheim’s Salihovic sent off for a second booking , that the home side did spare some blushes with Da Silva converted an exquisite free kick to leave Dortmund two points behind Mainz.
Another weekend, another week of unpredictable action in the Bundesliga.