While most of the results went exactly how we thought they would this weekend in the Bundesliga, there's no reason that we shouldn't step back and compliment Schalke on the most important result of the round. Their 2-0 victory over Hannover in the final game of the matchday gave them an all-important four point lead in fourth place. Wolfsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach are both on 33 points and looking up at the Gelsenkirchen side.
While "a win is a win", it should be acknowledged that Schalke's run here to start the Rückrunde has come against one good team (Wolfsburg), one average team (Hannover), and one bad team (Hamburg). The next four games will test just how well this rejuvenated Schalke is playing. Visits to Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich sandwich matches against Mainz and Real Madrid. Taking even three points out of the group will be tough.
Elsewhere, Leverkusen extended their unbeaten run at Borussia Park with a 1-0 victory over Gladbach in Friday's match. The win, coupled with Borussia Dortmund's win on Saturday, keeps Leverkusen four points clear of BVB for second place. More importantly, they're six points ahead of Schalke in fourth.
Augsburg's 4-1 beat down of Stuttgart on Sunday is surely something to keep your eyes on moving forward. Andre Hahn continued his excellent season to date with his eight and ninth goals of the season. Augsburg continued their impressive form and are within shouting distance of a spot in next season's Europa League.
We'll end today's discussion with Bayern Munich. They pretty much have secured the championship and put in a solid 2-0 win against Nürnberg. After some early wobbles, Bayern never really look troubled. The squad is getting healthy, and Javi Martinez returned to the field late in the match. Bastian Schweinsteiger will be returning sooner rather than later, and Franck Ribery should only miss a 10-14 days after his minor surgery. Finally, Pep Guardiola may be getting a healthy team.
Friday, February 7
Borussia Mönchengladbach 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Saturday, February 8
Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 Eintracht Braunschweig
Werder Bremen 1-5 Borussia Dortmund
Nürnberg 0-2 Bayern Munich
Freiburg 1-1 Hoffenheim
Wolfsburg 3-0 Mainz
Hamburg 0-3 Hertha Berlin
Sunday, February 9
Stuttgart 1-4 Augsburg
Schalke 2-0 Hannover