Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both got off to winning starts this year with the European and German champions 5-2 come-from-behind winners over Mainz 05 and BVB 2-0 victors against VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
Mainz went 2-0 up at Allianz Arena through Jonathan Burkardt and Alexander Hack only for Hansi Flick's men to fight back with five unanswered goals through Joshua Kimmich, Leroy Sane, Niklas Sule and a Robert Lewandowski brace.
Manuel Akanji scored the opening goal of Dortmund's match after 66 minutes from a Jadon Sancho assist and the England international added the second score late on after being teed up by Emre Can. Bayern remain two points in front of RB Leipzig at the summit and eight clear of Edin Terzic's side.
Here are some takeaways from another busy day in the Bundesliga.
Once again, the champions fell behind only to come back strong and avoid defeat. Prior to the Mainz clash, it was a trick that they had already repeated seven times with this now the eighth.
It could have been so different, though, had Mainz not been so wasteful with their chances and perhaps a better side would have truly punished Bayern for their sluggish start.
It is almost as if they do it on purpose in order to flex their muscles.
His late goal was his first of the Bundesliga season and if his double contribution this weekend is a sign of things to come between now and the end of the season, Dortmund can still hope to win back some ground at the summit.
Sancho had not found the back of the net in the league since late May before his strike and that will feel like a significant weight off of his shoulders moving into 2021.
Usually, it would be hard to take too many positives from a 5-2 loss, but Mainz's winter changes clearly had an immediate impact as they raced into a 2-0 lead and could have made it three if Manuel Neuer had not been so sharp.
Mainz also hit the crossbar at 2-2 so there will be plenty that Jan Siewart and his players can take heart from while he remains in charge during the search for a new full-time coach.
Although Westfalenstadion is not an easy place to visit, this was an opportunity for Oliver Glasner's men to strike a blow against a direct rival for European qualification and they failed to do that.
Dortmund looked vulnerable at times before they finally got their goals and Wolfsburg will feel that they could have taken at least a point from their visit when they look back at the statistics.
Kimmich is key
The Germany international scored Bayern's first and assisted the equalizer within five second-half minutes from his central midfield role.
Although Lewandowski scored twice later on as Bayern took full control, Kimmich's two contributions were of vital importance to the outcome of the game.
🧱 - Borussia Dortmund keep their 8th consecutive clean sheet against VfL Wolfsburg and equal the @Bundesliga_DE record for most consecutive clean sheets against specific opponents (also Bayern München vs Eintracht Frankfurt, 2012-2016). #BVBWOB #Bundesliga— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) January 3, 2021
They were far from at their best but BVB produced the result that immediately puts them in a better position in terms of European qualification ahead of RB Leipzig's visit.
Considering the gap between them and leaders Bayern, Edin Terzic will likely settle for results over performances in the coming weeks.