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Bundesliga PIX: Bayern close in on title; Wolfsburg stun Leverkusen

May 27, 2020 09:48 IST
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IMAGES from the Bundesliga matches played across Germany on Tuesday.

Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick celebrates with captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after their win over Dortmund on Tuesday

IMAGE: Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick celebrates with captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after their win over Dortmund on Tuesday. Photograph: Bayern Munich/Twitter

Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick has now tasted victory in 15 of his opening 18 Bundesliga matches as in-charge of the side as Bayern defeated Borussia Dortmund 1-0 at the Signal Iduna Park.

With this, Flick has joined Pep Guardiola in an elite list for winning more than 15 matches from total 18 played as in charge of Bayern Munich.

Joshua Kimmich scored the sole goal when he chipped the ball inside the goalpost from the edge of the penalty area in the 43rd minute of the game.

 

Under Guardiola, Bayern had won 16 of their opening 18 games in 2013-14 -- drawing the other two – and went on to enjoy three trophy-laden seasons at the Allianz Arena that saw Bayern win seven major honours.

With the win over Dortmund, Bayern now has made it seven wins in a row.

Bayern has recorded 13 wins in their last 14 matches and the side last lost a match towards the end of the year -- Borussia Monchengladbach had defeated Bayern 2-1 in December 2019.

With this win over Dortmund, Bayern has now taken a seven-point lead at the top of Bundesliga standings.

Bayern will now next take on Buddeldorf on May 30 while Dortmund will face Paderborn on May 31.

Lucien Favre, the coach of Borussia Dortmund, has admitted that that the team would now find it difficult to prevent Bayern Munich from winning their eighth straight Bundesliga title.

"We made a very good start in the opening 30 minutes but we sat too deep after that. The second half was good too. We had opportunities, but the penultimate or final ball was missing. We at least deserved to draw," Goal.com quoted Favre as saying.

"We played better than we did against Wolfsburg and Schalke. It will be very difficult in the title race. Seven points behind with six games left, that will be brutally difficult," he added.

Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho (right) and Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski vie for possession

IMAGE: Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho (right) and Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski vie for possession. Photograph: Federico Gambarini/Pool via/Reuters

It all started well for hosts Dortmund with teenage sensation Erling Haaland almost scoring in the opening seconds as Bayern's Jerome Boateng had to clear the ball off the line.

The visitors found their footing and had their own effort cleared off the line when Lukasz Piszczek denied Serge Gnabry from five metres.

In a fluid and entertaining first half Norway international Haaland should have done better when he was sent through in the 33rd minute with Alphonso Davies stealing the ball away.

It was Kimmich's delightful effort that settled the game when he superbly chipped the ball from the edge of the box over the keeper.

Dortmund lost Haaland, who earlier had another effort deflected wide by Boateng's elbow, to injury with 18 minutes left and Mo Dahoud tried his luck from outside the box but visiting keeper Manuel Neuer, on his 400th league appearance, managed to preserve his clean sheet.

Team mate Robert Lewandowski hit the post in the 83rd for Bayern.

Frankfurt rally late to draw with Freiburg and stem losing run

SC Freiburg's Nils Petersen scores their second goal against Eintracht Frankfurt at Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt

IMAGE: SC Freiburg's Nils Petersen scores their second goal against Eintracht Frankfurt at Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt. Photograph: Arne Dedert/Pool/Reuters

Lowly Eintracht Frankfurt ended a run of five successive Bundesliga defeats as they staged a late rally to come from behind and force a 3-3 home draw with SC Freiburg on Tuesday.

Daichi Kamada and Timothy Chandler scored in the closing stages to rescue a vital point for the struggling hosts who had inexplicably slipped 3-1 behind in a match they dominated.

Andre Silva scored the home side's other goal when he equalised in the first half for Frankfurt, who were guilty of wasting several good opportunities in an action-packed game.

Vincenzo Grifo had opened the scoring for Freiburg before Nils Petersen and Lucas Holer also put away rare chances for the seventh-placed visitors, looking to boost their European hopes.

Freiburg have 38 points from 28 games, four behind Vfl Wolfsburg who occupy the last Europa League spot. Frankfurt are now five points above the relegation places.

The home side had three opportunities to open the scoring inside the opening 20 minutes but Silva hesitated and Filip Kostic and Bas Dost both hit efforts narrowly wide.

Freiburg had hardly got a look in when they burst downfield in the 28th minute and Grifo got away from his marker to strike home with a shot that dipped in off the underside of the bar.

Frankfurt were level within seven minutes as Japan international Kamada struck a powerful shot that goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow parried, only for Silva to react quickest and head the rebound into the net.

Kostic came close again five minutes later as Frankfurt looked to take the lead before halftime but his left-foot shot struck the legs of Schwolow.

The Freiburg keeper again came to his club’s rescue early in the second half as he denied Kamada with an outstretched leg and was at full stretch to keep out Martin Hinteregger’s shot.

Freiburg then stunned the hosts with another goal against the run of play after winning a 67th minute free kick that Christian Gunter put onto the head of Petersen for a 2-1 lead.

Some 60 seconds later they were two goals up as a long pass from their own half set Holer away on goal and he kept his nerve to finish with aplomb.

But a defensive slip from Freiburg’s Robin Koch opened the door for a home comeback. He was dispossesed as Kamada pulled a goal back with 11 minutes remaining.

Three minutes later more jittery defending gave substitute Chandler the chance to finish at the back post with his first touch of the game and save his side from a sixth loss in a row.

Double joy for Pongracic as Wolfsburg stun Leverkusen

VfL Wolfsburg's Marin Pongracic celebrates with teammates after scoring their fourth goal against Bayer Leverkusen at BayArena, Leverkusen

IMAGE: VfL Wolfsburg's Marin Pongracic celebrates with teammates after scoring their fourth goal against Bayer Leverkusen at BayArena, Leverkusen. Photograph: Marius Becker/Pool via Reuters

Croatian Marin Pongracic scored his first two Bundesliga goals as VfL Wolfsburg romped to a surprise 4-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, boosting their hopes of playing in European competition next season.

Leverkusen slipped one place down to fifth on 53 points from 28 games, while Wolfsburg stayed sixth on 42 points and on course to clinch a Europa League qualifying berth.

It was the home side's first defeat since the season restarted following a two-month stoppage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, after they beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-1 and Werder Bremen 4-1 away in their first two games back.

Cardboard fans in the otherwise empty stadium, with all Bundesliga games being played behind closed doors, did little to inspire Leverkusen, as Wolfsburg dominated the opening half against a toothless home side.

Centre back Pongracic headed the visitors into a 43rd-minute lead when he met a Maximilian Arnold free kick from the right after Leverkusen keeper Lukas Hradecky had denied Joao Victor in the opening 15 minutes.

Hradecky pulled off two more fine saves shortly after the break but was powerless to stop the rout as a galvanised Wolfsburg fired on all cylinders.

Arnold made it 2-0 with a heavily deflected free kick in the 64th minute and Renato Steffen added the third soon after, heading a Victor cross into the roof of the net after he was left unmarked at the far post.

Another fine cross by Arnold allowed Pongracic to put the icing on the cake with a glancing 74th-minute header before Julian Baumgartlinger scored a late consolation for the home side when he swept in a loose ball from close range.

Leverkusen visit seventh-placed Freiburg on Friday in the next round of matches while Wolfsburg are at home to struggling Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Relegation-fighting Bremen held to 0-0 draw by Gladbach

Action from the match between Werder Bremen and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Weser-Stadion in Bremen

IMAGE: Action from the match between Werder Bremen and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Weser-Stadion in Bremen. Photograph: Fabian Bimmer/Pool/Reuters

Werder Bremen drew 0-0 at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Tuesday, a result which moved the visitors into the top four but kept Bremen in the relegation zone.

Bremen came alive in the second half and missed a couple of big chances, above all when substitute Davie Selke cut into the area in the 89th minute but could only fire straight at visiting goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

Gladbach had a flurry of early chances but their attacking ambitions faded as the game, played behind closed doors, went on and Bremen looked more likely to get the elusive goal.

The draw left Bremen 17th in the standings on 22 points after 27 games, trailing 16th-placed Fortuna Duesseldorf, who are in the relegation playoff spot, by two points.

They are five points adrift of 15th-placed Mainz, who are out of the relegation zone altogether.

Gladbach meanwhile climbed up to fourth, level on 53 points with fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen having played 28 matches.

"Every point is important in our situation, but if you watched the game you would say that we deserved more," Bremen midfielder Davy Klaassen told reporters.

"Overall, I'm a bit disappointed that we didn't win. But who knows, the point could be very important," added midfielder Christian Gross, whose side have spent only one season outside the Bundesliga since it was founded in 1963 and were last relegated in 1980.

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