Dortmund recovers in Bundesliga, Leipzig returns to the top
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 04, 2016 07:02 AM
Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen, left, challenges for the ball against Schalke's Naldo, during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between RB Leipzig and FC Schalke 04 in Leipzig, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
CIARAN FAHEY, Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) — With stinging criticism ringing in their ears, Borussia Dortmund's players responded to a disappointing defeat with a 4-1 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel had blasted his side's performance — "technical, tactical, mental - a whole deficiency" — after last week's league loss at Eintracht Frankfurt. The words had their effect as Dortmund, led by the outstanding Marco Reus, produced a convincing performance with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring twice.
"I think that we delivered a very complete performance today," said Tuchel, still unbeaten in 24 league games at home since taking over.
His side even recovered from a bad start when Marc Bartra's headed clearance went straight to Raffael, who struck inside the left post in the sixth minute.
Aubameyang replied straight away with his league-leading 14th of the season, beating Yann Sommer at his near post after Reus played the ball through. Lukasz Piszczek headed home from close range in the 15th after Bartra helped on a corner.
Reus thought he'd scored with a cheeky back-heel after the break but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Reus, a constant menace for the 'Gladbach defense, set up Ousmane Dembele to score midway through the half. Dembele still had work to do but eluded two 'Gladbach defenders with a quick change of movement before shooting inside the left post.
Reus set up Aubameyang's second with his heel, before going off to well-earned applause from appreciative home fans.
Dortmund climbed to fifth while 'Gladbach remains in the bottom half of the table.
LEIPZIG 2, SCHALKE 1
Leipzig's bid to return to the top of the table got off to a heated start when Timo Werner fell in the Schalke penalty area only 19 seconds after kickoff. Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann was booked and referee Bastian Dankert awarded a penalty though TV replays showed no contact was made.
"I'm sorry that it looks like a dive but that wasn't my intention," Werner said. "I told the referee that I wasn't fouled by Faehrmann but by Naldo," he added, referring to a touch on his shoulder from Naldo.
Werner waited for Schalke's protests to end before converting from the spot.
"He scores and goes celebrating to the corner. I don't think he earned any sympathy there. But others would say he's a professional. I'm of a different opinion. I wouldn't be happy if one of ours did that," Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel said.
Schalke recovered and Sead Kolasinac equalized after half an hour, only to score an own-goal seconds after the break when he attempted to clear Emil Forsberg's free kick.
Leipzig had more attempts in the second half and deservedly held on to restore its three-point lead over Bayern Munich.
The promoted side, still unbeaten after 13 games, extended its eight-game winning run in the league while ending Schalke's 12-game unbeaten run across all competitions.
"To be honest it makes you sick," said Faehrmann, still incensed by the penalty decision after the game. "Werner told him (the referee) I didn't foul him."
Dankert acknowledged he made the wrong decision but denied hearing anything from Werner.
WOLFSBURG 2, HERTHA BERLIN 3
Solomon Kalou's injury-time penalty earned Hertha a come-from-behind win to stay third.
Borja Mayoral got troubled Wolfsburg off to a great start, converting the rebound from close range after Rune Jarstein saved Daniel Caligiuri's effort.
Marvin Plattenhardt equalized with a fine free kick only for Paul Seguin to reply two minutes later.
But Alexander Esswein equalized for Hertha in the 69th, Seguin was sent off late with his second yellow card, and Kalou sealed it after Caligiuri was penalized for bringing down Plattenhardt.
Wolfsburg could end the weekend in the relegation zone.
Hoffenheim defeated Cologne 4-0 at home to maintain its unbeaten start and climb to fourth.
Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez had a penalty saved by Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow with two minutes remaining as Bayer Leverkusen was held 1-1 at home.
And Fin Bartels scored one and set up another for Werder Bremen to earn some breathing space with a 2-1 win at home over relegation rival Ingolstadt.