German Bundesliga Roundup, Apr. 23
Borussia Moenchengladbach stunned Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund 1-0 and Bayer Leverkusen kept the title race alive for another week by beating Hoffenheim 2-1 on Saturday.
Dortmund’s loss – its fourth of the season – left it five points ahead of Leverkusen with three games to go, while Moenchengladbach moved off the bottom of the table.
Mohamadou Idrissou’s goal, the first Dortmund conceded from a counterattack this season, came in the 35th minute, when he outpaced and shrugged off Neven Subotic, picked his spot, and dispatched past goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller.
Earlier, Arturo Vidal capitalized on a defensive mix-up to score the winner in the 51st for Leverkusen. Gylfi Thor Sigurdsson gave Hoffenheim the lead in the 28th, then Michal Kadlec equalized for Leverkusen in the 40th.
Bayern Munich salvaged a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt thanks to Mario Gomez’s last-minute penalty. Sebastian Rode scored for Frankfurt in the 54th.
Also, Schalke – with one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League semifinal against Manchester United – lost 1-0 at home to Kaiserslautern, Werder Bremen won 3-1 at St. Pauli, and Stuttgart beat Hamburger SV 3-0 at home.
Mario Goetze headed over for Dortmund after just 22 seconds, and the 18-year-old drew a fantastic save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen 10 minutes later.
Moenchengladbach had chances too, however, with Marco Reus agonizingly close in the 27th, when he reached the ball ahead of Weidenfeller.
The home side continued to frustrate the visitors after the break, and Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp responded by sending in top scorer Lucas Barrios in the 64th.
Goetze displayed wonderful technique before unleashing a volley that crashed off the crossbar, and Marcel Schmelzer’s fierce shot was headed for the bottom corner before ter Stegen’s fingertips pushed it away.
In Frankfurt, Munich dropped to fourth, one point behind Hannover in the contest for a Champions League playoff place.
"We’re disappointed. In our situation, we have to win here," Bayern interim coach Andries Jonker said. "We showed too little over the whole game for three points."
Gomez should have scored for Bayern after the break, only to be denied by the legs of Frankfurt goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann, who pulled off a string of impressive saves.
Rode fired into the bottom left for his first Bundesliga goal.
Bayern’s frustration showed as Bastian Schweinsteiger and Gomez were booked for dissent, but tempers boiled over when Bayern was denied a second penalty for a clear handball by Ricardo Clark in the 83rd, and Gekas missed an open goal from two meters (yards).
Faehrmann denied Gomez again in the 86th, but was unable to deny the striker his 23rd goal of the season from the penalty spot three minutes later, after the referee’s questionable call.
"That was probably his guilty conscience," Gomez said.
Christoph Daum, yet to win since he was appointed Frankfurt coach, was sent to the stands for his protests, but was happy with his team’s performance.
"What the players pulled out was fantastic," he said, adding he was "confident for the relegation battle."
Dortmund supporters were hoping for a favor from Hoffenheim, but Leverkusen stretched its winning run at home to six.
Sigurdsson scored after eluding Michal Kadlec, Renato Augusto and Sami Hyypia before shooting into the bottom left corner.
Sigurdsson almost scored again in the 38th, when he hit the post with Rene Adler well beaten, and the home fans made their annoyance known before Kadlec outjumped Isaac Vorsah to meet Arturo Vidal’s corner.
Leverkusen was much improved after the break, and Vidal scored his 10th goal of the season.
Manuel Neuer, playing for the first time since confirming he would be leaving Schalke after 20 years at the club, was given a warm welcome by fans, and the Germany goalkeeper saw the ball early on as visiting Kaiserslautern made the better start.
Kaiserslautern deservedly scored in the 42nd when Srdjan Lakic was picked out in space by Adam Hlousek, and the Croat let fly to hand Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick his first defeat since he returned to the club.
Claudio Pizarro scored twice as Bremen came from behind at St. Pauli to move clear of the relegation zone.
Fin Bartels scored with St. Pauli’s first shot on target in the 29th, before Bremen’s Philipp Bargfrede forced an own goal from St. Pauli defender Markus Thorandt in the 50th.
Pizarro gave Bremen the lead from a corner in the 73rd, and made the game safe a minute later, when he raced onto Marko Marin’s throughball to slot past Benedikt Pliquett.