Leverkusen Shock Bayern As Dortmund Go Seven Points Clear
Defending champions Bayern Munich crashed to a shock 3-1 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, allowing Borussia Dortmund to extend their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table to seven points.
Second-half goals by Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey, Kevin Volland and Lucas Alario inflicted only a fourth league defeat on second-placed Bayern this season as Dortmund added a point to their lead despite drawing 1-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Bayern, who can drop to third if Borussia Moenchengladbach win later on Saturday at Schalke, had their seven-match winning streak in the league ended abruptly and now have 13 games to catch Dortmund up.
“We have to win every game now,” fumed Bayern midfielder Joshua Kimmich.
“If we leave any more points on the road, it will be almost irredeemable.”
Bayern lived dangerously early on with Mats Hummels coming perilously close to conceding a penalty after a shot by Leverkusen’s Kevin Volland cannoned off his arm.
With half-timea approaching, Bayern’s in-form midfielder Leon Goretzka netted his fourth goal in three games with a superb box-to-box effort, tracking back to snuff out a counter attack, then turned tail to sprint into his own area and head home on 41 minutes.
It should have been 2-0 at the break to Bayern, but Robert Lewandowski had a goal ruled marginally offside, but Leverkusen’s fleet-footed attack hit top gear in the second-half.
The fight-back burst into life eight minutes after the break when Jamaican winger Leon Bailey curled a free-kick past Bayern’s reserve goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, in for thumb-injury victim Manuel Neuer.
Leverkusen then shredded Bayern’s defence to leave Volland with a simple tap in on 63 minutes before Argentinian striker Alario, on for Bailey, tapped home on 89 minutes as Bayern were repeatedly punished on the counter.
In Frankfurt, Dortmund deserved an away point and went ahead after a fantastic run by Raphael Guerreiro, who dribbled past two defenders and drew a third to leave Marco Reus free to fire home unmarked on 22 minutes.
Dortmund playmaker Reus, who has hit 13 league goals and created nine more, could have scored four times in the first-half alone – twice firing wide and also clipping the bar.
However, Frankfurt drew level nine minutes before the break when Luka Jovic, the league’s top-scorer with 14 goals, finally beat Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki, moments after seeing an effort saved, when he poked home a cross.
At the other end of the table, Nuremberg climbed off the bottom with a 1-1 draw at home to Werder Bremen as Johannes Eggestein’s second-half goal was cancelled out by a late equaliser from Nuremberg’s Swedish striker Mikael Ishak.
Mid-table Hertha Berlin, who host Bayern in the German Cup’s last 16 on Wednesday, crashed to a 1-0 home defeat at the Olympic Stadium as towering Dutch striker Wout Weghorst scored Wolfsburg’s winner.
And Fortuna Duesseldorf, trashed 4-0 by Leipzig last Sunday, earned a point at Hoffenheim as Rouwen Hennings late equaliser cancelled out Andrej Kramaric’s first-half penalty.