Champions League: Foden Hands Man City Late Advantage Against Dortmund

Manchester City's English midfielder Phil Foden (L) scores his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter-final football match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 6, 2021. Paul ELLIS / AFP
Manchester City’s English midfielder Phil Foden (L) scores his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter-final football match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 6, 2021. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Phil Foden struck a 90th minute winner as Manchester City took a slender 2-1 lead from the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring on 19 minutes for the runaway Premier League leaders, but Dortmund grabbed a vital away goal when Erling Haaland teed up Marco Reus to equalise six minutes from time.

Foden had missed a series of chances to double City’s lead earlier in the second-half, but made amends at the death to give Pep Guardiola’s men the advantage with the second leg to come in Germany on April 14.

City have failed to get beyond the last eight in their previous four seasons under Guardiola and once again struggled replicate their scintillating Premier League form on the European stage.

The English side were overwhelming favourites before a ball was kicked against a Dortmund side that has fallen seven points adrift of the top four in the Bundesliga.

By contrast, City men have now won 27 of their last 28 games in all competitions to remain on course for a historic quadruple of Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.

But the hosts had to ride their luck to take a narrow advantage to Germany next week.

Manchester City's English midfielder Phil Foden (R) walks off the pitch with Dortmund's Norwegian forward Erling Braut Haaland after the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter-final football match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 6, 2021. Paul ELLIS / AFP
Manchester City’s English midfielder Phil Foden (R) walks off the pitch with Dortmund’s Norwegian forward Erling Braut Haaland after the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter-final football match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 6, 2021. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

A composed start from Dortmund was undone when Emre Can gifted the ball away to Riyad Mahrez inside the City half.

The Algerian started a brilliant team move as De Bruyne, Foden and Mahrez exchanged passed before the Belgian tapped home from close range.

City thought they had a great chance to double their advantage moments later when Rodrigo went down under Can’s challenge inside the area and referee Ovidiu Hategan pointed to the penalty spot.

Hategan, though, rightly overturned his call on a VAR review in the first of a number of dubious decisions from the Romanian official.

His next big call ruled out a Dortmund goal when Hategan adjudged Jude Bellingham to have fouled Ederson as he dispossessed the Brazilian and tapped into an empty net just before half-time.

Haaland was the focus of much of the pre-match hype with City one of a number of clubs interested in the Norwegian wonder kid.

The 20-year-old had failed to score in just two of his previous 14 Champions League appearances, but he spurned his one big chance to net early in the second-half.

Haaland showed great strength and pace to outmuscle and outsprint Ruben Dias, but could not lift the ball over the advancing Ederson.

De Bruyne was at the heart of all of City’s most dangerous moments as Foden should have done better than fire too close to Marwin Hitz with the goal gaping.

The City captain then sent a low shot inches wide before once more picking out Foden, who saw another effort beaten away by Hitz.

Haaland showed he is more than just a goalscorer as his brilliant reverse ball released Reus to fire beyond Ederson in what seemed a sting in the tale.

But Dortmund could not hold out in the closing stages as City pushed for a winner.

De Bruyne was the creator again as his cross found Ilkay Gundogan at the back post and his cut-back was swept home by a relieved Foden.

 

AFP

Dortmund Sack Coach, Favre

FILES) In this file photo taken on September 26, 2020 Dortmund’s Swiss coach Lucien Favre looks on ahead the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Augsburg v BVB Borussia Dortmund in Augsburg, southern Germany.   AFP

 

Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund said Sunday they have fired head coach Lucien Favre, a day after the team suffered their heaviest home defeat in over a decade. 

Swiss coach Favre is to be replaced by his assistant-coach Edin Terzic after Dortmund crashed 5-1 to VfB Stuttgart leaving them fifth in the league five points behind leaders Bayern Munich.

“It is very difficult for us to take this step, but we believe that the current negative development has put our season goals in danger, and we have to take action,” said Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc.

A defiant Favre said that he was disappointed by the decision.

“I think it’s a great shame that we are parting ways,” the sacked Swiss was quoted as saying by Bild newspaper.

“We had two very successful years and have a team which would also have had a successful season this year. I am still convinced of that,” he added.

Yet Favre himself had also branded “a disaster” Saturday’s showing, which was the squad’s heaviest home defeat since being humbled 5-1 at home to Bayern Munich in 2009.

Dortmund have taken just a point in their two league games since star striker Erling Braut Haaland was ruled out until January with a hip injury.

Their home form has been particularly poor in recent weeks, with defeat to Stuttgart the third loss in a row at the Signal-Iduna-Park.

Favre’s fate was decided during a crisis meeting of club bosses at the stadium directly after the final whistle on Saturday, German media reported.

“We are all grateful to Lucien Favre for his fantastic work in the last two and a half years,” said club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke Sunday.

 Will achieve nothing

Favre, 63, left Ligue 1 side OGC Nice for Dortmund in 2018, having previously managed fellow Bundesliga clubs Hertha Berlin and Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Having won the Swiss Cup with both Servette and FC Zurich early in his career, he also received plaudits for leading both Nice and Gladbach to Champions League qualification.

Swiftly after arriving in Dortmund in 2018, Favre made a name for himself as a fine soccer technician.

He has twice led the club to second place in the Bundesliga but has often been criticised for not managing to launch a serious title challenge.

Dortmund won just one piece of silverware under Favre’s leadership, beating Bayern 2-0 in the 2019 German Supercup.

The club confirmed that Favre’s assistant Edin Terzic would take the reins “until the end of the season”, beginning with Dortmund’s trip to Werder Bremen on Tuesday.

Terzic, 38, previously worked in Dortmund’s youth system and was part of Croatian coach Slaven Bilic’s staff at both Besiktas and West Ham United.

He will be assisted by former youth coach Sebastian Geppert and former Dortmund midfielder Otto Addo.

With Favre gone, the team is under pressure to return to winning ways against Bremen and steer Dortmund back on course for Champions League qualification.

“We need to sort this out internally and we will do that. If we keep playing like we have been in recent games, we won’t achieve anything,” said Dortmund veteran Marco Reus.

AFP

Lewandowski Rescues Bayern At Union, Dortmund Suffer ‘Disaster’

Lewandowski Rescues Bayern At Union, Dortmund Suffer 'Disaster'
Bayern Munich’s Polish forward Robert Lewandowski (L) in action during Saturday’s game against Union Berlin. AFP

 

 

Robert Lewandowski marked his 200th Bundesliga appearance for Bayern Munich with a second-half equaliser in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Union Berlin which keeps the defending champions top on goal difference.

After Grischa Proemel put Union ahead with four minutes gone, Lewandowski, the Bundesliga’s top-scorer, slotted his 13th goal in his 10th league game to rescue a point on 67 minutes.

Bayern have drawn their last two league games and Bayer Leverkusen can go top with a home win against Hoffenheim on Sunday.

The game in eastern Berlin was played behind closed doors, but Union fans fired a barrage of fireworks when the Bayern team bus arrived at the Alten Foersterei stadium.

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer pulled off a superb save after 52 seconds to deny Union’s Liverpool loanee Taiwo Awoniyi.

Proemel beat Neuer soon after when his deft header flew inside the far post.

Union kept up the pressure when Awoniyi fired just wide after wrong-footing both David Alaba and Jerome Boateng.

Moments later the VAR denied Bayern a penalty appeal when Lewandowski went down after a nudge in the area as it stayed 1-0 at half-time.

Bayern drew level when Kingsley Coman dribbled past two defenders and squared the ball for Lewandowski who slotted home.

Munich had a few late chances, but Union defended doggedly.

The result keeps Bayern top, level on 24 points with RB Leipzig, who briefly led the table after their 2-0 win over Werder Bremen earlier.

Union stay sixth, two points behind Dortmund who crashed to a 5-1 defeat against VfB Stuttgart.

Dortmund ‘disaster’

Dortmund coach Lucien Favre admitted the home defeat, their worst since 2009, was a “disaster” for their title ambitions.

Congo winger Silas Wamangituka netted twice in the romp which piled the pressure on Favre with fifth-placed Dortmund now five points behind Bayern and Leipzig.

“Things went mercilessly wrong,” admitted Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.

“We shot ourselves in the foot every few minutes.”

Dortmund have taken just a point in their two league games since star striker Erling Braut Haaland was ruled out until January with a hip injury.

Stuttgart’s relentless pressing and sloppy Dortmund defending resulted in the visitors scoring four unanswered second-half goals.

“We are not a team that can defend well, that has to be said quite clearly,” fumed Dortmund captain Marco Reus.

Wamangituka converted a first-half penalty after Dortmund’s Emre Can brought down Mateo Klimowicz.

Dortmund equalised when a superb Raphael Guerreiro long ball picked out Giovanni Reyna, who deftly chipped home.

It was 1-1 at the break, but the floodgates opened in the second period as nearly every Dortmund mistake was punished with a Stuttgart goal.

Wamangituka claimed his second goal eight minutes after the break, then Philip Foerster scored with a perfectly timed run into the area with an hour played.

A stray Dortmund pass was snapped up by Wamangituka and moved to striker Tanguy Coulibaly, who fired home on 63 minutes.

Reyna had a second goal ruled out by the VAR before Nicolas Gonzalez claim Stuttgart’s fifth goal in added time.

The debacle is Dortmund’s heaviest home defeat since being humbled 5-1 at home to Bayern Munich in 2009.

Leipzig down Bremen

Fresh from knocking Manchester United out of the Champions League in midweek, RB Leipzig beat Bremen 2-0.

Leipzig captain Marcel Sabitzer converted a penalty and Dani Olmo grabbed a first-half goal for the hosts.

The home win capped a good week for Leipzig whose 3-2 defeat of United on Tuesday helped them into the last 16 in Europe.

Arsenal loanee Matteo Guendouzi scored his first goal for Hertha Berlin in their 1-1 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach, who equalised through Breel Embolo.

Freiburg ended their nine-match winless run with a 2-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld.

Cologne stay just above the relegation places after their 1-0 win at second-from-bottom Mainz.

AFP

Dortmund Advance To Champions League Last 16

Players vie for the ball in the box during the UEFA Champions League group F football match BVB Borussia Dortmund v Lazio in Dortmund, western Germany, on December 2, 2020.  AFP

 

Borussia Dortmund reached the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday despite Lazio captain Ciro Immobile scoring a second-half penalty against his former club in a 1-1 draw in Germany.

The result at Signal Iduna Park means leaders Dortmund need a win at Zenit St Petersburg next Tuesday to be sure of progressing as Group F winners.

Lazio, who are second and a point behind the Germans, will also go through if they draw at home to Club Brugge the same night.

Immobile, who failed to make his mark in the Bundesliga after an unhappy 2014/15 season at Dortmund, converted a 67th-minute penalty to cancel out Raphael Guerreiro’s goal just before half-time.

The draw could have come at a cost as Dortmund defender Mats Hummels had to be helped off after Immobile trod on his ankle in the dying stages.

Even though their star striker Erling Braut Haaland dropped out just before kick-off, Dortmund did enough to reach the knockout stages.

Haaland, the top scorer in the Champions League this season with six goals in four games, was sidelined by a leg injury.

Dortmund have not said how long he will be out for.

In his absence, captain Marco Reus moved further upfront and Dortmund deservedly went ahead just before the break.

Lazio’s veteran goalkeeper Pepe Reina, 38, played out a weak clearance which was snapped up by Dortmund midfielder Thomas Delaney.

The Dane moved the ball quickly to Guerreiro, who passed off to teenager Giovanni Reyna and sprinted into the area onto Thorgan Hazard’s final pass, which he fired past Reina a minute before half-time.

However, Immobile was a constant menace for Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki, who palmed away a fierce shot with an hour gone.

Guerreiro made way for Nico Schulz as Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre strengthed his defence, but the substitution soon had repercussions.

Schulz had only been on three minutes when he lunged into a clearance in the area and made contact with Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Lazio were awarded a penalty which Immobile duly converted.

Lazio finished the stronger and only a superb diving save by Burki just before the final whistle pushed Immobile’s well-struck effort around the post.

Immobile collided with Hummels late on and the 2014 World Cup winner needed assistance in leaving the pitch.

AFP

Haaland Continues Record Exploits As Dortmund Beat Brugge

Dortmund’s Norwegian forward Erling Braut Haaland (3rd L) celebrates scoring the 3-0 goal with his team-mates during the UEFA Champions League group F football match BVB Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge in Dortmund, western Germany, on November 24, 2020.  AFP

 

Erling Braut Haaland broke yet another Champions League record on Tuesday as he fired Borussia Dortmund a step closer to the knockout stages with two goals in a 3-0 win over Club Brugge.

Haaland’s 18th-minute opener against Brugge saw him reach 15 Champions League goals in fewer games than any other player in the competition’s history.

The 20-year-old Norwegian hit the milestone in just 12 appearances, smashing the previous record of 19 games held by Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roberto Soldado.

Haaland added another in the second half to take his tally to 16, as he and Dortmund annihilated Brugge to defend top spot in Group F and move within touching distance of qualification for the second round.

With two games to go, Lucien Favre’s side are now five points clear of third place and a point ahead of second-placed Lazio, who beat Zenit Saint Petersburg 3-1 on Tuesday.

Dortmund were predictably dominant in the first half, and it took Haaland just 70 seconds to send a shot fizzing past the Brugge post.

The Norwegian found the net on 18 minutes, placing a low shot past Simon Mignolet after Jadon Sancho set him up with an elegant through ball.

Sancho, who had been dropped to the bench for Dortmund’s league win at Hertha Berlin last weekend, was in excellent form upon his return to the starting XI.

The 20-year-old Englishman doubled Dortmund’s lead on the stroke of half-time, curling a free-kick into the top corner after compatriot Jude Bellingham was fouled on the edge of the box.

Haaland put the game beyond reach on the hour mark, gratefully pouncing on an inadvertent assist from Brugge midfielder Ruud Vormer and sweeping the ball in from close range.

AFP

Solskjaer Asked England Not To Pick Greenwood Before COVID-19 Breach

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaves after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 1, 2019. The game finished 2-2.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed he asked England not to pick Mason Greenwood before the Manchester United forward was withdrawn from the squad after breaching coronavirus protocols.

Greenwood and Manchester City’s Phil Foden were forced to fly home from Iceland earlier this month after they were caught mixing with local women in the England hotel.

The pair had just made their England debuts in the Nations League victory over Iceland when video footage emerged of their breach of the bio-secure bubble which had been set up to avoid contact with the virus.

England boss Gareth Southgate admitted he couldn’t understand their behaviour and axed them from the subsequent match in Denmark.

But United manager Solskjaer defended Greenwood and said he warned England that the 18-year-old needed a rest before the start of the new season.

“Yeah, of course I speak to Mason and I’ve spoken to Mason,” Solskjaer said. “Of course, what we speak about and discuss will be between the two of us.

“The kid had a fantastic season. He’s just come through. You come to the end of the season and we’ve had less than two weeks off and he’s called up to the national team.

“I have to be honest enough to say I tried my best to give him a rest over the summer. That the club asked specifically and pointed out that he should have had a rest.

“He needs it mentally and physically after that season he had. First thing that happens is: one – he’s called up, and two – he’s right there in the press.

“We’ve done whatever we can to protect him and I will keep on helping him. I know that when he comes back into the daily routine of the club and what we do to him, he’ll be fine.”

Greenwood has been training with United after passing coronavirus tests and Solskjaer confirmed the striker is in contention to feature in United’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

“Yeah, he’s part of the group. With the testing and Covid protocols, he trained by himself for a little while. We had some tests done and as soon as possible he was with us. He’s a big part of this group,” Solskjaer said.

“This is where he feels at home. He’s not comfortable, we challenge him, we’ve got people looking after him.

“We have to understand he’s an 18-year-old kid who needs managing.”

– ‘Strong character’ –
Earlier in the close-season, United captain Harry Maguire was handed a suspended 21-month sentence by a Greek court after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and attempted bribery during an incident on the island of Mykonos.

Maguire denied the offences and has launched an appeal which nullifies the conviction, but the defender still lost his place in the England squad for the Iceland and Denmark matches.

Confident Maguire can focus on football despite the off-field distraction, Solskjaer said: “The process will keep on going. Knowing Harry, he’s a very strong character so hopefully he can put that apart.

“Naturally, as a human being it will be in the back of his mind what’s happened this summer, and apart from that you’ve just got to see how it develops.”

United have spent most of the close-season in an unsuccessful attempt to sign Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho.

The deal is still not completely dead according to reports, but Solskjaer would only confirm that United are still looking to strengthen after signing just Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek so far.

“You know I can’t say anything about other clubs’ players out of respect to them. I can’t speculate. But we understand that to get even further; one – we need to develop what we have, two – we’re also looking to strengthen the team, of course we are,” Solskjaer said.

“I’ve been in dialogue with the club. Of course, we’re always discussing and hopefully, let’s see if we can bring anyone in.”

 

 

 

Dortmund Cancel Contract Of World Cup Winner Schuerrle

Germany forward Andre Schuerrle holds up the World Cup trophy in Rio de Janeiro after Germany won the final of Brazil 2014. (AFP Photo/PATRIK STOLLARZ)
Germany forward Andre Schuerrle holds up the World Cup trophy in Rio de Janeiro after Germany won the final of Brazil 2014. (AFP Photo/PATRIK STOLLARZ)

 

 

Borussia Dortmund announced Wednesday they had cancelled the contract of Andre Schuerrle by mutal consent a year early after the 2014 World Cup winner failed to make his mark in four years at the Bundesliga runners-up.

It was Schuerrle’s cross in extra time during the 2014 World Cup final which Mario Goetze volleyed home to seal Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina.

The 29-year-old Schuerrle joined Dortmund from Wolfsburg in 2016 for 30 million euros ($34 million), but failed to hold down a first-team place.

He was loaned out to Spartak Moscow last season after spending 2018/19 at Fulham.

“Looking back, it was a time with ups and downs, but also with many valuable experiences,” said Schuerrle.

He is now without a club despite 57 appearances for Germany and 22 goals, including two in the historic 7-1 thrashing of hosts Brazil in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup.

His last international appearance was in 2017 and in the last four years, Schuerrle managed only 51 games and eight goals for Dortmund.

As the transfer window opened in Germany on Wednesday and closes on October 5, Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told website Sport1: “It definitely wasn’t a success story for either side.

“For this reason, it was better to cancel the contract prematurely.”

Schuerrle’s departure follows that of Goetze, who left Dortmund last month when his contract expired and neither party sought an extension.

Goetze failed to impress head coach Lucien Favre as Dortmund finished second to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

 

 

-AFP

PSG Overturn Dortmund Deficit, Advance To Champions League Quarter-Finals

This handout photograph taken and released by the UEFA on March 11, 2020, shows Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar (L) celebrating after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 second leg football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Borussia Dortmund at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.
GETTY/UEFA / AFP

 

Paris Saint-Germain shrugged off having to play in an empty stadium as Neymar set the French club on their way to a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday that took them into the Champions League quarter-finals 3-2 on aggregate.

PSG came into the game at the Parc des Princes needing to overturn a 2-1 defeat in the first leg of their last-16 tie in Germany, but Neymar’s 28th-minute header put them ahead on the night in the second leg amid a surreal atmosphere, as banned supporters gathered outside the ground instead.

Juan Bernat then deflected in a Pablo Sarabia assist to make it 2-0 and PSG — for whom Kylian Mbappe was only fit enough to appear as a substitute — go through to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2016.

The victory breaks a run of three straight exits in the first knockout round of the competition, at the hands of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United.

Indeed Dortmund are just the fourth team PSG have defeated in a Champions League knockout tie since the Qatari takeover in 2011, following wins against Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen and Chelsea, the latter on two occasions.

However, their opponents were disappointing, with Erling Braut Haaland never looking like repeating his first-leg heroics when he netted twice. They finished the game with 10 men as Emre Can was sent off late on.

This was one of several Champions League matches this week and next being played out in an empty stadium after authorities banned fans from attending due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Fireworks Outside Ground

However, PSG fans still congregated in significant numbers outside the stadium despite the French government banning all gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

Those supporters brandished flares as the team bus arrived before the game and sang and set off fireworks throughout the match.

Mbappe was only named among the substitutes after struggling with illness and even undergoing a test for coronavirus in the build-up to the game.

The France striker missed two training sessions this week with a sore throat and a fever. His test for COVID-19 came up negative.

His absence from the starting line-up was just the latest blow for coach Thomas Tuchel, who was also without the suspended Marco Verratti and injured centre-back Thiago Silva.

That meant Edinson Cavani and Pablo Sarabia started through the middle of the attack, while Argentine international Leandro Paredes was selected in midfield.

Cavani was denied the opener in the 25th minute when Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki stretched out a leg to tip his shot around the post.

The opening goal followed soon after, with Angel Di Maria swinging in a corner from the right and Neymar stealing in front of his marker to stoop and head in from close range.

The PSG supporters outside the ground responded to the Brazilian’s second goal in the tie by exploding more fireworks in celebration.

Jadon Sancho and Thorgan Hazard tried their luck from outside the area for Dortmund but PSG scored again in first-half stoppage time.

This time Di Maria laid the ball out to Sarabia on the right side of the box, and his low driven ball was diverted into the far corner by Bernat.

Di Maria nearly scored another in the second half from a free-kick before Mbappe came on with just under half an hour remaining.

Dortmund were only one goal away from forcing extra time but rarely troubled Keylor Navas in the home goal and Can saw a straight red card with a minute left for throwing Neymar to the ground.

The Brazilian was also booked following that incident along with Di Maria, now watching from the dugout and who will miss the quarter-final first leg as a result.

AFP

Leverkusen Deny Dortmund Three Points In Seven-Goal Thriller

Leverkusen’s German defender Jonathan Tah and Dortmund’s Swiss goalkeeper Roman Buerki (R) vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs BVB Borussia Dortmund in Leverkusen, western Germany on February 8, 2020.
INA FASSBENDER / AFP

 

Substitute Leon Bailey scored one late goal and made another as Bayer Leverkusen sealed a stunning 4-3 win over Borussia Dortmund to deny the visitors the chance to go second in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Bailey came on for the final 20 minutes with his side 3-2 down and after slotting home the equaliser, the Jamaican winger’s audacious backheel led to Lars Bender heading in Leverkusen’s winner.

It was the first time Dortmund teenager Erling Braut Haaland had failed to score for his new club after hitting eight goals in his first four games.

Leverkusen are now fifth while Dortmund stay third.

READ ALSO: Richarlison Fires Everton Into Premier League Win Against Palace

However, Borussia could finish the weekend six points behind Bayern Munich if the defending champions beat second-placed RB Leipzig at home on Sunday.

The goals flew at the BayArena with three disallowed efforts on top of the two Kevin Volland also scored for Leverkusen.

Mats Hummels, Emre Can — who was making his first Dortmund start — and Raphael Guerreiro netted Dortmund’s goals.

Former Liverpool and Juventus midfielder Can scored a stunning goal to put Dortmund 2-1 up in the first half, curling his shot inside the top corner.

Volland put Leverkusen ahead on 20 minutes by firing home with his second touch, but Hummels equalised almost immediately by heading home a corner.

With both teams attacking hard, French forward Moussa Diaby had a goal ruled offside, just before Can’s stunning strike.

However, Volland levelled for Leverkusen when he rifled home on 43 minutes.

The second-half was just as packed with end-to-end action.

A superb goal by Jadon Sancho was cancelled when the video assistant referee spotted a push by Dortmund’s 17-year-old winger Giovanni Reyna in the build-up.

At the other end, Volland hit the post with an hour gone when he managed to get in behind the defence.

Dortmund finally went 3-2 up when Achraf Hakimi started a move which released left-back Raphaël Guerreiro, who drove his shot home on 65 minutes.

The scene was set for Bailey, who had a goal disallowed soon after coming on, but was not to be denied.

After sweeping home a goal of his own on 81 minutes, he back-heeled to Dutch midfielder Daley Sinkgraven who crossed for Bender to nod in the winner.

There was just 82 seconds between the final two crucial goals.

Quaison Hat-Trick

Earlier, Sweden striker Robin Quaison hit a hat-trick as Mainz beat 10-man Hertha Berlin 3-1 in the capital to push Jurgen Klinsmann’s side towards the relegation spots.

Hertha have just one win in their five games in all competitions in 2020 under ex-Germany and USA head coach Klinsmann, who took charge last November.

Hertha’s only consolation was an own goal by Mainz defender Jeffrey Bruma just before Berlin midfielder Marius Wolf was sent off for a second yellow card soon before the final whistle.

Having also been drubbed 4-0 by leaders Bayern Munich in January, Hertha are now 14th in the table, two places from the relegation spots.

In Gelsenkirchen, sixth-placed Schalke’s title aspirations suffered a dent in a 1-1 draw at home to bottom side Paderborn.

Schalke are now seven points behind the leaders before Bayern play on Sunday.

Schalke’s academy product Ahmed Kutucu, 19, fired home from a tight angle in the second half, but midfielder Klaus Gjasula equalised with a late header for Paderborn.

Bremen Slump

Werder Bremen are now deep in the relegation places after a 2-0 home defeat to mid-table Union Berlin.

Second-half goals by Union winger Marius Buelter did the damage, combined with Mainz’s win at Hertha Berlin, to leave Bremen 17th and four points from safety.

Bremen’s cause was not helped as Fortuna Duesseldorf picked up a point to move above Bremen by drawing 1-1 at ten-man Wolfsburg.

Winger Mathias Zimmermann gave Duesseldorf the lead and Wolfsburg had defender Marin Pongracic sent off for elbowing Alfredo Morales at a free-kick.

Despite being a man down, Wolfsburg drew level when midfielder Renato Steffen headed the equaliser.

Mid-table Freiburg rebounded from back-to-back defeats with a 1-0 win over Hoffenheim, thanks to a first-half penalty by striker Luca Waldschmidt at the Schwarzwald Stadion.

AFP

Injured Reus To Miss Dortmund, PSG Champions League Match

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 02, 2019 Marco Dortmund’s German forward Marco Reus (R) leaves the field after an injury during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg in Dortmund, western Germany. AFP

 

Borussia Dortmund were dealt a blow on  Wednesday after announcing that captain Marco Reus has picked up a muscle injury that should keep him out of the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain.

In a statement Dortmund said the 30-year-old should be out “for around four weeks” after picking up the injury late in Tuesday’s 3-2 German Cup defeat at Werder Bremen, ruling him out of the home leg of the PSG clash on February 18.

He should, however, be back for the return leg in Paris on March 11.

Germany forward will be a big miss for Dortmund, as he has scored 12 goals and set up seven more this season.

Teenage striking sensation Erling Braut Haaland scored his eighth goal in just four games for Dortmund at Bremen, but could not stop his new side crashing out of the cup.

AFP

Dortmund Star Witsel Undergoes Surgery After Domestic Accident

Dortmund’s Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel (R) vies for the ball with Fortuna Duesseldorf’s US midfielder Alfredo Morales during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund v Fortuna Duesseldorf in Dortmund, western Germany on December 7, 2019. INA FASSBENDER / AFP

 

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel will miss the rest of the year after needing surgery for a facial injury sustained in an accident at home, his club said Monday.

“We couldn’t talk to him yesterday (Sunday) because he was in intensive care in hospital,” said Dortmund coach Lucien Favre, while a club spokesman said Witsel fell at home but gave no further details.

“He won’t be able to play for the rest of the year, but he is already at home,” added Favre.

“It’s a shame for him and us, he’s an important player. Hopefully he is back as soon as possible.”

The 30-year-old Witsel will miss Dortmund’s final Champions League group game at home to Sparta Prague on Tuesday.

They must better Inter Milan’s result against Barcelona at the San Siro in order to reach the last 16.

The Belgium international will also be sidelined for the next three league games. Dortmund are third in the table, five points behind Bundesliga leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Witsel played in Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing of Fortuna Duesseldorf and has featured in all five Champions League group games this campaign.

AFP

Barcelona Secure Champions League Last 16 Spot

Barcelona’s French forward Antoine Griezmann celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between FC Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, on November 27, 2019.
PAU BARRENA / AFP

 

Barcelona secured a place in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday with a convincing 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund.

Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, and Antoine Griezmann scored for the La Liga champions who have an unassailable four-point advantage ahead of the German side at the top of Group F with one round to go.

AFP