Moenchengladbach Lead Bundesliga As Bayern Suffer Another Loss

Moenchengladbach’s French forward Marcus Thuram (C) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish midfielder Javier Martinez (R) vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match in Moenchengladbach, western Germany, on December 7, 2019. UWE KRAFT / AFP



Bayern Munich dropped to sixth after Ramy Bensebaini’s injury-time penalty fired Bundesliga leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach to a 2-1 win over the reigning champions on Saturday.

A second straight league loss puts pressure on Hansi Flick, who has been put in charge until January and was tipped to see out the season as interim boss after winning his first five games.

Bayern, now seven points adrift in the title race, went ahead at Borussia Park when Ivan Perisic fired home just after the break, but defender Bensebaini headed Gladbach level with an hour gone.

The Algerian then struck his decisive stoppage-time penalty after Bayern’s Javi Martinez was sent off for a second yellow card.

There were wild scenes of celebrations from home fans at the final whistle of a game Bayern dominated for long stretches.

But like last week’s 2-1 home loss to Bayer Leverkusen, they only had themselves to blame as they squandered a string of chances.

Bayern had six clear first-half chances, two of which saw striker Robert Lewandowski fire wide.

They were denied the lead by goal-line technology on 29 minutes when Joshua Kimmich’s shot slid under Yann Sommer’s block, but the Gladbach goalkeeper scrambled and just managed to stop the ball fully crossing the line.

Bayern finally broke through when Perisic, a first-half replacement for injured Coretin Tolisso, hammered his shot on the turn to beat Sommer four minutes after half-time.

Surviving on less than 40 percent possession, Gladbach drew level on the hour mark against the run of play as they scored off their first clear chance.

Midfielder Jonas Hofmann whipped in a corner and Bensebaini powered his header past Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Gladbach gained in confidence, but the game turned in the 90th minute when Bayern defender Javi Martinez gave a penalty away and was sent off for a clumsy tackle on Marcus Thuram in the area.

The Spain international trudged off after being shown second a yellow card as Bensebaini showed nerves of steel to convert the penalty.

– Dortmund run riot –

Elsewhere, RB Leipzig stay second after their 3-1 home win against Hoffeneheim as Timo Werner grabbed the opener, then netted a second-half penalty to leave the Germany striker with 15 league goals this season.

Midfielder Marcel Sabitzer scored Leipzig’s late third goal before defender Erim Bicakcic pulled back a consolation goal for Hoffenheim just before the whistle.

Borussia Dortmund eased the pressure on coach Lucien Favre to go third with a 5-0 home romp against Fortuna Duesseldorf, who drop into the bottom three, as England winger Jadon Sancho and club captain Marco Reus both scored twice.

Having ground out a 2-1 win with 10 men at Jurgen Klinsmann’s relegation-threatened Hertha Berlin last weekend, Dortmund¬†ran riot after the break at home with four second-half goals.

Reus put the hosts ahead at Signal Iduna Park, then combined with Sancho and Thorgan Hazard after the break to shred Duesseldorf’s defence.

Sancho had a goal ruled out for offside on 52 minutes, but set up Hazard four minutes later, before scoring Dortmund’s third goal with an hour gone after combining with Reus.

Reus, then Sancho both claimed their second goals inside a devastating four-minute spell just before the whistle.

Freiburg moved up to fifth, a point above Bayern, with a 1-0 win at home to Wolfsburg thanks to a second-half winner from Jonathan Schmid while mid-table Augsburg enjoyed a 2-1 win at home to Mainz.


Gladbach Stay In Bundesliga Title Race With Win At Leverkusen

Leverkusen’s German forward Kevin Volland (front) vies with Moenchengladbach’s Swiss defender Michael Lang (L)¬† in Leverkusen, on January 19, 2019. Bernd Thissen / dpa / AFP


Borussia Moenchengladbach kept pace with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga title race on Saturday with Alassane Plea netting in their 1-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen.

Defending champions Bayern halved Dortmund’s lead to three points on Friday with an impressive 3-1 win at Hoffenheim before Dortmund face a tricky away clash at fourth-placed RB Leipzig later Saturday.

Third-placed Gladbach, who are enjoying one of their best seasons, deserved their win at Leverkusen, whose coach Peter Bosz took charge of his first Bundesliga game after replacing Heiko Herrlich last month.

On the first weekend of the Bundesliga after the winter break, Gladbach breached Leverkusen’s defence when captain Lars Stindl split the defence with a superb pass before Plea fired home his tenth goal this season eight minutes before the break.

Leverkusen had second-half chances as their Germany teenage international Kai Havertz fired wide, Karim Bellarabi hit the post and Jamaica winger Leon Bailey had a penalty appeal turned down.

Plea, 25, has been a revelation on the road for Gladbach since joining from Nice last July with eight of his league goals so far having been scored away from home.

The away win leaves Gladbach three points behind Bayern and six adrift of Dortmund.

Elsewhere, Eintracht Frankfurt climbed to fifth, a point from the Champions League berths, with a 3-1 win at home to Freiburg as striker Luka Jovic claimed his 13th goal this season to become the league’s top-scorer.

A header by Sebastian Haller gave Frankfurt the lead on 34 minutes before the hosts pulled away with two superb goals.

Croatia forward Ante Rebic beat three defenders with a dramatic change of direction, which created space to curl his shot into the goal on 40 minutes.

Jovic, who scored five goals in one league game in October, added Frankfurt’s third just before the break before Nils Petersen pulled a goal back from Freiburg in the second half.

Werder Bremen climbed to eighth with a 1-0 win at Hanover as Kosovo striker Milot Rashica scored the winner by finishing off a move started by captain Max Kruse.

Stuttgart remain in the relegation places after a 3-2 defeat at home to Mainz.

Mainz built up a 3-0 lead with an own goal by Stuttgart defender Santiago Ascacibar before striker Jean-Philippe Mateta and defender Alexander Hack netted.

However, Stuttgart roared back with two goals in the final seven minutes from Nicolas Gonzalez and Marc Oliver Kempf before Anastasios Donis hit the post in a dramatic finish.

Fortuna Duesseldorf, who last month stunned Dortmund 2-1 and drew 3-3 at Bayern, are now six games unbeaten after a 2-1 win at Augsburg with Benito Raman scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute.