Bundesliga wrap: Bayern come from behind to crush Leverkusen
Leaders Bayern moved 10 points clear of Borussia Dortmund, while Leverkusen stayed fifth.Updated: Jun 07, 2020 00:01 IST
Bayern Munich came from a goal down to ease past hosts Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 on Saturday and remain firmly on course to retain the Bundesliga title with four games remaining. The Bavarians are within touching distance of their eighth consecutive league crown, but Leverkusen’s 17-year-old Florian Wirtz stole some of the spotlight at the end, becoming the youngest Bundesliga scorer when he netted in the 89th minute.
Lucas Alario fired the hosts into the lead after 10 minutes as Leverkusen, without the injured Kai Havertz, scored with the first chance of the game. But Bayern recovered from the early shock and Kingsley Coman curled in the equaliser in the 28th minute before the visitors struck twice in three minutes to turn the game around.
Leon Goretzka completed a sensational passing move in the 42nd minute and Serge Gnabry chipped the ball over keeper Lukas Hradecky on the stroke of halftime. Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski headed in Thomas Mueller’s 20th assist of the season. Lewandowski took his tally to 30 league goals but is still 10 shy of the all-time league record of 40 set by Gerd Mueller in 1971-72.
It was Bayern’s ninth straight win but there was also some cheer for Leverkusen despite their setback in the race for a Champions League spot. German youth international Wirtz made a name for himself with a superb 89th-minute strike that beat keeper Manuel Neuer and made him the youngest Bundesliga scorer at 17 years and 34 days.
Leaders Bayern moved 10 points clear of Borussia Dortmund, who play Hertha Berlin later. RB Leipzig are third, also on 60, after conceding a last-gasp equaliser in their 1-1 draw with bottom club Paderborn. Bayer Leverkusen stayed fifth.
Mainz earn key win over toothless Frankfurt
Mainz 05 scored once in each half to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 on Saturday and move three points above the Bundesliga relegation playoff spot with four games left in the season. The visitors went ahead two minutes from halftime thanks to Moussa Niakhate’s first goal of the season, and Eintracht, who are unlikely now to qualify for Europe, rarely threatened.
The hosts, who have now won only once in their last six games, upped the tempo after the break but still failed to register a shot on target in the entire game. Kunde Malong’s solo run after winning possession in midfield killed off the game in the 77th minute and gave Mainz a crucial victory in their battle to stay up. Mainz are 15th on 31 points with Frankfurt 11th on 35.
Hennings brace gives Duesseldorf 2-2 draw with 10-man Hoffenheim
A goal in each half by Rouwen Hennings gave Fortuna Duesseldorf a 2-2 draw at home to 10-man Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday but Uwe Rosler’s side, who are third from bottom, will see it as two points dropped rather than one gained.
Hoffenheim got off to the worst possible start when striker Hennings headed the hosts into the lead in the fifth minute, shortly before visiting captain Benjamin Huebner was shown a straight red card for an altercation at a corner. Munas Dabbur equalised in the 16th minute, while Hennings had a second headed goal ruled out two minutes later after the video assistant referee (VAR) spotted a foul in the build-up.
Steven Zuber put Hoffenheim ahead around the hour mark, but Hennings netted a penalty to secure the draw and leave his side third from bottom on 28 points, three behind Mainz. Hoffenheim climbed to sixth and into the Europa League places on 43 points. The red card for Huebner appeared to tilt the game in Duesseldorf’s favour as they peppered the box with crosses. However, despite Hennings proving a handful in the area, the score remained 1-1 at the break.
Hoffenheim handled their numerical disadvantage much better in the second half and Danish international Robert Skov wasted a glorious chance to put them ahead, but made up for it minutes later on the counter-attack by squaring for Zuber to score. With fellow strugglers Mainz leading 2-0 away to Frankfurt, Duesseldorf threw everything forward and their pressure paid off when Haavard Nordtveit pulled down Erik Thommy and the referee awarded a penalty, which Hennings calmly slotted home.
Back level, Hennings grabbed the ball and planted it on the centre spot as Duesseldorf continued their frenzied chase for a winner, but Hoffenheim managed to hold on for a draw.
Paderborn grab last-gasp goal for vital point at Leipzig
Captain Christian Strohdiek netted a dramatic stoppage time equaliser to earn last-placed Paderborn a 1-1 draw away at high-flying RB Leipzig on Saturday and keep alive their faint hopes of avoiding relegation.
Patrik Schick’s 27th-minute goal gave Leipzig the lead, but their fortunes turned after defender Dayot Upamecano was needlessly sent off two minutes from the end of the first half when he petulantly kicked away the ball after a foul. The 21-year-old Frenchman had been booked earlier in the game, and his second yellow card ensured an early shower.
The result left Leipzig in third place, 11 points behind leaders Bayern Munich with four games remaining, while Paderborn moved to 20 points, still five adrift at the bottom. Schick’s goal came at the end of one of the high-paced passing movements that have been characteristic of Leipzig with Christopher Nkunku and Timo Werner involved and the clinical efficiency suggested a comfortable victory for the hosts.
Nkunku put Werner clear on goal but instead of striking himself, the Chelsea-bound forward squared the ball for Schick to finish - his 10th Bundesliga goal of the season. Upamecano’s red card allowed Paderborn to fight their way back into the game in the second half, although it took them a while to use their one-man advantage.
It was only two minutes into stoppage time that Paderborn had a shot on target as Strohdiek hammered home from close range after substitute Marlon Ritter’s effort from a corner was blocked. Leipzig could have made sure of three points, and moved second in the standings, had Dan Olmo not had a rasping shot well saved on the hour mark and Werner missed soon after despite rounding the goalkeeper.
But they tired in the last 10 minutes as Paderborn began to tighten the screws before eventually claiming a third successive away draw as they battle against the drop. Paderborn midfielder Klaus Gjasula was cautioned after 21 minutes for a clumsy foul, claiming a Bundesliga record 16th yellow card of the season.