Bayern and Dortmund both win before big clash, Bremen finally prevail

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both produced battling wins on Saturday to set up a blockbuster clash between the Bundesliga title challengers next week.

Berlin, 24 May 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both produced battling wins on Saturday to set up a blockbuster clash between the Bundesliga title challengers next week.

The pair meet behind closed doors in Dortmund on Tuesday with leaders Bayern four points ahead with seven games left.

Raphael Guerreiro and Achraf Hakimi scored in Dortmund’s hard-fought 2-0 win at Wolfsburg as the Bundesliga played its second round of fixtures without fans following the coronavirus suspension.

Bayern then beat Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 at home in the day’s late game. Leon Goretzka, Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski had the hosts cruising but two Martin Hinteregger goals cut the deficit before Alphonso Davies and Hinteregger’s own goal settled matters.

“We are happy to be playing football again competitively,” Goretzka told Sky.

“We have to talk about conceding from set pieces. That is not good. But we are not worried for the Dortmund game. Unfortunately it is without fans but I still think it will be a super game.”

Kai Havertz again scored twice in a 3-1 away success as Bayer Leverkusen went above opponents Borussia Moenchengladbach into third.

Second-bottom Werder Bremen won 1-0 at Freiburg – their first league win since mid January – and bottom side Paderborn drew 1-1 with Hoffenheim.

The behind-closed-door games featured the same strict hygiene protocols as last weekend with players appearing to be a little less hands-on in their celebrations after criticism that some had not stuck to the no-hugging guidelines in the first matches back.

Dortmund look to have suffered little from the two-month pause judging by Saturday’s display and their 4-0 hammering of derby rivals Schalke last weekend when the German top flight became the first major European league to return amid the pandemic.

The game, which began with a minute’s silence for those who have died from Covid-19, went largely without chances until the 31st minute when Guerreiro slotted in at the far post.

Mats Hummels did not appear for the second half and Emre Can, normally a midfielder, came on as centre back and almost saw Dortmund concede right away. Somehow Renato Steffen blasted over.

Dortmund were on the back foot but sealed victory on the break when substitute Jadon Sancho set up Hakimi on 78 minutes, prompting players to embrace against the recommendations. Wolfsburg’s Felix Klaus was later dismissed for a studs-up challenge.

Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji said: “That was tough work. We had to defend well for a long time. I was very happy when we got the second goal. Two goals and none conceded. That is very positive.”

Dortmund announced before kick-off that World Cup winner and now mere squad player Mario Goetze would leave at the end of the campaign.

Goetze’s ex-side Bayern were on top from the off against Frankfurt at an echoey Allianz Arena with Lewandowski striking the bar.

It did not take long until Mueller ran down the left and crossed for Goretzka to fire into the roof of the net.

Mueller made it 2-0 on 41 minutes when he legally shrugged off Hinteregger and finished off Davies’ cross. Lewandowski then headed in his 27th league goal early in the second half.

Hinteregger’s first goal on 52 minutes appeared a consolation but he headed in a second soon after, also from a corner, only for Davies to net after confusion in Frankfurt’s backline. Hinteregger’s up-and-down game was completed with a bizarre own goal.

Gladbach were supported by thousands of cardboard cut-outs but it did not help as Havertz clipped in following a neat Leverkusen move.

Marcus Thuram levelled in style after the break but Leverkusen were soon awarded a debatable penalty – just after Gladbach had a shout denied – and Havertz converted. Sven Bender made the game safe.

Bremen’s Leonardo Bittencourt netted with a fine finish from just outside the area to leave Florian Kohfeldt’s side just two points behind Fortuna Dusseldorf in the relegation play-off spot.

Hertha Berlin beat Union Berlin 4-0 on Friday. Three games are on Sunday.

Back to top button