Dortmund collapse leaves Bayern on brink of seventh successive title - GulfToday

Dortmund collapse leaves Bayern on brink of seventh successive title

Bayern Munich

Werder Bremen’s Claudio Pizarro (right) vies for the ball with Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl during their German League match on Saturday. Reuters

Berlin: Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre defended goalkeeper Roman Buerki after his second-half howler saw Dortmund throw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Werder Bremen and left Bayern Munich on the brink of a seventh successive Bundesliga title.

“I am not going to talk about Roman. Whatever happens, he has had a fantastic season and has saved us a lot of points in the past,” Favre told Sky.

Buerki’s error and a goal from Claudio Pizarro all but ended Dortmund’s title challenge and sealed a perfect afternoon for Bayern, after club stalwarts Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben earlier returned from injury to help them to a 3-1 victory over bottom club Hanover.

Dortmund, who were nine points ahead of Bayern in December, must now make up a four-point deficit in the last two games of the season.

Christian Pulisic opened the scoring for Dortmund after just six minutes with a brilliant solo goal, before Paco Alcacer doubled the lead with a fizzing free-kick. With Dortmund in full control on 70 minutes, Buerki allowed Bremen back into the game when he let Kevin Moehwald’s tame shot through his legs, and former Bayern star Pizarro scored a shock equaliser moments later.

Bayern now need just one win from their last two games against top four sides RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Elsewhere, Borussia Moenchengladbach and Hoffenheim both stumbled in the race for the top four, as they shared the points in a 2-2 draw.

Elsewhere, Veteran coach Huub Stevens has completed his mission to keep Schalke in the Bundesliga, after the club secured survival with a 0-0 draw at home to Augsburg on Sunday.

Schalke finished second under Domenico Tedesco last season, but turned to Stevens to guide them away from relegation after Tedesco’s reign imploded this year.

Stevens, who had twice managed the club before and led them to UEFA Cup glory in 1997, took the reins in March with Schalke just four points clear of the bottom three.

Agence France-Presse

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Team Emirates’ Pogacar claims podium finish

A monumental final push in the UAE heat from Tadej Pogacar wasn’t enough to take the win in the third stage of the team’s home country as Adam Yates...

The 184km Emirates Stage finished with an exhausting 10.8km climb as Yates launched a surprisingly early attack with 6km to go. Pogacar didn’t react to Yates’ initial acceleration but then ripped clear of the chasing group with 5km remaining, finishing second in the stage, claiming the young rider’s jersey and ending the day second in the GC in a successful day for the team.

Pogacar said “It was extremely hot today, so for me on a climb like that in those temperatures it was a really good ride and I’m pleased.

“There is still three stages with another big mountain stage and the chance of crosswinds tomorrow so it’s not over yet. We have a strong team here so will try something for sure.”

Pogacar will get another chance to claim back the one minute GC deficit as the fifth stage of the Tour finishes at the same Jebel Hafeet summit.

Pogacar will wear the white young rider’s jersey in Wednesday’s stage as the race sees the riders return to the flats which will come as welcome relief for the sprinters.

The Emirates NBD Stage starts from Zabeel Park, crosses Mushrif Park and Motor City before finishing at Dubai City Walk where the popular walkway has been transformed as part of the racing route.

British climber Yates pulverised the opposition on the tough, final ascent of stage, winning by over a minute and taking the overall race lead.

His compatriot Chris Froome was dropped early in the race.

The four-time Tour de France winner again struggled on his comeback from injuries sustained last May.

The 27-year-old Yates is also making his 2020 debut and looks favourite to win in a competitive field after his stunning attack from 6km out at the end of a warm day with temperatures passing 30C.

“I attacked maybe a little too early, but in the end I felt good,” said Yates, whose win gives him a 1min 07sec lead in the overall.

“A minute is a lot, but we have to do this climb again, and maybe my legs won’t be so good then,” Yates said in reference to stage five.

“Also tomorrow I heard a rumour there are going to be crosswinds, so we’ll see.”

Yates was followed up the final 10.6km Jebell Hafeet climb at a 7 per cent gradient by a trio of challengers with Slovenian prodigy Pogacar finishing 1min 03sec adrift.

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko was third at 1min 30sec accompanied by up-and-coming Frenchman David Gaudu.

Yates came fourth at the 2016 Tour de France and is targeting the Grand Boucle this summer where he will lead the Australian team ahead of his brother Simon.

Wednesday’s flat stage, the fourth of seven, is a 173km run to Dubai City Walk where a mass bunch sprint is expected.

Stage 3 Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 4h42’34”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:03

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:30

General Classification Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 12h30’02”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:07

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:35

22 hours ago