Dortmund take title race to wire as Bayern held - GulfToday

Dortmund take title race to wire as Bayern held


Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic (centre left) scores against Fortuna Duesseldorf during their German League match on Saturday. Associated Press

Bayern Munich missed the chance to wrap up a seventh successive Bundesliga title as they were held to a goalless draw at RB Leipzig on Saturday and rivals Borussia Dortmund edged a nervy 3-2 win over Fortuna Duesseldorf.

Chelsea-bound US international Christian Pulisic found the net in his final home game for Dortmund, helping them to battle back to within two points of league leaders Bayern ahead of the final round of games next weekend.

Bayern can now secure the title with a win at home to Eintracht Frankfurt next Saturday, while Dortmund must win at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Dortmund, who looked dead and buried after slipping four points behind last week, enjoyed the rub of the green as they stumbled to victory over Duesseldorf.

Pulisic, who will join Chelsea next season, bid an emotional farewell to the Dortmund fans before the game and then opened the scoring on 41 minutes.

A howler from stand-in goalkeeper Marwin Hitz allowed Oliver Fink to equalise, but Thomas Delaney restored the lead for Dortmund.

Hitz then gave away a penalty with a foul on Dodi Lukebakio, but the Belgian dragged the ball wide from 12 yards.

Mario Goetze appeared to seal the win for Dortmund on 90 minutes, but Dawid Kownacki pulled one back for Duesseldorf minutes later to make it a nerve-jangling finish for the hosts.

In Leipzig, Leon Goretzka’s stylish scissor-kick sent Bayern into ecstasy after half-time, but the goal was ruled out by VAR.

Serge Gnabry hit the bar later in the second half, but Bayern could not force the winner.

At the other end of the table, Nuremberg and Hanover were finally relegated as Stuttgart secured the relegation play-off place with a 3-0 win over Wolfsburg.

Hanover went down fighting as goals from Waldemar Anton, Ihlas Bebou and Walace saw them beat Freiburg 3-0.

Yet Anastasios Donis, Gonzalo Castro and Daniel Didavi were on the mark for Stuttgart to condemn Hanover and Nuremberg to the drop.

Nuremberg, meanwhile, suffered a 4-0 defeat to Borussia Moenchengladbach thanks to an own-goal from Lukas Muehl and strikes from Thorgan Hazard, Denis Zakaria and former Nuremberg man Josip Drmic.

The thumping win sees Gladbach go fourth overnight, leapfrogging both Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen, who were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Schalke, Guido Burgstaller cancelling out Kai Havertz’s opener.

Frankfurt have the chance to break back into the top four with a win over Mainz on Sunday.

Werder Bremen also kept their European hopes alive with a 1-0 win over Hoffenheim, and Hertha Berlin snatched a late 4-3 victory away to Augsburg.

Johannes Eggestein’s first-half goal condemned RB Leipzig-bound coach Julian Nagelsmann to defeat in his last home game in charge of Hoffenheim.

Andre Hahn and Michael Gregoritsch put Augsburg ahead three times but goals from Marvin Plattenhardt and Marko Grujic kept Hertha in the game before a late brace from Salomon Kalou secured three points.

Meanwhile, Krasnodar kept alive their hopes of earning the Russian Premier League’s second automatic Champions League place with a confident 4-0 away win at Yenisei Krasnoyarsk on Saturday.

The result left the club from Russia’s southern city in third, two points behind second-placed Lokomotiv Moscow with just two games left to play this season. Zenit St Petersburg, who claimed their fifth Russian title last week, top the table, six points clear of the railway-backed side.

Only freshly crowned champions Zenit and the team that finishes second are assured of a place in the group stage of next season’s Champions League, while the third placed finishers go into the third qualifying round.

“It was much harder to win than the scoreline suggests,” Krasnodar head coach Murad Musaev said.

“Yenisei are well-organised team but luckily we managed to convert almost all our chances into goals. We played well and won deservedly today.”

Elsewhere, Akhmat Grozny edged the visitors Samara 2-1 to go seventh. Senegalese forward Ablaye M’bengue lifted Akhmat 1-0 up in the third minute with a close-range header.

He netted his second of the match in the 42nd minute but Samara skipper Taras Burlak halved the deficit just two minutes later.

Agence France-Presse

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