Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund thrilling again; Brooks, Hertha dreaming of UCL

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
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With Bayern Munich coming up victorious on Friday, there remains little change of note at the top of the Bundesliga table as the second half of the season gets underway. Pep Guardiola looks destined to leave Germany a three-time league champion (this will be Bayern’s fourth consecutive title).

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Regardless, Borussia Dortmund won on Saturday for the fourth time in five league games, still only matching Bayern’s current run, to keep the Bavarians’ lead in the single digits…

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-3 Borussia Dortmund

Marco Reus, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Iklay Gundogan — a decent trio any day of the week, but even more so when they’re the three goalscorers in a 3-1 away victory over a fellow top-four side. Reus opened the scoring in the 41st minute, and Mkhitaryan doubled the lead in the 50th, but it was halved by Gladbach’s Raffael eight minutes later. Gundogan completed the scoring on 75 minutes.

With the victory, Thomas Tuchel’s side remains eight points behind Guardiola’s Bayern. Dortmund’s chances of winning this year’s title are mighty slim, but it’s still a whole lot better than the debacle that was the 2014-15 season. Reus is rather quietly enjoying another fine season, as the 26-year-old now has nine league goals this season, which is good enough for fifth in the Bundesliga. Only Bayern are within 15 of Dortmund’s league-leading total of 50 goals scored through 18 games.

17-year-old American midfielder Christian Pulisic, who joined the Dortmund youth academy a year ago, was named to the substitutes’ bench for the first time on Saturday.

Hertha Berlin 0-0 Augsburg

Hertha Berlin’s quest to qualify for the UEFA Champions League (the top four teams in the Bundesliga qualify) continued moving in the right direction on Saturday, even in a disappointing scoreless draw with 13th-place Augsburg. With another point in the bag, Hertha sit third in the league, four points ahead of Gladbach in fourth and eight back of second-place Dortmund.

U.S. national team center back John Brooks played the full 90 minutes, his eighth-straight beginning-to-end shift in all competitions. Across all competitions, Hertha haven’t conceded a single goal in 421 minutes, during all of which Brooks has been on the field.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga

Hoffenheim 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Koln 1-3 Stuttgart
Hannover 1-2 Darmstadt
Ingolstadt 1-0 Mainz

Sunday’s Bundesliga schedule

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Wolfsburg (9:30 a.m. ET)
Schalke vs. Werder Bremen (11:30 a.m. ET)

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Bayern Munich 18 16 1 1 48 9 39 9-0-0 7-1-1 49
Borussia Dortmund 18 13 2 3 50 24 26 7-1-0 6-1-3 41
Hertha BSC Berlin 18 10 3 5 26 18 8 6-2-1 4-1-4 33
Mönchengladbach 18 9 2 7 35 33 2 6-1-3 3-1-4 29
Bayer Leverkusen 18 8 4 6 26 21 5 4-2-2 4-2-4 28
FC Schalke 04 17 8 3 6 23 23 0 5-2-2 3-1-4 27
VfL Wolfsburg 17 7 5 5 26 21 5 6-2-1 1-3-4 26
FSV Mainz 05 18 7 3 8 23 24 -1 4-1-4 3-2-4 24
1. FC Köln 18 6 6 6 19 24 -5 3-4-3 3-2-3 24
FC Ingolstadt 04 18 6 5 7 12 18 -6 3-2-4 3-3-3 23
Hamburger SV 18 6 4 8 20 25 -5 2-2-5 4-2-3 22
Darmstadt 18 5 6 7 19 27 -8 1-4-4 4-2-3 21
FC Augsburg 18 5 5 8 21 26 -5 2-2-5 3-3-3 20
VfB Stuttgart 18 5 3 10 25 38 -13 3-1-5 2-2-5 18
Eintracht Frankfurt 17 4 5 8 21 28 -7 2-3-3 2-2-5 17
Werder Bremen 17 4 3 10 17 32 -15 1-1-6 3-2-4 15
1899 Hoffenheim 18 2 8 8 18 26 -8 1-5-3 1-3-5 14
Hannover 96 18 4 2 12 19 31 -12 2-0-7 2-2-5 14