Second-half goal explosions led to excitement in two of three late Bundesliga kickoffs on Tuesday, with an American making a super sub impact in Frankfurt.
Bayern won 1-0 at Dortmund earlier in the day, opening the door for a challenge on second. Bayer and Gladbach both declined to enter.
[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news | Current table ]
A loss for the former and draw from the latter all make this an absolutely wonderful day for the seven-time reigning champs in Bavaria.
Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Wolfsburg
A Maximilian Arnold set piece star show saw the German behind three goals as Wolfsburg firmed up its top six credentials with a big win against red-hot Bayer.
Marin Pongracic headed two of Arnold’s free kicks home with a third taking a turn off the wall to give Arnold a goal of his own. Renato Steffen also scored in the win.
Julian Baumgartlinger scored very late for Bayer, who sinks fifth with 53 points.
Wolfsburg’s win gives them 42 points, four more than seventh-place Freiburg.
Wolfsburg had the two best chances of the first quarter-hour and it could’ve easily been 1-0 or 2-0 if not for a crucial blocked from Bayer defender Edmond Tapsoba and a fine save from Tomas Hradecky minutes later.
Bayer found some footing in the latter stages of the first half, forcing a save out of Koen Casteels before Kai Havertz tempted the frame with a header off a set piece.
The visitors’ breakthrough came before halftime, as ex-Salzburg defender Pongracic rose high to meet a terrific Arnold free kick from the right side to make it 1-0.
Wolfsburg had two quick chances to start the second half, Hradecky making a right arm save and a second chanced missed by the visitors.
Arnold’s 65th-minute free kick then took a hard turn off Kai Havertz inside the Bayer wall en route to defying Hradecky for 2-0.
The third goal arrived in short order, smallish Steffen outleaping Wendell to a Joao Victor cross and heading home.
American defender John Brooks subbed off in the 82nd minute with Wolfsburg holding a 4-0 lead and Havertz in the midst of one of his worst matches in a while.
Brooks posted six clearances, three interceptions, and a tackle and had a rough passing day by his very high standards. Brooks completed 70 percent of his passes, including four-of-eight long balls (Sofascore).
USMNT teen Ulysses Llanez made the bench for Wolfsburg but was an unused sub despite the big score line.
Werder Bremen 0-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
The hosts built on a weekend win by going toe-to-toe with a still out-of-sorts Gladbach on Tuesday at the Weserstadion.
Gladbach moves fourth, level on points with Bayer Leverkusen but ahead on goal differential after the latter’s blowout.
Bremen is still 17th after gaining its 22nd point, two points back of 16th and five back of 15th.
Gladbach had the first half edge in possession and shots but could not break down Bremen, who matched them chance-for-chance on the day.
USMNT youngster Josh Sargent earned another start for Bremen, going 74 minutes with 26 touches, a clearance, an interception, and two fouls drawn. He wasn’t at his best in duels but, again, Bremen’s system puts center forwards on an island and you get the feeling Florian Kohfeldt designed for defense against powerful Gladbach.
Eintracht Frankfurt 3-3 Freiburg
USMNT back Timothy Chandler scored with his first touch of the game to complete a thrilling comeback for Eintracht in a 3-3 draw.
Chandler subbed into the game in the 81st minute and deposited Filip Kostic’s handiwork in the 82nd, three minutes after Daichi Kamada had pulled the hosts to within one.
Eintracht showed a lot of heart in the comeback, out-attempting Freiburg 34-10. The point moves Eintracht five points clear of the bottom three and seven ahead of the automatic relegation places.
Freiburg remains seventh, now four points back of Wolfsburg and capable of finishing the midweek as low as ninth.
Vincenzo Grifo scored a goal and later set up another for Freiburg, with Nils Petersen and Lucas Holer also finding the back of the net.
Grifo’s third goal of the season gave the visitors a 28th-minute lead that would last only seven minutes.
Andre Silva answered with his 10 goal in all comps for Eintracht on loan from Milan, and it was 1-1 at the break.
Freiburg scored in the 67th and 69th to take a lead and, seemingly, another step toward the Europa League.
Instead, it was Eintracht who firmed up their footing at the other end of the table.
Here’s Chandler’s equalizer, a nice feat of power and coordination.
12:30 p.m. ET: RB Leipzig v. Hertha Berlin
2:30 p.m. ET: Augsburg v. Paderborn
2:30 p.m. ET: Union Berlin v. Mainz
2:30 p.m. ET: Hoffenheim v. Cologne
2:30 p.m. ET: Fortuna Dusseldorf v. Schalke