Dodi Lukebakio

AP

Bundesliga: Pulisic, Dortmund take title battle to final day

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The Bundesliga title race will go down to the final 90 minutes of the season, as drama came thick and fast in the penultimate week of the season.

Borussia Dortmund, led by Christian Pulisic in his final home game for the German giants, beat 10-man Fortuna Dusseldorf 3-2 and coupled with Bayern Munich’s 0-0 draw at RB Leipzig, Dortmund are just two points behind Bayern with one game to go.

[ MORE: Bundesliga schedule ] 

Bayern’s Leon Goretzka volleyed home in the second half as it looked as though Munich had won the title with one game to go, but his strike was ruled out via VAR due to an offside in the build up.

It will still be a tall order for Dortmund to win the German title, but they’ve given themselves a chance after a wild game against Fortuna. Pulisic gave them the lead in the first half, but Oliver Fink equalized early in the second half before Thomas Delaney made it 2-1. Fortuna’s Dodi Lukebakio missed a penalty kick after a long delay due to VAR, and had Adam Bodzak sent off before Mario Gotze scored to make it 3-1. Fortuna made it 3-2 in stoppage time through Dawid Kownacki but Dortmund held on amid emotional scenes for Pulisic on his farewell to Dortmund’s home fans.

Now what?

Bayern host Eintracht Frankfurt on the final day of the season knowing a draw will be enough (they have a +17 goal difference advantage over Dortmund) to secure a seventh-straight league title but Frankfurt will likely need a win to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League. Dortmund must win at Borussia Monchengladbach, who also need a win to try and secure a top four finish, on the final day and hope Frankfurt beat Bayern.

Elsewhere on Saturday Monchengladbach secured a huge win to boost their hopes of finishing in the top four, while Stuttgart won to secure their spot in the relegation playoff as Nurnberg’s relegation to the 2. Bundesliga was confirmed.

Below are the results from Saturday’s eight games in full, with one game on Sunday between Eintracht Frankfurt and Mainz.


Bundesliga Saturday results, Week 33

Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Fortuna Dusseldorf
RB Leipzig 0-0 Bayern Munich
Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Schalke
Hannover 3-0 Freiburg
Hoffenheim 1-0 Werder Bremen
VFB Stuttgart 3-0 Wolfsburg
Augusburg 3-4 Hertha Berlin
Nurnberg 0-4 Monchengladbach

Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 17

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The power rankings are back, and things are starting to look a bit settled… at least in terms of the Top Five.

[ ARCHIVE: Premier League club power rankings ]


20. Fulham — Claudio Ranieri and Aleksandar Mitrovic will be happy to see Newcastle on the fixture list, but can they solve Benitez’s sneaky good defense?
Last week: 19
Season high: 11
Season low: 20

19. Huddersfield Town —Four-straight losses have David Wagner‘s men just a point off the very bottom.
Last week: 16
Season high: 16
Season low: 20

18. Burnley — What’s happened to Chris Wood? Just one goal this season. The Clarets now turn to stumbling Arsenal after a 1-0 loss to Spurs.
Last week: 18
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

17. Southampton  — A four-game stretch in which three matches were against Top Six contenders, and Saints have managed four points. That’s cool, though the loss to Cardiff is still stinging a bunch.
Last week: 20
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

16. Cardiff City  — There’s a lot of life in the Bluebirds, though the worries have looked more about their back line than their attack in recent weeks.
Last week: 15
Season high: 15
Season low: 20

15. Crystal Palace — Selhurst Park is often a tough place to play, and even in strife the Eagles have held up their end of the bargain at home in recent weeks.
Last week: 17
Season high: 6
Season low: 17

14. Bournemouth  — A real test with Brighton, in that the Cherries have done poorly against good teams but mostly fared well against the bad. Here’s a team on their proverbial level.
Last week: 12
Season high: 6
Season low: 14

13. Newcastle United  — The only explanation for their run of form given the sad lack of investment in the squad is that Rafa Benitez is a warlock.
Last week: 13
Season high: 13
Season low: 19

12. Leicester City  — Perhaps no team needs a break more than the Foxes given their season on-and-off the pitch. Unfortunately we’re set for the festive season.
Last week: 9
Season high: 7
Season low: 13

11. Watford — Predicting the Hornets is about as straight-forward as the maze from “The Shining,” so let’s just ask how much better they’d be had they not loaned Dodi Lukebakio to RB Leipzig.
Last week: 13
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

10. Brighton and Hove Albion — Hung tough with Chelsea, and can get redemption for the Burnley loss by beating up a struggling Bournemouth.
Last week: 11
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

9. Manchester United — Nothing to see here, just pure and unbridled humiliation against your rivals.
Last week: 6
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

8. Everton — No shame in losing at Man City, especially because Everton deserved better than the 3-1 score line, but we’re still remembering that disappointing draw with Watford.
Last week: 7
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

7. Wolves — Three on the bounce ahead of a Friday afternoon test with Liverpool… and we know Wolves have been known to hang with the big boys.
Last week: 10
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

6. West Ham United *New season high* — Four-straight league wins, all with multiple goals and two of them on the road. We knew the fixtures were setting up for the Irons to make a run, but Manuel Pellegrini‘s men are making it look easy. Now a test: A visit from a Watford side capable of great football.
Last week: 11
Season high: 9
Season low: 20

5. Arsenal — Losing to Southampton is a surefire way to drop, but it’s difficult to slip them behind West Ham. That said, the Gunners have been largely disappointing since their North London Derby win.
Last week: 5
Season high: 2
Season low: 9

4. Chelsea — A nice win at Brighton, even if that sort of thing is expected from the Blues.
Last week: 4
Season high: 1
Season low: 5

3. Tottenham Hotspur — In five games across all competitions, only Ousmane Dembele has found a way to score on Mauricio Pochettino‘s men. Not too shabby. Oh, and a bit of vengeance.
Last week: 3
Season high: 2
Season low: 8

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

2. Man City — The 3-1 defeat of Everton was not nearly what the scoreline says. Could Man City really be creeping toward a season low? A visit from Palace is next.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 2

1. Liverpool — Six-straight league wins is nice, but humiliating your rival and getting one of the most infuriating managers of all-time fired? That’s memorable stuff.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 4

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern falls, Eintracht rises, USMNT’s Wright debuts

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Goals, goals, goals: The Bundesliga returned from international break with a fury, with only 1-0 in the seven matches staged Friday and Saturday.

[ MORE: Spurs thump Chelsea ]

The fact that a 2-1 win from leaders Borussia Dortmund gets pushed down to the “Elsewhere” portion of our wrap-up shows you the nutty nature of the day.

Bayern Munich 3-3 Fortuna Dusseldorf

Bayern is now nine points off of first place BVB following a Dodi Lukebakio-inspired loss at the Allianz Arena.

Thomas Muller scored twice as Bayern held 2-0 and 3-1 leads, the latter with just over a half-hour to play.

But Lukebakio finished off his hat trick with goals in the 77th minute and third minute of stoppage time to send Bayern’s winless league run to three matches.

Augsburg 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt

There’s a new second place side, at least until Sunday, as Eintracht built a three-goal lead starting with a first minute goal from Canadian midfielder Jonathan De Guzman. Star strikers Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic also scored in the win.

Schalke 5-2 Nurnberg

It was 2-1 to the hosts when Nurnberg went down a man through Robery Bauer’s second yellow card. Schalke took further control through Guido Burgstaller, and scored twice in the final 10 minutes to salt away a fourth win of the season.

American winger Haji Wright made his Schalke senior debut in the 88th minute, getting three touches and completing both of his passes in the cameo. The 20-year-old has six goals and three assists for Schalke II, earning his first spot in a match day 18 since 2017.

Elsewhere
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Stuttgart — Friday
Mainz 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Wolfsburg 1-0 RB Leipzig
Hertha Berlin 3-3 Hoffenheim
Freiburg vs. Werder Bremen — 
9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Hannover 96 — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Borussia Dortmund 12 9 3 0 35 13 22 5-1-0 4-2-0 30
 Eintracht Frankfurt 12 7 2 3 29 14 15 3-1-1 4-1-2 23
 Mönchengladbach 11 7 2 2 26 13 13 5-0-0 2-2-2 23
 RB Leipzig 12 6 4 2 22 10 12 4-2-0 2-2-2 22
 Bayern Munich 12 6 3 3 23 17 6 2-3-1 4-0-2 21
 1899 Hoffenheim 12 6 2 4 27 18 9 3-1-2 3-1-2 20
 Werder Bremen 11 5 2 4 19 19 0 2-2-2 3-0-2 17
 Hertha BSC Berlin 12 4 5 3 19 20 -1 3-2-1 1-3-2 17
 VfL Wolfsburg 12 4 3 5 16 17 -1 2-2-3 2-1-2 15
 FSV Mainz 05 12 4 3 5 11 14 -3 3-2-2 1-1-3 15
 Bayer Leverkusen 12 4 2 6 18 24 -6 2-1-3 2-1-3 14
 FC Augsburg 12 3 4 5 20 21 -1 1-3-2 2-1-3 13
 SC Freiburg 11 3 4 4 15 19 -4 2-2-2 1-2-2 13
 FC Schalke 04 12 4 1 7 13 17 -4 3-0-3 1-1-4 13
 1. FC Nürnberg 12 2 4 6 13 29 -16 2-2-2 0-2-4 10
 Hannover 96 11 2 3 6 14 22 -8 2-1-2 0-2-4 9
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 12 2 3 7 13 28 -15 2-0-4 0-3-3 9
 VfB Stuttgart 12 2 2 8 8 26 -18 1-1-3 1-1-5 8

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern perfect; USMNT’s Morales leads Fortuna win

AP Photo/Matthias Schrade
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Six Bundesliga teams remain unbeaten through three matches in league play to start the season, and it could be seven on Sunday if Werder Bremen keeps Nurnberg amongst the group six without wins.

[ MORE: Man Utd beats Watford ]

Bayern Munich 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen

An early penalty raised eyebrows, but the perennial champions removed the alarm as Corentin Tolisso and Arjen Robben had Bayern on top by the end of the 19th minute. James Rodriguez scored in the 89th minute salt away the win, moving Bayern to 3-0 in league play under Niko Kovac.

Bayer is now 0-3 to start the Bundesliga season.

Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-1 Hoffenheim

USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales scored his first Bundesliga goal since Dec. 2016, and his new club Fortuna Dusseldorf scooped up its first win of this stint in Germany’s top flight. Dodi Lukebakio scored the winner with an 88th minute penalty kick after Arsenal loanee Reiss Nelson equalized for the visitors.

RB Leipzig 3-2 Hannover 96

Timo Werner scored in each half and Yussuf Poulsen also scored for RBL, a much needed first win after a draw and loss in the first two matches.

Elsewhere
Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt — Friday
Mainz 2-1 Augsburg
Wolfsburg 2-2 Hertha Berlin
Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 Schalke
Werder Bremen vs. Nurnberg
Freiburg vs. Stuttgart

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 3 3 0 0 9 2 7 2-0-0 1-0-0 9
 Borussia Dortmund 3 2 1 0 7 2 5 2-0-0 0-1-0 7
 VfL Wolfsburg 3 2 1 0 7 4 3 1-1-0 1-0-0 7
 Hertha BSC Berlin 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 1-0-0 1-1-0 7
 Mönchengladbach 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 2-0-0 0-1-0 7
 FSV Mainz 05 3 2 1 0 4 2 2 2-0-0 0-1-0 7
 Werder Bremen 2 1 1 0 3 2 1 0-1-0 1-0-0 4
 FC Augsburg 3 1 1 1 4 4 0 0-1-0 1-0-1 4
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 3 1 1 1 4 4 0 1-0-1 0-1-0 4
 RB Leipzig 3 1 1 1 5 7 -2 1-1-0 0-0-1 4
 1899 Hoffenheim 3 1 0 2 5 6 -1 1-0-0 0-0-2 3
 Eintracht Frankfurt 3 1 0 2 4 5 -1 0-0-1 1-0-1 3
 Hannover 96 3 0 2 1 3 4 -1 0-1-0 0-1-1 2
 1. FC Nürnberg 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1 0-1-0 0-0-1 1
 FC Schalke 04 3 0 0 3 2 6 -4 0-0-1 0-0-2 0
 SC Freiburg 2 0 0 2 1 5 -4 0-0-1 0-0-1 0
 VfB Stuttgart 2 0 0 2 0 4 -4 0-0-1 0-0-1 0
 Bayer Leverkusen 3 0 0 3 2 8 -6 0-0-1 0-0-2 0

BUNDESLIGA 2018-19: Guide to the promoted teams

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BERLIN (AP) A look at Fortuna Dusseldorf and Nurnberg, the promoted teams preparing for their return to the Bundesliga this weekend.

Dusseldorf hosts Augsburg and Nurnberg visits Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

[ MORE: Americans in Bundesliga 2018-19 ]

FORTUNA DUSSELDORF

Dusseldorf is back as second-division champion after beating Nurnberg 3-2 on the final day of last season.

Experienced coach Friedhelm Funkel stabilized the side after arriving in March 2016 and led the club to a sixth promotion in his second season.

Founded in 1895, Dusseldorf last played in the Bundesliga in 2013. The club’s fortunes have been mixed since it won the German championship in 1933. Its best days came with German Cup wins in 1979 and 1980. Of all the sides in the Bundesliga, only Hertha (1892) and Stuttgart (1893) have been around longer.

Rouwen Hennings finished as the team’s leading scorer last season with 13 goals in 33 appearances. The club has not made any big signings, but forward Dodi Lukebakio has arrived on loan from Watford, striker Marvin Ducksch was signed from Holstein Kiel and midfielder Matthias Zimmermann from Stuttgart.

NURNBERG

Eight-time German champion Nurnberg is back in the Bundesliga after a four-year absence.

Michael Koellner is enjoying his first coaching role after being promoted from Nurnberg’s reserve side in May 2017. A qualified dental assistant, the 48-year-old Koellner worked for 15 years with the German soccer federation before turning to coaching. He also co-write a book, “Your way to becoming a football professional,” for young players, parents and coaches.

Nurnberg captain Hanno Behrens is the team’s driving force, chipping in 14 goals last season from midfield. Swedish striker Mikael Ishak added another 12 for a team that finished with 12 different scorers.

Added to the mix for this season is Japanese striker Yuya Kubo, signed on loan from Belgian side Gent.

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