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Sporting wins late, stays perfect in Portuguese league

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Dutch striker Bas Dost converted a 90th-minute penalty and Sporting Lisbon defeated Feirense 3-2 on Friday for its fifth straight victory to start the Portuguese league.

Sporting took a 2-0 lead with goals by Sebastian Coates in the 62nd and Bruno Fernandes in the 64th, but the hosts equalized with Joao Silva in the 69th and Etebo in the 80th.

[ PREVIEW: Manchester City vs. Liverpool on Saturday ]

The late victory left Sporting two points in front of defending champion Benfica, which edged Portimonense 2-1 after the referee used video review to annul an 88th-minute equalizer for the visitors.

Sporting is three points in front of FC Porto, which hosts Chaves on Saturday.

Porto is the only other team to have won all of its matches.

Bas Dost, with two more goals today, is eating the Bundesliga alive

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Bas Dost has two more goals today. And that’s not even the half of it.

Wolfsburg came back from a 1-goal deficit three different times, and the pair of goals from the 25-year-old Dutch striker provided the first lead that Die Wolfe never relented.

They are Dost’s 12th and 13th goals of the season, in 12 appearances. He has eight goals in his last three Bundesliga games, nine in his last four, and 11 in six. Throw in all competitions, and Dost has 11 goals in his last six games. And the numbers back up the mind-blowing goals tally.

Dost has more goals in the 2015 calendar year than Cristiano Ronaldo, Arjen Robben, and every Bundesliga team but two (Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund). Over his last seven Bundesliga matches, Dost has registered a stellar 82% shot accuracy, missing just three times in 17, and only has one blocked shot during that span. And most recently, Dost has scored nine goals on his last 10 shots!

For you stats nerds, this note about Dost’s expected goals to actual goals ratio is particularly eye-popping:

With Alexandre Lacazette’s goal storm brought to a screeching halt by injury, Dost is without a doubt the most in-form goalscorer in European soccer at the moment. As a result, Wolfsburg hasn’t lost since November 27 – a game in which Dost did not play – and has won five of its last six league games. Across all competitions, Dost has 18 appearances this season, and Wolfsburg has won 14 and drawn four – yes, that means no losses.

Obviously this ridiculous pace isn’t sustainable, but his form certainly is. With Andre Schurrle and a red-hot Kevin de Bruyne feeding him chances, it doesn’t look like anything aside from injury or suspension can stop the 25-year-old. Great news for Wolfsburg. Great news for the Bunesdliga.

Top Two power: Bas Dost scores four for Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich lights up Hamburg for eight

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We couldn’t even wait for the Bundesliga wrap post later today, because oh my goodness what a morning!

Three of the teams top teams were in play on Saturday morning, with two engaging in an absolute thriller while the third totally stomped relegation-threatened Hamburg.

[ RELATED: U.S. teen Pulisic trains with Dortmund’s first team ]

Bayern Munich 8-0 Hamburg

If there are any doubts about form, Bayern Munich squashed them by rolling over Hamburg.

Three players recorded a brace for the table-toppers, who started scoring in the 21st minute and kept it coming into the 88th.

Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben and Mario Gotze were the multi-goal scorers, while Robert Lewandowsi and Franck Ribery also scored (Yes, all five of those players are on the same club).

And yes, Lewandowski is an important part of the attack (which outshot Hamburg 25-7):


Bayer Leverkusen 4-5 Wolfsburg

Meanwhile, few players are going as well as the No. 2 squad’s No. 1 striker. Bas Dost helped Wolfburg pick up a 5-4 win on the road at Bundesliga powers Bayer Leverkusen.Son Heung-Min scored thrice for Bayer, and how often is it that a player scores a hat trick and is upstaged?

Well, it happened today, as Dost netted four.

It was 3-0 at halftime on a pair of goals from Dost when Bayer begin an incredible 15-minute sequence that saw the match tied at 4. The match looked destined to be a well-earned draw for both sides when Dost got on the end of a Vieirinha cross and put it into the bottom left corner. 5-4.

Wolfsburg hasn’t lost with Dost in the lineup since an Aug. 22 defeat at Bayern Munich, and he’s scored eight goals in his last five matches to give him 9 goals in 10 Bundesliga starts.

Bayer misses a chance to move fourth, while Wolfsburg stays 8 points back of Bayern Munich.

Bundesliga wrap: Wolfsburg ends Bayern’s unbeaten dreams, USMNT’s Johnson strong


The Bundesliga was away from us for far too long, but it returned bearing gifts this weekend.

Beginning with Friday’s shocking blowout of Bayern Munich by Wolfsburg, Germany’s top flight delivered with goals and table movement.

[ MORE: Premier League roundup ]

And to think, we’ve still a pair of Sunday matches on the slate. Let’s go through what’s done and dusted.

Wolfsburg 4-1 Bayern Munich

Kevin De Bruyne was the Man of the Match, and Bas Dost matched his brace as the hosts ended Bayern’s dream of an unbeaten Bundesliga season with a stunning 4-1 win.

source: Getty ImagesIn what was an even-enough game outside of the finishing, Wolfsburg sent four balls past Manuel Neuer.

The match moves second-place Wolfsburg to within 8 points of Bayern. De Bruyne says the club played with great courage:

I know how things work and now everyone will be talking about us beating Bayern, and that’s great. We can enjoy the win for the next two days but we only collected three points after all. Of course it was nice to put on such a great performance against Bayern of all teams. The key was being fearless and putting ourselves on the front foot. We did that really well.

Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Borussia Dortmund

BVB is still languishing on the bottom of the table, but can take heart from a strong performance at a good Bayer Leverkusen squad.

Dortmund won more tackles and took more shots than the hosts, who are now a point back of third-place. Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach leapt over Leverkusen on the day.

Stuttgart 0-1 Borussia Monchengladbach

USMNT player Fabian Johnson played an influential 90 minutes in Monchengladbach’s big move into third place. He covered 12 kilometers, took a team-best four shots, won nine tackles and completed 23 passes (only missing two).

Patrick Herrmann, 23, scored the winner in the 71st minute, pushing a hard shot off the hand of a Stuttgart defender and into the goal.


Freiberg 4-1 Eintracht Frankfurt — Substitute Nils Petersen’s hat trick snaps deadlock in style. USMNT’s Timmy Chandler on for all four goals.
Schalke 1-0 Hannover —
 Marco Hoger’s 32nd minute goal holds up.
Mainz 5-0 Paderborn —
Yunus Malli scores the first two in blowout
Hamburger 0-2 Koln —
Marcel Risse scores both goals.
Werder Bremen vs. Hertha Berlin — 
930am ET Sunday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — 1130am ET Sunday


Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Bayern Munich 18 14 3 1 42 8 34 9-0-0 5-3-1 45
VfL Wolfsburg 18 11 4 3 37 18 19 8-2-0 3-2-3 37
Mönchen 18 8 6 4 26 16 10 5-3-1 3-3-3 30
FC Schalke 04 18 9 3 6 29 21 8 6-3-1 3-0-5 30
Bayer Leverkusen 18 7 8 3 28 20 8 4-6-0 3-2-3 29
FC Augsburg 17 9 0 8 22 21 1 6-0-2 3-0-6 27
1899 Hoffenheim 17 7 5 5 29 25 4 5-2-2 2-3-3 26
Hannover 96 18 7 3 8 21 27 -6 5-0-3 2-3-5 24
Eintracht Frankfurt 18 6 5 7 35 38 -3 4-2-3 2-3-4 23
1. FC Köln 18 6 4 8 19 23 -4 1-3-4 5-1-4 22
FSV Mainz 05 18 4 9 5 24 23 1 3-4-2 1-5-3 21
SC Paderborn 18 4 7 7 21 31 -10 3-4-2 1-3-5 19
SC Freiburg 18 3 9 6 21 26 -5 2-5-2 1-4-4 18
Hertha BSC Berlin 17 5 3 9 24 35 -11 4-1-4 1-2-5 18
Hamburger SV 18 4 5 9 9 21 -12 3-2-4 1-3-5 17
Werder Bremen 17 4 5 8 26 39 -13 3-3-2 1-2-6 17
VfB Stuttgart 18 4 5 9 20 33 -13 1-2-6 3-3-3 17
Borussia Dortmund 18 4 4 10 18 26 -8 3-2-3 1-2-7 16

Bundesliga giving more room to Bayern Munich

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It’s becoming increasingly difficult to see a race in the Bundlesliga.

Bayern Munich came into the weekend with an 11-point lead after being drawn at home last week by the defending champions Borussia Dortmund, and although they’ll finished the weekend’s 16th round with the same lead, slips by two of their potential challengers gave Munchen an even greater grip on the title.

In Dortmund, a 35th minute sending off of defender Marcel Schmelzer allowed Wolfsburg’s Diego to equalize from the spot. BVB was even, 1-1, but left to play the rest of the match with 10 men. Six minutes later, Naldo put Wolfsburg ahead, and although Jakub Blaszczykowski pulled Dortmund even near the hour mark, Bas Dost’s seventh league goal gave Wolfsburg the upset.

After the match, referee Wolfgang Stark conceded that upset should have never happened. Or, more readily, he conceded the game shouldn’t have played out the way it did, admitting that he erroneously sent off Schmelzer for a hand ball on the goal line when replays showed the ball hit his leg.

“I’ve looked at it again later and unfortunately it was an error of perception on my part,” Stark said.

“I’m sorry, that should not happen. The penalty and the red card were a mistake on my part. That’s annoying.”

Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp’s assessment was less forgiving.

“We were 1-0 ahead and Wolfsburg had no chance and then comes the game-winning move. It was a brutal decision.”

Another potential title dark horse, Schalke, was undone by their own red card, though when Jermaine Jones got himself sent off, the Miners were already down two. Vedad Ibisevic’s hat trick gave Stuttgart a 3-1 win and dropped Schalke to fifth place, winless in league since Oct. 11.

“Things are going wrong for us,” Schalke defender Benedikt Hoewedes said post-match. “We dropped an early goal. We were then the better team but lacked ideas after conceding the second goal.”

After Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win at Augsburg, Schalke is 16 points back of Munchen. Dortmund trails by 14. In between them and Bayern is second place Bayer Leverkusen, but even they are 11 points out.

All it takes is one bad Bayern run for Leverkusen to make up some of that distance, but there’s little hint Munchen’s going to allow that. After today’s win, they’re 13-1-2, have a +37 goal difference, and have only allow six goals. For there to be a race in the Bundesliga, Bayern will have to descend to a level of performance we’ve yet to see.

We discussed it earlier this year, but for the second time in three seasons, it appears Germany’s title race will be over before winter break. Two years ago, it was Dortmund lapping the field, and although Jurgen Klopp’s team regressed in the second half of the season, there was little drama in the title race. Bayern has been even more dominant than Dortmund was in 2010-11.

With all of Germany’s teams still alive in Champions and Europa League, there’s plenty of drama left in the season for a Bundesliga fan. In league, however, the only drama will be the fight for Champions League spots. Today, Schalke’s out of the top four, but most would assume Huub Stevens’ team will correct course and pass Eintracht Frankfurt at some point (even if Stevens isn’t around to see it). Bayer has shown enough quality to make a top four finish probable, while it would be a major upset if Dortmund, a team that’s shown so well in this year’s Champions League, fails to finish in the top four.

All that’s left in Germany is to play out those Champions League races and to see how good Bayern can be. They’re on pace to set records for points and goals allowed. They even have some room for regression in their current pace. But although we all can admire greatness, are those records enough to maintain interest in this Bundesliga season? Especially as teams start to drop out of European competition?