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Bundesliga wrap: Alcacer, BVB stays hot; Lewandowski feasts again

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Borussia Dortmund moved to a league-best 20 points on Saturday, ensuring that we’ll have a table leader not named Bayern Munich when the calendar turns to November.

[ VIDEO: Mourinho reacts to taunting, skirmish ]


Stuttgart 0-4 Borussia Dortmund

It’s been a very good time to be a supporter or member of Borussia Dortmund, who leads the table after another convincing win.

Red-hot Paco Alcacer now has seven goals in four Bundesliga matches after scoring the third goal on Saturday, while Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, and Marvin Philipp also scored for the visitors.

USMNT winger Christian Pulisic returned to the fold for BVB, subbing into the match and providing an assist on Philipp’s 85th minute marker.

Schalke 0-2 Werder Bremen

Josh Sargent wasn’t on the bench for the visitors, but American teammate Weston McKennie did start for the hosts. McKennie covered the second-most ground in the contest, winning 14 tackles. He converted 19 of 24 passes and did not register a shot.

Unfortunately, the match wasn’t much to write home about for his side. Bremen got goals from Maximilian Egglestein on each side of halftime to grab another win on the young season.

Wolfsburg 1-3 Bayern Munich

Niko Kovac will be happy to get a decisive win after the international break, with James Rodriguez and Robert Lewandowski scoring in the win. Lewandowski’s brace included an absolute gift.

For Wolfsburg, USMNT center back John Brooks won tackles and completed 48 of his 53 passes, while Wout Weghorst scored its lone goal.

Elsewhere
Eintracht Frankfurt 7-1 Fortuna Dusseldorf — RECAP
Augsburg 0-0 RB Leipzig
Nurmberg 1-3 Hoffenheim
Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Hannover 96
Hertha Berlin vs. Freiburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Mainz — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

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

Paco Alcacer making most of 2nd chance with Spain

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Close to seeing his career stagnate, Paco Alcacer is making the most of a second chance to become Spain’s top striker.

Alcacer scored twice in his first appearance for Spain in two-and-a-half years to lead a 4-1 away win at Wales in a friendly last week.

[ MORE: Salah injury update ]

On Monday, the former Barcelona player will likely feature again when Spain hosts England in Seville seeking a second win over Gareth Southgate‘s team in the incipient Nations League.

“I’m happy that I was able to help the team by doing what we strikers are supposed to, which is provide goals,” Alcacer said after Thursday’s match in Cardiff. “I just have to keep this good dynamic going.”

The 25-year-old Alcacer has been rejuvenated since leaving Barcelona on loan for Borussia Dortmund in August, a turnaround that has ended a hiatus from Spain’s national team that was in danger of becoming a permanent adios.

Previous to his two goals for Spain against Wales, Alcacer had scored seven times in a four-match scoring run for Dortmund. That streak included netting a spectacular hat trick that he completed on the last kick of the game for a 4-3 win over Augsburg.

Ironically, Alcacer’s slide toward oblivion at Barcelona began under current Spain coach Luis Enrique when he was condemned to a reserve role behind the superstar trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez in 2016-17.

Not even Neymar’s departure at the start of last season changed the situation at Camp Nou for Alcacer. Favoring other players, new coach Ernesto Valverde gave him fewer appearances than Luis Enrique.

So Alcacer decided that his best option was to leave Spain and try his luck in Germany.

And it turned out that Alcacer just needed a chance to play.

With his brace against Wales, Alcacer showed his leading quality as a striker. He is not the fastest, the strongest, nor the slickest passer; he is a pure goal scorer who excels at putting one-touch shots in-between the posts.

Against Wales, Alcacer fired a rising right-footed shot into the near corner for the lead- and his first goal with Spain since Oct. 2015. He then put the win beyond doubt by poaching a clearance in the area to make it 3-0.

“Alcacer is playing superbly because he is on a scoring streak, but overall his attitude has been marvelous,” said Luis Enrique, who called Alcacer up to fill the void left by the injured Diego Costa.

Alcacer was not supposed to need a comeback story.

Four years ago, former Spain manager Vicente del Bosque considered Alcacer, along with Alvaro Morata, as his strikers of the future. The then Valencia player led Spain in qualifying for the 2016 European championship with five goals, but when he struggled to score for his club in the run-up to the tournament Del Bosque dropped him from his squad.

Banished to the bench following his move to Barcelona from Valencia, Alcacer was also ignored by Julen Lopetegui in his two-year tenure that took Spain to last summer’s World Cup.

Circumstances, however, have put Alcacer in good position to now succeed for “La Roja.”

While competition remains fierce in the positions of midfielder and playmaker for Spain, the striker job is up for grabs.

Long gone are the days when David Villa and Fernando Torres flourished up front for the 2010 world champions, as both Costa and Morata have failed to show they can be counted on for goals.

Alcacer said that he had been preparing for this return to his best form.

“It’s about several things,” he said, “about getting on a hot streak, about self-confidence, about having playing time, and, above all, about working each day when you are not playing so you can be ready.”

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Bundesliga: Bayern lose; BVB win on last kick; McKennie, Wood score

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BERLIN (AP) Bayern Munich slumped to another defeat in the Bundesliga as Borussia Moenchengladbach pounded the defending champion 3-0 on Saturday.

[ MORE: What did we learn in the Premier League, Week 8? ]

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund maintained its unbeaten start in dramatic fashion.

Bayern, beaten by Hertha Berlin last weekend, was bidding to end a three-game run without a win, but the latest loss will pile the pressure on Niko Kovac and call into question his ongoing tenure as coach.

“We’re making too many individual mistakes and these are causing uncertainty in the team,” Kovac said.

Bayern started the season with seven wins across all competitions, but has dropped to fifth after seven rounds of the league, four points behind Dortmund.

[ PL PREVIEW: Liverpool, Man City set for title showdown at Anfield ]

Gladbach striker Alassane Plea capped a fine team move by eluding Niklas Suele and curling his shot from distance beyond Manuel Neuer inside the far post in the 10th.

Just six minutes later, Lars Stindl left Mats Hummels standing and made it 2-0. Jonas Hofmann played the final pass for both goals.

Kovac brought on Franck Ribery and Serge Gnabry in a bid to shake a response from his side at the break, but `Gladbach maintained its grip of the game.

Robert Lewandowski had a goal ruled out for offside, and Patrick Herrmann rubbed salt in Bayern’s wounds when he scored the third with minutes to play.


Dortmund substitute Paco Alcacer completed a hat trick with the last kick of the game for a 4-3 win over Augsburg.

The Spanish striker twice drew Dortmund level before Mario Goetze, another substitute, scored on his first league appearance of the season to make it 3-2 to Dortmund in the 84th minute.

Dortmund fans were already celebrating what they thought was another comeback win – the side came from two goals down to beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 last weekend — when Michael Gregoritsch replied for the visitors with a header from a corner for 3-3.

Dortmund’s final chance came after Sergio Cordova conceded a free kick for a brutal foul on Achraf Hakimi. Alcacer fired the set-piece over the Augsburg wall in the sixth minute of injury time.

“It’s fantastic, for the spectators, but also for us, because anything was possible – counterattacks, goals,” an emotional Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said.

“With this support behind us, the team has belief, it’s clear, but we always try to play, even if there are some things to be corrected, especially in defense.”

The win kept Favre’s side top of the league going into the international break.

The Swiss coach singled out Alcacer for praise.

“A very, very, very good transfer,” Favre said of the summer signing from Barcelona.

Alcacer has six goals in three league appearances, all of them as a substitute.


United States internationals Weston McKennie and Bobby Wood helped their sides to wins.

McKennie followed up his first goal in the Champions League on Wednesday with his first in the Bundesliga to set Schalke on its way to beating promoted Fortuna Duesseldorf 2-0.

It was Schalke’s third win in a week including the victory over Lokomotiv Moscow after it started the league with five defeats.

Wood scored twice in the first half to help Hannover climb off the bottom with a 3-1 win over Stuttgart.

 

Wood, who hadn’t scored for the club since his summer switch from relegated Hamburger SV, scored both with his head off crosses from Miiko Albornoz.

Also, Mainz held Hertha Berlin to 0-0.

England calls up new faces, Southgate deal confirmed

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Straight into the fire, boys.

Gareth Southgate is going to test some new faces in England’s UEFA Nations League matches in Croatia and Spain.

Confirming reports from Thursday, England also announced a new contract for Southgate which extends through the 2022 World Cup.

[ MORE: Atlanta eyes Almiron replacement ]

The FA chief executive, Martin Glenn, has lofty expectations for the program:

“We have great ambition. We will win a World Cup. We will win a Euros. We’re going to give ourselves the best possible chance with the players we have got. We want to see progress. We can feel progress. The public can sense and feel it. We want to see progress on and off the pitch.”

Derby County’s Mason Mount, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, Leicester City’s James Maddison, Spurs’ Harry Winks, and Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah are the fairly unusual names in the bunch.

Luke Shaw is back in the fold, the lone Manchester United player on the roster.

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Alex McCarthy (Southampton), Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham).

Defenders: John Stones (Man City), Kyle Walker (Man City), Kieran Trippier (Spurs), Danny Rose (Spurs), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Eric Dier (Spurs), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Derby County), Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford), James Maddison (Leicester City), Harry Winks (Spurs), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund).

Forwards: Harry Kane (Spurs), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Man City)

Champions League wrap: Atleti, BVB stay perfect

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Premier League clubs may not be enjoying their tournaments so far, but there’s no doubt the Champions League is entertaining all comers this season.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur both lost on Wednesday, while Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Barcelona stayed perfect.

Borussia Dortmund 3-0 AS Monaco

Paco Alcacer, Jacob Bruun Larsen, and Marco Reus entered this match in fine form, and all found the back of the goal in the second half as BVB went 2-0 in the UCL to join its table-topping start to the Bundesliga season.

Atletico Madrid 3-1 Club Brugge

Antoine Griezmann scored in each half and Koke added a stoppage time marker as Atleti joined BVB on six points. Arnaut Groeneveld scored Brugge’s goal.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Tottenham Hotspur 2-4 BarcelonaRECAP

Lionel Messi was full of magic, with two goals and a hand in the other two as Barca outlasted an industrious but injury-hit Spurs side at Wembley Stadium. Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho also scored, with Harry Kane and Erik Lamela on the board for the hosts.

PSV Eindhoven 1-2 Inter Milan

The Serie A visitors went behind on an outlandish Pablo Rosario goal, but Radja Nainggolan leveled the score before halftime and Mauro Icardi nabbed a 60th minute winner to put Inter level on points with Barcelona ahead of consecutive UCL match-ups.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Napoli 1-0 LiverpoolRECAP

Lorenzo Insigne’s 90th minute winner gave Napoli a deserved three points on a day they kept the dangerous Reds from recording a shot on target.

Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 Red Star BelgradeRECAP

Neymar’s hat trick was joined by three other stars on the score sheet, as Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria, and Kylian Mbappe all scored for Les Parisiens. Marko Marin‘s 74th minute goal came with his team down 5-0.

Lokomotiv Moscow 0-1 Schalke

USMNT youngster Weston McKennie scored his first senior goal for Schalke, potting an 88th minute header to give the German side a big win in Russia.

Porto 1-0 Galatasaray

Moussa Marega scored the lone goal as Porto joined Schalke on 4 points.