Bayern Munich is back into second place in the Bundesliga, six points back of Borussia Dortmund, and RB Leipzig is bidding to get back into the mix as both sides posted wins on Saturday.
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An American teen also scored in the RBL match, and that’s where we lead off our wrap.
RB Leipzig 3-2 Werder Bremen
Lukas Klostermann and Timo Werner gave the hosts a 2-0 lead after 45 minutes, but Max Kruse and American teenager Josh Sargent brought Bremen back level (video) with 13 minutes to play in Leipzig. Yet RBL substitute Bruma entered the game and made a quick impact of his own to move his club within sight of third on the table.
Stuttgart 1-3 Schalke
Struggling Schalke head into the winter break on a high note after goals from Steven Skrzybski, Ahmed Kutucu, and Salif Sane scored to move the visitors four points clear of the relegation places. USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie entered the match in the 59th minute, and saw a yellow card as well as three of the match’s four goals.
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Bayern Munich
Franck Ribery scored twice to give the 35-year-old goals in his last three Bundesliga games as Bayern moved back into second place on the table. Rafinha scored the other goal.
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Borussia Monchengladbach — Friday
Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Hertha Berlin
Hannover 96 0-1 Fortuna Dusseldorf
Nurnberg 0-1 Freiburg
Augsburg v. Wolfsburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Hoffenheim v. Mainz — Noon ET Sunday
David Alaba scored a beautiful goal as Bayern Munich pulled level with second place Borussia Monchengladbach, but the pair sit nine points back of outstanding Borussia Dortmund.
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Meanwhile, Stuttgart and Augsburg both moved away from the Bottom Three on Saturday in Germany.
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Werder Bremen
Paco Alcacer scored his 11th goal of the Bundesliga season to make it 1-0 in the 19th minute. He’s scored in eight of 10 league matches this season, and has a goal in the Champions League as well.
Marco Reus would double BVB’s advantage seven minutes later, but Max Kruse put the difference back to one by halftime.
Americans Christian Pulisic (BVB) and Josh Sargent (Bremen) began the match on the bench, with Sargent coming on for the final seven minutes and Pulisic in the 89th. Sargent was shown a yellow card.
Hannover 96 0-4 Bayern Munich
There were four different scorers for the visitors, but David Alaba’s wonder strike stands as the clear highlight.
The Austrian laid into a half-volley atop the 18, smashing the 29th minute effort toward the upper 90.
Hannover keeper Michael Esser saw the ball rocket off his fingers, as Alaba scored the second goal for Bayern. Joshua Kimmich opened the soring in the 2nd minute, and both Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski also found the scoresheet.
Nurnberg 0-2 Wolfsburg — Friday
Stuttgart 2-1 Hertha Berlin
Augsburg 1-1 Schalke
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-0 Freiburg
Hoffenheim 0-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
RB Leipzig vs. Mainz — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Bayer Leverkusen — Noon ET Sunday
BERLIN (AP) Borussia Dortmund kept its nine-point advantage over Bayern Munich with a 2-1 Ruhr derby win at Schalke in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
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Jadon Sancho sealed the unbeaten visitors’ 11th win from 14 games with a fine finish in the 74th minute, restoring Dortmund’s lead after Daniel Caligiuri equalized from the penalty spot. Thomas Delaney had given Dortmund an early lead.
Bayern, which is chasing an unprecedented seventh consecutive title, kept pace and moved second with a 3-0 win over promoted Nuremberg in their Bavarian Derby in Munich.
Also, Freiburg defeated Leipzig 3-0 at home, Bayer Leverkusen earned a 1-0 win at home over Augsburg, and Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim drew 2-2.
Hertha Berlin was hosting Eintracht Frankfurt later Saturday.
More AP Bundesliga coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/Bundesliga and https://twitter.com/AP- Sports
Borussia Dortmund continued its winning ways, while Niko Kovac and Bayern Munich may finally be pulling it all together for a worthwhile chase for the Bundesliga title.
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Hoffenheim 1-1 Schalke
Saturday will go down as an unforgettable one for California native Haji Wright, as the 20-year-old American center forward made his first Bundesliga start (a week after coming off the bench for his first senior appearance).
Wright played 70 minutes, leaving the match one minute after countryman Weston McKennie entered as a sub. Wright’s was industrious on the day but only managed 18 touches and 4-for-4 passing to go with his mileage up top.
As for Schalke, it answered in-form Andrej Kramaric‘s 59th minute goal with Nabil Bentaleb‘s 73rd minute marker to earn a point and move 11th.
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Freiburg
Speaking of Americans, the league-leading hosts’ Christian Pulisic missed this one with a calf injury. No problem, really, as Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer scored to move the table lead to seven points before second-place Gladbach plays Sunday.
Bayern Munich 2-1 Werder Bremen
The serial champions are third for the time-being following a Serge Gnabry double at the Allianz Arena.
Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-1 Mainz — Friday
Stuttgart 1-0 Augsburg
Hannover 96 0-2 Hertha Berlin
RB Leipzig vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Wolfsburg — Noon ET Sunday
Nurnberg vs. Bayer Leverkusen — 2:30 p.m. ET Monday
Niko Kovac’s Bayern Munich dropped points at home on Saturday, while Lucien Favre’s Borussia Dortmund found the goal it needed to get a win ahead of next Saturday’s big Der Klassiker at the Westfalenstadion.
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Bayern hosts AEK Athens in the Champions League on Wednesday while Dortmund visits Atletico Madrid a day earlier.
Bayern Munich 1-1 Freiburg
Lucas Holer’s 89th minute goal stunned the Allianz Arena, which had seen Bayern out-attempt the visitors 25-9 and hold Freiburg without a shot on target. Serge Gnabry‘s 80th minute goal was all the Bavarians could manage at home.
Wolfsburg 0-1 Borussia Dortmund
A very even game saw just one moment separate the two, as Jadon Sancho‘s cross soared over American center back John Brooks and Thomas Delaney headed back across goal for Marco Reus to head home.
BVB now has a four-point hold on the table lead in its bid to win a first title since 2012 and end Bayern’s six-season run as Bundesliga champions.
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Hertha Berlin 0-3 RB Leipzig
Timo Werner scored twice for the third time this season — he has zero goals in his other eight league matches — as RBL picked up three nice away points.
Matheus Cunha, 19, scored his first Bundesliga goal for RBL, who sits a point behind second place Bayern.
Stuttgart 0-3 Eintracht Frankfurt — Friday
Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Hoffenheim
Schalke 3-1 Hannover 96
Augsburg 2-2 Nurnberg
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Mainz vs. Werder Bremen — Noon ET Sunday