After 15 weeks of the Bundesliga season, Borussia Dortmund had a surprising nine-point lead on perennial winners Bayern Munich.
On Sunday, BVB could trail that same Bayern side by four with three matches to play if the Bavarians do as expected and defeat 17th place Nurnberg.
[ RECAP: Watford 1-2 Wolves ]
Make no mistake: This is a notable collapse, and it now includes a 9-man home loss to one of BVB’s fiercest rivals on top of the smashing at the hands of Bayern in Der Klassiker. The latest loss also happens to let said rivals, Schalke, off the hook for a possible relegation playoff date.
Borussia Dortmund 2-4 Schalke
Dortmund went to Gelsenkirchen earlier this season and scored a 2-1 Revierderby win, but the tables were turned in a big way on Saturday.
Lucien Favre’s men lost for the third time in eight matches to extend a four-month slide which has seen BVB take 30 of 48 points while Bayern has dropped exactly four in the same period of time.
American winger Christian Pulisic came off the bench with 12 minutes left and BVB already down to nine men, while his USMNT pal Weston McKennie had an okay day in the middle of the park for Schalke. McKennie was credited with 10 tackles over 72 minutes.
This one started well enough, with Mario Gotze briefly putting the hosts back atop the table in the 14th minute. Schalke, however used a pair of Daniel Caligiuri goals and a Salif Sane marker to build a 3-1 lead.
Marco Reus was sent off with the score 2-1, and Marius Wolf saw red five minutes later, just after Schalke went ahead by two.
Axel Witsel pulled BVB back to within one in the 84th minute, but Breel Embolo’s goal two minutes later put the result away for Dortmund.
RB Leipzig 2-1 Freiburg
Timo Werner scored his fourth goal in his last six league games, and Emil Forsberg converted a late penalty as RBL firmed up third place in the Bundesliga.
Augsburg 1-4 Bayer Leverkusen — Friday
Stuttgart 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
Fortuna Dusseldorf 4-1 Werder Bremen
Hannover 96 1-0 Mainz
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Hertha Berlin
Hoffenheim v. Wolfsburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Nurnberg v. Bayern Munich — Noon ET Sunday
|Hertha BSC Berlin||31||9||10||12||41||48||-7||5-6-4||4-4-8||37|
|FSV Mainz 05||31||10||6||15||37||52||-15||7-4-4||3-2-11||36|
|FC Schalke 04||31||8||6||17||36||54||-18||4-1-10||4-5-7||30|
|1. FC Nürnberg||30||3||9||18||24||56||-32||3-6-6||0-3-12||18|