Hoffenheim

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Bundesliga: Dortmund title hopes take a hit with loss to Hoffenheim

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BERLIN (AP) Borussia Dortmund let a lead slip for the second consecutive game as Hoffenheim scored two late goals to win 2-1 in the Bundesliga on Friday.

Dortmund, which twice dropped a lead in allowing Leipzig to draw 3-3 on Tuesday, was again left to rue mistakes after Mario Gotze gave the visitors an early lead.

Sargis Adamyan equalized in the 79th minute and set up Andrej Kramaric for the winner in the 87th.

It was the ninth game from 17 so far in which Dortmund has dropped points, and it will cast a shadow over Lucien Favre’s team as it goes into the Bundesliga’s winter break.

Dortmund, which had declared a title challenge before the season, remained fourth, four points off the lead having played a game more and with the prospect of being overtaken by bitter rival Schalke on Saturday.

“We really needed three points here,” Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl said. “We’re bitterly disappointed.”

Gotze made the most of his rare start with the opening goal in the 17th. Much of it was down to Achraf Hakimi, who outpaced a Hoffenheim defender to reach Thorgan Hazard‘s through ball and cut it back for Gotze. Sebastian Rudy’s attempt to clear off the line came too late.

Robert Skov struck the crossbar with a free kick in the closest Hoffenheim came in the first half.

Dortmund missed a number of chances but seemed to have the game under control until it paid the price for becoming increasingly passive late on.

Bundesliga wrap: Five-way tie at the top as Bayern, others drop points

Photo by A. Beier/Getty Images for FC Bayern
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All the big boys failed in bids to get three points on Saturday, including a loss from the leaders of the Bundesliga.

That means five teams sit level on 14 points with 4W-2D-1L records, and that there’s only one unbeaten team in the league in 3W-3D Wolfsburg.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Borussia Monchengladbach can go atop the league with a win over Augsburg on Sunday. Failing that, Wolfsburg can go top with a defeat of Union Berlin.

Bayern Munich 1-2 Hoffenheim

Robert Lewandowski scored again, because of course he did, but the leaders couldn’t drag any of the seven goals they scored against Tottenham at midweek back to Germany.

Sargis Adamyan scored his first two Bundesliga goals, both in the second half, as Hoffenheim claimed a big one at the Allianz Arena.

Elsewhere

Hertha Berlin 3-1 Fortuna Dusseldorf — Friday
Freiburg 2-2 Borussia Dortmund
Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 RB Leipzig
Paderborn 1-2 Mainz
Schalke 1-1 Koln
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Augsburg — 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Wolfsburg v. Union Berlin — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Werder Bremen — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

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

Wolfsburg draws 1-1 to stay unbeaten in Bundesliga

RONNY HARTMANN/AFP/Getty Images
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WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) Wolfsburg maintained its unbeaten start to the Bundesliga with a 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim on Monday.

Sebastian Rudy scored his first goal for Hoffenheim since returning from Schalke to put the visitors ahead in the sixth minute, but Wout Weghorst set up Admir Mehmedi with a backheel for the equalizer in the 36th.

[ MORE: Messi win’s men’s honor, Man City shut out ]

It was Wolfsburg’s third consecutive 1-1 draw, dropping the side to eighth after five rounds, while Hoffenheim moved into 11th with five points.

Unbeaten Leipzig leads with 13 points after a 3-0 win at Werder Bremen on Saturday, while Bayern Munich is two points behind after its 4-0 win over Cologne. Borussia Dortmund is three points off the lead after a 2-2 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.

STANDINGS

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

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

Exactly who is Newcastle’s new $50M striker?

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Newcastle United’s club record signing of Joelinton is raising plenty of eyebrows, as fans try to grasp what they have in the $50 million Brazilian.

Suffice it to say that there isn’t an easy comparison.

The soon-to-be 23-year-old scored seven goals with five assists in Bundesliga play for Hoffenheim last season, adding four and two from Champions League and German Cup play.

[ MORE: Man Utd chase Pepe, Fernandes ]

He’s a unit, to be sure, at 6-foot-1 with tremendous leaping ability and a powerful stride. Joelinton certainly has the ability to dominate in the air and hold the ball up like Newcastle’s loan star Salomon Rondon in 2018-19, but he brings better passing than most center forwards.

There’s a temptation to compare him to Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, another Premier League import from Brazil via Hoffenheim, as Joe Prince-Wright wrote in his morning post about the impending deal.

Firmino was on another level in 2014-15, coming off a remarkably complete seasons for a center forward. He also shoots more often than Joelinton.

What Newcastle supporters will like from Joelinton, what makes him unique for his size, is that he’s a tremendous dribbler. He has trickery to go with his pace, not strictly a locomotive.

His season didn’t have the goals, the Toon will hope, because he was supplying wingers Andrej Kramaric (17 goals) and Ishak Belfodil (16). That could be music to the ears of Miguel Almiron and… whoever else Steve Bruce has to deploy (Yoshinori Muto? Jacob Murphy?).

Joelinton also played less than minutes than the following three comparables: West Ham import Sebastien Haller, Watford target Ismalia Sarr, and Wolves star Raul Jimenez.

Will he be worth the spend? The six-year deal promises profit potential — something Mike Ashley and chief scout Graham Carr are clearly targeting — if he explodes and earns the admiration of bigger sides. As for now, he should be able to provide what Rondon did in 2018-19.

Newcastle close to $50 million Joelinton signing

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Newcastle United’s fans are about to have a new hero.

Brazilian forward Joelinton is on Tyneside and is undergoing a medical ahead of a club-record $50 million transfer from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.

According to our partners Sky Sports, Joelinton, 22, is finalizing his move to St James’ Park and will become Steve Bruce‘s first signings as Magpies boss.

Much-maligned owner Mike Ashley has promised to reinvest the money Newcastle bring in via transfer fees back into the playing squad, and this move would not only prove that but also suggests he could stick around as a potential sale of the club continues to drag on.

Newcastle’s need for a new striker is clear for all to see as they’ve lost top goalscorer from last season, Salomon Rondon, who returned to parent club West Brom after his loan and has since joined former Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez at Dalian Yifang in China.

With Ayoze Perez sold to Leicester City for $40 million, Bruce badly needed attacking reinforcements and Joelinton’s impending arrival is a huge deal, as the previous club-record transfer was the $27 million they paid for Miguel Almiron in January.

Maybe this will lift some of the gloom which has hung over Newcastle this offseason…

Does Joelinton fit the bill? He scored 11 goals in 33 outings for Hoffenheim last season and is a Brazilian youth international. The last Brazilian striker to leave Hoffenheim for the Premier League has had a pretty good impact (sarcasm alert) as Roberto Firmino arrived for $40 million in the summer of 2015.

But Joelinton is a much different striker to Firmino. In many ways he is the perfect replacement for Rondon, as he is strong in the air, a powerful runner on the break and has a calmness in front of goal to finish off mazy runs or speedy counters.

That will be music to the ears of Newcastle’s fans, as the likes of Almiron and Matt Ritchie will whip in plenty of crosses for him to attack next season. His figures in Germany haven’t been prolific but Joelinton is still young and all of his attributes align with the direct style of play Newcastle had under Benitez and that’s how they will likely play under Bruce.

Take a look at the video above to see Joelinton in all his glory for Hoffenheim last season.

We’re not saying he’s going to be the next Alan Shearer, but he has the potential to be exactly what Newcastle need as they aim to cement their place in the Premier League.