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Bundesliga wrap: Sancho leads Dortmund top as Bayern waits (video)

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Bayern Munich dropped into second place, at least for a day, as Borussia Dortmund got back to winning ways and RB Leipzig strengthened its hold on third place in the Bundesliga.

[ MORE: FIFA statement on racism ]


RB Leipzig 2-0 Wolfsburg

Kevin Kampl and Timo Werner scored 12 minutes apart as RBL rode a 2-0 lead after 28 minutes all the way through the final whistle.

Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Mainz

Jadon Sancho scored two early goals, his ninth and 10th of the Bundesliga season to go with 16 assists, as BVB responded nicely to its embarrassment at Bayern Munich last weekend.

Elsewhere
Nurnberg 1-1 Schalke — Friday
Werder Bremen 2-1 Freiburg
Stuttgart 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Hannover 96 0-1 Borussia Monchengladbach
Hoffenheim v. Hertha Berlin — 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Fortuna Dusseldorf v. Bayern Munich — 9:30 a.m. ET
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Augsburg — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Borussia Dortmund 29 20 6 3 68 36 32 13-2-0 7-4-3 66
 Bayern Munich 28 20 4 4 74 28 46 10-3-1 10-1-3 64
 RB Leipzig 29 17 7 5 55 22 33 9-5-1 8-2-4 58
 Eintracht Frankfurt 28 15 7 6 56 31 25 8-3-3 7-4-3 52
 Mönchengladbach 29 15 6 8 48 35 13 9-2-3 6-4-5 51
 Werder Bremen 29 12 10 7 52 41 11 7-5-3 5-5-4 46
 Bayer Leverkusen 29 14 3 12 51 48 3 7-1-6 7-2-6 45
 VfL Wolfsburg 29 13 6 10 47 44 3 6-4-4 7-2-6 45
 1899 Hoffenheim 28 11 11 6 58 39 19 6-5-3 5-6-3 44
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 28 11 4 13 38 52 -14 7-0-7 4-4-6 37
 Hertha BSC Berlin 28 9 8 11 41 46 -5 5-5-4 4-3-7 35
 FSV Mainz 05 29 9 6 14 34 50 -16 6-4-4 3-2-10 33
 SC Freiburg 29 7 11 11 39 50 -11 5-6-3 2-5-8 32
 FC Schalke 04 29 7 6 16 30 47 -17 4-1-9 3-5-7 27
 FC Augsburg 28 6 7 15 37 54 -17 4-4-6 2-3-9 25
 VfB Stuttgart 29 5 6 18 27 61 -34 4-4-7 1-2-11 21
 1. FC Nürnberg 29 3 9 17 24 54 -30 3-6-6 0-3-11 18
 Hannover 96 29 3 5 21 25 66 -41 3-1-11 0-4-10 14

Southgate: Kane, Sterling setting England example on, off the field

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Perhaps Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling aren’t leaders in the most traditional sense — grizzled veterans who have been around the block and seen everything there is to see — but nevertheless, they’re the ones setting the example for England’s next generation of young stars, many of whom aren’t so much younger than they are.

[ MORE: Eric Dier out of England squad, back at Spurs with another injury ]

It’s clear for all to see that Kane and Sterling are leading and inspiring the Three Lions with their on-field performances, for club and for country — they have 55 goals and 19 assists between them since August — but to hear Gareth Southgate speak of their leadership off the field, one can’t help but feel the England program has been entrusted to very safe hands — quotes from the Guardian:

“To have such a top striker, like Harry, who has such humility and such a low ego, has a huge impression on the whole group, because at the moment he is the star player. You wouldn’t know it from the way he conducts himself, you wouldn’t know it from his application to training and the way he is disciplined with his preparation and his focus.

“Equally, that’s the same for Raheem. You see his focus in training, his preparation for those things, so for young players coming on it’s an easy equation: if I do the things those two do, there’s a good chance that I’ll get the performances that they are putting in.”

It’s certainly a new concept that players could be the undisputed leaders of the England squad at 25 and 24 years old, respectively — particularly to Southgate, who came through the England setup in the 1990s — but it’s something he’s been quick to embrace.

“I think young people in all walks of society have a little bit more belief. I think bosses in all industries are less draconian in the way they work, and I think that helps youngsters to come in and be more creative and believe they can make a difference. They don’t baulk at anything. I just think, generally speaking, given an opportunity, they’ll go and surprise people.”

“(During Southgate’s career) You were told: ‘Don’t get carried away, you’ve got to earn your right to play, you’ve got to earn your right to do this. Did that get the most out of us? Probably not. There were some great qualities that gave us, and we’ve got to make sure we don’t lose that, because respect is important, as is appreciation of what you’ve got, but equally, we want to let talent have its head.”

In particular, 17-year-old Jadon Sancho already views Sterling as a hero, a mentor and a friend. Asked whether Sterling “was now one of the daddies of the team”:

“Yeah,” the 18-year-old replied, his face lighting up as he began his eulogy. “His numbers are crazy this year, and he’s showing all the youngsters what it’s about. I’m just happy that I’m sharing a pitch with him.”

Man United, PSG both interested in signing Dortmund’s Sancho

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Manchester United will have to face Paris Saint-Germain both on the pitch this week and off it in the transfer market as the Red Devils look to bring Jadon Sancho back from Germany.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

According to multiple reports in England, including from The Telegraph, Both Manchester United and PSG have identified Sancho as their top forward target this summer. The young left winger has been a revelation for Borussia Dortmund this season, with nine goals and 14 assists. The report states that even though Sancho is signed through 2022, it could cost upwards of $132 million to sign him at either club.

Man United’s previous transfer record was the $117 million or so it took to sign Paul Pogba.

By signing Sancho, Man United would lock down a young winger before their prime and potentially have one of the best and fastest attacks in the Premier League again, with Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Sancho starting. However, it’s unclear whether Sancho would want to leave Germany and return back to England just yet.

Dortmund holds off Leverkusen to take three-point Bundesliga lead

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Borussia Dortmund restored its three-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table, although it wasn’t easy at times as they held firm amid a worrisome finish to earn a 3-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen at Westfalenstadion. English youngster Jadon Sancho was the star, assisting the opener and scoring Dortmund’s second in a fabulous attacking display.

Dortmund scored its three goals on just four shots on target as Leverkusen held a whopping 67% possession throughout the match. It took a half-hour for the home side to open the scoring, but once they did, it sparked a three-goal flurry in 10 minutes.

It started when 19-year-old French defender Dan-Axel Zagadou scored his first goal of the season on 30 minutes, bundling the ball over the line on the doorstep after the 18-year-old Sancho got his head to a corner delivery and touched it across the face of goal. The teenage connection together adds up to just 37 years of age, a bright burst of youth in the Dortmund squad.

Leverkusen pulled back level just seven minutes later, as Kevin Volland found the near post with a low shot from distance that Roman Burki will want back, somehow unable to reach the ball with a dive despite the distance and relative lack of pace on the effort.

Sancho would put Dortmund right back into the lead, however, leg-whipping a fabulous volley inside the far post. It came off a delivery from Abdou Diallo from the left flank that Dortmund repeatedly opened up.

The second saw Leverkusen look to find a second equalizer while Dortmund sat back and picked its spots. Mario Gotze pounced on a deflected clear at the top of the box, and his 60th minute rifle saw the home side go 3-1 up. That was a critical goal, because the visitors would not go away.

Jonathan Tah made a game of it with 15 minutes remaining, delivering a powerful bullet header at the end of a free-kick to pull Leverkusen back within one. That was the final goal of the match, and the final chance as well as the Dortmund defense locked things up. While the visitors scored twice, the Dortmund back line still performed well overall, particularly in one-on-one situations. Leverkusen completed just eight of its 25 attempted take-ons, with particular difficulty on its right flank against Diallo and Raphiel Guerrero, who together completed seven tackles on seven attempts.

American attacker Christian Pulisic did not even make the Dortmund bench, injured and missing the last two matches now as he nears the end of his time in Germany.

Champions League Preview: Tottenham, Dortmund battle in Wembley

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Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League matchup between Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund will be a battle between which team can overcome injuries to star attacking players.

The glamour of the game has been slightly diminished, as Tottenham will be without Harry Kane and Dele Alli while Dortmund are without Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer. Tottenham will then once more lean on Christian Eriksen and Heung-Min Son, while Christian Pulisic is likely to start for Dortmund, with Thomas Delaney providing the engine in midfield.

[READ: PSG stun Man United in UCL]

One reason for some hope in this match in Tottenham circles is the recent struggles of Dortmund’s defense. The club has allowed six goals in its last two games, including coughing up a 3-0 lead over the weekend against Hoffenheim. While Fernando Llorente could be contained, it may be up to Son to use his creativity and dribbling ability to break through the Dortmund backline, or have Eriksen find him breaking the lines.

Of course, one of the players to watch is Pulisic, who is in England for the first time since completing his record-setting $73 million transfer to Chelsea. The U.S. Men’s National Team star has often started in Champions League and cup matches, even over Jaden Sancho, though it’s possible that Sancho could start in coach Lucien Favre’s 4-3-3 back in his homeland.

[ MORE: UCL: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

With Pulisic, even though he’s not been at his best, he injects speed and a dynamism that will challenge Eric Dier in midfield and whoever suits up at outside back for Tottenham, especially if Jan Vertonghen deputizes at left back.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid flies north to face Ajax, with stars Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt hoping to make a big impression at the Johan Cruyff ArenA. Ajax, however, is coming off two defeats in its last three games, including a 1-0 loss last weekend to Heracles, while Real Madrid has won four of its last five as it surges up the table.

Vinicius Jr. has been a revelation the past few months and now he gets a chance to show off his speed and dribbling ability in the Champions League, and Real Madrid is coming off a huge confidence-boosting win at Atletico Madrid, where the side’s defense held strong against an Atleti side looking for a season-defining win.