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Dortmund 3-2 Bayern: Der Klassiker delivers exciting comeback

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Der Klassiker was billed as a chance for Borussia Dortmund to right all the wrongs suffered so far this young Bundesliga season. It looked as if they would make good on that opportunity, as Robert Lewandowski was on target and Borussia Dortmund was not.

Then, in a seven-minute span in the second half, all that went to waste. Dortmund found its shooting boots after a number of glorious chances went awry, as Marco Reus hit for a double and substitute Paco Alcacer found the winning touch in the 73rd minute for a 3-2 comeback win. The hosts found themselves a goal down twice, and both times erased the deficit before eventually going in front for good.

Surprisingly, both Christian Pulisic and Alcacer were left on the bench by Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre, with in-form Jadon Sancho preferred to the American down the right-hand side and Mario Gotze chosen up top over the Spanish striker. That left Dortmund to sit back and defend for large stretches of time, and they wouldn’t make it to the halftime break with the clean sheet intact.

Dortmund looked dangerous on the counter-attack, but Bayern had the best early chances, the most contentious of which came in the 11th minute as Robert Lewandowski went down in the penalty area and screamed for a foul. VAR clearly gave it a look by the referee’s reaction, but ultimately decided there was minimal contact and did not ask for a review.

The game was wide open past the 15 minute mark, with Marco Reus through on goal but his a weak effort was saved by Manuel Neuer, before Franck Ribery fired a volley wide after latching onto a good Josh Kimmich cross. Bayern would go in front on 26 minutes as Serge Gnabry delivered a pinpoint cross to the head of Lewandowski, and the Polish international dove to meet the ball with his head, burying it past Marwin Hitz on the doorstep.

With Bayern leading at halftime, Dortmund took control of the run of play in the second half and pegged the visitors back. Just minutes after the break, Manuel Neuer brought down Marco Reus in the box, and although he got to the ball to punch it away, a penalty was awarded as Neuer cleaned out Reus after the touch. Reus took the spot kick and finished to equalize at 1-1 with a great penalty as Neuer went the wrong way.

The visitors would go back in front minutes later on a messy goal as Dortmund failed to clear, and eventually Kimmich at the near post lifted the ball to Lewandowski at the far post for another headed goal.  The hosts missed all kinds of beautiful chances to go in front, but Reus was there to finally put the ball in the back of the net on 67 minutes, leveling again at 2-2. He latched onto the ball near the top-right corner of the box and whipped a twisting shot across the face of goal and into the far right corner.

Dortmund would go in front just minutes later, and it was the in-form Alcacer to deliver the finishing blow. Bayern turned it over near the halfway line, and Axel Witsel perfectly released Alcacer on the break, who carried the ball forward before clipping it over Hitz after he had committed to coming out.

As expected, Bayern would pour forward looking to equalize, but they could not find a lifeline. Lewandowski thought he’d found the back of the net for a comeback of his own and a hat-trick, but the assistant referee’s flag went up to rule out the goal, with replays showing the decision was correct.

It was a famous comeback win for Borussia Dortmund who moved four points clear at the top of the table on 27 points, with Borussia Monchengladbach behind them at 23. Bayern sits in third, now on 20 points after the loss. The winner for super-sub Alcacer was his eighth Bundesliga goal in just his sixth appearance, with just one start in that span.

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern wins, pulls within two points of BVB

AP Photo/Michael Probst
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The table is getting tighter as the Bundesliga moves to within a fortnight of the season’s first Der Klassiker between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

[ MORE: Almiron to West Ham for $33m? ]


Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Hertha Berlin

Salomon Kalou twice answered Jadon Sancho goals as Hertha rescued a point at the Westfalenstadion thanks to a stoppage time penalty.

Achraf Hakimi and Mario Gotze assisted for BVB, who remains atop the Bundesliga by two points over victorious Bayern. Christian Pulisic played the final 18 minutes plus stoppage after starting midweek in the Champions League.

Mainz 1-2 Bayern Munich

The hosts threatened to nab a point when Jean-Paul Boetius scored early in the second half to level the score line after Leon Goretzka put Bayern ahead from a Joshua Kimmich feed.

Robert Lewandowski helped cue up Thiago Alcantara for the winner as the champions moved to within two points of Dortmund.

Elsewhere
Freiburg 3-1 Borussia Monchengladbach — Friday
Hannover 96 1-2 Augsburg
Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-3 Wolfsburg
Hoffenheim 4-0 Stuttgart
Nurnberg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — 8:30 a.m. ET Sunday
RB Leipzig vs. Schalke — 10:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Werder Bremen vs. Bayer Leverkusen — 1 p.m. ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Borussia Dortmund 9 6 3 0 29 10 19 4-1-0 2-2-0 21
 Bayern Munich 9 6 1 2 17 10 7 2-1-1 4-0-1 19
 Mönchengladbach 9 5 2 2 20 12 8 4-0-0 1-2-2 17
 Werder Bremen 8 5 2 1 15 8 7 2-2-0 3-0-1 17
 Hertha BSC Berlin 9 4 4 1 15 10 5 3-1-0 1-3-1 16
 RB Leipzig 8 4 3 1 16 9 7 3-1-0 1-2-1 15
 Eintracht Frankfurt 8 4 1 3 19 12 7 2-1-1 2-0-2 13
 1899 Hoffenheim 9 4 1 4 18 13 5 2-1-2 2-0-2 13
 FC Augsburg 9 3 3 3 16 14 2 1-2-1 2-1-2 12
 VfL Wolfsburg 9 3 3 3 14 14 0 1-2-2 2-1-1 12
 SC Freiburg 9 3 3 3 13 15 -2 2-2-1 1-1-2 12
 FSV Mainz 05 9 2 3 4 5 10 -5 2-2-1 0-1-3 9
 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
 FC Schalke 04 8 2 0 6 5 11 -6 1-0-3 1-0-3 6
 Hannover 96 9 1 3 5 11 18 -7 1-1-2 0-2-3 6
 VfB Stuttgart 9 1 2 6 6 21 -15 1-1-2 0-1-4 5
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 9 1 2 6 6 21 -15 1-0-4 0-2-2 5

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern keeps Schalke reeling; Hertha wins

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
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Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin both stayed unbeaten ahead of Friday’s match-up in Berlin, with the former adding to Schalke’s league woes with an away win.

[ RECAP: Spurs snap skid ]

Also some American kid scored again for Borussia Dortmund.

Schalke 0-2 Bayern Munich

Schalke had a chance to turn around its season following an 0-2 with a visit from the presumptive champions.

Didn’t happen.

Bayern outshot Schalke 14-10 at Veltins-Arena, getting an early goal from James Rodriguez and a Robert Lewandowski penalty to keep Schalke winless.

USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie was pulled off after 54 minutes, completing just four of his nine attempted passes.

Hertha Berlin 4-2 Borussia Monchengladbach

The big man was at it again. Vedad Ibisevic canceled out the visitors’ early lead with a 31st minute marker and then scored again in the 63rd minute as the second place side doubled up Gladbach at the Olympiastadion.

Hertha is one of five teams with a zero in the loss column, and sits two points back of Bayern.

Hoffenheim 1-1 Borussia Dortmund

Meanwhile, McKennie’s USMNT teammate saved a point for Schalke’s rivals. Down a man and a goal, BVB got this equalizer from Christian Pulisic late on to get a point.

Elsewhere
Stuttgart 0-0 Fortuna Dusseldorf — Friday
Wolfsburg 1-3 Freiburg
Nurnberg 2-0 Hannover 96
Augsburg 2-3 Werder Bremen
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Mainz — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. RB Leipzig — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

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

UEFA Nations League: Italy draws at home, Cheryshev scores again

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The UEFA Nations League continued on Friday, and there was a clear competitive edge to the matches, moreso than the usual friendly contested between to nations during an otherwise meaningless international break.

Italy was forced to come from behind to earn a point at home against Poland in a 1-1 draw. Mario Balotelli earned his first competitive appearance since 2014, but young goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was needed early to keep out Piotr Zielinski in the opening 15 minutes who broke free on goal.

Italy had a spell of attacking possession on the half-hour mark, but it came to nothing, and they were punished for it. Mateusz Klich dispossessed Chelsea midfielder Jorginho in the Italy third, and Robert Lewandowski’s cross fell to an unmarked Zielinski at the back post who finished easily for the 1-0 first-half lead. The Italians proved dangerous in the second half, and they earned an equalizer. Federico Chiesa came on in place of Lorenzo Insigne, and he was immediately effective. He earned a penalty with 14 minutes to go on a tackle by Jakub Blaszczykowski, who was lucky to stay on the field, already on a yellow from early in the match. Jorginho struck from the spot to level the score.

Russia traveled to Trabzon to take on Turkey, but it was the visitors who scored first, and a familiar name at that. Denis Cheryshev, who was massively influential in Russia’s surprising run at the World Cup over the summer, struck in the 13th minute with a powerful left-footed volley to put Russia 1-0 up. Before halftime, the hosts leveled as Galatasaray defender Serdar Aziz with a volleyed howitzer of his own. Russia retook the lead after the break through Artem Dyzuba

Romania drew Montenegro 0-0, although it wasn’t without controversy as Aleksandar Boljevic was brought down in the penalty area after just eight minutes, but no call was made. Romania had a few chances before the break, but otherwise there was little to speak of. Montenegro striker Stefan Mugosa was sent off for a second yellow with 13 minutes to go.

Aleksandr Mitrovic earned a penalty and Dusan Tadic scored from the spot as Serbia took down Lithuania on the road 1-0. Albania topped Israel 1-0 on a goal by Taulant Xhaka, the brother of Arsenal midfielder and Swiss international Granit Xhaka. The Faroe Islands topped Malta 3-1 for a big win, the country’s second win in a row and third in its last six matches.

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern Munich, Brooks’ Wolfsburg only 2-0 clubs

Peter Steffen/dpa via AP
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After just two weeks, there will be a maximum of three perfect clubs in the Bundesliga.

[ MORE: Yedlin scores for Newcastle ]

If Hertha Berlin cannot win at Schalke, a decent ask, then two will be the number. Here’s how the second weekend has gone in Germany’s top flight.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 Wolfsburg

Level at one after the break, Wolfsburg got a wonderful three points away from home when Wout Weghorst and Renato Steffen scored twice in five second-half minutes.

No Wolfsburg player touched the ball as often as USMNT center back John Brooks’ 64 (Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz bettered him by three). He completed 37 of 41 passes, winning eight tackles to help Wolfsburg to a 2-0 start.

It wasn’t all glory for Brooks, who had a close-up view as Jamaica-born Leon Bailey put Bayer ahead early with a very nice goal.

Eintracht Frankfurt 1-2 Werder Bremen

Werder Bremen led on a 20th minute goal from Yuya Osako when Jetro Willems took a red card for the hosts, but that didn’t stop Eintracht from finding an equalizer.

Sebastien Haller scored from the spot in the 54th minute, but the visitors were not to be denied. Milot Rashica scored in the sixth minute of stoppage to send Werder Bremen home with four points on the young season

Stuttgart 0-3 Bayern Munich

Leon Goretzka scored his first Bayern goal early in this one, and played provider as Robert Lewandowski insured the lead in the second half. Thomas Muller also scored in the win, with Lewandowski assisting the marker.

Elsewhere
Hannover 96 0-0 Borussia Dortmund — Friday
Augsburg 1-1 Borussia Monchengladbach
Hoffenheim 3-1 Freiburg
Nurnberg 1-1 Mainz
RB Leipzig vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf —
9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Schalke vs. Hertha Berlin — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 2 2 0 0 6 1 5 1-0-0 1-0-0 6
 VfL Wolfsburg 2 2 0 0 5 2 3 1-0-0 1-0-0 6
 Borussia Dortmund 2 1 1 0 4 1 3 1-0-0 0-1-0 4
 Mönchengladbach 2 1 1 0 3 1 2 1-0-0 0-1-0 4
 FC Augsburg 2 1 1 0 3 2 1 0-1-0 1-0-0 4
 Werder Bremen 2 1 1 0 3 2 1 0-1-0 1-0-0 4
 FSV Mainz 05 2 1 1 0 2 1 1 1-0-0 0-1-0 4
 Eintracht Frankfurt 2 1 0 1 3 2 1 0-0-1 1-0-0 3
 Hertha BSC Berlin 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 1899 Hoffenheim 2 1 0 1 4 4 0 1-0-0 0-0-1 3
 Hannover 96 2 0 2 0 1 1 0 0-1-0 0-1-0 2
 1. FC Nürnberg 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1 0-1-0 0-0-1 1
 FC Schalke 04 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0-0-1 0-0-0 0
 RB Leipzig 1 0 0 1 1 4 -3 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
 Bayer Leverkusen 2 0 0 2 1 5 -4 0-0-1 0-0-1 0
 SC Freiburg 2 0 0 2 1 5 -4 0-0-1 0-0-1 0
 VfB Stuttgart 2 0 0 2 0 4 -4 0-0-1 0-0-1 0