Borussia Dortmund attacker Marco Reus picked an awfully bad time to find himself out a month.
The 30-year-old has been in fabulous form, with six goals and five assists in his last eight Bundesliga appearances. That all comes to a halt now as the club announced Reus suffered an unspecified muscle injury during the 3-2 DFB-Pokal loss to Werder Bremen on Tuesday.
With the Champions League knockout stages coming up in mid-February and the Bundesliga title race in full swing, Reus has found an awfully terrible time to get injured. Not only on a team level, but a personal one as well. Borussia Dortmund’s attacking talent is bursting at the seams, and that could complicate Reus’s eventual return. Jadon Sancho is on absolute fire with nine goals and seven assists in his last nine league games, new signing Erling Haaland is a goal machine, and even Julian Brandt is banging in a few strikes of late.
Mario Gotze and Thorgan Hazard will likely be the biggest beneficiaries of Reus’s injury, and should either of the two find their form – especially Hazard, who was an assist machine to start the season before eventually falling back to Earth – then Reus may find his place in the starting lineup in serious jeopardy.
The blow to Dortmund is significant as well. The German club is drawn against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League Round of 16, with Reus set to miss both legs of the matchup. PSG is roasting Ligue 1, and with Neymar in spectacular form, Kylian Mbappe putting in shifts, and Mauro Icardi settled in nicely, Dortmund will need all the attacking firepower it can muster to keep up.
In addition, the Bundesliga title race is a vicious one. Dortmund sits in third, three points back of leaders Bayern Munich and two behind RB Leipzig. Reus is likely to be fit by the time Dortmund matches up with Bayern on April 4 and certainly for the penultimate match of the season against Leipzig on May 9, but nonetheless any slip between now and then could prove deadly. Reus is set to miss matches against competitive sides in Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Monchengladbach, and SC Freiburg, so Dortmund will need to make due in his absence.
There are six sides within six points of first place in the Bundesliga, and not one is named Bayern Munich.
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Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 Bayern Munich
Ramy Bensebaini scored twice including a stoppage time penalty kick as Gladbach stayed atop the league and Bayern Munich dropped seven points off the pace.
Ivan Perisic had given the visitors a 49th minute lead before Bensebaini answered at the hour mark. The grandstand finish is below.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Schalke
A Lucas Alario double was enough for Bayer, who gave up its insurance goal within a minute of Alario’s second. David Wagner‘s Schalke is now level with Bayer on points but two spots ahead in goal differential.
American midfielder Weston McKennie was American center back Weston McKennie on Saturday, recording two clearances, two blocked shots, an interception, and a tackle. He won 9-of-11 duels and passed at 70 percent with 6-of-14 long balls, via SofaScore.
Leon Bailey kept up his fine form with an assist. Read his interview with PST, here.
Borussia Dortmund 5-0 Fortuna Dusseldorf
Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho each scored twice to join Thorgan Hazard on the score sheet as BVB moved third with an emphatic defeat of USMNT features Alfredo Morales and Zack Steffen.
RB Leipzig 3-1 Hoffenheim
Timo Werner scored in each half and Marcel Sabitzer also scored for Leipzig, who stayed just one point behind Gladbach. The two sides don’t meet until Feb. 1 at Leipzig.
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 Hertha Berlin — Friday
Freiburg 1-0 Wolfsburg — Saturday
Augsburg 2-1 Mainz — Saturday
Union Berlin v. Koln — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Werder Bremen v. Paderborn — Noon ET Sunday
BRUSSELS (AP) Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard and his brother Thorgan have both withdrawn from Belgium’s squad for upcoming European Championship qualifiers because of injuries.
The Belgium team says the Hazards left the squad after it was determined they weren’t fit to play against San Marino on Friday or Scotland on Monday.
Eden Hazard has a thigh problem and hasn’t played a competitive game for Real Madrid since joining the Spanish club in the summer.
Real coach Zinedine Zidane had expressed frustration that Hazard was joining up with the Belgian team instead of focusing on his recovery.
Borussia Dortmund’s Thorgan Hazard missed his team’s Bundesliga loss to Union Berlin on Saturday with a bruised rib.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
That Christian Pulisic money is going far and wide for Borussia Dortmund.
Hot off the heels of signing Thorgan Hazard for $38 million on Wednesday and adding German defender Nico Schulz for $30 million, Dortmund have signed Julian Brandt for $30 million.
Not bad business after getting $73 million for Pulisic…
Brandt, 23, was linked with a move to the Premier League to Tottenham Hotspur and others in recent months but the Bayer Leverkusen winger will remain in the Bundesliga. His combination of speed out wide and cutting inside to finish off moves has seen him become a regular for the German national team.
After finishing second in the Bundesliga this season, Dortmund are wasting no time in stealing a march on Bayern Munich who fought back from a nine-point deficit to win the title on the final day of the season.
Bayern’s offseason plans have seen them add defender Lucas Hernandez for a club record $85 million, while his French national team teammate Benjamin Pavard, who can also play at center back and full back, will also arrive for $38 million.
That said, Dortmund’s early moves this offseason are impressive and may even install Lucien Favre’s men as the preseason favorites to win the German title.
While Eden Hazard has torn it up in the Premier League, his brother is quietly leading Borussia Monchengladbach to a stellar season.
Thorgan Hazard scored a goal and assisted two others as Gladbach clobbered Mainz 4-0, jumping to second in the Bundesliga table. Jonas Hofmann had the hat-trick, putting Gladbach in the lead 21 minutes in, but Hazard made things happen. He threaded the pass to Hofmann through the three-man defensive line for the game’s opener.
Hofmann put them 2-0 up on another Hazard assist minutes after halftime, and then he bagged his own on a pinpoint cross from Nico Elvedi that left Hazard all alone to roof it past a helpless Florian Müller. Hofmann pulled in his hat-trick by the 63rd minute to seal the game.
Thorgan Hazard has now been directly involved in 11 goals in nine games for Gladbach this season, the same amount as his brother Eden has for Chelsea so far.
Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin and Freiburg drew 1-1 on a pair of first-half goals. Ondrej Duda scored for Hertha just seven minutes into the match thanks to an absolutely delicious feed from Per Skjelbred on a through ball from just past the halfway line. That was it for Hertha though, as they struggled to create more good chances. Freiburg knotted it up just past the half-hour mark, as Robin Koch delivered a howitzer into the top corner, a truly fantastic goal.
Hertha failed to truly take advantage of the crowded top of the table, but the point pushed them up to sixth in the table, level on 15 points with RB Leipzig. Freiburg, meanwhile, moved to nine points, just three above the relegation zone.