Leipzig regains top spot in German Bundesliga
Berlin, Dec 4 (IANS) Leipzig extended their eight-game winning streak after edging Schalke 2-1 and Dortmund came from behind to beat Monchengladbach 4-1 in the 13th round of Bundesliga.
The encounter on Saturday started with a controversial penalty as referee Bastian Dankert pointed to the spot with 19 seconds into the game although Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann did not tackle Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who went down untouched, inside the box, reports Xinhua.
Werner then stepped up and converted the penalty into the bottom right to mark the opener with two minutes into the match.
The early opener from Leipzig was a shock for the visitors, who almost conceded the second goal as they were failed to clear the ball from the inside the box moments later.
As the match progressed, both sides neutralized the offensive efforts within the midfield. Thus, goal-scoring opportunities remained a rare occurrence until the half hour mark.
Schalke increased their efforts and rewarded themselves in the 32nd minute as Sejad Kolasinac slotted home a rebound from sharp angle to level the scores.
However, Kolasinac remained in the thick of things as he went from hero to villain after heading a free kick from Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg into the wrong goal to give the hosts the 2-1 lead in the 47th minute.
Schalke were unable to overcome Leipzig’s defence for a second goal. Hence their seven-game unbeaten streak came to an end whereas Leipzig remain unbeaten in the 13th game of the season.
In other match, Thomas Tuchel’s men returned to winning ways and turned the tides from a goal down as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provided a brace to extend Monchengladbach’s winless run to eight games.
The “Foals” ensured a fairy-tale start into the game though, as Raffael broke the deadlock with just six minutes into the game after slotting home a misplaced clearance attempt from the edge of the box.
However, it was a short-lived joy for the visitors as Dortmund’s top striker Aubameyang restored parity only 56 seconds later when he tapped home Marco Reus assist to score his 14th goal of the season.
Dortmund gained momentum and grabbed the 2-1 lead in the 15th minute as Monchengladbach failed to clear a corner kick into the box allowing Lukasz Piszczek to head home.
Dortmund continued their dominant performance as they got a goal ruled off-side from Reus before Ousmane Dembele extended the lead after dancing through Monchengladbach’s defence to make it 3-1 with 64 minutes played.
The hosts were not done with the scoring and rounded off their powerful performance as Aubameyang wrapped up his brace to extend his goal tally to 15 after poking home Reus’ back heel pass from six meters in the 68th minute.
Among other matches, third placed Hertha Berlin bounced back and reaped the second straight win with a 3-2 at Wolfsburg.
Hoffenheim extend their unbeaten run to five games after crushing Cologne 4-0 thanks to the brace from Sandro Wagner.
Bayer Leverkusen shared the spoils with Freiburg following a 1-1 as Javier Hernandez squandered a late penalty and Werder Bremen ended their winless run after beating Ingolstadt 2-1.