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Hoffenheim stumble in Bayern pursuit


Berlin (AFP) – Hoffenheim stumbled to a 2-1 defeat at Wolfsburg on Sunday as all five clubs chasing Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga lost over the weekend.

Daniel Didavi came off the bench after the break to inspire Wolfsburg’s second-half fight back as Hoffenheim suffered only their second defeat this season.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern were the only club in the league’s top six to win this weekend after Arturo Vidal and Arjen Robben scored last-minute goals in Saturday’s 2-0 win at strugglers Ingolstadt.

They now have a seven-point lead at the top.

Hosts Wolfsburg deserved to beat Hoffenheim and break their three-match losing streak to stay 14th, now six points from the relegation places.

Hoffenheim made a bright start at the Volkswagen Arena after Kerem Demirbay hit the crossbar with an early free-kick, then set up Steven Zuber to give them a deserved lead on 26 minutes.

But Wolfsburg roared back with two second-half goals and Germany striker Mario Gomez was only denied a third when goal-line technology showed the ball had not crossed the line.

Maximilian Arnold latched onto the end of a wayward clearance kick and hammered his shot home on 50 minutes to pull the scores level.

Then Didavi produced a close-range header on 73 minutes for the winner.

Hoffenheim stay fifth as the latest to stumble in the pack chasing Bayern.

On Saturday, second-placed Leipzig lost for the second week in a row in crashing 3-0 at home to Hamburg, who escaped the bottom three. 

RB were two goals down after 24 minutes in a nightmare first-half, conceding two headers from near identical situations from centre-back Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Brazil midfielder Walace.

Hamburg grabbed a third on 93 minutes when replacement Aaron Hunt scored with his first touch.

Third-placed Frankfurt lost 3-0 at Bayer Leverkusen as Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez scored two superb goals to take the pressure off coach Roger Schmidt following back-to-back defeats.

Fourth-placed Dortmund crashed 2-1 at bottom side Darmstadt as Thomas Tuchel named three teenagers in Borussia’s starting line-up in Dzenis Burnic, Christian Pulisic and Emre Mor.

US international striker Terrence Boyd, on loan from Leipzig, gave Darmstadt an early lead, then Portugal midfielder Raphael Guerreiro levelled with a bullet shot for Dortmund just before the half-time break.

But Darmstadt sealed the win when Antonio-Mirko Colak got in behind the defence and slotted his shot past Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki.

Hertha Berlin stay sixth after going down 2-0 at Schalke, thanks to goals by striker Guido Burgstaller and midfielder Leon Goretzka for the Royal Blues.

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