Nervy Leipzig go top and Klinsmann’s new side lose


Berlin (AFP) – RB Leipzig returned to the top of the Bundesliga Saturday with a nervous 3-2 win at bottom side Paderborn, but both Bayern Munich and Borussia Moenchengladbach could yet replace them in first place this weekend.

Leipzig regained top spot in the league for the first time since September after winning at Paderborn, capping a fine week for the club that reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in midweek.

Defending champions Bayern can draw level on 27 points by beating Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena later Saturday.

And Moenchengladbach, who Leipzig knocked into second, can regain top spot with a point to spare if they beat Freiburg on Sunday. 

In the capital, ex-Germany and USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann started his tenure as Hertha Berlin’s interim coach with a 2-1 home defeat to 10-man Borussia Dortmund at the Olympic Stadium.

Leipzig were 2-0 up inside four minutes at Paderborn with early goals by Patrik Schick and Marcel Sabitzer before Germany striker Timo Werner made it 3-0 at half-time with his 13th league goal this season.

However, it was a completely different story after the break as Paderborn, who earned a 3-3 draw at Dortmund last weekend, roared back.

Having had a goal ruled offside at the start of the second half, striker Streli Mamba, who scored twice at Dortmund a week ago, tucked his shot inside the post with an hour gone.

Then Paderborn captain Klaus Gjasula scored their second with 17 minutes left after being left unmarked in the middle, but Leipzig clung on.

Dortmund’s win against Klinsmann’s new side eases the pressure on coach Lucien Favre and leaves his team fifth — four points behind Leipzig.

Jadon Sancho backed up his superb Champions League strike at Barcelona in midweek with a superb finish after 15 minutes to start the scoring.

With Klinsmann urging his shell-shocked team to stay calm, Thorgan Hazard made it 2-0 a minute later by stabbing home a Achraf Hakimi cross.

Vladimir Darida pulled a goal back for Hertha on 34 minutes and Dortmund were down to 10 men just before half-time when Hummels clumsily fouled Davie Selke – his second booking on the same player inside 15 minutes.

Selke had a second-half goal ruled offside and Hertha finished stronger, but Dortmund hung on.

There was eight cards in the first-half — equalling the league record — as Cologne drew 1-1 at home to Augsburg and both teams were reduced to ten men in the first 45 minutes.

Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn saved a penalty attempt by Andre Hahn after only nine minutes, then the hosts had defender Rafael Czichos sent off on 39 minutes for a second yellow.

Augsburg striker Florian Niederlechner put his side 1-0 up on 43 minutes, just before Hahn was sent off within a minute for a second bookable offence.

Hosts Cologne finally poached a point when substitute striker Jhon Cordoba equalised four minutes from time.

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