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Haaland scores on return as Dortmund go top in Germany


Berlin (AFP) – Erling Haaland scored on his return from injury as Borussia Dortmund knocked Bayern Munich off top spot in the Bundesliga with a 3-1 win at Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Haaland netted his 50th Bundesliga goal in as many games, just eight minutes after coming off the bench in the second half following a five-week absence with a leg injury.

He fired in a Julian Brandt cross, adding to an Emre Can penalty and Donyell Malen goal for Dortmund after Wout Weghorst had given Wolfsburg an early lead.

“We missed him (Haaland) in the last few weeks. He’s a weapon,” Brandt told Sky.

Bayern can later regain top spot when they host strugglers Arminia Bielefeld.

The return of Haaland is a huge boost for Dortmund, who host Bayern next weekend in a top-of-the-table clash.

The win came three days after a 3-1 defeat at Sporting Lisbon ended Dortmund’s hopes of reaching the Champions League last 16.

“We needed to show a reaction after the game on Wednesday,” said Can, who was sent off in Lisbon.

Third-placed Freiburg still trail Bayern by six points after their 2-1 defeat at Bochum handed the visitors a third straight league loss.

Serbian striker Milos Pantovic scored the winner eight minutes from time to ruin Christian Streich’s 300th Bundesliga game as Freiburg coach.

“It would have been a cool day if we had won,” admitted Streich.

Bayer Leverkusen can leapfrog Freiburg into third if they win at Covid-hit RB Leipzig on Sunday.

Leipzig have Willi Orban, Yussuf Poulsen, Hugo Novoa and Mohamed Simakan all in quarantine after testing positive.

However goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi could return if a PCR test is negative Sunday.

– Nine-goal thriller –

There was a nine-goal thriller at bottom side Greuther Fuerth as Togo striker Ihlas Bebou bagged a hat-trick in Hoffenheim’s 6-3 victory.

The result moves Hoffenheim up to fifth, while Fuerth claimed an unwanted Bundesliga record with an 11th straight defeat.

Augsburg backed up a shock win over Bayern last time out with a last-gasp equaliser to seal a 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin.

Michael Gregoritsch levelled for Augsburg seven minutes into stoppage time.

With the Hertha bench fuming, assistant coach Andreas Neuendorf was shown a red card.

The point was scant consolation for Hertha after last weekend’s 2-0 defeat by Union Berlin in the derby.

Cologne hammered Borussia Moenchengladbach 4-1 in the Rhineland derby as Dejan Ljubicic, Mark Uth, Ondrej Duda and Sebastian Andersson scored for the hosts.

Denis Zakaria and Alassane Plea hit the woodwork for Gladbach before Jonas Hofmann equalised midway through the second half to cancel out Ljubicic’s goal.

Cologne pulled away with two goals in 90 seconds as Uth capitalised on a Florian Neuhaus mistake before Duda also hit the net. Andersson scored their fourth in stoppage time.

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