Berlin (AFP) – Erling Haaland put Borussia Dortmund on their way to a rollercoaster 3-2 win over Hoffenheim on Saturday to keep his side’s Bundesliga title hopes alive.
Despite being outplayed for much of the game, Marco Rose’s side bounced back from a shock defeat in the cup in midweek, scrapping their way to a victory which moves them within three points of league leaders Bayern Munich overnight.
“It was a flattering result for us today. Hoffenheim were very strong,” admitted Dortmund coach Rose.
Dortmund started brilliantly, carving through the Hoffenheim defence with a brilliant string of passes on six minutes to provide Haaland with a tap-in for the opener.
Hoffenheim then squandered several good chances before Andrej Kramaric equalised with a smart volley on the stroke of half-time.
Marco Reus restored the lead on the counter-attack, before a David Raum own-goal appeared to seal the three points for Dortmund.
Hoffenheim pulled a goal back late on through Georginio Rutter, and Dortmund escaped by the skin of their teeth when Sebastian Rudy missed a good chance to equalise in the 89th minute.
Dortmund remain eight points ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, who stormed to a 5-1 victory over Augsburg thanks to a Moussa Diaby hat-trick.
Karim Bellarabi and Diaby gave Leverkusen a comfortable 2-0 half-time lead over a limp Augsburg side, before Arne Maier pulled a goal back for the guests on the hour mark.
Diaby was irresistible, however, adding a third for Leverkusen minutes later before tearing through Augsburg on the counter-attack to complete his hat-trick.
Substitute Lucas Alario added a fifth with a crafty backheel ten minutes from time.
– Union heap pressure on Gladbach –
Union Berlin broke into the top four as they beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1, piling more misery on under-fire coach Adi Huetter.
Gladbach were in need of a result, having won just one of their last eight in the league and slumped to an unexpected cup defeat to Hanover in midweek.
“We didn’t deserve to lose based on our performance today,” said Huetter, and insisted he could still turn things around at Gladbach.
Huetter’s side started sluggishly, and Max Kruse gave Union the lead from the penalty spot after a Denis Zakaria handball.
The hosts showed a sign of life just before half-time, Manu Kone smashing home the equaliser after a superb counter-attack.
Gladbach had chances to take the lead themselves in the second half, but were left shellshocked when Kruse blasted home a second to give Union a smash-and-grab win.
Victory moves high-flying Union into a Champions League spot, but they remain just a point ahead of Freiburg, who beat neighbours Stuttgart 2-0.
Stuttgart had a penalty decision in their favour overturned by VAR just minutes before Freiburg took the lead, Lucas Hoefler’s long-range effort.
Kevin Schade added another in the second half to send struggling Stuttgart into the bottom two.
Bottom club Greuther Fuerth, meanwhile, battled to a rare 2-1 win over Mainz.
Jeremy Dudziak scored an early opener, before forcing a second-half own-goal from Stefan Bell to give Fuerth only their second win of the season.
Japan international Takuma Asano scored his first goal for Bochum in Saturday’s late game, saving a point for his side in a 2-2 draw with Cologne.
Goals from Timo Huebers and Anthony Modeste had seen Cologne turn the game around after Gerrit Holtmann gave Bochum an early lead, but Asano struck midway through the second half to level the scores and keep both sides in mid-table.
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