Leipzig frustrates Bayern to stay top as Dortmund outclasses Leverkusen

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Leipzig's Hungarian goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi makes a save during the German first division Bundesliga football match against FC Bayern Munich in Leipzig, eastern Germany on Saturday. — AFP

BERLIN — An Emil Forsberg penalty and a little help from VAR saw RB Leipzig stay top of the Bundesliga with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at home to Bayern Munich on Saturday.

In the second of two top-of-the-table clashes on Saturday, Leipzig survived a first half onslaught to frustrate the champions and fuel hopes of a three-horse title race in the German league this season.

The draw leaves Bayern in third, while Leipzig now sit a point above Borussia Dortmund, who moved up to second with a thumping 4-0 win over top four rivals Bayer Leverkusen earlier in the day.

It took Lewandowski just three minutes to grab the opener as Bayern dominated the first half in Leipzig.

Yet despite having had three times as much possession and twice as many shots, Bayern went in at half time with the scores level after Forsberg's penalty on the stroke of half time.

Bayern, who had themselves had a penalty retracted by VAR ten minutes earlier, were left stunned and allowed Leipzig back into the game after the break.

Both Timo Werner and Nordi Mukiele had chances for Leipzig, and both goalkeepers were forced to make flying saves in an enthralling second half.

Niklas Suele could have won it for Bayern in the dying seconds, but his bobbling header only grazed the post.

Dortmund were under pressure after a shock defeat to minnows Union Berlin in their last game, but goals from Paco Alcacer, Marco Reus and Raphael Guerreiro secured a much-needed three points for Lucien Favre's side.

Alcacer, who meets his former club Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday, has now scored seven goals in six games in all competitions this season.

"Paco is a fantastic player, he is enormously important for us," said Dortmund forward Julian Brandt.

Dortmund were denied by a brilliant double save from goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky early on before Alcacer gave them the lead just before the half-hour mark.

Shaking off his marker and beating the offside trap by a whisker, the in-form Spaniard met an Achraf Hakimi cross on the volley to beat Hradecky from close range.

Leverkusen looked the more dangerous side after the break, but Dortmund were more ruthless, and Marco Reus turned in Jadon Sancho's cross to double the lead on 50 minutes.

Sancho set up Raphael Guerreiro for Dortmund's third seven minutes from time, before Reus added a fourth in injury time.

Elsewhere, a first-half winner from Alassane Plea saw Borussia Moenchengladbach run out 1-0 winners against Cologne in the Rhine derby.

Eintracht Frankfurt suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to strugglers Augsburg ahead of their Europa League clash with Arsenal next Thursday.

Marco Richter and Florian Niederlechner gave Augsburg a smash-and-grab two-goal lead just before half-time, and Goncalo Paciencia's second-half strike was not enough to rescue Frankfurt.

In Berlin, Werder Bremen did what Dortmund had failed to do two weeks earlier by beating Union 2-1.

Bremen's Davy Klaassen and Union's Sebastian Andersson converted early penalties in an even first half, before Niclas Fuellkrug headed in the winner for Bremen.

Union's capital city neighbours Hertha Berlin sit bottom of the table with just one point after a dramatic 2-1 defeat to Mainz.

A late goal from Hertha's Liverpool loanee Marko Grujic cancelled out a first-half tap-in from Robin Quaison, before Jeremiah St Juste's 89th minute winner ended a three-game losing run for the hosts. — AFP


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