Dortmund win to go top pending big Sunday clash; Leipzig triumph

Dortmund, February 26 (BNA): Borussia Dortmund rose to the German Football League, with a 1-0 victory over relegated Hoffenheim on Saturday, to eliminate title rivals Bayern Munich and Union Berlin, who are facing competition on Sunday.

Julian Brandt scored in superb fashion, flicking a Marco Reus free-kick into his back as Edin Terzic’s side claimed their ninth straight win in all competitions in 2023, dpa reports.

“It wasn’t an easy game,” Brandt told Sky TV. “We had a bit of luck and we’re happy to get the three points.”

“At the moment a lot of things come together. We’ve been very effective, today a little less than that. But we’ve got a lot of players at their best.”

The three sides started the weekend level with 43 points, the last of which was a three-way tie in the three-point era for the win.

Dortmund now have 46 players while fourth-placed Rabanne Leipzig has 42 after a 2-1 home win over sixth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt.

Hoffenheim slipped into the danger zone in third place after match No. 12 without a win.

Wolfsburg returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win at equally contradictory hosts Cologne, Hertha Berlin climbed out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win over Augsburg while Werder Bremen beat bottom-placed Bochum 3-0.

Fifth-placed Freiburg host Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday before the final in Munich. Schalke plays downstairs with humble guest Stuttgart later on Saturday, while Mainz on Friday beat fellow mid-table Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-0.

Dortmund last won the Bundesliga title in 2012 under Jurgen Klopp and he has had to watch Bayern Munich win the league every season since.

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They didn’t really come close to challenging their rivals at the time, but they now have a realistic chance of the championship, as Bayern go through a transition period following the exit of Robert Lewandowski.

Enjoying a resurgence this season, Germany’s Brandt found the net in 43 minutes with a very clever, or very lucky, finish.

It was the striker’s fourth goal in four Bundesliga matches, with a total of eight goals this season.

Dortmund’s Marius Wolf goal was later disallowed due to an earlier foul after a video review.

Hoffenheim, now in the relegation zone, had a good shout that had a penalty disallowed. They have been falling like a stone and the replacement of coach Andre Breitenreiter by Pellegrino Matarazzo earlier this month has had no effect so far.

In the snowy city of Leipzig, Timo Werner scored just six minutes into the net for a Frankfurt side still reeling from their 2-0 home defeat in the Champions League on Tuesday against Napoli.

Emil Forsberg – who set up Werner – made it 2-0 before the break, with the former Chelsea striker to return the favor. Djibril Sow rallied to reduce the deficit in the second half.

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