BERLIN: Second-placed Borussia Dortmund cut the gap behind German league leaders Bayern Munich to five points on Saturday
(Sunday in Manila) as Marco Reus netted twice in their 3-1 win at Werder Bremen.
Reus fired in the opening and third goals, but Borussia should have won by more as Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang squandered three clear chances.
Right winger Henrikh Mkhitar¬yan capped a superb display with Dort¬mund’s second having provided the final pass for both of Reus’ goals.
“As the second-placed team, you always look at what the top side is doing, but Bayern are still a long way ahead and we’re just worrying about ourselves,” said Reus.
“We didn’t have the right tempo in the first-half. In the end things turned out well, but it was harder than it looked.”
After Bayern was held to a goalless draw at Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday, Dortmund took the chance to trim the Bavarian giants’ lead.
They have now scored 18 goals in their last four games and a staggering 64 in 20 games this season under new coach Thomas Tuchel.
Dortmund opened the scoring after nine minutes when Mkhitar¬yan fired in a cross, Aubameyang let the ball roll to Reus, who fired home at the far post.
Bremen levelled when Nigeria striker Anthony Ujah tapped home on 32 minutes after Matthias Ginter cleared off the line.
A superb cross off the offside of the boot from Mats Hummels found Mk¬hitaryan at the far post just before the break to head home on 44 minutes.
Reus added a third after Mkhitar¬yan’s final pass split the defense as the defeat left Bremen 14th in the table.
Wolfsburg climbed to third with a 2-1 win at home to fellow Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen with goals by Nikolas Bendtner and Julian Draxler.
Ex-Manchester United striker Javi Hernandez equalized for Lever¬kusen, but the game was marred by two poor refereeing decisions from Manuel Grafe.
The FIFA-listed ref missed a clear offside for Bendtner’s goal, then failed to award a penalty when Wolfsburg’s Daniel Caligiuri was clearly fouled by Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno in the second half.
Borussia Moenchengladbach earned their sixth straight victory to go fifth with a 4-1 win at Hertha Berlin having been bottom in September with five defeats.
Gladbach blitzed Hertha with two goals in as many first-half minutes at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium from left-back Oscar Wendt, plus a solo effort from Brazil striker Raffael.
Gladbach grabbed a third when Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka drilled home a penalty on 55 minutes after Ivory Coast winger Ibra¬hima Traore was fouled in the area.
Alexander Baumjohann converted a late penalty for Hertha after being fouled before Havard Nordtveit grabbed Gladbach’s fourth in added time.
The result boosts Gladbach ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League match at home to 2015 finalists Juventus while Hertha drop to sixth.
Gladbach are now just two points behind Schalke, who needed a late Leroy Sane equalizer in their 1-1 draw at home to Ingolstadt after the Bavarian visitors took a shock first-half lead.
Bochum-born Cameroon internationals Joel and Marvin Matip faced each other for the first time with Joel at center-back for Schalke while Marvin captained Ingolstadt.
Huub Stevens picked up a point in his first game as coach of Hoffenheim in their goalless draw at Cologne.
Caretaker coach Stevens has been tasked with keeping second-from-bottom Hoffenheim in order for 28-year-old Julian Nagelsmann to make history next season as the Bundesliga’s youngest head coach.
Japan striker Yoshinori Muto claimed a hat-trick to rescue a dramatic point for mid-table Mainz in their 3-3 draw at bottom side Augsburg.
Having given Mainz a 2-0 lead before Augsburg roared back with three unanswered goals, Muto saved his best for last with a 93rd-minute strike.
Schalke 04 1 (Sane 77) Ingolstadt 04 1 (Levels 39)
Augsburg 3 (Verhaegh 42-pen, Koo 50, Bobadilla 81) Mainz 05 3 (Muto 19, 30, 90+3)
Cologne 0 Hoffenheim 0
Hertha Berlin 1 (Baujohann 82-pen) Bor. Moenchengladbach 4 (Wendt 26, Raffael 28, Xhaka 55-pen, Nordtveit 90+1)
VfL Wolfsburg 2 (Bendtner 34, Draxler 77) Bayer Leverkusen 1 (Hernandez 40). AFP