February 6, 2023



Bundesliga: Bayern sink Leverkusen while Dortmund and Hertha take knee | Football

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Bayern Munich edged closer to an eighth straight Bundesliga title as Hansi Flick’s men came from behind to win in style at Bayer Leverkusen.

The perennial German champions already had one hand on the trophy but tightened their grip as the season enters the closing stages by overcoming Peter Bosz’s Champions League hopefuls. Leverkusen failed to build on Lucas Alario’s early opener as Bayern put their foot on the gas, with Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski netting in a 4-2 win.

The hosts were without star turn Kai Havertz and failed to build on Alario’s smart stabbed finish. Coman raced through to coolly level, then Goretzka fired home a fine left-foot shot before Gnabry rubbed salt into the wounds on the stroke of half-time.

Lewandowski’s 44th goal of the season in all competitions ended the tie as a contest, although Florian Wirtz will not forget his fine late goal. Wirtz became the Bundesliga’s youngest scorer when he cut inside from the right and curled a left-foot finish beyond Manuel Neuer in the 89th minute. At 17 years and 34 days, Wirtz is 48 days younger than the previous record-holder Nuri Sahin, who scored for Borussia Dortmund against Nuremberg on in November 2005.

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What a way to score your first Bundesliga goal!

17-year-old Florian Wirtz beats Manuel Neuer to find the corner with a lovely finish 🙌

Remember the name… pic.twitter.com/hj1L9mDftB

June 6, 2020

Neuer said: “Our mentality made the difference. We conceded a goal after nine minutes, we were up against strong opponents. We needed some time to get a grip but struck ruthlessly then.”

Bayern wore T-shirts saying Rot Gegen Rassismus, which translates to Red Against Racism, as they warmed up and donned Black Lives Matter armbands during the game. “We players communicate the message all the time,” Neuer said. “We’re tolerant, open-minded and see no space for it [racism]. We have no place for it here.”

Players of Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin went down on one knee before their game in tribute to George Floyd, whose death in US police custody has triggered protests around the world. Both teams gathered around the centre circle and knelt while the coaches and their staff on the benches also joined in. Lucien Favre’s side won 1-0 thanks to Emre Can’s second-half goal. Jadon Sancho showed some dazzling footwork throughout but two glaring misses almost cost Dortmund.

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Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin players and staff take a knee before kick-off in a show of support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement 👏 pic.twitter.com/Bhcg4GQka3

June 6, 2020

Earlier this week the German Football Association (DFB) ruled that players were free to show their support for protests over the death of Floyd. Several players last week lifted their shirts to show messages in support of the protests.

Christian Strohdiek hit a stoppage-time equaliser to earn bottom-of-the-table Paderborn a 1-1 draw away at high-flying RB Leipzig and keep alive their faint hopes of avoiding relegation. Patrik Schick’s 27th-minute goal gave Leipzig the lead but their fortunes turned after Dayot Upamecano was sent off two minutes from the end of the first half when he petulantly kicked away the ball for his second yellow card.

A goal in each half by Rouwen Hennings gave Fortuna Düsseldorf a 2-2 draw at home to 10-man Hoffenheim but Uwe Rösler’s side, who are third from bottom, will see it as two points dropped rather than one gained.

Mainz scored once in each half to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 and move three points above the relegation play-off spot with four games left. The visitors went ahead two minutes before half-time thanks to Moussa Niakhate’s header from a corner for his first goal of the season. Eintracht, who are unlikely now to qualify for Europe, rarely threatened after an early Filip Kostic effort.

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