Both defending champions Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 had to dig deep for Bundesliga wins on Saturday as they returned to domestic action still in the glow of their UEFA Champions League triumphs last week.
After Borussia shocked Real Madrid 2-1 in Dortmund on Wednesday, the same night Schalke enjoyed a 2-0 win at Arsenal, the pair both needed second-half goals to win their respective Bundesliga games.
With league leaders Bayern Munich due to host Bayer 04 Leverkusen yesterday at the Allianz Arena, Dortmund beat SC Freiburg 2-0 in a game played in heavy snow.
Centerback Neven Subotic got the breakthrough the defending champions needed with a 54th-minute header, before Germany midfielder Mario Goezte slotted home the second on 83 minutes to keep Dortmund fourth.
“It was an incredibly tough game,” Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp said after snow covered the pitch and referee Marco Fritz opted to use an orange ball. “You could see in the first half just how hard it was to play on a pitch like that. In the second half, we played better than Freiburg did in the first, so this wasn’t an undeserved win, but in these conditions anything could have happened.”
Schalke also had to labor for their three points against Nuremberg as Peru international striker Jefferson Farfan hit the only goal of the game in the 77th minute to put Schalke second.
“We were motivated to win here and the coach had talked about the need for a good performance after London, but we are second behind Bayern now,” Schalke goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall said.
Eintracht Frankfurt would regain second spot if they won at VfB Stuttgart yesterday.
VfL Wolfsburg, who parted company with coach Felix Magath on Thursday, picked up only their second win of the season with a 4-1 victory at 10-man Fortuna Duesseldorf to lift themselves off the bottom and up into 16th in the table.
Ironically, two of the players who Magath had recruited over the summer, Dutch striker Bas Dost, who finished with a brace, and Croatia’s Ivica Olic both scored in the rout.
Brazil’s Diego netted a 78th-minute penalty after Duesseldorf had midfielder Oliver Fink shown a straight red card for fouling the Brazilian in the penalty area.
FSV Mainz 05 are up to fifth in the league after Hungary striker Adam Szalai scored a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Having opened his account in the 21st minute, he doubled his team’s tally with a second in the 46th and wrapped up his hat-trick with a 64th-minute header.
Also on Saturday, SpVgg Greuther Furth were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Werder Bremen.
Additional reporting by staff writer
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being