Mon, Dec 22, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Dortmund crisis continues with 10th league loss

AFP, BERLIN

Werder Bremen’s Zlatko Junuzovic, left, and Borussia Dortmund’s Marcel Schmelzer fight for the ball on Saturday in their Bundesliga match in Bremen, Germany.

Photo: Reuters

Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga crisis deepened on Saturday after suffering their 10th defeat of the season in losing 2-1 at fellow strugglers Werder Bremen to drop to second from bottom.

Having started the month at the foot of the table, Dortmund can finish the year back at the bottom if SC Freiburg picked up a point against Hannover 96 yesterday.

Dortmund continue to have the most defeats in Germany’s top flight at the season’s halfway stage, with just 15 points from 17 games, as Bremen claimed only their fourth win of the season to climb off the foot of the table.

Borussia coach Juergen Klopp said they are not relegation candidates, despite their league position.

“I wouldn’t write us off yet,” Klopp said, with the Bundesliga to resume at the end of next month after the winter break. “We have three weeks to prepare ourselves for the second half of the season. We must, and we will, improve, we have shown a lot of weaknesses in the first half of the season, but we’re not as weak as that.”

Borussia, who face Juventus in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, fell behind with just three minutes gone when Bremen’s 19-year-old striker Davie Selke curled in a superb goal from long range. Selkie then turned provider by outsprinting Dortmund captain Mats Hummels to put in a great cross which Bremen midfielder Fin Bartels converted on 62 minutes.

Hummels pulled a goal back when he headed home unmarked a corner from fellow Germany international Ilkay Gundogan on 69 minutes, but it was no more than a consolation.

Later in the day, second-placed VfL Wolfsburg fought back to claim a 2-1 home win against mid-table Cologne, which trimmed Bayern Munich’s lead at the top of the table back to 11 points.

Defender Dominic Maroh gave Cologne a shock lead after just 11 minutes, before Dutch striker Bas Dost equalized five minutes later. Brazil defender Naldo then headed the winner from a corner 12 minutes from time.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen stay third after rallying for a 1-1 draw at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Eintracht captain Alexander Meier converted a penalty to make him the league’s top scorer with 13 goals in 16 games before Leverkusen’s Germany winger Karim Bellarabi equalized seven minutes from time.

Roberto di Matteo’s Schalke 04, who have drawn Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League, stay fifth in the table after being held to a goalless draw at home to Hamburg SV in a poor display.

There was some good news for Royal Blues fans before kickoff, as Netherlands striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar extended his contract until 2017. He has scored 66 goals in 116 Bundesliga matches.

VfB Stuttgart remain above the bottom three after their goalless draw at home to SC Paderborn 07.

Augsburg fought back for a 2-1 victory at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach, who took the lead after only two minutes when Max Kruse converted a penalty, before midfielder Markus Feulner and striker Raul Bobadilla scored either side of halftime.

The result leaves Augsburg in sixth place, while Moenchengladbach dropped to fourth.

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