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Bayer Leverkusen delivers a lesson in efficiency with win over Mainz in Bundesliga

Bayer Leverkusen celebrates Bayer Leverkusen celebrates - The Canadian Press

BERLIN (AP) — Harry Kane and Leroy Sané scored for Bayern Munich to fight back and draw at Leipzig 2-2 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, preserving the 11-time defending champion’s unbeaten start.

But Bayern needed goalkeeper Sven Ulreich to deny Benjamin Šeško what looked like was going to be a late winner for Leipzig in injury time.

Ulreich was the central figure as Bayern rode its luck at times.

“Ulle did well. Every goalkeeper makes a mistake,” Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel said.

Ulreich almost gifted Leipzig the opener when he had emerged from goal to stop Xavi Simons, then passed the ball straight to Emil Forsberg. The Leipzig midfielder’s shot drifted to the right and wide.

Loïs Openda scored with the next real chance for Leipzig in the 20th, and Castello Lukeba made it 2-0 six minutes later after Ulreich failed to gather a corner that Openda laid back for his teammate.

Ulreich had a let-off before the break after bringing down Openda who was through on goal in the penalty area – the Leipzig forward was flagged offside and VAR confirmed the call. The Bayern goalkeeper might have been shown a red card otherwise.

Tuchel sent on Mathys Tel and Raphaël Guerreiro for the second half and his team was given a way back when Benjamin Henrichs was penalized for handball through VAR after a free kick struck the back of his arm.

Kane duly scored from the spot in the 57th. Jamal Musiala set up Leroy Sané to equalize on a counterattack in the 70th.

Bayern was fortunate again when defender Dayot Upamecano did not see a second yellow card for a foul on Xavi in the 73rd.

It was Leipzig's first game since firing sporting director Max Eberl on Friday for a “failure to commit” to the club. Eberl lives in Munich and was reportedly of interest to Bayern.


Bayer Leverkusen delivered a lesson in efficiency by making the most of its chances in a 3-0 win at Mainz that lifted Xabi Alonso’s team back to the top earlier Saturday.

“To win like this is very important for us,” Alonso said. “We'll keep going.”

An own-goal from Sepp van den Berg gave Leverkusen an 18th-minute lead. The Mainz defender was trying to cut out Jeremie Frimpong's cross but only deflected the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Alejandro Grimaldo made it 2-0 with a free kick in the 59th, six minutes before Jonas Hofmann sealed the win with what was just the visitors’ second effort on target.

Leverkusen is one of three remaining unbeaten teams along with Bayern and Borussia Dortmund.


Jan-Niklas Beste scored with a brilliant free kick just before the hour-mark for promoted Heidenheim to beat Union Berlin 1-0 for its second-ever Bundesliga win.

It stretched the visitors’ losing streak to five games across all competitions.

“Now we got two days to prepare for the next task,” said Union coach Urs Fischer, whose team hosts Braga in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Deniz Undav scored twice for Stuttgart to win in Cologne 2-0, and Jonas Wind did likewise for Wolfsburg to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 at home. Frankfurt’s Mario Götze was sent off with yellow cards either side of the break.

Borussia Mönchengladbach defeated Bochum 3-1 away. The game started late because emergency exits in the visitors’ end were covered by banners and flags before kickoff.


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