Borussia Dortmund suffer Bundesliga setback after early UCL success
BERLIN (AP) — Excelling in the Champions League, disappointing in the Bundesliga.
Borussia Dortmund suffered another domestic setback when it was held at Augsburg to 1-1 on Saturday just days after topping a Champions League group with Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Newcastle.
When asked how the team cannot maintain its good Champions League form in the Bundesliga, Dortmund defender Nico Schlotterbeck answered, “I don't know.”
Ermedin Demirović held off Schlotterbeck’s challenge — arguably with a shove — to fire Augsburg into a 23rd-minute lead.
Donyell Malen played a one-two with Niclas Füllkrug to equalize in the 35th.
Augsburg missed three good chances early in the second half before Dortmund coach Edin Terzić sent on Gio Reyna for Marco Reus, then the 19-year-old Samuel Bamba for his Bundesliga debut, but Dortmund was unable to grab a winner.
“We said before the game that we want and need to get six points in the remaining two games (of 2023),” Terzić said. “Once again, it’s not an easy game to explain because we did a lot of things well, we didn’t like some things, and in the end it’s 1-1 and we have to live with that.”
It’s Dortmund’s third straight Bundesliga game without a win, and its fifth across all competitions including a 1-1 draw with PSG on Wednesday.
Terzić's team has won only one of its last seven Bundesliga games.
Dortmund, which came agonizingly close to ending Bayern Munich’s domestic dominance last season, can fall nine points behind the defending champion, and 13 behind league leader Bayer Leverkusen if Leverkusen beats Eintracht Frankfurt at home on Sunday.
Bayern hosts Stuttgart on Sunday and still has a game to catch up on in January.
Dortmund also fell further behind Leipzig in the race for Champions League qualification.
“Complaining doesn’t help,” said Terzić, after referring to his team's busy schedule. “It’s a matter of moving forward again and showing that we also accept this challenge. And we will face that. And then hopefully we can reward our fans in the last home game (of 2023) on Tuesday.”
Dortmund next faces Mainz.
Fueled by chocolate from supporters’ protests, Takuma Asano scored to set up Bochum's 3-0 win over visiting Union Berlin in their duel at the lower end of the table.
The Japan forward grabbed a chocolate coin that was among many thrown onto the field by fans protesting the league’s plans to bring in an outside investor, unwrapped the gold foil, and ate the chocolate inside.
Then Asano broke the deadlock in first-half injury time by firing Bochum ahead.
Gonçalo Paciência and Kevin Stöger — from a penalty — scored in the second half to deal Union its first league defeat under new coach Nenad Bjelica.
FORSBERG’S FOND FAREWELL
Emil Forsberg scored four minutes after going on as a substitute and steered Leipzig to a 3-1 win over Hoffenheim in his last home appearance for the club.
The Sweden midfielder, who joined Leipzig in January 2015, fired in his team's second goal in the 70th minute after Ozan Kabak equalized for Hoffenheim, then set up Mohamed Simakan for the third in the 74th.
The 32-year-old Forsberg is expected to join sister club New York Red Bulls in the U.S. in the winter transfer period.
“It was an unbelievable journey,” said Forsberg, who joined when Leipzig was in the second division.
Also, Lovro Majer’s second-half goal was enough for 10-man Wolfsburg to beat Darmstadt 1-0, and Marvin Pieringer scored to give Heidenheim a 1-0 win in Mainz.
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