Union Berlin beats Stuttgart, stays third in Bundesliga
BERLIN (AP) — Thomas Müller scored twice and Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund 4-2 in “der Klassiker” on Saturday to overtake the visitors at the top of the Bundesliga and give Thomas Tuchel a winning start as coach.
Bayern capitalized on a major mistake by Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel on his return from injury to move two points above Dortmund with eight rounds of the league remaining.
It was Tuchel’s first game in charge of the Bavarian powerhouse – and against his former club.
“It was a good first step,” said Tuchel, whose predecessor, Julian Nagelsmann, was fired last week after Bayern’s 2-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen.
Kobel was adjudged to have scored an own-goal after letting through Dayot Upamecano’s hopeful forward ball, Müller added two more by the 23rd minute, and Kingsley Coman got the fourth in the 50th as Bayern overran the visitors.
Emre Can's 72nd-minute penalty and Donyell Malen's last-minute goal provided some consolation for Dortmund.
It was Dortmund’s first defeat in the Bundesliga in 2023, and it continued a long line of losses for the “black and yellows” in Munich.
“After this game it's about drawing the right conclusions and processing it,” Dortmund coach Edin Terzić said. “We'll look at the table tomorrow and see that we're still just two points off the lead.”
Tuchel opted for a back four, but there was little immediate sign of the former Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain coach’s input after such a short time in Munich.
Bayern grew in confidence as Dortmund struggled to recover from the shock of the opening goal.
The visitors had made the better start but Kobel gifted Bayern the lead in the 13th minute. Upamecano sent a long hopeful punt forward and the unpressured Kobel mistimed his clearance, allowing the ball to roll past into the goal behind him.
“Everyone saw it,” Dortmund captain Marco Reus said. “He won so many games for us already this season, produced so many great saves. This situation was bitter.”
Kobel, just back after missing four games with a thigh problem, again looked bad when Müller beat him from close range at his near post in the 18th, and once again when he allowed the rebound from Leroy Sané’s shot land at Müller’s feet for the Bayern veteran’s second goal five minutes later.
Dortmund defender Nico Schlotterbeck, who returned from Germany duty with a thigh problem, had to go off injured before the break. Mats Hummels came on against his former side in his place.
Sané set up Coman for 4-0 in the 50th. Kobel got his hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out. Coman had already missed two good chances before the break.
It could have been worse for Dortmund – Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting had a spectacular overhead goal ruled out for offside, Serge Gnabry also had a goal disallowed, and Bayern went on to miss further opportunities before Dortmund's late response.
UNION STILL FLYING HIGH
Stuttgart midfielder Genki Haraguchi scored an own-goal in his first return to Union Berlin as his former team won 3-0 and consolidated third place.
Sheraldo Becker scored in the 51st minute to get Union off the mark, then Kevin Behrens struck from close range in the 67th, a minute before Haraguchi deflected Behrens’ cross into his own net.
It lifted Union four points clear of fourth-place Freiburg, which still holds the last place for Champions League qualification despite a 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin.
Jessic Ngankam scored in the 77th for Hertha to salvage a morale-boosting point in its battle against relegation. Hertha moved a point above Schalke.
Also, Jeremie Frimpong, Florian Wirtz and Sardar Azmoun scored for Bayer Leverkusen to ease to a 3-0 win at Schalke. Schalke stayed a point above last-place Stuttgart. The Gelsenkirchen-based club later said a fan died after a “medical emergency” toward the end of the game.
Wolfsburg captain Maximilian Arnold scored an own-goal and missed a penalty but his team fought from two goals down to draw 2-2 at home with Augsburg. Germany midfielder Felix Nmecha scored the equalizer in injury time, set up by American midfielder Kevin Paredes.
On Rouven Schröder’s first day as Leipzig sporting director, the team slumped to a 3-0 loss at home to Mainz to continue its downward turn. Leipzig has now lost both games since its 7-0 defeat at Manchester City in the Champions League.
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