Hertha take chal­lenger role

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

As Bay­ern Mu­nich's tra­di­tional ri­vals con­tinue to drop points, Hertha Berlin has taken the man­tle of chal­leng­ing the leader with its best ever start in the Bun­desliga.

BAY­ERN MU­NICH 2, BORUS­SIA M’GLAD­BACH 0

Bay­ern at­tacked from the off and duly went ahead in the 16th minute when Ar­turo Vidal pow­ered a header un­der the bar from Rafinha's cross.

Fif­teen min­utes later, Dou­glas Costa cel­e­brated his first start of the sea­son by tak­ing David Alaba's cross on his chest and fir­ing the ball in­side the left post. The Brazil­ian ran over to two fans, posed and took a selfie with them.

It was all Bay­ern with 'Glad­bach of­fer­ing next to noth­ing in at­tack. But for an early shot over on a coun­ter­at­tack from Fabian Johnson, ev­ery other ef­fort in the first half came from the home side.

IN­GOL­STADT 3, BORUS­SIA DORT­MUND 3

Dort­mund's ti­tle chances took another blow af­ter drop­ping points for the fourth time in eight games.

Al­mog Co­hen gave In­gol­stadt an early lead af­ter a poorly de­fended free kick, then Ro­man Wei­den­feller pre­vented the home side go­ing fur­ther ahead when he blocked Lukas Hin­ter­seer's over­head kick. Wei­den­feller started for the first time since March as Ro­man Buerki had a cold.

Another free kick from a sim­i­lar po­si­tion on the right al­lowed Dario Lez­cano to head in In­gol­stadt's sec­ond.

Thomas Tuchel sent on Pulisic af­ter the break and Mario Goetze shortly af­ter­ward. The lat­ter was in­volved straight away as Pier­reEm­er­ick Aubameyang pulled one back with his sev­enth of the sea­son.

The cel­e­bra­tions lasted less than a minute, how­ever, as Lez­cano grabbed his sec­ond, min­utes be­fore In­gol­stadt hit the post.

Pulisic set up Adrian Ramos to get within one in the 69th, and he prod­ded home the equal­izer from close range in the last minute af­ter Or­jan Ny­land saved Lukasz Piszczek's ini­tial ef­fort.

HERTHA BERLIN 2, COLOGNE 1

Ibi­se­vic fired Hertha into an early lead af­ter a fine run and cross from Mitchell Weiser.

An­thony Modeste grabbed the equal­izer with his league-lead­ing eighth goal of the sea­son in the 65th, con­verted from close range af­ter great in­ter­play be­tween Jonas Hec­tor, Konstantin Rausch, and Leonardo Bittencourt.

But Nik­las Stark grabbed the win­ner less than 10 min­utes later for the high-fly­ing home side.

DARM­STADT 3, WOLFS­BURG 1

Va­le­rien Is­mael's ten­ure at Wolfs­burg got off to a rocky start when last de­fender Jef­frey Bruma was sent off for deny­ing a clear goal chance. Anis BenHatira scored from the re­sult­ing free kick in the 25th.

Ger­many striker Mario Gomez equal­ized on the hour with his first Wolfs­burg goal, but Las­zlo Klein­heisler re­stored the home side's ad­van­tage eight min­utes later, and San­dro Sirigu sealed the win.

Is­mael's pre­de­ces­sor, Di­eter Heck­ing, was sacked on Mon­day.

BAYER LEV­ERKUSEN 0, HOF­FEN­HEIM 3

Lev­erkusen was dealt a blow when for­ward Kevin Vol­land was sent off against his for­mer side in the sixth minute for deny­ing Kerem Demir­bay a clear goal chance.

Demir­bay fired un­der the bar to open the scor­ing, San­dro Wag­ner made it 2-0 early in the sec­ond half, and set up Steven Zu­ber to score on the hour. FREIBURG 2, AUGS­BURG 1 Sec­ond-half goals from Max­i­m­il­ian Philipp and Nils Petersen, both set up by Vin­cenzo Grifo, gave Freiburg its fourth win of the sea­son.

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