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Brandt’s quick-fire double gives Dortmund German Cup win over Moenchengladbach

RB Leipzig are looking to return to the German Cup final after finishing as runners-up to Bayern Munich last season

Julian Brandt scored two goals in three minutes to propel Borussia Dortmund into the German Cup last 16 with a 2-1 comeback victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday.

After a dour opening, the game came to life in the 71st minute when Gladbach’s Marcus Thuram headed home from close range to put the visitors 1-0 up.

Discovering a sudden urgency, Dortmund went on the attack, equalising in the 77th minute after a shot from Brandt was deflected past Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer.

The home side scored the winner just three minutes later, with Brandt heading a cross from Thorgan Hazard into the bottom left of the net.

RB Leipzig demolished Wolfsburg 6-1 after a second-half exhibition featuring four goals in 13 minutes from the visiting side.

Leipzig trail Wolfsburg by two points in the Bundesliga but grabbed the lead on 13 minutes in their last-32 tie courtesy of an own goal by Dutch defender Jeffrey Bruma.

Marcel Sabitzer scored Leipzig’s second in the 55th minute and opened the floodgates, with goals from Emil Forsberg, Konrad Laimer and Timo Werner padding the score out to 5-0.

Germany forward Werner struck again in the 88th minute before Wolfsburg got a consolation goal from Wout Weghorst.

Elsewhere, Werder Bremen dominated second division side Heidenheim, winning 4-1.

Milot Rashica scored after just six minutes, with Leonardo Bittencourt and Davy Klaassen adding two more before the game had reached 20 minutes.

Austrian defender Marco Friedl added a fourth in the 41st minute, before Heidenheim’s Marc Schnatterer converted a penalty in first-half injury time.

Amateur side SC Verl continued their miraculous German Cup run, advancing to the last 16 after defeating second-division Holsten Kiel 8-7 in a penalty shootout.

Home side Verl, who play in the fourth division of German football, equalised in the 45th minute through Nico Hecker after Kiel opened the scoring in the 13th minute through Janni Luca Serra.

Both sides converted each of their five penalties, with the shootout eventually going to its ninth round. Verl’s Zlatko Janjic scored from the spot, before Kiel’s Phil Neumann failed to convert to send the minnows through.

Verl had defeated Bundesliga side Augsburg in their first-round fixture.

In another match decided by a penalty shootout, two-time German Cup winners Kaiserslauten won 6-5 over Nuremberg, after the score finished 2-2 following extra time.

In the final match of the day, Hertha Berlin defeated Dynamo Dresden 5-4 on penalties after the two sides had been locked at 3-3 at the end of extra-time.

AFP / Tobias SCHWARZ

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Sancho stars as Dortmund down toothless Bayern to win German Super Cup

English winger Jadon Sancho starred for Borussia Dortmund on Saturday to help his side beat rivals Bayern Munich 2-0 to win their sixth DFL Super Cup and claim early bragging rights in the curtain raiser for the German Bundesliga.

The teenager was the key man, assisting one goal and scoring the other in front of the Dortmund faithful against a Bayern side looking a little lost without departed greats Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

Lucien Favre’s side tailed off in last season’s title challenge, finishing runners-up to Bayern who clinched a record 29th league trophy and the DFB Pokal. However, they showed their determination to put that right, captain Marco Reus forcing a diving save from Manuel Neuer in the very first minute.

Neuer was then lucky to not be beaten or force the referee to show him a red card when he ran out halfway into his own half after 15 minutes to dive at Paco Alcacer who knocked the ball past the goalkeeper, but it trickled past the open goal.

Alcacer made amends for his miss shortly after halftime. Sancho dazzled the opposition with his footwork on the right before teeing up the Spanish striker on the edge of the box who found the bottom right corner.

Some last ditch defending stopped Bayern from equalising 10 minutes later, with Kingsley Coman, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski all denied from close range in a matter of seconds.

But it was Sancho who stole the show, doubling Dortmund’s lead after collecting the ball and sprinting from almost the halfway line to slot it expertly past Neuer.

Bayern tried to find openings but were unable to find a way past a stubborn yellow wall, which will this season feature Mats Hummels after his return from Munich. The veteran defender was not able to face his former side due to a knock in training.

For Niko Kovac’s men, the result was a reminder that they have areas in their squad to improve and they will no doubt increase their efforts to land young winger and long term target Leroy Sane from Manchester City.

Dortmund, meanwhile, go some way to make up for their 5-0 capitulation to Bayern in April and go into the new Bundesliga season buoyed by winning the first silverware of the campaign.

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; )

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Dortmund set to return to winning ways at Wolfsburg

 

On Saturday afternoon, Dortmund look to maintain top spot in the Bundesliga when they travel to face Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena.

Wolfsburg have picked up 12 points from their opening nine Bundesliga games and sit tenth place in the league table. The Wolves ended a six-game run without a win in the German top-flight last time out by recording a 3-0 win at Fortuna Dusseldorf.

The home side’s recent league games have been relatively high scoring, with 11 of their last 13 games in the Bundesliga producing over 2.5 goals, including their last two outings.

The Wolves have failed to win in their last four home games in the Bundesliga, picking up two draws and suffering two defeats. Their recent home games in the league have been high scoring with over 2.5 goals scored in their last seven matches, while both teams have also scored in the same run of games.

Dortmund have made a strong start to their Bundesliga campaign and currently sit top of the table, leading champions Bayern Munich by two points. A 2-2 draw at Hertha Berlin last time out in the league ended a four-game winning run. The game was BVB’s fifth straight match in the German top-flight that has produced over 2.5 goals.

The visitors are now four games unbeaten on their travels in the Bundesliga, having recorded two wins and two draws. Dortmund have only failed to score in one of their last five league games on their travels.

A big positive for the visitors heading into this game is that they have won five of their last six meetings with the Wolves in all competitions while scoring at least two goals in the process.

Sportseconds predicts that Dortmund will return to winning ways in the Bundesliga by recording a victory in a high scoring clash.

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Dortmund to continue steady campaign at Leverkusen

On Saturday evening, Bayer Leverkusen host Dortmund at the BayArena in the Bundesliga, as the visitors look to continue a decent recent run in the German top-flight this season.

Bayer Leverkusen started their top-flight campaign with three straight league defeats. However, the home side has now recorded wins in their last two games in the Bundesliga. Last time out Bayer recorded a 2-1 win at Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Leverkusen’s recent games have been relatively high scoring in the German top-flight, with over 2.5 goals scored in three of their last four outings.

Bayer’s recent record in the Bundesliga has been patchy. However, a record of just three wins from their last nine home league outings is not the best.

The home side’s games on home soil in the Bundesliga have been relatively low scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in seven of their last ten outings.

Dortmund are unbeaten in their first five games of the German top-flight campaign, after winning three and drawing two of their outings so far this season. Last time out BVB hammered Nurnberg 7-0 at the Signal Iduna Park.

The visitor’s recent league outings have been high scoring, as there have been over 2.5 goals scored in five of their last seven games in the German-flight.

Despite their steady start to the league campaign, Dortmund have failed to win in seven away games in the German top-flight. BVB’s recent away games in the Bundesliga have been low scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in four of their last five games on their travels.

A big factor in those recent low scoring away games for the visitors is the fact that BVB have scored just four goals in their last six away games.

Sportseconds predicts that Dortmund will end that winless run on their travels in the Bundesliga by recording a victory in a low scoring encounter.

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Stoger sets out rules for Aubameyang reintegration at Dortmund

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang must show he is committed to Borussia Dortmund if he wants to force his way back into the first team, says head coach Peter Stoger.

Aubameyang was left out of Dortmund’s squad for Sunday’s home clash with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, and his presence was missed as the game finished goalless.

The Gabon international was dropped by Stoger after missing a pre-match meeting on Saturday, a decision backed by goalkeeper Roman Burki.

Discussions between Dortmund and Aubameyang failed to clear prior to kick-off so the striker was forced to sit out their return to league action.

And Stoger has warned the 28-year-old he needs to improve his behaviour if he wants to be part of his squad going forward.

“We talked with Aubameyang today,” Stoger told a post-match media conference.

“We explained to him what was going on and why we did [suspend him]. After his actions I felt that his focus wasn’t completely on the match, which was extremely important for us.

“And for all the other players it is important too, to act carefully in this group. I told [Aubameyang] what he should have done and what was important for us to know about. But I also told him that he has the chance to show us that he is ready every single week.”

And Aubameyang – who has been linked with a move to China and Arsenal during the transfer window – has been given a set of guidelines to follow to rebuild the trust at Signal Iduna Park.

Stoger added: “We told him that he has to follow certain rules.

“This time it wasn’t just a little thing. It was an important talk for us. His actions were an important factor for the whole group.

“That’s why we didn’t put him in the squad for this match.

“We expect him to be at training tomorrow [Monday]. Aubameyang is doing well in training, he has fun and has the motivation and we hope that the problems will be fixed.”

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Hamburg 0 Borussia Dortmund 3: Bosz´s men cruise back to Bundesliga summit

Shinji Kagawa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulisic grabbed the goals as Borussia Dortmund crushed Hamburg 3-0 to move back to the top of the Bundesliga.

Peter Bosz’s men have started the season impressively and continued their fine form on Wednesday, as they kept a fifth successive clean sheet, a feat they have never managed at the beginning of a Bundesliga campaign before.

Dortmund were particularly good in the first half and, after wasting a couple of fine chances, deservedly took the lead through Kagawa – the Japan international making the most of his first Bundesliga start of the season.

Dortmund sat back after the break, inviting pressure, and that tactic worked like a charm, as Aubameyang finished off a swift break just after the hour to continue his tormenting of Hamburg with what was his ninth goal in as many games against them.

The lively Pulisic then wrapped things up with 10 minutes to go, rounding off a well-worked move as Hamburg were left on the end of a comprehensive defeat in their own stadium.

It took Dortmund’s attack seven minutes to create the first opening, Aubameyang and Pulisic dazzling the Hamburg defence, before the American sent a controlled effort just wide of the bottom-left corner.

Andriy Yarmolenko then got involved, cutting inside and crossing for Aubameyang to send a glancing header on to the right-hand post.

Dortmund’s dominant start eventually bore fruit in the 24th minute.

Yarmolenko’s free-kick found Omer Toprak, who nodded it down for Kagawa and he kept his cool before smashing past Christian Mathenia.

That goal seemed to spark Hamburg into life and they almost equalised just after the half-hour mark – Andre Hahn forcing Roman Burki into a smart save after good work from Lewis Holtby.

But they rode their luck again twice in quick succession shortly after, as Pulisic tested Mathenia inside the area, before the goalkeeper saved Mergim Mavraj from an embarrassing own-goal by tipping his header over following another wicked Yarmolenko delivery.

Hamburg looked a little more positive early in the second half and they almost levelled in the 54th minute, but Mavraj blasted his effort into the side-netting from eight yards after Dortmund failed to clear a corner.

The home side’s switch to a more attack-minded approach ultimately proved their undoing in the 63rd minute, however.

Dortmund caught Hamburg on the counter and Yarmolenko’s eventual shot was scuffed into the path of Aubameyang, who tapped it in from close range.

The match was put completely beyond Hamburg in the 79th minute, as Pulisic collected Mahmoud Dahoud’s cut-back, strode past a challenge and confidently swept home to round off an impressive Dortmund performance.

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Bosz hopes to reap benefits of big Dortmund squad

Peter Bosz is looking forward to using the full depth of his Borussia Dortmund squad, even if he may be left waiting on some of his new signings.

Dortmund sold Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona for €105million but the club were then able to bring in Andriy Yarmolenko, Jeremy Toljan and Jadon Sancho late in the transfer window.

While Bosz acknowledges this gives him a selection headache, the Dortmund coach believes he will need to use all of the players at his disposal over the course of the season.

“We will need more than just 11 players in the coming weeks,” Bosz told a pre-match news conference ahead of facing Freiburg.

“We will need everyone. We have a large squad, so we should use it.”

He added: “It will not be easy for some players, but there have been no issues yet.”

Bosz confirmed that all of his international players had returned unscathed, before offering updates on his new men.

“Yarmolenko has not trained with the team yet,” he said. “But we know him well. He was the best option for Dortmund.

“I don’t know yet if he will be ready for the match. I’ll talk to him [on Friday], but he’s definitely fit.

“Toljan just needs to adapt to our style of play. He was in full training with Hoffenheim, so he is match fit.

“But Sancho hasn’t trained for quite some time – he needs to build up stamina. He’s still got a long way to go.”

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Ruthless Dortmund maul Wolves in Bundesliga start

BERLIN-Borussia Dortmund overcame hosts VfL Wolfsburg 3-0 on Saturday to make a flawless start to their Bundesliga season.

New Dortmund coach Peter Bosz had promised attractive, attacking football and his team, who finished third last season, delivered on his Bundesliga debut.

There was more good news for Dortmund with Mario Goetze making his comeback after half a year out following a metabolic disorder and the Germany international set up Christian Pulisic after 22 minutes for the first goal at the Volkswagen Arena.

The absence of suspended Ousmane Dembele, who missed training last week amid speculation about a possible move to Barcelona, was quickly forgotten as Marc Bartra doubled the lead five minutes later against a dazed Wolfsburg defence.

With the Wolves cornered, Dortmund kept up the pressure and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, last season’s Bundesliga top scorer, added a third on the hour.

Champions Bayern Munich are also on three points after Friday’s 3-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.

An 84th-minute deflected effort from Andrej Kramaric gave Hoffenheim, who face Liverpool next week for a spot in the Champions League group stage, a 1-0 win over Werder Bremen.

Australian Mathew Leckie struck twice for new club Hertha Berlin as they beat promoted VfB Stuttgart, back after a season in the second division, 2-0.

Nicolai Mueller’s goal gave Hamburg, who narrowly avoided a relegation playoff last season and suffered a shock German Cup first-round exit last week, a 1-0 win over Augsburg for their first victory at the start of the season in seven years.

Promoted Hanover 96 won by the same score with Austrian Martin Harnik on target against Mainz 05.

Last season’s runners-up RB Leipzig travel to Schalke 04 later on Saturday.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann,; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Ed Osmond)