Last-gasp winner caps fightback as Leipzig keep pace with Bayern

Published March 1, 2021
LEIPZIG: RB Leipzig’s Yussuf Poulsen heads the ball clear during the Bundesliga match against Borussia Moenchengladbach at the Red Bull Arena. — Reuters
LEIPZIG: RB Leipzig’s Yussuf Poulsen heads the ball clear during the Bundesliga match against Borussia Moenchengladbach at the Red Bull Arena. — Reuters

BERLIN: A last-gasp Alexander Sorloth goal sealed RB Leipzig’s dramatic 3-2 comeback win at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday and kept them in the thick of the Bundesliga title race.

Leipzig fought back with second-half goals by Christopher Nkunku and Yussuf Poulsen before Sorloth’s winning header in the 93rd minute after Gladbach had led 2-0 at half-time.

We’ll try everything to keep the Bundesliga exciting,” said Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann. We have to keep the momentum. It was an extremely important victory in terms of the table. We didn’t look good when we conceded the goals, but were incredibly strong in the second half.”

The victory keeps second-placed Leipzig two points behind leaders Bayern Munich, who earlier romped to a 5-1 home win over Cologne.

Gladbach were in complete control at half-time after Jonas Hofmann netted an early penalty and Marcus Thuram used his shoulder to guide the ball into the net from a Breel Embolo header.

However, Sorloth came off the bench and inspired the second-half fight back.

The former Crystal Palace striker had a goal disallowed for handball before setting up Nkunku, who fired home Leipzig’s first goal on 57 minutes.

Poulsen smashed home the equaliser on 66 minutes.

Leipzig had all the momentum and peppered the Gladbach goal before Sorloth’s winning header deep into added time.

Earlier, Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski bagged another two goals as Bayern routed Cologne to end their two-game winless streak.

Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka, making his first league start since recovering from the coronavirus, lifted a cross for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to open the scoring in the 18th minute, then brilliantly set up Lewandowski in the 34th.

Defensive errors from David Alaba and Jerome Boateng allowed Ellyes Skhiri to pull one back after the break as Cologne enjoyed an encouraging phase.

Bayern coach Hansi Glick sent on Thomas Mller and Serge Gnabry in the 64th. The former was making his comeback from the coronavirus and he needed less than a minute to set up Lewandowski’s second goal.

Gnabry sealed the result in the 82nd and wrapped up the scoring in the 86th.

VfL Wolfsburg remain third, seven points behind Bayern, after their 2-0 home win over Hertha Berlin, whose defender Lukas Kluenter turned the ball into his own net before Maxence Lacroix scored the hosts’ second.

England winger Jadon Sancho converted a penalty and Brazil midfielder Reinier scored his first goal for the club as Borussia Dortmund beat Arminia Bielefeld 3-0 to cut the gap on fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt to three points.

Japan midfielder Wataru Endo netted his first two Bundesliga goals in VfB Stuttgart’s 5-1 thrashing of bottom side Schalke 04, whose Algeria midfielder Nabil Bentaleb had a second-half penalty saved.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2021

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