Sunday’s bundesliga soccer games: new coach, old woes

Schalke misses its victory against Leverkusen with an own goal (1:1). No goals are scored between Wolfsburg and Augsburg. Borussia Dortmund beats Stuttgart 4:1.

Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored two goals for Dortmund. Photo: reuters

FC Schalke 04 was unfortunate to miss a possible victory at Bundesliga table neighbor Bayer Leverkusen. Sascha Riether’s own goal in the 85th minute to make it 1-1 (0-0) secured the Werkself a point on Sunday evening. Three days after the 1-0 win in the Europa League against Nicosia, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting had given the Konigsblauen the lead again in the 50th minute.

VfL Wolfsburg could not get beyond a 0-0 draw at relegation-threatened FC Augsburg at the end of the 14th matchday of the Bundesliga. Dante was shown the yellow card in front of 27,081 spectators (85th). However, with 25 points, the DFB Cup winners from Wolfsburg are still the first chaser of the top duo Bayern Munich (40) and Borussia Dortmund (32). Bayer Leverkusen is sixth in the table ahead of Hamburger SV and Leverkusen (all 21).

VfB Stuttgart continued its slide against Borussia Dortmund five days after parting ways with coach Alexander Zorniger. Under the direction of interim coach Jurgen Kramny, the relegation-threatened Swabians conceded their third defeat in a row on Sunday with a 1:4 (1:2). But unlike the two clear 0:4 defeats previously against FC Bayern and FC Augsburg, an upward trend was apparent.

Thanks to goals from Gonzalo Castro (3rd minute), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (19th/90th) and Georg Niedermeier (own goal/65th), BVB consolidated second place in the table after two recent defeats in competitive matches in front of 81,359 spectators at the sold-out Signal Iduna Park. Daniel Didavi scored the goal for VfB (40th minute).

The VfB starting eleven, which had been changed in four positions compared to the 0:4 loss against Augsburg, got off to a bad start and was already trailing 0:1 after just three minutes. VfB keeper Przemyslaw Tyton was on hand to deal with Henrich Mchitarjan’s long-range shot. But the ball he blocked landed on the head of Castro, who scored his first Bundesliga goal for the club from close range.

The early lead gave Borussia, which again fielded the offensive trio of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus and Shinji Kagawa, who had been spared in Krasnodar on Thursday, more confidence. Although they came under pressure for a short time without the recently criticized head of defense Mats Hummels, who was taking a break this time, they struck again with a counterattack. Aubameyang finished off a fine pass from the strong Castro with a sensitive lob into the goal from 14 meters. It was the 16th goal of the season for the Bundesliga’s current top scorer.

This double blow was difficult for the Swabians to process. Nevertheless, they continued to play courageously forward. Didavi (28th), for example, had the opportunity to tie the game with a shot that was saved by BVB keeper Roman Burki. In addition, Dortmund full-back Lukasz Piszczek saved on the line after a beautiful solo run by Timo Werner (40th). Only a few seconds later, VfB was rewarded for its momentum. After a pass from Filip Kostic, Didavi pushed the ball over the line for a deserved goal.

After the restart, VfB proved to be an uncomfortable opponent for Borussia. Nevertheless, BVB took control more and more and created good chances through Aubameyang (50./62.). But it fit into the picture of a relegation candidate haunted by bad luck that the goal to 1:3 fell through an own goal. After a cross from Marco Reus, center back Niedermeier put the ball into his own net and sealed the 10th defeat of the season for the Swabians. After that, BVB dominated the game, but was negligent with its scoring chances. It was only shortly before the end that Aubemeyang scored to make the final score 4:1.

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