Gladbach beats Bayern 2-1 to stay top of Bundesliga

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MÖNCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP) — Surprise Bundesliga leader Borussia Mönchengladbach showed it’s a serious title contender by beating Bayern Munich 2-1 on Saturday with a last-gasp penalty.

Left-back Ramy Bensebaini scored both goals for Gladbach, which last won the title in 1977. Bensebaini headed in a corner to draw Gladbach level after Ivan Perisic’s volley for Bayern, and then scored the decisive penalty in added time.

Bayern wasted numerous chances to score in the first half as it lost back-to-back Bundesliga games for the first time in 14 months.

Gladbach leads the league by a point ahead of Leipzig, which beat Hoffenheim 3-1 thanks to two goals from Timo Werner. Jadon Sancho scored twice as Dortmund thrashed Fortuna Düsseldorf 5-0.

BAYERN BEATEN AGAIN

Another week, another 2-1 defeat and yet more missed opportunities for Bayern.

Just as in last week’s loss to Bayer Leverkusen by the same score, Bayern had a string of great chances — 15 shots in the first half alone — but a mix of poor finishes and good goalkeeping denied the Munich team.

Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer trapped an effort by Joshua Kimmich on the line, and Robert Lewandowski twice flashed shots just wide of the post.

After that frustration, Bayern scored with its first shot of the second half, a sweetly hit volley by substitute Ivan Perisic into the top-left corner from the edge of the box.

That sparked Gladbach into life. The hosts have been strong at set pieces this season and showed it again when Bensebaini lost his marker to head in the corner in the 60th.

Bayern pushed up to chase the win in stoppage time and was caught out by a Gladbach counter. Martinez launched into a desperate slide to stop Marcus Thuram reaching a loose ball and brought him down, giving away a penalty and earning a red card.

Bayern’s interim coach Hansi Flick started the day with a chance to go within a point of Gladbach, but now finds himself seven points adrift of the top.

WERNER LEADS LEIPZIG

If Leipzig manages to win the Bundesliga title for the first time in its short history, it will be largely thanks to Timo Werner.

He’s scored 15 goals in 14 league games this season and has nine in his last five Bundesliga contests. Hoffenheim could do nothing to stop Werner giving Leipzig the lead on a counterattack in the 11th minute.

Hoffenheim tried fouling Werner, but that just led to the 52nd-minute penalty from which he scored his second goal. Marcel Sabitzer added a third late on.

SANCHO’S SCORING RUN

Dortmund continued its recovery from a 4-0 loss to Bayern last month, beating Düsseldorf with two goals each from Marco Reus and Sancho.

Reus gave Dortmund the lead with a calm finish in the 42nd minute. Thorgan Hazard and Sancho added the second and third goals, before Reus and Sancho each scored again late on. Sancho has now scored in each of his last four games in the Bundesliga and the Champions League.

That makes it three games unbeaten for Dortmund in the Bundesliga since the loss to Bayern, and puts the team firmly back into the battle for Champions League places.

Freiburg continued its improbable chase for a Champions League spot, overtaking Bayern with a 1-0 win over Wolfsburg thanks to Jonathan Schmid’s 85th-minute goal. Augsburg beat Mainz 2-1 to halt Mainz’s winning start under new coach Achim Beierlorzer, who had overseen victories in his first two games.

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James Ellingworth is on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jellingworth

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