Borussia Dortmund battled to a 3-2 victory at European hopefuls Hoffenheim on Saturday to close in on leaders Bayern Munich as striker Erling Haaland made it 56 goals in 57 Bundesliga games for the Ruhr valley club.
Efficient Dortmund had only three shots on goal compared to Hoffenheim’s 14 but it was enough for the win that lifted them to 43 points, three behind Bayern, who face Hertha in Berlin on Sunday.
Dortmund, looking to make it three wins out of three league games this year, got off to a strong start and Haaland tapped in for the lead in the sixth minute from Donyell Malen’s first of three assists.
Haaland, who had to be taken off injured in the 63rd minute, has scored 16 times in the league this season. Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji was also injured in the 83rd minute.
Andrej Kramaric’s sensational volley in first-half stoppage time drew the hosts level but the visitors struck again in the 58th minute with Reus completing a quickfire passing move with a deft finish.
Hoffenheim’s afternoon took a further turn for the worse when David Raum drilled the ball into his own net attempting to clear a Malen cutback to give Dortmund a two-goal lead.
Hoffenheim, battling for a Champions League spot this season, got back into the mix when Georgionio Rutter caught the defence napping to latch onto a clever Munas Dabbour chip and slot in, but they eventually ran out of time.
Hoffenheim dropped to sixth on 31 points. Bayer Leverkusen stayed in third on 35 with a 5-1 demolition of Augsburg courtesy of a Moussa Diaby hat-trick while Union Berlin climbed to fourth following their 2-1 win at Borussia Monchengladbach.
It was Gladbach’s fourth straight loss at home, just days after their German Cup exit to second-division Hannover. The latest defeat piles the pressure on coach Adi Hutter, who was already under scrutiny after losing six of the last eight games across all competitions.
Freiburg moved fifth with a 2-0 win over Stuttgart, and rock-bottom Greuther Furth claimed their second win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Mainz.
Serie A: Dzeko header earns leaders Inter win
A last-gasp header from Edin Dzeko earned Serie A leaders Inter Milan a dramatic 2-1 win over Venezia on Saturday, as Simone Inzaghi’s side moved five points clear at the top of the standings.
The hosts were poor in the opening stages, with Venezia, who were without numerous first-team players after a COVID-19 outbreak in the squad this week, racing into a shock lead through French forward Thomas Henry in the 19th minute.
Inter rallied and got themselves level through Nicolo Barella five minutes before the break, before creating several openings after the interval to complete the turnaround.
A winner looked set to elude the champions as the match entered the dying stages, only for veteran Dzeko to climb highest to snatch all three points for Inter in the 90th minute.
The victory took Inter onto 53 points from 22 matches played, with second-placed AC Milan taking on Juventus at San Siro on Sunday, while Venezia stayed 17th, two points above the relegation zone.
It appeared unclear this week whether the rising COVID-19 cases in the Venezia squad would lead to Saturday’s clash being postponed, but the newly-promoted side managed to put a team together for the trip to Milan.
Their efforts appeared justified as the visitors looked untroubled early on before Henry powered a header into the net to peg Inter back.
Other than a Lautaro Martinez overhead kick midway through the first half that just missed the target, Inter offered little threat until Barella was on hand to score his second league goal of the season, reacting quickest after Ivan Perisic’s effort had been saved.
Dzeko should have put Inter in front early in the second half, but somehow scooped over from only a few metres out.
For all their possession, Inter continued to create little. It was substitute Denzel Dumfries who made the difference, picking out a perfect cross for Dzeko to head home, as the 35-year-old took his Serie A tally into double figures this season in timely fashion.
La Liga: Sevilla frustrated again by Celta
Second-placed Sevilla fought back from two goals down but failed to close the gap on La Liga leaders Real Madrid as they were held 2-2 at home by Celta Vigo on Saturday, their second consecutive draw.
Sevilla moved on to 46 points from 22 games, three points behind Real Madrid and six ahead of Real Betis in third. The leaders have a game in hand and will host Elche on Sunday.
Celta burst into the lead shortly before half-time, scoring twice after two defensive mistakes in the space of three minutes, first through Franco Cervi and then Iago Aspas.
Sevilla fought back after the break and drew level midway into the second half, also with two goals in three minutes, with strikes from Papu Gomez and Oliver Torres.