There were wins for Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen in the first batch of Bundesliga games on Saturday.
BERLIN – Borussia Dortmund scored a goal in each half through Raphael Guerreiro and Achraf Hakimi to beat hosts VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 on Saturday and stay on the heels of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.
Portugal international Guerreiro tapped in a cutback from Thorgan Hazard after Erling Haaland had failed to connect in the 32nd minute, and Hakimi fired in from a fine Jadon Sancho assist in the 78th to make sure of the three points.
The result lifted Dortmund to 57 points, one behind Bayern, who are in action against Eintracht Frankfurt later on Saturday. The Bundesliga resumed last week with no fans, after more than two months of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dortmund next face Bayern on Tuesday in a game that could go a long way to deciding the championship.
Wolfsburg, who suffered their first defeat in eight league games, were left with 10 men when substitute Felix Klaus was sent off for a rough challenge.
Werder Bremen midfielder Leonardo Bittencourt scored a brilliant first-half winner to seal 1-0 victory at Freiburg that reignited their hopes of staying in the Bundesliga.
The victory at an empty Schwarzwald stadium on the second weekend of Bundesliga action since the league resumed after the Covid-19 stoppage helped 10-man Bremen reach 21 points from 26 games, boosting their bid to avoid being relegated for the first time in 40 years.
They went ahead against the run of play in the 19th minute when Bittencourt ran on to a superb cross from fellow midfielder Davy Klaassen and finished into the bottom corner from distance for his third league goal of the season.
After Bremen midfielder Philipp Bargfrede was sent off in the 88th minute for a second yellow card, Freiburg had defender Manuel Gulde’s late equaliser disallowed by the Video Assistant Referee for offside.
Plucky Paderborn replied quickly through Dennis Srbeny to an early Robert Skov goal for Hoffenheim to grab a 1-1 draw in their clash, their second draw in two games since league play resumed following the coronavirus pandemic.
Bottom side Paderborn, who secured a scoreless draw away to Fortuna Dusseldorf last week, got off to the worst possible start when Danish international Skov netted for the visitors after just four minutes.
But a dreadful blunder by Hoffenheim defender Ermine Bicakcic five minutes later gifted the ball to Paderborn’s Srbeny, and the striker curled home for the equaliser.
Despite plenty of chances in an open, free-flowing game, neither side could manage another goal. The draw leaves Paderborn bottom of the table on 18 points, while Hoffenheim are ninth on 36.
Kai Havertz scored a brace for the second match in the row to lead Bayer Leverkusen to a 3-1 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach as they leap-frogged their opponents to go third in the league.
As with all Bundesliga matches since the coronavirus outbreak, the game was played behind closed doors but the stands were brightened by around 20,000 cutouts of real Gladbach fans, who had paid 19 euros each to have their cardboard images placed in the stadium.
Havertz, 20, fired Leverkusen ahead in the seventh minute and, although Marcus Thuram levelled in the 52nd minute, Havertz struck again from a penalty six minutes later after Nico Elvedi felled Karim Bellarabi with a late sliding challenge.
Sven Bender headed in a third from a free kick in the 81st minute to leave Leverkusen third with 53 points, one ahead of Gladbach who dropped to fourth.