Irrepressible Borussia Dortmund
won 2-1 at their greatest rivals Schalke 04 on Saturday to set a
Bundesliga record and move to the brink of retaining their
Described by coach Jurgen Klopp as "greedy", Dortmund
charged eight points clear of Bayern Munich, who were held 0-0
at home by Mainz, and need two points from their final three
games to clinch the crown.
Dortmund have now beaten the second and third-placed teams
in the space of four days following their 1-0 victory over
Bayern on Wednesday.
Jefferson Farfan gave Schalke an early lead in the Ruhr
derby but Lukasz Piszczek equalised in the 17th minute of a
physical, unattractive game.
Sebastian Kehl took advantage of poor defending to score the
winner in the 63rd minute as Dortmund completed the Bundesliga
double over third-placed Schalke and extended their unbeaten
league run to 25 games, a record for a single season.
"It's madness. We couldn't imagine beforehand that we would
achieve this," Klopp said of his low-profile Dortmund side.
"Today was a character test of the highest level. But this
team is never satisfied and is incredibly greedy."
Bayern struggled to break down mid-table Mainz and their
best efforts came late in the first half when Anatoliy
Tymoshchuk hit the post and Ivica Olic missed an excellent
chance from close range.
The Bavarians, who host Real Madrid in a Champions League
semi-final first leg on Tuesday, were jeered off the pitch by an
otherwise subdued 69,000 crowd at the Allianz Arena.
"We had our chances, it's the sort of game you have to win
1-0," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. "Anyone who has played
football can comprehend what it is like to play every three or
Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger said: "Now we have to
concentrate on Tuesday. We have to cross new barriers but with
the fans behind us we can pull it off."
Dortmund, who last tasted league defeat against Hanover in
September, have 72 points from 31 games.
Bayern are on 64 points while Schalke, still on course for a
place in next season's Champions League, have 57.
Second from bottom Hertha Berlin scored three goals, had a
player sent off and survived a penalty miss - all in a 15-minute
period during a 3-3 draw at Bayer Leverkusen.
Elsewhere, struggling Hamburg SV secured a much-needed 1-0
victory over Hannover 96 while bottom club Kaiserslautern's 2-0
defeat at home to Nuremberg left them all but relegated.
Augsburg boosted their survival hopes with a 2-1 victory at
Hamburg, the only ever-present team in the Bundesliga since
it was founded in 1963, are 14th on 34 points, one ahead of
The 140th Ruhr derby began in dramatic style as Peru forward
Farfan picked up a loose ball and blasted his shot through a
crowd of players to give Schalke a ninth-minute lead.
Piszczek replied eight minutes later, the Pole smashing in a
left-foot shot from a difficult angle.
After that the match turned into an ugly, confrontational
battle with plenty of bad challenges.
Schalke had the most pressure but Dortmund snatched the
winner following a corner when the ball hit home defender
Christoph Metzelder on the chest and landed at the feet of Kehl
who fired in from close range.
Hapless Hertha looked set for another defeat as Andre
Schuerrle and Stefan Kiessling scored either side of halftime to
put Leverkusen 2-0 ahead.
That was followed by an amazing spell as Pierre-Michel
Lasogga headed a goal back in the 62nd minute followed four
minutes later by a penalty for Leverkusen which also resulted in
a red card for Hertha's Levan Kobiashvili.
Simon Rolfes then saw his spot-kick saved by Thomas Kraft,
Eren Derdiyok went wide with the rebound and five minutes later
Tunay Torun pulled Leverkusen level.
In the 77th minute Raffael pounced on a dreadful back-pass by
Tranquillo Barnetta and laid the ball back for Torun to strike
But Kiessling spared Leverkusen's blushes by heading his
second goal with six minutes to play.
Berlin will stage Champions League final for the first time in 2015
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand signs one-year contract
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010