Runners-up Dortmund reaped a hard earned 2-0 victory over newly promoted Ingolstadt. It was a stiff piece of work for Thomas Tuchel’s men, who needed two second-half goals to seal the deal.
Ingolstadt’s well-positioned defence choked off Dortmund’s efforts from the kick-off. Thus, goal-scoring opportunities remained a rare occurrence in the first half.
Nevertheless, Dortmund’s Sokratis missed the chance to break the deadlock by header in the opening period before Mats Hummels denied Ingolstadt the golden opportunity, as Hummels defused Dario Lezcano’s effort onto the open goal in the last nick of time.
After the restart, both sides started where they left off. Dortmund remained in control of the ball whereas Ingolstadt kept the hosts on the distance.
Ingolstadt was even able to overcome Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Buerki, as Mats Hummels’ lob found its way into the own goal at the 65th minute. However, the goal was disallowed due to a foul play.
The visitors were very unfortunate especially when Bundesliga top-scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed home the opener from an offside position moments later. To make things worse for resilient Ingolstadt, Aubameyang wasn’t done with the scoring as he wrapped his brace with three minutes remaining to mark his 20th goal of the season.
With the result, Dortmund reduced the arrears to front-runners Bayern Munich to five points for the moment, meanwhile, Ingolstadt stayed on the 10th place after suffering the eight loss of the season.
Third placed Berlin weren’t able to protect their lead to the end as relegation threatened Bremen ground out a three-all draw within six minutes late in the game.
Hertha Berlin took the reins from the kick-off to catch a bright start on the road as Vladimir Darida unleashed a hammer from 25 meters to open the scoring with 29 minutes into the game.
Bremen wobbled and were unable to respond whereas Berlin pressed for the second goal. As a consequence, Pal Dardai’s men doubled the lead three minutes before the break after Marvin Plattenhardt slotted home a direct free kick into the top left corner.
The “Green-Whites” picked up the pace after the break and reduced the arrears through Fin Bartels, whose solo run and goal made it 2-1 on the scoreboards at the 67th minute. However, it was a short-lived joy for the hosts as Berlin’s Salomon Kalou utilized a square pass into the box to restore the two-goal lead at the 71st minute.
It looked like Berlin’s third goal had killed the game but Bremen fought back again after Claudio Pizarro converted a foul play penalty to make it 2-3 four minutes later. The hosts kept it bowling and were rewarded as Santiago Garcia headed home the 3-3 draw and final score in the 77th minute.
With the draw, Berlin remained on the third place with a three-point advantage to fourth placed Leverkusen. Meanwhile, Bremen climbed off the relegation play-off spot for now.
Elsewhere, Leverkusen cruised 3-0 past bottom team Hannover to climb on the fourth place by courtesy of Javier Hernandez’ brace.
Schalke’s youngsters Max Meyer and Leroy Sane helped their team to wrap a 2-0 win over newly promoted Darmstadt. The victory lifted the “Royal Blues” on the fifth place of the standings.
Stuttgart’s substitute Artem Kravets provided his side the last grasp 2-1 winner over Hamburg whilst Augsburg and Frankfurt shared the points after goalless 90 minutes.
The following fixtures conclude the 19th round in Bundesliga on Sunday: Wolfsburg host Cologne and Bayern face Hoffenheim. Enditem