Bundesliga: Sancho, Buerki send Dortmund top with win over Mainz

Bundesliga: Sancho, Buerki send Dortmund top with win over Mainz

Jadon Sancho ’s first – half brace and Roman Buerki ’ s goalkeeping heroics helped pile the pressure back onto Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga title race as Borussia Dortmund survived a late scare to secure a 2- 1 win over Mainz on Saturday.

Dortmund were left licking their wounds after a 5 -0 humiliation in Munich last weekend saw them slip a point behind Bayern , but they showed both steel and style on Saturday to secure three points and go top of the table overnight .

Two early goals from England international Sancho appeared to put Dortmund on course for an easy victory , but they were forced to weather a second – half onslaught from Mainz .

“ We knew we needed to make a statement today . The first half was fine , but I can ’t explain why we stopped playing football in the second half ,” Dortmund captain Marco Reus told Sky .

“It is a question of mentality. We have a lot of young players , and we need to stay relaxed and keep having fun .”

Reus , Sancho and co will now go to bed as league leaders , with Bayern needing a win at Fortuna Duesseldorf on Sunday to regain their grip on top spot.

Dortmund took the lead with an inch -perfect move on 17 minutes . Mario Goetze ’s bending cross found Sancho , who didn ’t even break his stride as he thumped the ball past Florian Mueller from close range .

Sancho doubled the lead shortly afterwards with the help of a deflection from Moussa Niakhate .

Yet a familiar fragility crept into Dortmund ’s defending as the game wore on, and they were forced to rely on the determined brilliance of Buerki .

The Dortmund keeper kept Mainz at bay for much of the second half , before Robin Quaison pulled a goal back for Mainz six minutes from time .

Buerki then kept out the equaliser with an incredible triple save at a corner a few minutes later .

“It’ s nice to help your team win, but we played too fearfully after they scored , ” Buerki told Sky .

– Gladbach revive European bid –

Earlier on Saturday, a 1- 0 win over crisis club Hanover kept Borussia Moenchengladbach in the race for Champions League football .

Having dropped out of the top four earlier this month , Gladbach picked up only their second win in nine games against bottom -of -the – table Hanover .

“It was really important for us to finally win a game again today . It will do us a lot of good ,” said Gladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer .

Brazilian striker Raffael grabbed the winner just after half- time , flicking a loose ball over the head of Hanover keeper Michael Esser .

Gladbach now sit in fifth, a point behind Eintracht Frankfurt, who play Augsburg on Sunday.

Elsewhere , RB Leipzig strengthened their grip on third with a comfortable win over Wolfsburg .

Kevin Kampl curled in the opener on 16 minutes , before Timo Werner headed in a second to notch his third goal in four games .

Defeat is a setback for Wolfsburg , whose fellow European hopefuls Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen both won on Saturday.

Bremen snuck into a Europa League place thanks to a 2 -1 win over Freiburg . Late headers from in -form Dutch midfielder Davy Klaassen and Theodor Gebre Selassie sealed the three points for the home side , despite Luca Waldschmidt ’s even later consolation goal for Freiburg .

Leverkusen , meanwhile , battled to a 1 -0 victory over relegation-threatened Stuttgart thanks to a Kai Havertz penalty .

The win puts Leverkusen seventh, in the centre of a thrilling race for Europe . A single point separates Bremen in sixth from ninth – placed Hoffenheim , who play Hertha Berlin on Sunday.

( AFP )

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