KENYA BROWN - Sunday, January 22, 2017
Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund made a winning return from the German winter break, while John Brooks' return to the Hertha Berlin line-up was in a losing effort.
Werder Bremen 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
BVB have not been scoring has freely as they did earlier in the Bundesliga season, but they were able to come away with the three points over 10-man Werder Bremen at the Weserstadion.
Christian Pulisic started for Dortmund while Aron Johannsson did not dress for Bremen.
Andre Schurrle opened the scoring for the visitors five minutes into the contest after he collected a through from teammate Marco Reus and easily slotted his effort past Bremen goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny. It was Schurrle's first goal of the season as he filled in for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he is away for the African Cup of Nations tournament.
Bremen did their best to stay in the game but received a blow in the 38th minute when Drobny was shown a red card for his challenge on Reus, who was running into the area towards the goal.
However, that did not stop the host from searching for the equalizer and they got it in the 59th minute when Clemens Fritz's header found Fin Bartels, who raced towards the Dortmund goal and put his shot past goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller.
Dortmund continued to press for that second goal were rewarded in the 71st minute when defender Lukas Piszczek came to the rescue. Gonzalo Castro's pass took a deflection, but it fell right in the path of the Polish international who just steered his shot past Bremen's substitute goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald.
The win not only ends Dortmund's run of three consecutive ties, but it also moves them up to fourth place in the standings with 30 points.
Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Hertha Berlin
Hertha Berlin had a chance to move up to third place in the Bundesliga standings, but that was halted by Bayer Leverkusen with their big win at the BayArena.
John Brooks, who made his return to Hertha's starting lineup after sitting out injured prior to the winter break, played the entire game in the losing effort.
The visitors were punished 12 minutes into the game when Omer Toprak got his foot onto the ball in the area after a scramble to open the scoring.
Hakan Calhanoglu doubled Leverkusen's lead in the 36th minute from the penalty spot after Marvin Plattenhardt was judged to have handled the ball in the area.
However, Hertha would pull one back just before halftime when Valentin Stocker was able to get to rebound from a Brooks' header from a corner kick.
Hertha searched for the equalizer, but Leverkusen sealed the game two minutes from regulation when Calhanoglu put away his second goal on the day.
The loss moves Hertha Berlin down to fifth place in the standings with 30 points.
RB Leipzig 3-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Goals from Marvin Compper, Timo Werner and an own goal from Jesus Vallejo ensured RB Leipzig maintained the pressure on league leaders Bayern Munich as they walked away with an emphatic win over Eintracht Frankfurt at the Red Bull Arena.
Timmy Chandler started the game in the losing effort.
Things did not start out well for the Eagles as their goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky received a red card in the third minute of play for handling the ball outside his area.
Leipzig made Frankfurt pay for the loss of their goalkeeper three minutes later when Compper put away the rebound from a Marcel Halstenberg free kick. Frankfurt's substitute goalkeeper Heinz Lindner made a fine save, but could not hold to the ball.
The host made it 2-0 just before the halftime whistle when Werner headed in teammate Naby Keita's free kick past a helpless Lindner.
It was a rough outing for Frankfurt and it got worse 67 minutes in to the game when a shot from Halstenberg deflected off Vallejo and ended up in the back of the visitor's net.
The loss moves Frankfurt down to sixth place in the standings with 29 points.
Alfredo Morales was in the starting line-up for Ingolstadt, but die Schanzer conceded a late goal to fall 1-0 to Schalke.
Bobby Wood started for Hamburg as they also allowed a late goal to suffer a 1-0 loss to Wolfsburg.
Fabian Johnson continues to recover from his Achilles injury, but Borussia Mönchengladbach played out a 0-0 tie with Darmstadt.