KENYA BROWN - Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund's struggles continued as they fell to Hannover while John Brooks made his return to the Wolfsburg lineup in their game against Schalke.
Hannover 4-2 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund surrendered first place in the Bundesliga as they had no answer for Hannover in their crushing loss at the HDI Arena.
BVB has struggled in their past few games, but a 5-0 win in their German Cup game against Magdeburg in the middle of the week should have given them a boost heading into the weekend. However, it would be the host that set the pace and fought tooth and nail to claim all three points.
Goalkeeper Roman Burki, who has been struggling as of late, surrendered a penalty when he tripped up Felix Klaus in the area. Jonathas would then step up to convert the penalty in the 20th minute.
Dortmund found the equalizer seven minutes later when Dan Zagadou scored after Hannover failed to clear the ball following a corner kick.
Hannover retook the lead in the 40th minute when Jonathas' cross from the right found Ihlas Bebou in the area and the Togolese international steered the ball past Burki.
Dortmund's high-risk defensive tactics have hurt them in their past games, but they were able to find the equalizer again in the 52nd minute. Hannover again failed to clear the ball from their area and Andriy Yarmolenko volleyed his shot past goalkeeper Philipp Tschauner.
However, all of Dortmund's efforts fell to the wayside when Zagadou was sent off in the 59th minute for clumsily bringing down Jonathas who had a clear path towards the goal. That allowed Klaus to bury a free-kick into the back of the net and give Hannover a commanding lead.
Bebou finished off the game in the 86th minute when he took a pass from Martin Harnik and fired his shot past Burki.
BVB have now dropped to second place in the standings with 20 points, three points behind new leaders Bayern Munich.
Pulisic and Dortmund will have to get their act together quick as they face the Bavarians on Saturday.
Schalke 1-1 Wolfsburg
Divock Origi's goal well into stoppage time helped Wolfsburg steal a point over Schalke at the Veltins Arena.
This game saw the return of Weston McKennie for the Royal Blues after he sat out the past two weeks with an injury while John Brooks finally made his debut for Wolfsburg after recovering from his own injury in the preseason.
The visitors appeared to have opened the scoring early in the first half when Mario Gomez headed in a free-kick from teammate Maximilian Arnold. However, the referee blew the whistle to call offside.
Schalke had their own chance to open the scoring later when Amine Harit made a driving run toward's Wolfsburg's goal and unleashed a shot that deflected off defender Marcel Tisserand, but goalkeeper Koen Casteels got his hands on the ball enough to see it crash off the post.
The video assistant referee came into play just before the halftime whistle when the referee pointed to the spot for a Schalke penalty when replay showed that Wolfsburg's Josua Guilavogui pulled down Thilo Kehrer in the area. Nabil Bentaleb converted the penalty to give his team the lead.
Wolfsburg had their own advantage from VAR later in the second half when replay showed Naldo making contact with Yannick Gerhardt in the area as Schalke tried to clear the ball. This resulted in the referee pointing to the spot for a penalty. However, Gomez would fail at his attempt as his shot sailed over the goal.
But the visitors would redeem themselves deep into the stoppage time when Gomez's header would find Origi in the area, who got a foot on the ball to get it past Ralf Fährmann as it bounced into the goal.
The tie leaves Schalke in fifth place in the standings with 17 points while Wolfsburg lies in 14th place with 10 points.
Bobby Wood started for Hamburg but still could not break his goal drought in the team's 2-1 loss to Hertha Berlin.
Fabian Johnson came off the bench for Borussia Monchengladbach in their 3-1 win over Hoffenheim.
In the 2. Bundesliga, Alfredo Morales started as surging Ingolstadt came away with a 3-1 win over Arminia Bielefeld.
Haji Wright came off the bench while Ken Gipson watched all of the action for Sanhausen in their 2-1 loss of the Julian Green-less Greuther Furth.
In the 3. Liga, Joe Gyau started and scored a goal in Sonnenhof Großaspach's 2-0 win over Sportfreunde Lotte.
Isiah Young came off the bench for Werder Bremen II in their 1-0 loss to Aalen.
Devann Yao came off the bench for Meppen in their 2-0 loss to Hallescher FC.
Robert Kristo watched from the bench as Osnabrück cruised to a 4-0 win over Zwickau.