Dortmund win, Leverkusen held in Bundesliga

Berlin, Jan 24 (IANS) German football club Dortmund moved 3-1 past Monchengladbach whereas Leverkusen shared the spoils with Hoffenheim following a 1-1 draw in the 18th round of Bundesliga.

Runner-up Dortmund started with a 3-1 win against fourth placed Monchengladbach into the second half of the campaign. Thomas Tuchel’s men staged a powerful performance against the ‘Foals’ to record their 13th win of the season on Saturday, reports Xinhua.
Both sides staged an evenly balanced start into the encounter yet the ‘BVB’ were able to pose more threat. Nevertheless, the 54,000 spectators at the Borussia Park had to wait until the 41st minute before Marco Reus broke the deadlock into the far post corner after Ilkay Guendogan’s through ball.
Monchengladbach turned up after the break but neither Ibrahima Traore nor Lars Stindl were able to level the scores from promising positions. Dortmund punished Monchengladbach’s wastefulness moments later as Henrikh Mkhitaryan made use of Reus’ build-up to slot home the 2-0 lead in the 51st minute.
Monchengladbach’s Raffael sparked hopes seven minutes later as he reduced the arrears to 2-1 from very close range. It was a short-lived joy for the hosts since Dortmund destroyed all hopes of a comeback with the 3-1 by Guendogan, who tapped in Mkhitaryan’s pinpoint cross into the box in the 75th minute.
As a result, Dortmund stay in second place with an eight point deficit to front-runners Bayern Munich. Meanwhile, Monchengladbach remain fourth.
Fifth placed Leverkusen craved out a 1-1 draw at relegation threatened Hoffenheim, thanks to an equaliser from Oemer Toprak.
The ‘Werkself’ dictated the pace throughout the first half but it was yet the hosts who opened the scoring against the run of the game, five minutes before half-time.
Jiloan Hamad capitalised on Stefan Kiessling’s clearance following a corner to score his first goal for the ‘TSG’. The midfielder intercepted the clearance and volleyed home the opener into the top right corner from the edge of the box.
Leverkusen needed some time to recover from the setback while Hoffenheim’s Hamad almost doubled the lead but his effort rattled only the bar in the 49th minute. The hosts showed a vital sign through Hakan Calhanoglu, whose shot from sharp angle got defused by Hoffenheim keeper Oliver Baumann.
However, Hoffenheim remained dangerous and worked out another promising opportunity but Jonathan Schmid’s turn-shot struck only the woodwork in the 59th minute.
The visitors pressed for the leveller and got rewarded through Toprak who poked home a rebound from very close range to restore parity in the 75th minute. Roger Schmidt’s men piled on the pressure but failed to grab a winner.
With the result Leverkusen stay fifth while Hoffenheim remain in the drop zone of the standings.
Elsewhere, Berlin failed to tighten third place owing to a goalless draw against Augsburg. Hannover dropped to last place following a 1-2 loss as Darmstadt’s Sandro Wagner’s double strike turned the tides.
Stuttgart came from behind to beat Cologne 3-1 thanks to goals by Daniel Didavi, Timo Werner and Christian Gentner as newly promoted Ingolstadt clinched the sixth win of the season with a 1-0 over Mainz, who remain goalless for the third consecutive time.