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Dortmund, Bayern win before Klassiker

Bundesliga recaps and highlights

WOLFSBURG, GERMANY - MAY 23: Achraf Hakimi of Borussia Dortmund celebrates after scoring his sides second goal with team-mate Jadon Sancho during the Bundesliga match between VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund at Volkswagen Arena on May 23, 2020 in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Photo by Michael Sohn/Pool via Getty Images)

Michael Sohn/Pool via Getty Imag

Borussia Dortmund stayed hot ahead of their biggest match of the season, while Bayer Leverkusen pulled into third and hit Borussia Monchengladbach’s title hopes with a huge away win.

Elsewhere, Werder Bremen got a big win with help from VAR, while fellow relegation candidates Paderborn collected a rare point.

[ MORE: Bayern beats Eintracht in 7-goal fest ]

Below are the story lines, scorers, and status of three USMNT players to take the pitch in four 9:30 a.m. ET kickoffs.

Before we begin, though, an interesting note from our leader Joe Prince-Wright:

Wolfsburg 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

Goals from wingbacks Achraf Hakimi and Raphael Guerreiro have Dortmund hot on the heels of Bayern Munich before Tuesday’s Der Klassiker.

Dortmund is remains four points back of the top after Bayern won later Saturday.

Jadon Sancho subbed into the game and made a sensational run to set up Hakimi for Dortmund’s second.

There weren’t many true chances in the opening half, but Dortmund made theirs count with a little bit of help from an Erling Haaland slip.

[ MORE: Bundesliga table, box scores, schedule ]

Raphael Guerreiro got the goal on a pretty play started by another great Julian Brandt pass, as the Wolfsburg back line and keeper were focused on Haaland’s swing-and-miss.

The hosts probably should’ve been level early in the second half when Wout Weghorst sent Renato Steffen through on Roman Burki, but the Gladbach man beat the keeper and not the cross bar.

Dortmund made it 2-0 when super sub Sancho zipped into the final third to lay off for Hakimi, who slotted through the legs of Koen Casteels.

Sancho is worth his weight in gold. Maybe literally.

USMNT players: Wolfsburg back John Brooks went 90 minutes for Wolfsburg as the back line did a decent job with hot BVB forward Haaland, but Brooks failed with charges out of his space on both goals. He again passed well (94%, four of six long balls) and had a shot attempt but picked up a yellow card. Dortmund teen Giovanni Reyna entered after the second goal and showed no signs of the injury that cost him a start in the Revierderby last weekend.

Wolfsburg’s fate was sealed when Felix Klaus was sent off via VAR for an ankle tread late in the match.

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-3 Bayer Leverkusen

White-hot Kai Havertz scored another brace as Bayer kept its title hopes alive, pulling into third with a 3-1 win at Gladbach.

Kerem Demirbay set up a Sven Bender goal for Bayer’s third, as the visitors stay eight back of Bayern before the leaders’ match.

Bayer took the lead early through Havertz, who last week became the youngest player to score 30 goals in Bundesliga history.

Set-up by Karim Bellarabi, the soon-to-be 21-year-old Havertz coolly dinked over keeper Yan Sommer for a lead which would last into half.

Gladbach leveled after halftime on a wonderful bit of work from Marcus Thuram, who took the ball down and laid off before rushing to the back line to wait for Alassane Plea’s lovely cross through to goal. A clever finish for his eighth of the season made it 1-1.

It could’ve been two for Thuram within a minute of restart, who may’ve had a penalty if he hit the deck but instead was well-saved by Tomas Hradecky.

The penalty instead came at the other end, with VAR on the scene to award it. Havertz beat Sommer for 2-1.

Demirbay blazed the ball over an open goal with a chance to put away the game after Moussa Diaby’s shot was blocked onto his path.

Freiburg 0-1 Werder Bremen

Leonardo Bittencourt’s third goal of the year meant Bremen would take control of their relegation destiny due to a match-in-hand, and VAR helped make sure plucky Freiburg didn’t take a point.

Bremen is now two points behind current playoff side Fortuna Dusselfdorf, and has a match-in-hand. The two sides do not meet, though Bremen’s fixture list is rough.

Manuel Guide’s 89th minute goal looked to be a crushing blow to Werder Bremen, who had safety in their sites after seeing an early lead deep into the outing.

The hosts will be miserable, lamenting a missed chance to move sixth with Wolfsburg’s loss to Dortmund, especially given the status of their 17th-place visitors.

USMNT angle: American 20-year-old Josh Sargent went 64 minutes at center forward in his fourth league start of 2020. He was again on an island for struggling Bremen, and didn’t manage a shot. Sargent had 21 touches, winning five of 11 duels while making three clearances, drawing two fouls and fouling twice himself.

Paderborn 1-1 Hoffenheim

The visitors struggled to finish against lower table competition for the second-straight week, giving Paderborn a precious point after both teams scored in the first nine minutes.

Robert Skov scored for Hoffenheim and Dennis Srbeny for Paderborn.

The bottom-dwelling hosts have 18 points, five back of 16th-place Fortuna Dusseldorf who plays Sunday. Padeborn is three points behind 17th-place Werder Bremen, who has a match-in-hand.

Hoffenheim is ninth, three points back of sixth after taking just one point from matches against Hertha Berlin and Paderborn.

Bayern Munich v. Eintracht Frankfurt -- 12:30 p.m. ET

Matchweek 27 in the Bundesliga again saw games played in empty stadiums, which is the plan for the rest of the season and beyond. If you’re new to Germany’s top-flight, here’s a guide to help you pick a club to support.

You can check out the full schedule, standings and find out how to watch the action, while we will have you covered right here on ProSoccerTalk with analysis, reaction and more.

The 2019-20 season restart saw eight matches Saturday and Sunday with a Revierderby blowout and a Gladbach warning shot to its fellow title chasers, while leaders Bayern Munich got back to winning ways in Berlin.

The Bundesliga announced the remaining schedule for the rest of the season on Wednesday so you can plan time in front of the TV with a bratwurst and a beer with plenty of mouthwatering games coming up. Our lead writer Joe Prince-Wright has five players to watch this weekend here.

Sunday
Schalke v. Augsburg -- 7:30 a.m. ET
Mainz v. RB Leipzig -- 9:30 a.m. ET
Koln v. Fortuna Dusseldorf -- Noon ET

Standings

TeamGPWDLGFGAGDHomeAwayPTS
Bayern Munich27194480285210-2-29-2-261
Borussia Dortmund27176474334110-3-07-3-457
Bayer Leverkusen2716565232207-4-29-1-453
Mönchengladbach2716475334199-2-37-2-452
RB Leipzig2614936327367-5-17-4-251
VfL Wolfsburg271098363334-6-46-3-439
SC Freiburg27107103537-26-2-54-5-537
FC Schalke 042691073340-75-6-24-4-537
1899 Hoffenheim27106113647-115-1-85-5-336
Hertha BSC Berlin2797113948-94-3-75-4-434
1. FC Köln26103134147-66-2-54-1-833
1. FC Union Berlin2793153247-156-1-63-2-930
Eintracht Frankfurt2684144149-86-3-42-1-1028
FC Augsburg2676133754-175-3-52-3-827
FSV Mainz 052683153655-194-2-74-1-827
Fortuna Düsseldorf2658132750-233-4-62-4-723
Werder Bremen2656152959-301-2-94-4-621
SC Paderborn2746173155-242-2-102-4-718