Gladbach on top, Dortmund win at the death

Borussia Moenchengladbach went provisionally top of the German Bundesliga on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Nuremburg, while champions Borussia Dortmund thanked a last-gasp goal for a 2-1 win at Mainz. Gladbach have not won the league since 1977 and their most recent honour, in 2008, was the second division trophy. But Belgian defender Filip Daem's 76th-minute penalty was enough to ensure that the five-time champions went top of the heap at least for a few hours, with previous table-toppers Bayern Munich facing Bayer Leverkusen later. Saturday's success was Gladbach's fifth in seven games this season, as they moved a point clear of Bayern. Reigning champions Dortmund, meanwhile, had to scrap as they came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Mainz. Dortmund have been on the ropes this term, losing three of their opening six matches, but they showed some grit after Nikolai Muller had put Mainz into a 33rd-minute lead. Ivan Perisic, on target in the Champions League in the draw with Arsenal, bagged the equaliser mid-way through the second half before Lukasz Piszczek clinched victory in the dying seconds, poking home through a forest of legs. The win moved Dortmund up three places to eighth and also provided a welcome tonic ahead of Wednesday's Champions League visit to Marseille. Like Dortmund, neighbours Schalke have been bouncing around in mid-table but Spanish veteran forward Raul celebrated being offered an extension to his current deal with a goal in a 4-2 home win over Freiburg. The victory was likewise a major boost for the club after coach Ralf Rangnick quit on Thursday, citing fatigue, to become the second coach this week to part company with a Bundesliga side. Senegalese international Papiss Cisse netted his sixth goal of the season as Freiburg took an early lead but Jefferson Farfan levelled before the break. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Lewis Holtby and Raul made the points safe before Erik Jendrisek hit a late consolation. Hamburg sacked coach Michael Oenning on Monday but responded with a 2-1 win over Stuttgart to move off the bottom of the table. The northerners revealed on Saturday that they were lining up former Schalke and Hamburg boss Huub Stevens to replace Oenning. Elsewhere, Ashkan Dejagah was on the mark for 10-man Wolfsburg in a 1-0 win over Kaiserslautern, while promoted Augsburg and Hanover parted goalless. On Sunday, Cologne host Hoffenheim, going well in fourth, and third-placed Werder Bremen take on Hertha Berlin.

Source: AFP