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Gladbachs draw knocks Dortmund to fourth

22 Dec 2013 17:46:51

Gladbachs draw knocks Dortmund to fourth

Borussia Moenchengladbach went third in the Bundesliga on Sunday as their 2-2 draw at home to VfL Wolfsburg knocked Borussia Dortmund out of the automatic Champions League places.

After Dortmund suffered a third straight home defeat against Hertha Berlin on Saturday, Gladbach's point -- extending their unbeaten run to eight matches -- was enough to see them move above last season's Champions League finalists.

Brazil midfielder Diego gave Wolves a 53rd-minute lead at Borussia Park in what was the last round of fixtures before the winter break.

But the hosts roared back with two goals in five minutes after Brazil's Raffael fired home with 59 minutes gone, then Venezuelan Juan Arango curled a direct free-kick inside the near post.

Wolves' Dutch striker Bas Dost grabbed the equaliser four minutes from time as he scored his first goal since returning from injury.

"We should have finished with a 3-1 win, but slipped to an unnecessary 2-2, which is not easy to stomach," said Gladbach's Swiss coach Lucien Favre.

"We can't change it and we must stay positive -- we have 33 points and a positive goal difference, that's all right."

The point moves 'Gladbach up to third ahead of Dortmund, but leaves them 11 points adrift of league leaders Bayern Munich.

With Bayern away in Morocco winning Saturday's Club World Cup final, both their Bundesliga rivals Leverkusen and Dortmund suffered shock defeats.

Bayern could go ten points clear if they beat VfB Stuttgart in their catch-up fixture on January 29.

Dortmund crashed at home to Hertha, which leaves them with a return of just four points from their last six league games.

Borussia took an early lead through Germany winger Marco Reus, but Hertha got back on level terms when striker Adrian Ramos hit his 11th goal of the season.

Tunisia forward Sami Allagui hit Hertha's winner after pouncing on a mistake, rounding goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller and firing into an empty net on the stroke of half-time.

Second-placed Leverkusen went down to their second successive defeat losing 1-0 at Werder Bremen after the hosts Argentinian right-back Santiago Garcia hit the late winner.

Nuremberg finish 2013 as the only team in a major European league without a win so far this season after they were held to a goalless draw at home to Schalke 04.

The Royal Blues were without coach Jens Keller, who has been told a decision on his future will be made over the winter break, as the 43-year-old was suffering with flu.

The point was enough to see Nuremberg stay 17th, leaving Eintracht Braunschweig bottom on goal difference despite their 1-0 win over Hoffenheim.

Freiburg extended Hanover 96's appalling away record to eight consecutive defeats with a 2-1 win to help the hosts in their bid to escape the bottom three.

Like Schalke's Keller, Hanover coach Mirko Slomka has been told a decision on his future will be made over the winter break.

Japan striker Shinji Okazaki hit a late winner after Mainz 05 had scored two goals in three minutes to bounce back from conceding an early goal for a 3-2 win at ten-man Hamburg.


AFP

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