10-man Dortmund holds on to spoil Klinsmann debut at Hertha
BERLIN – Jürgen Klinsmann lost on his debut as Hertha Berlin coach, Bayern Munich was finally beaten under interim coach Hansi Flick, and Leipzig moved to the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Leipzig profited from Bayern’s 2-1 shock defeat at home to Bayer Leverkusen by moving three points clear of the Bavarian powerhouse with a 3-2 win at last-placed Paderborn.
Borussia Mönchengladbach, two points behind Leipzig, can reclaim the lead with a win at home against Freiburg on Sunday.
Klinsmann’s tenure of Hertha began with a lackluster loss at home to 10-man Borussia Dortmund, which held on for a 2-1 win to ease the pressure on coach Lucien Favre.
Early goals from Jadon Sancho and Thorgan Hazard were enough for Dortmund’s first win in four games across all competitions.
Klinsmann, the former Germany, United States, and Bayern Munich coach, was hired by Hertha on Wednesday to replace the fired Ante Covic, but couldn’t prevent a fifth straight league defeat.
“It’s annoying, of course. We’d have taken a point at least. But generally I’m very satisfied with the team,” Klinsmann said. “They gave all that they have at the moment.”
Klinsmann is expected to start Hertha on its way to becoming one of Germany’s top clubs following a $250 million investment from new backer Lars Windhorst, but fans displayed a banner criticizing general manager Michael Preetz for the upheaval.
“10 years, 12 coaches, one responsible!” the banner in front of Hertha’s east stand said.
Klinsmann started with three central defenders but it did little to address the problems evident in previous games as Dortmund scored in the 15th and 17th minutes.
Hertha fought back with Vladimír Darida scoring in the 34th, and Dortmund received another blow before the break when Mats Hummels was sent off with his second yellow card for bringing down Davie Selke, who would have been through on goal.
Hertha enjoyed much more of the ball in the second half but failed to get through with Dortmund sitting back and risking little.
“We were hoping for more,” Klinsmann said.
Leverkusen striker Leon Bailey scored twice to end Flick’s four-game winning start across all competitions and deny Bayern the chance to join Leipzig at the top.
Bailey’s 10th-minute opening goal for the visitors was the first Bayern conceded since firing Niko Kovac four weeks ago. Bayern racked up 16 of its own goals in the meantime to give Flick the best ever start for a coach at the club.
Leverkusen managed to hold on despite Bayern twice striking the post and Robert Lewandowski hitting the underside of the crossbar in injury time.
The visitors’ Jonathan Tah also was sent off late.
Leipzig was fortunate to move to the top after nearly letting a three-goal lead slip at Paderborn. The visitor appeared to be coasting with Patrik Schick and Marcel Sabitzer scoring in the third and fourth minutes, then Timo Werner adding another in the 26th.
But Streli Mamba and Klaus Gjasula scored in the second half for Paderborn to set up an unexpectedly exciting finale.
Cologne drew at home with Augsburg 1-1, and Fortuna Düsseldorf drew at Hoffenheim 1-1.
Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP
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