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Bayern beat Augsburg 5-3 to edge clear in Bundesliga

Champions Bayern Munich have moved two points clear in the Bundesliga, beating Augsburg 5-3 while fellow contenders Dortmund were held at Schalke.

March 12, 2023
By Mark Meadows
12 March 2023

Benjamin Pavard has proved the unlikely hero as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich came from behind to beat fellow Bavarians Augsburg 5-3 – but Borussia Dortmund could only draw their own derby.

France defender Pavard scored his first Bundesliga brace at the Allianz Arena on Saturday as the champions extended their lead at the top to two points after chasers Dortmund were held 2-2 at Schalke.

“Our reaction to conceding is most important. It was very good. But we shouldn’t be conceding three goals,” Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann told Sky.

“We’ll have nine matches in April, so it’ll be a very exciting month.”

Kenan Karaman’s 79th-minute header gave second-bottom Schalke a possibly crucial point in a thrilling 100th Ruhr league derby as Dortmund failed to win in the Bundesliga for the first time in 2023.

A recent attack by over 100 ultras, including Dortmund fans, on Schalke supporters left four seriously injured and raised tensions before kick-off. A photographer was hit by a flare but major trouble was avoided.

RB Leipzig went third after a 3-0 home win over Borussia Monchengladbach, who missed a penalty at 0-0. 

Sixth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt were held 1-1 by third-bottom VfB Stuttgart and Hertha Berlin drew 1-1 with Mainz after four straight wins for the visitors.

Bayern coach Nagelsmann made five changes from the Champions League last-16 triumph over Paris St Germain in midweek, with Sadio Mane making his first start since November because of injury.

But it was the 13th-placed visitors who took the lead after three minutes, Bayern’s defence failing to deal with some head tennis on the edge of the box before Mergim Berisha’s clever flick and finish.

Jamal Musiala soon went close for Bayern, seeking an 11th straight German title, and Joao Cancelo went one better in the 15th minute by firing in his first goal since his move from Manchester City.

Pavard has also made noises that he is unhappy at Bayern but he hooked in Mane’s overhead kick four minutes later.

Suspended against PSG, Pavard returned to the team as part of a back three rather than at right back, which may persuade him to stay.

The way he acrobatically volleyed in his second after Matthijs de Ligt’s header had been blocked from a corner suggests Bayern will want him to stick around too.

Leroy Sane, left out against the French champions, nodded in from close range before the break.

Berisha’s penalty in the second half merely cut the deficit and Alphonso Davies made it five from Cancelo’s cross before Irvin Cardona struck in stoppage time.

In Gelsenkirchen, Dortmund went ahead when Nico Schlotterbeck wandered forward and unleashed an unstoppable effort under little pressure on 38 minutes.

On 50 minutes though, Jude Bellingham lost the ball and Schalke quickly broke, Marius Bulter tapping in at the far post.

Parity did not last long as Raphael Guerreiro struck with aplomb, but a superb header from Karaman amid poor Dortmund defending secured Schalke a battling point and extended their unbeaten run to seven.

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