MONCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP) – Surprise Bundesliga leader Borussia Monchengladbach showed it’s a serious title contender by beating Bayern Munich 2-1 on Saturday with a last-gasp penalty.
Left-back Ramy Bensebaini scored both goals for Gladbach, which last won the title in 1977. Bensebaini headed in a corner to draw Gladbach level after Ivan Perisic’s volley for Bayern, and then scored the decisive penalty in added time.
“That shows why we’re rightly up there,” Gladbach coach Marco Rose said. “We tried until the 90th minute to show what’s made us stand out in the last few weeks and months, and we got the penalty.”
After scoring the opener, it was as if “we forgot how to play football somehow,” said Bayern’s interim coach Hansi Flick.
The seven-time defending champion is now down in seventh after losing back-to-back Bundesliga games for the first time in 14 months.
Gladbach leads the league by a point ahead of Leipzig, which beat Hoffenheim 3-1 thanks to two goals from Timo Werner. Jadon Sancho scored twice as Dortmund thrashed Fortuna Dusseldorf 5-0.
Another week, another 2-1 defeat and yet more missed opportunities for Bayern.
Just as in last week’s loss to Bayer Leverkusen by the same score, Bayern had a string of great chances – 15 shots in the first half alone – but a mix of poor finishes and good goalkeeping denied the Munich team.
Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer trapped an effort by Joshua Kimmich on the line, and Robert Lewandowski twice flashed shots just wide of the post.
After that frustration, Bayern scored with its first shot of the second half, a sweetly hit volley by substitute Ivan Perisic into the top-left corner from the edge of the box.
That sparked Gladbach into life. The hosts have been strong at set pieces this season and showed it again when Bensebaini lost his marker to head in the corner in the 60th.
Bayern pushed up to chase the win in stoppage time and was caught out by a Gladbach counter. Martinez launched into a desperate slide to stop Marcus Thuram reaching a loose ball and brought him down, giving away a penalty and earning a red card.
Bayern’s interim coach Hansi Flick started the day with a chance to go within a point of Gladbach, but now finds himself seven points adrift of the top. “The results don’t match” the chances Bayern created, Flick said.
Bayern substituted Corentin Tolisso and Jerome Boateng with suspected injuries, which could complicate selection ahead of Wednesday’s game against Tottenham in the Champions League.
If Leipzig manages to win the Bundesliga title for the first time in its short history, it will be largely thanks to Timo Werner.
He’s scored 15 goals in 14 league games this season and has nine in his last five Bundesliga matches. Hoffenheim could do nothing to stop Werner giving Leipzig the lead on a counterattack in the 11th minute.
Hoffenheim tried fouling Werner, but that just led to the 52nd-minute penalty from which he scored his second goal. Marcel Sabitzer added a third late on.
Dortmund continued its recovery from a 4-0 loss to Bayern last month, beating Dusseldorf with two goals each from Marco Reus and Sancho.
Reus gave Dortmund the lead with a calm finish in the 42nd minute. Thorgan Hazard and Sancho added the second and third goals, before Reus and Sancho each scored again late on. Sancho has now scored in his last four games in the Bundesliga and the Champions League.
That makes it three games unbeaten for Dortmund in the Bundesliga since the loss to Bayern, and puts the team third and firmly back into the fight for Champions League places.
Freiburg continued its unexpected chase for a Champions League spot, rising to fifth with a 1-0 win over Wolfsburg thanks to Jonathan Schmid’s 85th-minute goal. Leverkusen followed up its win over Bayern last week by overtaking the Munich team for sixth place with a 2-1 win over Schalke, which drops to fourth. Lucas Alario scored both of Leverkusen’s goals in the win.
Augsburg beat Mainz 2-1 to halt Mainz’s winning start under new coach Achim Beierlorzer, who had overseen victories in his first two games.
James Ellingworth is on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jellingworth