Bundesliga: Bayern beaten as Dortmund close the gap | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 02.03.2016
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Bundesliga: Bayern beaten as Dortmund close the gap

In a seven-game matchday bonanza, Bayern Munich did the unthinkable while Borussia Dortmund did their job on a bumpy pitch in Darmstadt to leave things nicely poised for their match up on Saturday.

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Bundesliga Matchday 24 in 60 seconds

Bayern 1-2 Mainz
(Robben 65' - Jairo Samperio 26', Cordoba 86')

With Medhi Benatia and Franck Ribery back in the starting lineup and Uli Hoeness back in the stands, Bayern Munich appeared to be set to collect another three points. When Arturo Vidal tested Loris Karius with a low drive, it seemed just a matter of time before the goals would come. Juan Bernat forced the Mainz keeper into an even better save soon after, but Bayern couldn't find a way through - and that was the story of the game.

Coach Martin Schmidt's side has quietly been climbing up the table and there were a few who expected Mainz to cause Bayern problems on the night. Not many would have predicted, though, that an unmarked Jairo Sampeiro would slot the ball home at the back post to give the visitors a lead they would hold until the second half.

After an hour of being behind, an arrowed strike from Arjen Robben drew Bayern level. From there on in, it was just Bayern pushing for a winner, and the Dutchman was continually the man that his teammates turned to. With five minutes to go though, Mainz struck again to shock their hosts and the league as a whole. Persistent work from Julian Baumgartlinger ended in Jhon Cordoba whipping in a low strike past Manuel Neuer.

Mainz head coach Schmidt had his hands on his head in disbelief. His side had five minutes to survive. Thomas Müller nearly poked home an equalizer, but Mainz continued to throw bodies in the way. Robert Lewandowski headed wide, and then Bayern ran out of time and Schmidt had his hands on his head in disbelief all over again.

Bayern's second defeat of the Bundesliga season was also their first at home. The last time Pep Guardiola's side conceded two goals at home was against Barcelona in the Champions League, and while Mainz are a way off that level, their win on Wednesday night was one for the history books.

Bundesliga SV Darmstadt 98 and Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund's victory means there are only five points between them and Bayern ahead of their showdown on Saturday

Darmstadt 0-2 Dortmund
(Ramos 37', Durm 53')

Dortmund's lineup had eight changes and was full of surprises. Roman Weidenfeller was back between the posts, Adrian Ramos started in attack with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and 17-year-old Felix Passlack made his Bundesliga debut. With much of the pre-game talk about the state of the pitch, Dortmund looked unhampered by the bumpy surface.

Mats Hummels' build-up play outshone Ramos' close-range effort, but the Colombian won't care. His second goal in as many games was exactly what Dortmund needed against a team that stole a point in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

Early in the second half Dortmund doubled their lead when Gonzalo Castro threaded a gorgeous through ball that Erik Durm finished off with the kind of aplomb he used to show as a striker at youth level.

Weidenfeller was rarely tested in his worse-for-wear goal mouth, as Darmstadt's first shot on target came from Konstantin Rausch in the 69th minute. Ilkay Gündogan and Aubameyang both had chances to make the win even sweeter, but after hearing the result in Munich, the Dortmund players will be far from upset about only scoring twice.

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