Dortmund slip further behind in the title chase
Sunday 24 February 2013
Borussia Dortmund conceded more ground to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga title race when they were held to a 1-1 draw away to Borussia Mönchengladbach yesterday.
Mario Götze put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot for his eighth goal of the season in the 31st minute. Amin Younes, who had Mönchengladbach's first effort on goal in the 56th minute, equalised with a deflected shot in the 67th after Dortmund had failed to clear the ball.
Götze earned the penalty when he was brought down by the Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the area. "It was mistake," the goalkeeper said. "He put the ball past me and then accepted the present. I'll work on my positioning."
Playing without their leading scorers Juan Arango and Patrick Herrmann out through injury and suspension respectively, Mönchengladbach failed to have a shot on goal in the first half. But the 19-year-old Younes then scored his first Bundesliga goal to earn the point. "I'll go home and celebrate with my family," Younes said.
Both sides had chances to win it late on. Mönchengladbach substitute Peniel Mlapa hit the side-netting from a difficult angle in the last minute. The Dortmund captain, Sebastian Kehl, then missed with the goal at his mercy in injury time.
"We had the game in our grip, didn't allow any goal chances," Kehl said. "There's no way we should have allowed this game to end in a draw. In the end I could have decided it; that's bitter."
Defending champions Dortmund were left 17 points behind the runaway leaders Munich, whom they will meet in an eagerly anticipated German Cup quarter-final on Wednesday. The Dortmund defender Mats Hummels will be a doubt for that game after going off holding his thigh at half-time.
"We just didn't move well today," the Dortmund forward Marco Reus said after his first return to Mönchengladbach since switching between the clubs. "I don't know why. It was very untypical of us."
In France, Lyons bounced back from their Europa League exit to Tottenham by defeating Lorient 3-1 to put pressure on the Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Lorient took the lead in the 10th minute when the Lyons goalkeeper Rémy Vercoutre could only palm a header from Jérémie Aliadière into his own net. But Argentinian striker Lisandro Lopez equalised in the 23rd minute when he converted a pass from Alexandre Lacazette. Lyons survived a scare in the 31st minute when the Lorient midfielder Kévin Monnet-Paquet hit the post.
The Lyons winger Rachid Ghezzal put his team ahead in the 51st minute, slotting in from close range after goalkeeper Fabien Audard had parried a header from Lopez. Substitute Arnold Mvuemba added a third goal for Lyons in stoppage time.
"Mental toughness helped us," Lopez said. "I've always said that we play to be champions knowing there's PSG in our way. As long as it's possible, I'll keep believing."
Lyons went level on points at the top of the league before PSG's match against third-placed Marseilles late last night.
Lyons conceded a late goal on Thursday to draw 1-1 with Tottenham and lose 3-2 on aggregate in the Europa League. "We had to leave Thursday's match behind," said the midfielder Steed Malbranque. "We had a rough start, but then we reacted and it was better. The squad has qualities. We focus on one match at a time. We take care of ourselves and not of PSG."
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