RB Leipzig rally to deny Dortmund 100% record in Bundesliga

RB Leipzig came from behind to win 3-2 and deny Borussia Dortmund an unbeaten start to their Bundesliga season, with both sides having a man sent off in the second half.

The entertaining match at Westfalenstadion also marked an end to Dortmund’s 41-game unbeaten streak at home in the Bundesliga, and began with a goal from the German top flight’s current top scorer Pierre Emerick Aubameyang after just four minutes.

The Gabon international stole the ball off Stefan Ilsanker for break, and had no trouble in slotting it into the far corner for his first goal. However, Leipzig struck back through Marcel Sabitzer, and Yussuf Poulsen  gave Leipzig the Bulls lead before half-time.

Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos was then sent off shortly after the break and Jean-Kevin Augustin extended Leipzig’s lead from the penalty spot, before the visitors also went down to ten-men after Stefan Ilsanker received a second yellow card in the 56th minute.

Nonetheless, while Aubameyang managed to pull a goal back for Dortmund shortly afterwards by converting a VAR-approved penalty, the skipper could not find the net again even as Dortmund threw everything at the visitors in the closing stages in an attempt to preserve their unbeaten run.

Although Peter Bosz’s team would remain top of the table following the first breach of the Yellow Wall since April 2015 —when Jurgen Klopp was still in charge — their lead was now cut to two points by Bayern Munich, who thrashed Freiburg 5-0 in Jupp Heynckes’ first game in charge as manager.

It was also clear that Bosz was not happy with his team’s performance.

“We played too many backwards balls — that is not our game — and we defended badly,” the Dutchman said after the match. “We had a lot of trouble with Leipzig’s pressing, particularly in the first half. We tried to change that in the second half but then we went 3-1 behind and the red card happened.”

Meanwhile, RB Leipzig — runners up to Bayern last season — move up to third in the table, three points off top spot.

Gerard Pique right to voice out — Filipe Luis

Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis believes that Gerard Pique, his counterpart at FC Barcelona is right to speak his mind publicly, especially in regards to the recent Catalan independence referendum.

Luis, 32, added that more footballers should aspire to be like the controversial Spanish International, who had often made headlines in recent weeks in respect to his support for the disputed independence vote.

Spanish football fans had went so far as to jeer Pique during an open training session while away on international duty, with sections of their support questioning his commitment to Spain. However, Luis, who will face Pique when Barca visits Atletico in La Liga on Saturday, has come out in support of the former Manchester United youngster’s attitude.

“I am a fan of Pique, although I often disagree with what he says,” he said. “But he dares, like [Alvaro] Arbeloa. They are people who are not afraid to say what they think, who do not hide behind their fame.”

“They are admirable and hopefully more footballers will be like them.”

Nonetheless, Brazilian international Luis — who had spent most of his footballing career in Spain — cannot fathom the Catalonian desire to split from the country.

“It [the referendum] is a subject that I follow daily and I cannot understand,” he added. “I respect it, but in a world that tends to unite and open frontiers, it doesn’t sound right to me that a community wants to close itself.”

“I guess it’s because I have the vision of a Brazilian and in Brazil, with all its flaws, if the national anthem sounds, people are proud. Left, right, it does not matter. People are proud of being Brazilian and something I cannot understand is why that doesn’t happen here [in Spain].”

“Why do you want to separate? What do you think will be better?”

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane set to miss out for up to six weeks

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane had been ruled out of action through a hamstring injury for around six weeks.

Mane, 25, was injured on international duty with Senegal and his absence could not have come at a worse time for Jurgen Klopp with Manchester United visiting Anfield on Saturday.

The Senegalese international scored 13 Premier League goals last season despite missing the whole of January because of the Africa Cup of Nations and the final six weeks of the campaign with a knee injury.

There was little doubt that he is amongst Liverpool’s most influential players, and as a result his injury has come at a particularly bad time with Adam Lallana still struggling to regain fitness after a thigh injury.

Lallana has already been sent to the Aspetar sports clinic in Qatar as he continues his rehabilitation and is likely to return in mid-November, along with Mane who will miss the two Champions League games against Maribor and trips to Tottenham and West Ham, as well the visit of Huddersfield Town.  

The Reds will still hope to have Mane in contention for their Champions League fixture in Sevilla on 21 November before they host Chelsea four days later in the Premier League.

“The winger was substituted 89 minutes into Senegal’s 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over the Cape Verde Islands on Saturday,” a Liverpool statement read. “It has now been confirmed that he picked up an injury during that fixture that could keep him out of action for up to six weeks.”

Klopp’s side have often struggled without Mané, since his move from Southampton, averaging 2.2 Premier League goals with him in the team as compared to 1.6 goals in his absence. Last season, their form fell away dramatically while Mané was at the Africa Cup of Nations, winning just one of their seven games, against League Two Plymouth in an FA Cup replay.