Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Dortmund  2 - 3

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Hyypia eyes Champions League place

9 February 2013 00:46

Bayer Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia is still targeting Champions League qualification this season and believes his side are on track.

A 3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund last time out saw Leverkusen slip to third in the Bundesliga, one point clear of Eintracht Frankfurt.

Speaking ahead of his side's clash against Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday, Hyypia said European qualification was his goal at the start of the campaign and feels the target is still 'very reachable'.

"At the beginning of the season we gave ourselves the goal to qualify for Europe. In my head, this goal hasn't changed," he said on Friday.

"This is one of our goals and I think at the beginning of the season it was a realistic goal which we set ourselves. Until now everything has gone very well for us and I think the goal is still very reachable.

"If everything goes well we have the chance to make the Champions League.

"It would be nice to play in the Champions League but Europa League would be good as well. It is not good to think too much about where we'll stand in May.

"It is more important to think about a difficult match against Moenchengladbach and we have to be psychologically and physically strong to get another three points. With these three points we're back in the top two."

Leverkusen are set to be tested in the coming weeks, with their Europa League tie against Benfica starting on Thursday.

Hyypia said it would be tough for his men, but urged them to move on with scheduling out of their control.

"When you have a lot matches then many players can show that they are also able to play football," he said.

"I think next week we're going to play on Thursday and then on Saturday which is very difficult for us.

"I've done this myself a couple of times and this is obviously not easy when you only have one day for relaxing.

"But we can't control or change the things which other people have decided and we have to deal with that."

Article

Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund edge Leverkusen

3 February 2013 20:14

Robert Lewandowski struck a 63rd-minute winner as Borussia Dortmund overcame Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Marco Reus' exquisite finish was followed by a Jakub Blaszczykowski penalty as Dortmund took control of the clash at BayArena.

A brace from Stefan Reinartz drew the sides level after the break before Lewandowski's goal, and the visitors held on despite Blaszczykowski missing a late penalty.

Despite looking fragile in defence, the champions were at their flowing best going forward and were ahead after just three minutes.

Reus broke the offside trap and expertly chipped Bernd Leno after Lewandowski's perfectly weighted through ball.

It was 2-0 just moments later after Leno was adjudged to have brought down Lewandowski, and Blaszczykowski made no mistake from the penalty spot.

After being frustrated by Dortmund goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak, the hosts eventually found their way back into the game.

Stefan Kiessling took on Lukasz Piszczek before crossing for Reinartz to finish from close range.

Four minutes later, Leverkusen were level as Reinartz headed in at the back post after Stefan Boenisch squared his header to complete a remarkable comeback.

Parity did not last long though, as Philipp Wollscheid's poor back pass was latched onto by Mario Goetze, and although Leno saved his poked effort, he could do nothing to prevent Lewandowski sliding home the rebound.

Lewandowski was a constant thorn in Leverkusen's side, and he won his team's second penalty of the match as he got in down the right hand side and forced Boenisch into a foul.

Blaszczykowski again stepped up but Leno guessed right and held onto the spot-kick which was struck low to his left, but Dortmund still claimed the three points.

The win moves Juergen Klopp's men to within 12 points of league leaders Bayern Munich, while Bayer Leverkusen are third.

In the other game on Sunday, Nuremberg moved further clear of the relegation zone with a 2-1 victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach.

A Timmy Simons penalty and Tomas Pekhart's strike put Nuremberg ahead inside 30 minutes, with Patrick Herrmann's effort proving nothing more than a consolation.

Nuremberg are eight points clear of 16th-placed Hoffenheim, while Moenchengladbach sit in seventh.

Article

Hummels desperate for silverware

3 February 2013 13:15

Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels is hoping his side can end their campaign with second place in the Bundesliga and a cup triumph.

Juergen Klopp's side have won the title for the past two seasons, but sit 15 points off runaway league leaders Bayern Munich this campaign.

They remain in the hunt for both the DFB-Pokal and the Champions League, and the centre-back is hoping to end the campaign with silverware.

"(Bayer) Leverkusen have shown stable performances and certainly deserve second place," Hummels told Bild am Sonntag.

"Second place and winning the cup (would now be a perfect end to the season for us)."

Thanks in part to their remarkable European run, Dortmund's profile has risen this season, and Hummels feels players can become stars at Signal Iduna Park.

"If you are daring enough, then you can," he said.

"But I do not know if this is a desirable goal. The point is to be successful - and to have fun. Whether I'm famous in every country in the world or not makes no difference to me."

Dortmund face Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

Article

Bender brothers ready for battle

31 January 2013 16:21

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender says playing against his twin brother Sven has become normal.

The twins began their careers in 1860 Munich's youth sides before going their separate ways in 2009, and Lars' Leverkusen face Sven's Borussia Dortmund on Sunday at the BayArena.

"We play against each other twice a season and that's been the case for several years," Lars told Leverkusen's website.

"It's not anything out of the ordinary anymore. It's an old story and all games are equally important for Sven and me. We haven't got anything new to say about it."

Leverkusen sit a point above Dortmund in the Bundesliga, and the Germany international is well aware of the threat posed by the champions.

"We want to hold on to second spot, which we've fought hard for, and obviously not give it up without a fight," Lars said.

"We can into the game in confident mood – we're still unbeaten at home at the end of the day. I don't think any opponent looks forward to coming here.

"We want to establish ourselves at the top of the league, and build on that against Dortmund."

Article

Bundesliga preview: Dortmund bid to move second

31 January 2013 13:03

Borussia Dortmund will look to overtake second-placed Bayer Leverkusen when the teams meet at BayArena in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

The resurgent champions have made a stellar start to 2013 with two wins from as many matches and eight unanswered goals.

Dortmund thumped Werder Bremen 5-0 in their return from the winter break before accounting for Nuremberg 3-0 at the weekend.

Jurgen Klopp's men are third on the table, one point behind Leverkusen and 12 points behind unwavering leaders Bayern Munich.

Leverkusen were held to a 0-0 stalemate at Freiburg last time out, but boast an impressive record at home, where they have won their past seven matches in all competitions.

Dortmund, however, are stronger on the road than at home this season, claiming 19 of their 36 points away from the Westfalenstadion.

Meanwhile, Bayern will look to strengthen their title credentials when they travel to European hopefuls Mainz on Saturday.

Bayern are the form team of the league with 15 wins from 19 games, while fifth-placed Mainz are gunning for a Champions League place after reaching the Europa League for the first time last season.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said he was unlikely to make any changes for the clash, but called on his regular substitutes to be ready to step up as the knockout stages of the Champions League and German Cup draw nearer.

"At the moment there is no need for big changes. We need to be successful and I will not risk anything," he said.

"The players know I will rotate once we get to the busy weeks where we will be playing Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday."

In other matches, fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt journey to Hamburg on Saturday, while Schalke entertain bottom-placed Greuther Furth.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Wolfsburg take on Augsburg at home, Freiburg face a tough test at Hoffenheim and Fortuna Dusseldorf welcome Stuttgart.

Seventh-placed Borussia Monchengladbach visit Nuremburg on Sunday, while Bremen will look to bounce back from two consecutive losses at home to Hannover on Friday.

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
1 34 +80 91
2 34 +39 66
3 34 +26 65
4 34 +8 55
5 34 +5 51
6 34 +3 51
7 34 -11 48
8 34 -4 47
9 34 -2 45
10 34 -8 44
11 34 -5 43
12 34 -18 43
13 34 -2 42
14 34 -16 34
15 34 -18 33
16 34 -25 31
17 34 -18 30
18 34 -34 21