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03/09/2014
 

Borussia Dortmund consolidated second place in the Bundesliga on Sunday with a 1-0 win at relegation-threatened Freiburg as veteran captain Sebastian Kehl netted the winner. Dortmund came to Freiburg without top-scorer and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who has a knee strain, but still enjoyed their third straight win.


Jurgen Klopp's side grabbed the winner on 58 minutes when 34-year-old skipper Kehl curled home a 25-meter shot which gave Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann little chance. "I told him he's a scumbag," Baumann joked to Sky Sports, while Kehl admitted he was "very, very happy" after his speculative shot dipped under the bar.


The result leaves Freiburg second from bottom while Dortmund are four-points clear in second, but remain 20 points behind runaway leaders Bayern Munich. "Those were huge points for us," said Dortmund defender Mats Hummels. "Only second place really counts for us now and that was a big, big step in the right direction."


Mainz 05 and Hertha Berlin later shared a point in a 1-1 draw as Colombia striker Adrian Ramos's goal was cancelled out by Eric Choupo-Moting's second-half penalty for hosts Mainz. The result leaves both sides within three points of the top six.


On Saturday, Pep Guardiola's Bayern warmed up for Tuesday's Champions League last 16, second-leg clash at home to Arsenal with a 6-1 thrashing of Wolfsburg, scoring five goals in 17 second-half minutes.


 
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03/07/2014
 

Borussia Dortmund's Poland striker Robert Lewandowski remains a doubt for the Bundesliga trip to Freiburg on Sunday, the club said Friday.


The 25-year-old missed Poland's home defeat by Scotland on Wednesday due to a knee problem having been injured in last weekend's 3-0 win over Nuremberg.


"We haven't ruled out him playing. The decision will be made during the last training session before the game," said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.


In the 15-goal striker's absence, Klopp could plump for either Julian Schieber as his lone frontman or push winger Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang into the middle.


Dortmund are second but 20 points behind champions and leaders Bayern Munich.


Lewandowski, who is out of contract with Borussia in the summer, has opted to join Bayern next season on a free transfer.

 
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02/15/2014
 
Bayern Munich warmed up for Wednesday's Champions League last 16, first-leg clash at Arsenal by trouncing Freiburg 4-0 on Saturday to stretch their Bundesliga lead to 16 points. Coach Pep Guardiola rested several Bayern stars ahead of the clash with the Gunners in London, but still started with 10 internationals against strugglers Freiburg.

Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri, who netted twice, and veteran Peru striker Claudio Pizarro took their chances with goals in the rout at Munich's Allianz Arena, and Guardiola's side extended their record unbeaten league run to 46 matches. With second-placed Bayer Leverkusen hosting Schalke 04 on Saturday night, Bayern took the chance to extend their huge lead at the top of the table.


Brazil center-back Dante opened the scoring when he headed home on 19 minutes, and Shaqiri added the second on 34 minutes after a superb reverse pass from Pizarro fell into his path and he fired home. The stocky Swiss then added his second just before the break, while Pizarro added a fourth two minutes from time.



Kumbela treble sinks Hamburg


Meanwhile, ex-Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk is under increasing pressure as Hamburg suffered an eighth straight defeat, crashing 4-2 at bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig. Routed 5-0 by Bayern in the German Cup on Wednesday, Hamburg have now lost their last seven league games, an unwelcome club record.


Hamburg took the lead when striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga grabbed the opening goal on his return from injury on 23 minutes. But Democratic Republic of Congo-born Dominick Kumbela came off the bench to score twice for bottom side Braunschweig before Croatia midfielder Ivo Ilicevic appeared to save Hamburg's blushes with the equalizer 14 minutes from time.


However, Kumbela wrapped up his hat-trick when he pounced in a goal-mouth scramble after another mistake from Hamburg's German international goalkeeper Rene Adler. To add to the visitors' misery, midfielder Jan Hochscheidt scored Braunschweig's fourth -- the 51st goal Hamburg have conceded this season -- in the third minute of added time. The result means Hamburg remain second from bottom, but now only four points separate the bottom five teams.

 
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08/30/2013
 

Premier League Swansea City were drawn alongside Spanish outfit Valencia in arguably the most intriguing match-up to come out of Friday's draw for the group stage of the Europa League.


Swansea will also come up against Russian club Kuban Krasnodar, who beat Feyenoord in the play-offs and whose squad includes France striker Djibril Cisse, as well as Swiss side St Gallen in Group A. But it is the meeting with Valencia that will most excite the fans of the Welsh club, who won the English League Cup last season.


Laudrup has close links to Spain, having played for Barcelona and Real Madrid and later coached both Getafe and Mallorca. He famously took Getafe to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup in 2008, only losing to Bayern Munich in extra-time. And he has injected a heavy Spanish influence into his Swansea side, with ex-Valencia winger Pablo Hernandez one of seven Spaniards in the squad.

 
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