Youngest Bundesliga coach frustrates Bayern with Hoffenheim
BERLIN (AP) — The youngest coach in the Bundesliga is showing the others how it’s done.
Julian Nagelsmann, who is only 29, led Hoffenheim to a 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich on Saturday, matching his side’s club-record unbeaten run and staying within four points of the league leader.
“We’re going there to be successful,” Nagelsmann declared bullishly before the trip to Munich, though he also needed some luck with both Mats Hummels and Thomas Mueller hitting the post late for a tired-looking Bayern.
“In the end it was lucky we didn’t concede a goal,” Nagelsmann said.
Nagelsmann, Hoffenheim’s former under-19s coach, has revolutionized the side since taking over the senior squad when it was second from bottom in February. Thanks to tactical nous and clever player-management, he saved the side from relegation and has gone on to just five defeats in 24 league games.
Now Hoffenheim is third after staying unbeaten for 10 games.
Kerem Demirbay fired the visitors ahead early with a brilliant strike to the top left corner from Nadiem Amiri’s cross. Kevin Vogt started the move by cutting through Bayern’s midfield with a fine pass.
Bayern had chances through Rafinha and Thiago Alcantara but Hoffenheim appeared untroubled until Steven Zuber deflected Douglas Costa’s cross through his own goalkeeper’s legs in the 34th.
“He wanted to save it. (Robert) Lewandowski would have put it over the line if he didn’t go for it,” Nagelsmann said of the own goal.
Bayern improved after the break but lacked the finishing touch. Carlo Ancelotti brought on Mueller and Kingsley Coman to freshen up his attack. Mueller and Hummels came agonizingly close to scoring the winner, only to be denied by the post.
Germany forward Mueller is still chasing his first league goal of the season.
HAMBURGER SV 2, BORUSSIA DORTMUND 5
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored four goals to spoil the 80th birthday celebrations for former Germany great Uwe Seeler by leading Borussia Dortmund to a rout.
Seeler, who scored 137 Bundesliga goals for Hamburg after the league’s inception in 1963, watched as Aubameyang’s goals left his side bottom of the table with just two points from 10 games.
Aubameyang fired Dortmund ahead in the fourth minute. Christian Pulisic breezed past a defender and crossed for Emre Mor, whose shot was saved by Rene Adler with the rebound landing at Aubameyang’s foot to score.
His second was just as simple. A mistake from Hamburg captain Johan Djourou allowed Mor through to cross, and Aubameyang completed his hat trick minutes later when Adler’s kick out was headed straight back for the Gabon forward to run onto.
Aubameyang’s fourth came after the break, set up by Pulisic, and he almost made it five straight afterward when he fired wide with only Adler to beat.
Nicolai Mueller pulled one back for Hamburg, and Michael Gregoritsch had another goal ruled out for a perceived foul on Matthias Ginter.
Dortmund substitute Ousmane Dembele killed any hopes of an unlikely comeback before Mueller salvaged some Hamburg pride with his second.
Dortmund moved to fifth after ending its four-game run without a win in the league.
BAYER LEVERKUSEN 3, DARMSTADT 2
Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring with a fine strike in off the left post after half an hour, but Antonio-Mirko Colak equalized after the interval.
Julian Brandt restored the home side’s lead shortly afterward before Charles Aranguiz secured the win.
Darmstadt substitute Mario Vrancic claimed the visitors’ consolation.
Mijat Gacinovic’s early goal, set up by defender Timothy Chandler, was enough for Eintracht Frankfurt to beat Cologne 1-0 and move level on points with the sixth-place visitors and Dortmund.
Forward Mario Gomez scored one goal in each half as Wolfsburg ended its nine-game run without a win in the league with a 3-0 defeat of mid-table Freiburg, for which Christian Guenter was sent off late.
Augsburg won 2-0 at winless Ingolstadt, another side to finish with 10 men.