Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre insists his side kept their cool before a late double from Paco Alcacer secured victory over Wolfsburg and a return to the top of the Bundesliga.
Dortmund, who were missing leading scorer Marco Reus, appeared set to have to settle for a draw as the game entered injury time still deadlocked at 0-0.
But Alcacer finally made the breakthrough when he scored direct from a free-kick in the first minute of stoppage time, and the Spain striker wrapped up the points when he tapped in a second three minutes later.
“We’ve stayed calm because we know anything is possible until the whistle,” Favre told dvb.de
“We really wanted to score in the last 15 minutes, so we also increased the risk a bit.”
The win sees Dortmund reclaim first place in the standings from Bayern Munich, who were held to a draw at Freiburg.
Favre added: “Both teams defended well and had good phases in the game.
👕 1st BVB appearance— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) 30 March 2019
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“We put on pressure, but Wolfsburg were also dangerous with long balls and counter-attacks, especially in the second half.”
Dortmund playmaker Mario Gotze always felt his side could prise open Wolfsburg at some point, having failed to score only once in their last 33 league games at the Westfalenstadion.
Gotze said: “Of course we always believed that we could score a goal here at home.
“It was a very difficult game. It’s important to know that we can be dangerous to the last minute.”
Goalkeeper Roman Burki added: “I am very happy for Paco today. Today he scored two very important goals.
“That’s a nice feeling, the weekend could not go better.”
Domenico Tedesco has been sacked by Schalke in the wake of the 7-0 Champions League humbling by Manchester City.
The Italy-born coach guided Schalke to the Bundesliga’s runners-up spot behind Bayern Munich last season, but the Gelsenkirchen club are currently down in 14th place following three-straight losses.
The final straw appears to have been Tuesday night’s embarrassing display in Manchester, where Pep Guardiola’s City put seven unanswered goals past Schalke to complete a 10-2 aggregate last-16 victory.
Ahead of Saturday’s league meeting with RB Leipzig at Veltins-Arena, former Royal Blues boss Huub Stevens has taken interim control of the first team and will be assisted by Mike Buskens.
“This decision was anything but easy, as we really appreciate Domenico Tedesco at Schalke. He developed the side very well last season that ended with us finishing runners-up,” said the club’s recently-appointed director of sport, Jochen Schneider, on schalke04.de.
“However, we can’t fail to recognise that the development this season has been negative. When I took the job, I demanded a turnaround due to the current situation in the Bundesliga.
“After careful consideration, we came to the conclusion that this wouldn’t be possible with the current staff.
“Domenico Tedesco deserves our thanks for the work he did over the past two years. He has always conducted himself commendably and fully identified with the club and its values.”
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Bayern Munich returned to the top of the Bundesliga for the first time since September after a crushing 6-0 win over Wolfsburg.
Their goal spree was enough to move top on goal difference above former leaders Borussia Dortmund, who beat Stuttgart 3-1.
And it was an emphatic statement of intent from Niko Kovac’s men ahead of the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Liverpool on Wednesday.
Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski set the reigning champions on their way in the first half before James Rodriguez fired a third from the edge of the box in the 52nd minute.
Further goals from Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich and a second from Lewandowski sealed the commanding victory.
In contrast Dortmund struggled to shrug off their Champions League exit to Tottenham as they needed two late goals to see off Stuttgart.
Marco Reus put the home side in front from the penalty spot but Dortmund’s lead was cancelled out by Marc-Oliver Kempf’s 71st-minute equaliser.
Paco Alcacer rescued Dortmund by firing them back in front in the 84th minute and Christian Pulisic made sure of the points in added time.
Third-placed RB Leipzig were held to a goalless home draw by lowly Augsburg.
And that let Borussia Monchengladbach move back level on points with Leipzig as they snapped a four-game winless streak to win 1-0 at Mainz. Nico Elvedi scored the only goal in the 63rd minute.
Hertha Berlin striker Vedad Ibisevic scored at both ends as his side fell to a 2-1 defeat at Freiburg.
Ibisevic cancelled out a 27th-minute opener from Nils Petersen only to poke home an own goal 10 minutes from time which gave the home side the points.