Borrussia Dortmund slump nine points behind Bayern Munich

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Marco Richter of Hertha BSC celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and Borussia Dortmund at Olympiastadion on December 18, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.


Marco Richter scored twice as Borussia Dortmund lost 3-2 at mid-table Hertha Berlin to slip nine points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich at the halfway point of the season.

Second-bottom Arminia Bielefeld - facing coronavirus absences and down to 10 men - had earlier on Saturday stunned RB Leipzig 2-0 away to inflict a first defeat on coach Domenico Tedesco.

Borussia Monchengladbach looked set to snap a four-game losing streak with a win but fourth-placed hosts Hoffenheim levelled in stoppage time for a 1-1 draw.

Surging Eintracht Frankfurt went fifth with a 1-0 home win over Mainz, Union Berlin are sixth after prevailing 1-0 at Bochum and bottom side Greuther Furth drew 0-0 with Augsburg.

Champions Bayern, who had already made sure of being top going into 2022, beat Wolfsburg 4-0 at home on Friday with Robert Lewandowski setting a record of 43 Bundesliga goals in a calendar year.

Second-placed Dortmund must come out flying after the holidays if they are to have any chance of denying Bayern a 10th straight Bundesliga title.

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Mahmoud Dahoud of Borussia Dortmund tackles with Marco Richter of Hertha BSC during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and Borussia Dortmund at Olympiastadion on December 18, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.


"It was too little from our side," Dortmund keeper Marwin Hitz, playing with Gregor Kobel ruled out, told Sky. "We should be very, very unhappy."

Dortmund scored on the half hour when Julian Brandt finished calmly after Max Mittelstaedt had prodded the ball away from Erling Haaland.

After the break, though, Ishak Belfodil finally got on the scoresheet when he outran stand-in centre back Axel Witsel and Richter then fired home from 16 metres.

Thorgan Hazard's finish for the visitors was ruled out for offside before midfielder Richter took advantage of terrible Dortmund play for 3-1. A Steffen Tigges header came too late.

Bielefeld, who were missing Stefan Ortega and Manuel Prietl due to COVID-19, overcame their troubles for a third win of the campaign and a second in a row.

Patrick Wimmer's effort was parried by Peter Gulacsi and Janni Serra scored his first Bundesliga goal - before immediately being substituted.

"When you dream for years of scoring a Bundesliga goal then your emotions are all over the place," said Serra, who kissed the turf after scoring on 57 minutes.

His replacement Fabian Klos was soon dismissed for a studs-up tackle after video review but even that setback could not stop the visitors, Masaya Okugawa making it 2-0 after a big error from Amadou Haidara.

The insipid performance in an empty stadium due to coronavirus was a blow for new Leipzig coach Tedesco, who has won one, drawn one and now lost one so far.

It is the worst first half of the season for ninth-placed Leipzig - runners-up last term - in their six-year Bundesliga history.

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