Dortmund struggling in Bundesliga title defense


FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -Borussia Dortmund is seven points behind Bayern Munich five games into the Bundesliga season, a similar situation it was in at the same stage last campaign.

Dortmund went on to play an outstanding second half of the season, winning 15 of its last 17 matches and drawing two as it stormed to its second consecutive championship.

The difference now is that Dortmund's defense has come apart.

The team that didn't concede in 29 matches during its two championship seasons has given up six goals in its past two games.

After losing 3-2 to Hamburger SV, Dortmund failed to protect 2-0 and 3-2 leads and had to settle for a 3-3 draw at promoted Eintracht Frankfurt.

"It's fatal how many goals we are conceding," captain Sebastian Kehl said. "We are not closing our ranks like we did last season."

Bayern, meanwhile, has started the season with five straight wins and scored a record-breaking 17 goals, while conceding only two.

But Bayern led by eight points after six rounds last season, only for Dortmund to pull away to win the championship with the best record in Bundesliga history.

"We have to remain calm and with both feet on the ground," midfield star Arjen Robben said. "There are 34 matches and we've only played five."

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said, "we are playing good football, we are in good shape."

Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp described Tuesday's 3-3 draw in Frankfurt as "spectacular," but said the match provided "a little bit too much spectacle than I'd liked."

"We have to remain calm and focus on small things in training," Klopp said.

Dortmund hosts Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday. Moenchengladbach is also struggling this season, still trying to compensate for the departure of forward Marco Reus to Dortmund and several other players.

Moenchengladbach is coming off a 2-2 draw with 10 men against Hamburg and has only one win in five matches.

Bayern plays on Saturday at Werder Bremen. New Bayern signing Mario Mandzukic leads the team and the league with five goals in five games and has stepped in to replace Mario Gomez, who is out with an ankle injury.

Bremen has seven points with a 50 percent record.

Eintracht, which is two points behind Bayern, hosts Freiburg on Sunday.

Hamburger SV, which hosts Hannover on Saturday, was denied a second straight win when it conceded a goal in injury time at Moenchengladbach. Rafael van der Vaart scored his first goal since returning to Hamburg but later missed a penalty.

Hannover beat Nuremberg 4-1 to claim third place but lost Leon Andreasen for several months after the Denmark midfielder tore ligaments in his right knee.

Andreasen came back at the start of the season after missing 28 months because of several groin operations.

Promoted Fortuna Duesseldorf kicks off the sixth round on Friday against Schalke.

Duesseldorf is the only team not to have conceded a goal yet, and joins Bayern and Eintracht as having the only undefeated records.

Winless Stuttgart travels to Nuremberg on Saturday, Bayer Leverkusen hosts newcomer Greuther Fuerth and Hoffenheim is at home to Augsburg.

On Sunday, Wolfsburg hosts Mainz in a match between two teams with only one win each.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Biggest Stories



Most Popular

CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike Black Team USA Just Do It Flag T-Shirt

Get Ready for Rio
Summer Olympics are here!
Shop Now