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Leverkusen beats Dortmund 4-3 after late comeback

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) — Bayer Leverkusen scored two late goals to beat Borussia Dortmund 4-3 on Saturday and deal a blow to Dortmund's ambitions of winning the German title. Kevin Volland scored twice for Leverkusen early on, but it was substitute Leon Bailey who secured the win, scoring off Volland's assist for 3-3. A minute later the Jamaican's backheel pass fed Daley Sinkgraven to send in the cross for Lars Bender to head in the winning goal.

A win would have brought Dortmund level on points with leader and defending champion Bayern Munich. Dortmund now could end the weekend six points off the top if Bayern beats Leipzig on Sunday. Leverkusen closed to two points off the Champions League places.

Volland gave Leverkusen the lead off a pass from Nadiem Amiri in the 20th minute, but the advantage lasted just two minutes as Mats Hummels headed in off Jadon Sancho's corner. Sancho has assisted a goal in all four of Dortmund's league games in 2020, and the England winger has set up a league-leading 14 this season.

On his league debut for Dortmund since arriving from Juventus last week, midfielder Emre Can hit a majestic curling shot from 20 yards to give his new team a 2-1 lead. Then it was Leverkusen's turn to level the score with Volland's volley at a corner.

Volland has had a largely quiet season, but he's stepped up against the title contenders, scoring against Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach, and recording two assists against Bayern. Both teams wasted excellent chances to score due to mistakes by talented young players. Sancho put the ball in the net for Dortmund after an elegant combination with Achraf Hakimi but a VAR review spotted an unnecessary foul off the ball by 17-year-old American Gio Reyna in the buildup.

Soon after, Leverkusen's 20-year-old star Kai Havertz ignored teammate Moussa Diaby in space on a breakaway and instead fired a shot against the post, leaving Diaby visibly frustrated. Barely a minute and a half later Dortmund snatched the lead. The two full backs combined as Hakimi cut in from the right flank to spot Raphael Guerreiro arriving at the far post to apply the finish and put Dortmund 3-2 up. Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz's response was to send on Bailey, sparking the fightback for the 4-3 win.

Erling Haaland failed to score for the first time since joining Dortmund from Salzburg. The Norwegian striker scored eight in his previous four games. Dortmund has conceded seven goals in two games this week after losing to Werder Bremen 3-2 in the German Cup. Can said Dortmund needed to get better at defending a lead.

Of his goal, Can said: “It means nothing if we've lost.” SCHALKE FALL Schalke dropped behind Leverkusen to sixth after drawing with last-placed Paderborn 1-1. Jürgen Klinsmann's Hertha Berlin continued to slide toward the relegation zone, finishing with 10 men in losing to Mainz 3-1 as Robin Quaison scored a hat trick. Hertha's Marius Wolf was sent off late when his raised arm made contact with an opponent.

Elsewhere, Freiburg beat Hoffenheim 1-0 on a penalty from Luca Waldschmidt. Promoted Union Berlin rose to 11th with a 2-0 win over Werder Berlin, which dropped back into the relegation zone in 17th.

Fortuna Düsseldorf's new coach, Uwe Rösler, drew his first league game in charge 1-1 with Wolfsburg as Fortuna moved above Werder to 16th.

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