Palacios scores late winner for Bundesliga leaders Leverkusen

Palacios scores late winner for bundesliga leaders leverkusen0

Exequiel Palacios scored in the fourth minute of injury time to lift Bayer Leverkusen to a 1-0 victory against Augsburg on Saturday, maintaining them four points ahead of defending champions Bayern Munich.

Bayern Munich’s 3-0 home win over Hoffenheim on Friday increased the pressure on Leverkusen.

With barely a minute of additional time left, Argentine World Cup champion Palacios controlled Alex Grimaldo’s cross and shot past home goalkeeper Finn Dahmen.

The goal might be vital in the championship battle, since it restored Leverkusen’s advantage at the top of the table, with second-placed Bayern having a game in hand.

“I jumped a little (when the goal went in),” a “emotional” Alonso revealed. Our lads were determined to persevere till the finish.

“The goal wasn’t by chance; it was a reward for our efforts throughout the game…

“But it’s only one win, we need to keep going.”

Each match during the first weekend of matches following Franz Beckenbauer’s death at the age of 78 started with a minute of silence and an homage to the German football great.

Without injured striker Victor Boniface, Leverkusen looked smooth early on, carving up many opportunities as they controlled possession, but missed the decisive deadly punch.

With 20 minutes left, Augsburg seemed to have seized the lead via Phillip Tietz, but the striker’s goal was called out for offside, and Palacios had the ultimate word.

Leipzig is defeated at home.

In other news, Eintracht Frankfurt beat RB Leipzig 1-0 to go ahead of Borussia Dortmund into fifth position.

Frankfurt grabbed the lead after just seven minutes, with Ansgar Knauff converting a fantastic curling ball from Niels Nkounkou.

Leipzig fought for an equalizer, but Frankfurt held on to hand Leipzig their first home league defeat of the season.

Union Berlin drew 0-0 with Freiburg, maintaining their good albeit unspectacular record under new coach Nenad Bjelica.

Prior to the arrival of the Croat, Union had lost nine consecutive league games, but have since lost only one in four to move three points clear of the relegation play-off spot.

Cologne squandered a chance to climb out of the automatic relegation zone, drawing 1-1 with promoted Heidenheim.

Strugglers Mainz rallied from a goal down to draw 1-1 at home with Wolfsburg, securing a crucial point that kept them in 16th place and a play-off berth.

With a victory against last-placed Darmstadt later on Saturday, Borussia Dortmund may take advantage of Leipzig’s setback and move to within three points of fourth place.

England winger Jadon Sancho, who has returned on a six-month loan from Manchester United, might make his first appearance for the visitors since 2021.

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