Euro: Bayern suffer shock thrashing | Real Madrid held

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich slipped to a shock 4-2 defeat at VfL Bochum on Saturday, conceding all four goals in the first half.

Bayern had already scored a record 68 goals this Bundesliga season before this game, putting them on course for an all-time best return, but it was Bochum who had the better day.

Bayern took the lead from a familiar source in the ninth minute, when Robert Lewandowski scored his 25th league goal of the campaign to set the visitors seemingly on course for another victory.

However, Christopher Antwi-Adjei’s superb equaliser less than five minutes later got the hosts back into the contest, before Jurgen Locadia’s 38th-minute penalty turned the match.

Robert Lewandowski was unable to prevent defeat
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Robert Lewandowski was unable to prevent defeat for Bayern Munich

Cristian Gamboa arrowed an unstoppable strike into the top corner two minutes later, before Gerrit Holtmann curled another fine goal into the net on the cusp of half-time to stun the champions.

Lewandowski did score again, 15 minutes from time, but it was too little, too late for Julian Nagelsmann’s team as Bochum held on for a famous win.

The defeat, just Bayern’s fourth league loss of the season, does not affect their position too much, and they remain nine points clear at the top of the standings as they close in on a record-extending 10th successive league title. Bochum stay 11th.

Bayer Leverkusen continued their fine recent form with a 4-2 victory over Stuttgart in the Bundesliga, their fourth successive league victory.

BAYERN 4-1 DOWN AT BOCHUM
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Thomas Muller looks dejected in the defeat

Moussa Diaby opened the scoring for Bayer in the 41st minute with his 10th league goal of the season, after the hosts had hit the woodwork twice in the first half.

The goals flowed in the second half as Tiago Tomas equalised four minutes after the break, before Amine Adli glanced a header home in the 52nd minute to restore Leverkusen’s lead.

Teenager Florian Wirtz then squeezed home a third for Bayer in the 85th minute to spark a late flurry of goals, with Tomas then converting from close range to give Stuttgart hope with two minutes left.

Yet straight down the other end, the in-form Patrik Schick netted a fine fourth for the home side – his 19th league goal from 19 starts – to put the game to bed.

The victory helped third-placed Leverkusen close the gap to Borussia Dortmund in second to two points, with Marco Rose’s side facing Union Berlin on Sunday. Stuttgart remain deep in the relegation mire in 17th, four points from the safety zone.

Meanwhile, Hertha Berlin lost at rock-bottom Greuther Furth 2-1, Borussia Monchengladbach eased their relegation worries with a 3-2 win over Augsburg, and Wolfsburg won at Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0. Freiburg came from behind to draw with Mainz 1-1.

La Liga: Real held by Villarreal

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale reacts to a missed chance
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Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale reacts to a missed chance

La Liga leaders Real Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw away at Villarreal on Saturday, as their lead at the top of the table was reduced to just four points.

Real came into the game without injured talisman Karim Benzema and it told as they struggled to gel in an uncharacteristically sluggish first half, before looking more like their old selves after the break.

“We had a number of opportunities to win it but in football you need to take your chances,” said Real midfielder Casemiro.

“The coach ensured we were much better in the second period, which is a performance we will take encouragement from. We’re coming into the business end of the season and we are all working well, pushing in the right direction.

“The coaching staff are always pushing us and we want to win everything this season.”

Real coughed up a number of chances in the opening stages, with Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze a menace throughout, as Real skipper Marcelo struggled against the Nigerian’s pace and directness.

Villarreal forward Arnaut Danjuma hit the post before Real ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois produced a fine save to deny Alberto Moreno from the edge of the box as the home side pushed for an opener.

Real had calls for a penalty waved away as Vinicius Junior went down clutching his face after a coming together with Raul Albiol, while Villarreal were incensed that Marco Asensio was not shown a red card for a high challenge on Vicente Iborra.

The visitors were much-improved after the break, with Gareth Bale – making his first appearance for the club since August – clipping the bar before he and team-mate Vinicius were denied in quick succession by Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.

Substitute Luka Jovic then hit the bar in stoppage time as Real sought a late winner with fellow replacement Nacho’s follow-up cleared off the line by Serge Aurier.

Madrid move onto 54 points, four ahead of second-placed Sevilla with both sides having played 24 games. Villarreal, meanwhile, are fifth on 36 points.

Serie A: Dzeko earns Inter draw at Napoli

Inter's Edin Dzeko celebrates with team-mates
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Inter’s Edin Dzeko celebrates with team-mates

Inter Milan retained top spot in Serie A with a 1-1 draw in a top-of-the-table clash at Napoli on Saturday, as Edin Dzeko responded to an early Lorenzo Insigne penalty.

The result leaves the Italian champions one point clear of Napoli below them with a game in hand, but third-placed AC Milan will go top if they beat Sampdoria on Sunday.

Insigne fired the hosts in front in the seventh minute after Stefan de Vrij trod on Victor Osimhen’s foot in the box, and Piotr Zielinski almost made it two with a shot that thumped the post.

Inter struck back early in the second half when Dzeko profited from a fortuitous deflection to hammer home a finish, as Simone Inzaghi’s side avoided a second damaging defeat in a row following last weekend’s Milan derby loss.

The Nerazzurri’s derby defeat opened up the title race and handed Napoli the chance to go top with a win in their bid for a first league title since the Diego Maradona-inspired 1989-90 season.

The hosts took an early lead when referee Daniele Doveri awarded a spot-kick after a look at the pitchside VAR monitor, which captain Insigne dispatched.

Zielinski was inches away from doubling Napoli’s lead with a curler from the edge of the box that struck the woodwork, while Denzel Dumfries dragged a shot well wide from a good position with Inter’s best chance of the first half.

Inter levelled less than two minutes after the restart when Dzeko’s header struck Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s foot and bounced back into the path of the Bosnian, who drilled a finish off the bar and in from close range.

The visitors had captain Samir Handanovic to thank for keeping them level, as the Slovenian reacted sharply to stop an Osimhen strike before superbly charging down an Eljif Elmas effort at the back post.

Elsewhere, Mattia Zaccagni scored a double to add to a Ciro Immobile penalty as sixth-placed Lazio beat Bologna 3-0 in Rome to move three points behind Juventus in fourth.

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