Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland scored twice on his return from injury to help his team beat Mainz 3-1 and go top of the Bundesliga table.
The Norwegian forward, who had been out since late September, scored in the 54th minute with a spot kick following a lengthy VAR review over a hand ball and then again deep in second half stoppage time.
“It is clear he had been missing in our team,” said Dortmund captain Marco Reus. “It is important that he plays because he constantly keeps two or three players occupied. To score two goals on his comeback is top. That is why we signed him.”
The hosts had shot out of the blocks and earned a dream start with captain Marco Reus thumping in a deflected cutback in the third minute for a dream start. It was Reus’ 14th goal in 20 games against Mainz, the most he has scored against any Bundesliga club.
In a tense first half Dortmund had three quarters of possession but had to wait almost the entire half for another chance in stoppage time when a Jude Bellingham effort was cleared off the line.
Haaland’s penalty gave Dortmund a measure of comfort in the second half and Mats Hummels hit the post with a glancing header but the visitors were not yet done.
Mainz struck with Jonathan Burkardt in the 87th from a mistake by Dortmund keeper Gregor Kobel to set up a nervous finale before Haaland completed a quick break to secure Dortmund’s ninth consecutive home league win.
Freiburg remain the only unbeaten team in the Bundesliga after holding RB Leipzig to a 1-1 draw, with Jeong Woo-yeong cancelling out Emil Forsberg’s penalty, while Covid-hit Stuttgart also drew 1-1 at Borussia Mönchengladbach. Konstantinos Mavropanos fired Stuttgart ahead against the run of play but Jonas Hofmann equalised before the break. Elsewhere, Anthony Losilla’s late goal was enough for Bochum to win 1-0 at Greuther Fürth.
Union Berlin stretched their unbeaten home record to 21 games with a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg thanks to goals from Taiwo Awoniyi and Sheraldo Becker. Their city rivals, Hertha Berlin, won 2-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt. Marco Richter gave them an early lead and Jurgen Ekkelenkamp added a second in the 63rd minute, before Gonçalo Paciência’s consolation goal from the penalty spot.
Milan produced a breathless second-half performance against Verona to win 3-2 and climb above Napoli at the top of Serie A. Verona raced into a surprise 2-0 lead after just 24 minutes courtesy of a Gianluca Caprari strike and a penalty converted by Antonín Barák. Olivier Giroud gave Milan hope when he headed in a cross from Rafael Leão on the hour before two goals in the space of three minutes – a Franck Kessie penalty and an unfortunate own goal by Koray Günter – completed the comeback.
Milan have now picked up 22 points after eight league games, their best record in the three-points-for-a-win era, going back to 1994-95. Coach Stefano Pioli admitted: “Verona were better than us in the first half, we were unlucky with the first goal but reacted after the break. I saw the right expressions on the faces of the players at half-time, we had to step it up and we did. It was a great test of maturity.”
Felipe Anderson and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored late to complete a 3-1 comeback win for Lazio against Serie A champions Internazionale in Rome, as Simone Inzaghi fell to his first league defeat as Inter coach against his former club. Ivan Perisic’s penalty put Inter in front at the break but Ciro Immobile levelled in the second half with his own effort from the spot.
Anderson then fired Lazio ahead after 81 minutes, leaving Inter players furious that the hosts continued playing while the Nerazzurri had a man down, before Milinkovic-Savic made sure of victory with a close-range header in stoppage time. The defeat leaves Inter third on 17 points, with Lazio moving up to fifth place three points behind them.
Substitute Julen Lobete scored a dramatic late winner as ten-man Real Sociedad beat Mallorca 1-0 to move to the top of La Liga. Sociedad struggled to break down their stubborn opponents and suffered a major setback on the stroke of half-time when Aihen Muñoz was shown a second yellow card. Mallorca were unable to make their numerical advantage pay in the second half and Sociedad grabbed the points in the final minute when Manolo Reina could only fumble Lobete’s effort into his net.
It was the first time Sociedad’s 40,000-seat Anoeta Stadium had been at full capacity for more than 18 months due to the pandemic and coach Imanol Alguacil said: “They played very well but we knew that we would have our chances. Our effort paid off and I am very happy with the win. It was great to feel this atmosphere with our fans again.”
Levante and Getafe – who had former Watford manager Quique Sánchez Flores in the dugout for the first time – both remain winless at the foot of the table after they played out a goalless draw.