Bayer Leverkusen cut Borussia Dortmund’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga to just five points on Sunday as they came from behind to seal a 2-1 win at home against relegation-threatened St Pauli.
After Dortmund were held to a 1-1 draw at Hamburg on Saturday, second-placed Leverkusen chipped away at Borussia’s lead and fought back as Germany striker Stefan Kiessling equalised before Lars Bender scored the winner.
The hosts had to dig deep after St Pauli’s Charles Takyi gave the guests a shock lead just after the break.
“It is difficult to play against a team who have such a high morale and passion,” Leverkusen manager Jupp Heynckes said.
“We put on a few substitutes in the second-half, which turned the game.
“St Pauli gave a good account of themselves, it would be a shame if they got relegated.”
With five games now remaining before the season finishes on May 14, Leverkusen have a crunch clash next Saturday at defending champions Bayern Munich.
46 min. Castro for Balitsch
60 min. Derdiyok for Kadlec
68 min. L. Bender for Barnetta
72 min. Daube for Bruns
79 min. Sukuta-Pasu for Boll
84 min. Ebbers for Takyi
Yellow Cards: Schwaab (Leverkusen); Asamoah,Takyi and M. Lehmann(all St.Pauli)
0:1 Takyi (58 min.)
1:1 Kießling (66 min.)
2:1 L. Bender (77 min.)
Statistics Leverkusen vs St.Pauli
Posession: 71 % vs 29 %
Shots: 19 vs 16
Fouls: 16 vs 25
Corners: 4 vs 1
Offsides: 1 vs 3
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