Hoffenheim fight back despite another Bundesliga VAR setback

Berlin (AFP) –


Adam Szalai scored twice as Hoffenheim came from behind to win 3-1 against Freiburg on Saturday, while Bayer Leverkusen collapsed to a second defeat in their second game of the Bundesliga season.

Julian Nagelsmann had criticised VAR after defeat to Bayern last week, and the Hoffenheim coach looked on furiously as the video assistant correctly denied his team an early goal against Freiburg.

Nagelsmann’s mood darkened further when Dominique Heintz prodded Freiburg in front on 36 minutes, but Szalai saved Hoffenheim with a brilliant second-half brace.

Szalai capitalised on a defensive mix-up to draw Hoffenheim level just after the break, before turning a Nico Schulz cross into the net on 63 minutes. Andrej Kramaric sealed victory on the counter-attack in stoppage time.

An abject defensive performance saw Leverkusen go down 3-1 at home to Wolfsburg, after Leon Bailey had given them the lead with a brilliant first-half strike.

Leverkusen keeper Ramazan Ozcan allowed Yannick Gerhardt's equaliser to beat him at the near post on 36 minutes, and Bayer's defensive nightmare continued after half-time.

An unmarked Wout Weghorst headed Wolfsburg ahead on 55 minutes, before Renato Steffen broke through the back line to seal Leverkusen's disastrous start to the season.

"We travel to Bayern Munich next week, so we have to cross our fingers and grit our teeth,” Ozcan told Sky. "It's a marathon, not a sprint."

Milot Rashica's brilliant free-kick saw Werder Bremen steal a dramatic late win against ten-man Eintracht Frankfurt.

Japanese international forward Yuya Osako's opener for Bremen was given by VAR on 22 minutes, and Frankfurt looked dead and buried when Jetro Willems was sent off before half-time.

Sebastien Haller's penalty drew the home side level after the break, but Rashica broke Frankfurt hearts with a vicious, curling free-kick deep into stoppage time.

Elsewhere, there were 1-1 draws between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Augsburg and Nuremberg and Mainz.

Michael Gregoritsch put Augsburg ahead with a fine half-volley on 12 minutes, before Alassane Plea came off the bench to head Gladbach level in the second half.

New signing Jean-Philippe Mateta headed Mainz in front midway through the first half, before Mikael Ishak drew the home side level with a net-bursting shot just after the break.

Reigning champions Bayern Munich kicked off away to VfB Stuttgart at 1630 GMT.