Hertha Berlin take a knee as Heynckes takes another Bayern bow

Bundesliga round-up: Borussia Dortmund slip up at home to Leipzig

Hertha  Berlin’s players take a knee  before the  Bundesliga  match against FC Schalke 04. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Hertha Berlin’s players take a knee before the Bundesliga match against FC Schalke 04. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

 

Hertha Berlin players took a knee in solidarity with American sports stars ahead of their Bundesliga game against Schalke on Saturday.

The whole team linked arms and knelt on one knee shortly before kick-off, while substitutes and management repeated the move on the touchline.

In a statement posted on their official Twitter feed, the club wrote: “Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility!

“For a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world, now and forevermore! #TakeAKnee #hahohe”

The move follows a series of similar protests by NFL players against perceived racial injustice. Those actions have been criticised by United States president Donald Trump.

Last weekend, US vice-president Mike Pence walked out of a match between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers after a number of 49ers players took a knee during the pre-match national anthem.

After the protest Schalke won 2-0 to move up to fifth place in the table with goals from Leon Goretzka and Guido Burgstaller, while Hertha had Genki Haraguchi sent off just before half-time.

Bayern Munich celebrated the return of veteran coach Jupp Heynckes as they narrowed the gap to leaders Borussia Dortmund to just two points with a 5-0 thrashing of Freiburg.

Heynckes, who has replaced Carlo Ancelotti until the end of the season, watched as strikes from Kingsley Coman, Thiago, Robert Lewandowski and Joshua Kimmich, plus a Julian Schuster own goal, got the hosts back to winning ways.

Later on, the day got better for Bayern as top dogs Dortmund lost their unbeaten record in a 3-2 home defeat to RB Leipzig which saw both sides finish the game with 10 men.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice but it was not enough as goals from Marcel Sabitzer, Yussuf Poulsen and Jean-Kevin Augustin helped Leipzig recover from an early deficit to claim victory.

Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Leipzig’s Stefan Ilsanker were both sent off in an eight-minute spell early in the second half.

Hoffenheim lost ground on the top sides as visiting Augsburg twice came from behind to grab a late point at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.

The home side broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute when Benjamin Hubner drilled home from the edge of the box after Andrej Kramaric’s initial effort was blocked.

And, even after Augsburg substitute Michael Gregoritsch equalised after 75 minutes, the hosts thought they had done enough when Marc Uth found the top corner five minutes from time.

But Augsburg’s persistence paid off in bizarre style in the 89th minute when a deep cross hit luckless Hoffenheim defender Kevin Vogt and ricocheted into the net to wrap up a 2-2 draw.

Hannover continued to slide after their fine start to the season as they suffered their fourth Bundesliga game without a win in a 2-1 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Sebastien Haller put the visitors in front after 10 minutes and, despite an equaliser from Salif Sane before the break, Ante Rebic won it for Frankfurt with one minute left.

Alexandru Maxim, Stefan Bell and Danny Latza scored for Mainz as they edged struggling Hamburg 3-2 at the Opel Arena.

Hamburg’s Brazilian striker Walace had briefly brought the visitors back on level terms, but their second, a stoppage-time penalty from Sejad Salihovic, was a mere consolation.

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