Borussia Dortmund’s hopes of holding on to in-demand striker Erling Haaland by qualifying for next season’s Champions League were dealt a massive blow as they were beaten 2-1 by direct rivals Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Andre Silva’s winner at the Westfalenstadion left Dortmund seven points behind Frankfurt with just seven matches remaining.
Frankfurt went in front as Dortmund’s Nico Schulz wrongfooted his own keeper with a header in the 11th minute. The visitors were also unlucky not to be awarded a penalty for a clear handball by Thomas Delaney.
Instead it was Dortmund who scored on the stroke of half-time when Mats Hummels turned in the box to volley in the equaliser.
“Too sloppy, too unfocused, technically just not good enough,” defender Hummels said. “We had to make more of the good chances we had. Other teams are ahead of us in that respect.
“We had situations that should have been clear scoring chances. We just did not manage to turn them into something.”
Frankfurt were sharper after the break, however, bagging a deserved winner after coming close through Silva, Kostic and Stefan Ilsanker in a strong second-half display.
Haaland’s father Alf-Inge and agent Mino Raiola held talks with Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid this week with the Norway striker one of the most in-demand players in world football, but the 20-year-old failed to take any of his chances in this match.
Dortmund still have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season by winning the competition this campaign and face Manchester City — another side heavily linked with a move for Haaland — in the quarterfinals.
Wolfsburg beat Cologne 1-0 to stay in third place on 54 points.
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, on 61 points, play second-placed RB Leipzig, four points behind, later on Saturday.