Dortmund put an end to the fine form of Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen

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After five consecutive wins, Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen faltered on Matchday 18 of the Bundesliga, defeated at the BayArena by a Borussia Dortmund side led by Jude Bellingham.

Bayern Munich's poor form is encouraging the chasing pack. Among them, although they are still fourth, Edin Terzic's side stand out for their good form with three wins in a row and they are now within striking distance of the defending champions.

Borussia Dortmund closed the weekend one point behind third-placed RB Leipzig, two behind second-placed Union Berlin and just three behind Bayern Munich. This is all with half the season still to play.

Out of this equation is Bayer Leverkusen. Despite the improvement shown with the arrival of Xabi Alonso on the bench, they are burdened by a bad start to the season that had them languishing in the relegation zone.

The setback suffered against Dortmund has put the brakes on their race for European qualification. Victory would have put them five points behind Eintracht Frankfurt, who are the leading the race for continental football. Now they are still eight points behind.

But Dortmund outplayed Bayer Leverkusen, who were already behind on the half-hour mark. It was a cross from the right by Julian Brandt that Sebastian Haller let through his legs with a perfect dummy. It was Karim Adeyemi who, left unmarked in the box, went the ball beyond Lukas Hradecky.

Bayer Leverkusen could not find a way to equalize despite their attempt at a reaction. Bellingham took the match into his own hands and conducted Borussia Dortmund's rhythm.

He scored the second goal, with a run through the middle of the pitch, a long pass to the right to Marius Wolf, who returned the ball into the heart of the box. The England midfielder was already there, ready to fire home, but it was the home defender, Edmond Tapsoba of Burkina Faso, who eventually deflected the ball into his own net.

Leverkusen could have pulled one back with a header from Iran's Sardar Azmoun, but his effort went over the crossbar.

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