Dortmund down Bayern after referee drama

Borussia Dortmund blew the German league title race wide open with a 1-0 win at leaders Bayern Munich, but the attempted suicide of a Bundesliga referee over-shadowed Saturday's matches.

Updated: November 20, 2011 09:42 IST
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Berlin: Borussia Dortmund blew the German league title race wide open with a 1-0 win at leaders Bayern Munich, but the attempted suicide of a Bundesliga referee over-shadowed Saturday's matches.

German league referee Babak Rafati, 41, was discovered in the bathtub of his hotel room in Cologne by his assistant referees early on Saturday afternoon having tried to commit suicide by cutting open his veins.

Theo Zwanziger, president of the German Football Federation (DFB), confirmed Rafati's condition is stable and he is out of danger while praising the three assistant referees whose actions had undoubtedly saved their colleague's life.

"It is an extraordinary situation, when one of our top referees makes a suicide attempt," said Zwanziger.

"I have to say, the three assistant referees saved Babak's life."

Rafati is now being treated in an intensive care unit, two years after Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke took his life after battling with depression for several years.

The German league match Rafati should have officiated between Cologne and Mainz was called off 40 minutes before kick-off and will be replayed.

On Saturday night, defending champions Dortmund cut Bayern's lead at the top of the Bundesliga to two points when Germany star Mario Goetze scored the winner at Munich's Allianz Arena in a tense game.

"That was really good, really hard work," said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, who leapt into the air on the final whistle.

"You have to play like that if you want to pick up any points here.

"You don't get anything by just playing at 95 percent."

Bayern, who host Villarreal on Tuesday in the Champions League, started with Dutch play-maker Arjen Robben, for the first time since groin surgery in October, but still suffered their second defeat at home to Dortmund this year.

"We didn't get close enough to them," said disappointed Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes after his side also lost 3-1 in Munich to Dortmund in February.

After playing a double pass with Japan winger Shinji Kagawa, Goetze got the better of Bayern's Germany defender Jerome Boateng and drilled his shot past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on 65 minutes.

"On the whole we can be happy, we managed to close them down," said Goetze.

"Now we can look ahead with real optimism."

Both Arsenal and Bayern have been strongly linked with Goetze in recent weeks, but the 19-year-old said he is going nowhere.

"I am a true Dortmunder and I am happy here, that is all that needs to be said," he added.

The win is a huge confidence boost for Dortmund who take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Dortmund claim second only by virtue of goal difference after Borussia Moenchengladbach Marco Reus scored a hat-trick in the 5-0 hammering of Werder Bremen to join Borussia on 26 points with Bayern on 28.

Like Goetze, Reus is one of Germany's rising stars and his three goals left him with seven in his last three league games and 10 from 13 Bundesliga matches this season.

Premier League side Manchester City and Bayern are just two of the teams interested in signing the rising star.

Schalke moved up to fourth after Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, twice, Germany Under-21 captain Lewis Holtby and Raul scored in the 4-0 win over Nuremberg.

Ten-man Hanover drop to seventh in the league after they were hammered 4-1 at Wolfsburg as Ivory Coast striker Didier Ya Konan was sent off for unsporting conduct after throwing the ball at Japan's Makoto Hasebe in the 58th minute.

Hertha Berlin were held to a 2-2 draw at Freiburg, whose midfielder Stefan Reisinger hit the equaliser in the 95th minute.

Bayer Leverkusen warmed up for Wednesday's visit of Chelsea in the Champions League with a 2-0 win over Kaiserslautern with Michael Ballack getting on the scoresheet.

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