Sebastien Haller scored on World Cancer Day just two weeks after making his return from a six-month battle against the disease as Borussia Dortmund thrashed 10-man Freiburg 5-1 on Saturday.
Haller, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer last summer, got Dortmund’s third goal in a win that saw them move level on points with Bayern Munich, who travel to Wolfsburg on Sunday.
The former West Ham striker, 28, signed for Dortmund from Ajax last July but complained of feeling unwell during pre-season and tests discovered a malignant tumour.
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 4, 2023
After two surgeries and chemotherapy, Haller was given the all-clear to return to training last month and made his competitive debut as a substitute in the 4-3 win over Augsburg on January 22.
Saturday was his second start for Dortmund and a day he will surely not forget as they punished a Freiburg side who had Kiliann Sildiallia sent off just 17 minutes in for two quick bookings.
Nico Schlotterbeck got the opener in the 26th minute and although Lucas Holer levelled on the stroke of half-time, it was one-way traffic in the second half.
Karim Adeyemi turned in Jude Bellingham’s corner to make it 2-1 early in the second half, and moments later Haller headed in Raphael Guerreiro’s cross.
That was the first of three assists for Guerreiro, who set up Julian Brandt and substitute Gio Reyna.
And that, Unioner, is that. Confidence, skill, attitude, intelligence, love and volume. Unbelieveable. Look at the table, even if only for this evening and enjoy every second. Eisern! pic.twitter.com/iLbEpQ58Qa
— 1. FC Union Berlin (@fcunion_en) February 4, 2023
Union Berlin went top of the table until Sunday at least with a 2-1 win over Mainz.
Kevin Behrens fired Union in front before half-time, but they needed Jordan Siebatcheu to score an 84th minute winner after Marcus Ingvartsen had levelled from the penalty spot.
RB Leipzig were held to a goalless draw by Cologne, leaving them one point behind Dortmund in fourth place and only a point ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt, who cruised to a 3-0 win over Hertha Berlin.
Bochum moved three points clear of the bottom three with a 5-2 win over fellow strugglers Hoffenheim while it finished goalless between Borussia Monchengladbach and relegation-battling Schalke.
Atletico Madrid winger Angel Correa celebrated from the bench having being awarded a goal after being substituted in his side’s 1-1 draw with Getafe.
HIGHLIGHTS: #AtletiGetafe 1-1
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) February 4, 2023
Correa was flagged offside when he fired Atletico ahead on the hour and was substituted by Diego Simeone before the VAR could intervene to allow the goal.
But it was not enough for Atletico to win as relegation-battling Getafe levelling through Enes Unal’s late penalty.
Elche earned their first victory of the season in their 20th outing as Pere Milla scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Villarreal, who sit four points behind fourth-placed Atletico.
Martin Braithwaite cancelled out Ante Budimir’s goal as Espanyol and Osasuna drew 1-1 while Celta Vigo earned a thrilling 4-3 win at Real Betis.
Lionel Messi got the winner as Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain came from behind to beat Toulouse 2-1.
Branco van den Boomen put the visitors in front in the 21st minute before Achraf Hakimi levelled before the break and Messi made it 2-1 after 59 minutes.
Sixth-placed Lille also came from behind to win 3-1 at Rennes thanks to goals from Edon Zhegrova, Remy Cabella and Andre Gomes.
Bradley Barcola, Rayan Cherki and Alexandre Lacazette were on target for Lyon in a 3-1 win at Troyes.
Roma moved up to second in Serie A with a 2-0 win over Empoli as Nicola Zalewski and Tammy Abraham both struck inside the first 10 minutes.
At the other end of the table, Lecce and Sassuolo both edged away from trouble with wins over Cremonese and Atalanta respectively.