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Leipzig, Frankfurt lose before Euro ties

RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt have suffered Bundesliga defeats after fielding understrength teams ahead of crucial Europa League semi-final return legs on Thursday.

Leipzig lost 3-1 at 10-man Borussia Monchengladbach on Monday, which hurt their Champions League ambitions, while mid-table Frankfurt went down 2-0 at third-placed Bayer Leverkusen.

Leipzig are fifth and outside the top four Champions League zone, one point behind Freiburg and four behind Leverkusen with two games left. But they could also qualify for the elite event if they win the Europa League.

Leipzig coach Domenico Tedesco made five changes to the team that beat Rangers 1-0 last week and aims to defend the slender advantage in Glasgow.

Breel Embolo scored Gladbach’s first in the 17th after a Lars Stindl pass and then set up Jonas Hofmann for the second on the stroke of half-time.

The visitors got a temporary 1-1 equalizer from Christopher Nkunku but failed to capitalise after Gladbach had Nico Elvedi sent off for a last-man foul on Nkunku shortly after the hour.

On the contrary, Hofmann struck again in the 77th to clinch what was only Gladbach’s second win over Leipzig in 12 meetings.

Leverkusen cemented their Champions League ambitions with victory against Frankfurt whose coach Oliver Glasner made eight changes to the side that won 2-1 at West Ham United on Thursday.

Paulinho opened the scoring at the far left post in the 18th and Patrik Schick got the second in the 50th for a season tally of 22 following a video review, after having an earlier goal nullified for offside. Both goals were set up by Moussa Diaby.

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