Injury-ridden Bayern Munich have conceded a late 1-1 draw to Union Berlin in the Bundesliga, to give hope to their nearest pursuers RB Leipzig, who won 4-1 at Werder Bremen.
While 19-year-old Ansgar Knauff was Borussia Dortmund’s hero in the 3-2 win over Stuttgart, Bayern’s setback on Saturday means their advantage over second-placed Leipzig at the top has been cut.
Before the matches, Leipzig were seven points adrift but the gap has been cut to five with their victory over Bremen being inspired by a double from Alexander Sorloth.
Bayern were missing some usual starters due to injury, including top striker Robert Lewandowski, midfielder Leon Goretzka, defenders Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Suele.
Meanwhile, Serge Gnabry is in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus and Alphonso Davies suspended.
This forced coach Hansi Flick to rotate his team, giving 20-year-old Tiago Dantas his first Bundesliga start and 21-year-old Josip Stanisic his league debut.
Bayern had trouble breaking down Union’s defence but did so when Jamal Musiala slotted home following a Thomas Muller assist.
However, Marcus Ingvartsen rescued Union a point with a late goal in the 86th minute.
Ahead of the Champions League quarter-finals second leg against Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern might have extra problems with Kingsley Coman and Jerome Boateng both having to be subbed.
But Flick explained after the game that “it was clear from the start that Kingsley would only play 45 minutes.”
“Boateng came off with some knee problems. Coman took a blow to the top of his fibula and had some issues. But I don’t think it’s anything too bad,” added Flick, who has to mastermind his side’s comeback after their 3-2 loss to PSG in the first leg.
Leipzig celebrated their three points as they keep title hopes alive with six games to go.
“The team really wanted the win. We’re driven and you could see that today,” coach Julian Nagelsmann said.
Dortmund came from behind to win at Stuttgart after Sasa Kalajdzic opened the scoring for the hosts.
Jude Bellingham equalised and Marco Reus put Dortmund ahead, only for Stuttgart to level again through Daniel Didavi.
It was Knauff’s first Bundesliga goal that secured Dortmund the three points in the 80th minute.
Meanwhile, in the fight for third place, Frankfurt beat Wolfsburg 4-3 in a thriller.
Ridle Baku’s early opener for Wolfsburg was quickly followed by Daichi Kamada’s equaliser.
Luka Jovic put Frankfurt ahead before Wout Weghorst levelled it up, but Andre Silva and Erik Durm secured the victory for the home side.
Wolfsburg remain third and Frankfurt fourth, just one point behind their opponents.
Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin played out a 2-2 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach.