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Bayern held back after draw

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Bayern (red) had lost three of their five previous away matches against Hoffenheim. AFP

Bayern held back after draw

Bayern Munich were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim on Saturday as the runaway Bundesliga leaders had three goals disallowed and also hit the post.

“Luck wasn’t on our side,” bemoaned captain Manuel Neuer.

Having also been held at home by Leverkusen the previous weekend, Bayern have now drawn their last two league games.

Christoph Baumgartner gave Hoffenheim a deserved lead before Robert Lewandowski levelled on the stroke of half-time in Sinsheim with a record-equalling 17th away goal this season.

It was a tough afternoon for Bayern who had two goals by Thomas Mueller and one by Lewandowski ruled out before Serge Gnabry struck the post.

“We had a few more chances and at the end it was disappointing not to travel home with three points,” admitted Neuer.

Bayern are 10 points clear in the Bundesliga, but second-placed Dortmund, who were home to Bielefeld on Sunday, have two games in hand.

Tough return for Nagelsmann

It was a frustrating return to Sinsheim for Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann, who spent nine years with Hoffenheim, three as head coach.

“I am pleased with the overall performance, especially as we had goals ruled offside which were marginal, even if we only took a point,” said Nagelsmann.

Bayern had lost three of their five previous away matches against Hoffenheim and there was a cup match atmosphere among the sold-out home crowd hoping for another upset.

The hosts landed the first blow when striker Andrej Kramaric fired a pass to the far post where Baumgartner was waiting to drive past Neuer with half an hour played.

The Germany captain had hoped to set a new Bundesliga record of 311 victories, but Neuer will have to wait at least another week.

Lewandowski struck before half-time when he powered in Bayern’s equaliser to claim his 29th league goal this season.

It was end to end in the second half, which opened with Lewandowski’s disallowed goal, then Gnabry beat the defence, but hit the post.

Mueller had his head in his hands when his shot was scrambled off the line.

At the other end, Neuer denied Hoffenheim a late winner with a superb save at close range to block a shot by Jacob Bruun Larsen.

Hertha stay winless in 2022

Hapless Hertha Berlin remain winless in nine games in 2022 as their 2-0 loss at Moenchengladbach piled pressure on head coach Tayfun Korkut.

Gladbach dominated at Borussia Park even with their coach Adi Huetter sidelined by Covid.

Alassane Plea converted a penalty for the hosts and Matthias Ginter compounded Hertha’s misery by heading in a second goal after the break.

The defeat leaves Hertha second from bottom, capping a chaotic week which saw investor Lars Windhorst fall out with the club’s board and sports director Arne Friedrich quit abruptly.

Earlier, Freiburg climbed back into the Champions League places despite surrendering a two-goal lead before defender Nico Schlotterbeck sealed a 3-2 win at Wolfsburg.

Stuttgart snatched a valuable point in the relegation battle.

Sasa Kalajdzic’s 90th minute equaliser sealed a 1-1 draw at Union Berlin to lift Stuttgart to third from bottom, one place above Hertha.

“To fight for a point like that is good for morale,” said relieved Stuttgart coach Pellegrino Matarazzo as his side backed up the previous weekend’s fight-back win at Gladbach.

An outbreak of 20 Covid cases at Mainz meant their away game at Augsburg on Saturday was postponed.

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