Bayern held by Freiburg at home, Dortmund wins in Bundesliga
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 04, 2018 08:23 AM
Freiburg's Robin Koch, left, and Bayern's Franck Ribery challenge for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and SC Freiburg in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) — Bayern Munich's attempt to keep the pressure on Borussia Dortmund ahead of their Bundesliga encounter next weekend was undermined after conceding a late draw with Freiburg on Saturday.
Dortmund held on for a 1-0 win at Wolfsburg and will lead by four points before Bayern's visit on Saturday.
Bayern dominated possession against Freiburg but found it hard to create chances against the visitors' well-organized defense, frustrating some home fans who whistled their team at the break.
Freiburg had a goal ruled out for offside early in the second half.
Bayern claimed a penalty for an apparent hand ball by Freiburg defender Manuel Gulde but referee Felix Zwayer gave a corner instead after consulting video replays. Franck Ribery had an arguably better penalty appeal waived away.
Germany striker Serge Gnabry finally broke the deadlock with 10 minutes remaining, beating Alexander Schwolow at his near post to set off celebrations among Bayern's coaching staff.
They were cut short, however, when Christian Guenter crossed for striker Lucas Hoeler to equalize on 1-1 in the 89th minute.
Despite unconvincing performances, Bayern had been looking for a fifth straight win in all competitions after getting over a slump of four games with none.
"You could see that we never shined in the past weeks. Then you can't play with ease, that's clear," Bayern captain Manuel Neuer acknowledged. "But we still had times in the game in which we played really well. The question is, why don't we keep doing that?"
After conceding a late equalizer against Hertha Berlin the weekend before, Dortmund successfully defended Marco Reus' first-half goal to stay unbeaten.
Dortmund had problems in defense, with Manuel Akanji (hip), Lukasz Piszczek (knee), Marcel Schmelzer (knee) and Abdou Diallo (groin) all out injured.
Lucien Favre, the first Dortmund coach to stay unbeaten after 15 competitive games, made nine changes from the team that beat Union Berlin 3-2 in the German Cup on Wednesday, with Paco Alcacer coming in for a rare start.
The Spain striker, who had seven goals in four league appearances, failed to score for the first time in his sixth game for Dortmund.
Reus, who scored with a late penalty for the win over Union, again starred, heading home from close range after Thomas Delaney failed to direct his header on target.
SCHALKE FINALLY WINS
Schalke was testing its fans' patience with only one goal in four league games and nerves were strained before the game against fellow struggler Hannover.
Mark Uth, yet to score for the team since his summer transfer from Hoffenheim, was awarded a spot kick in the second half after falling under minimal contact from Hannover goalkeeper Philipp Tschauner. Referee Markus Schmidt didn't check the video and Nabil Bentaleb converted the penalty.
Hendrik Weydandt equalized with 20 minutes remaining but Breel Embolo replied straight away for Schalke and Uth finally scored late to seal the 3-1 win.
Also, Bayer Leverkusen's revival was cut short in losing to Hoffenheim 4-1 at home, and promoted Nuremberg drew at Augsburg 2-2.
Timo Werner scored twice to help Leipzig win at Hertha Berlin 3-0.