Bayern drops more Bundesliga points, Hertha slide continues
BERLIN (AP) — Bayern Munich again dropped points in a 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday, and Hertha Berlin took another unwanted step toward relegation.
Hertha lost 2-0 at Borussia Mönchengladbach to slip into a direct relegation place with eight rounds of the league remaining, good news for Stuttgart which gained a vital draw in its fight against the drop.
Robert Lewandowski’s 29th league goal of the season was all Bayern could get despite dominating the game in Sinsheim, where Christoph Baumgartner had opened the scoring in the 32nd minute for Hoffenheim.
It was Bayern’s second consecutive draw in the Bundesliga after last weekend’s 1-1 with Bayer Leverkusen, and the third game in its last five in which it has dropped points.
Bayern stretched its lead to 10 points but second-place Borussia Dortmund has played two fewer games. Dortmund hosts coronavirus-hit Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday, and it still has to face Mainz after their game last week was postponed due to coronavirus infections.
Bayern had three goals ruled out for offside and missed a host of chances, while Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann helped frustrate the visitors with a string of good saves.
Lewandowski finally equalized in first-half injury time with a powerful header to Joshua Kimmich’s corner, but the Poland star was unable to add to his tally in the second half.
HERTHA MISERY CONTINUES
Hertha hasn’t won a competitive game this year and the loss at Gladbach could lead to the dismissal of Tayfun Korkut as coach. It was Hertha’s fifth straight defeat and its ninth consecutive game without a win.
“We’ll see,” Hertha general manager Fredi Bobic said about Korkut’s future.
Gladbach hadn’t won any of its last three games but even without the coronavirus-infected coach Adi Hütter at the helm – assistant coach Christian Peintinger filled in – the home team forced the initiative against Hertha.
A first-half penalty from Alassane Plea and second-half header from Matthias Ginter were enough for Gladbach to ease its own fears of getting dragged into a relegation scrap.
Saša Kalajdžić scored in the last minute to lift Stuttgart out of a direct relegation place with a 1-1 draw at Union Berlin.
Stuttgart, which ended its nine-game run without a win by beating Gladbach last weekend, moved ahead of Union’s city rival Hertha on goal difference.
“You can be happy when you takea point from Berlin,” Stuttgart coach Pellegrino Matarazzo said, referring to Union’s good record at home.
Freiburg moved to fourth, the last qualification place for the Champions League, with a 3-2 win at home over Wolfsburg.
Vincenzo Grifo opened the scoring with a perfectly placed free kick in the seventh minute, then rewarded Freiburg’s dominance with a brilliant second goal before the break. Nicolas Höfler crossed from the left and Grifo controlled the ball with his first touch and volleyed it in with his next.
Wolfsburg fought back to equalize in the second half, but Nico Schlotterbeck atoned for a mistake that preceded the equalizer when he let fly for the winner in the 87th.
“I’m very happy that we could win because we had a lot of drama with corona,” said Freiburg coach Christian Streich, who was without several players due to coronavirus infections or injuries.
Mainz’s game at Augsburg was called off due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak among the visitors.
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