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Bayern push further ahead despite draw

dpa logodpa 4/02/2017

Bayern Munich increased their lead at the top of the Bundesliga despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Schalke after Leipzig went down to Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern Munich were held 1-1 by Schalke in a disappointing first home game of the year but increased their Bundesliga lead as depleted RB Leipzig lost 1-0 at Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring for the champions Munich in the ninth, only for Schalke to respond through Naldo from a free-kick four minutes later.

Bayern failed to get a winner in another modest showing, while mid-table Schalke celebrated an unexpected point.

Bayern lead the way with 46 points while Leipzig remained on 42 after going down in Dortmund from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 35th-minute header.

Dortmund rose to third with 34 points but remain in a tight battle with Hoffenheim (34), Hertha Berlin (33), Cologne and Eintracht Frankfurt (32) for Champions League berths.

In Munich, injury-plagued Holger Badstuber got his first game time for Schalke against his former teammates after a January loan move which is to give him more matches.

Munich captain Philipp Lahm, meanwhile, had to wait for his 500th appearance for the champions until coming on in the 77th.

Lewandowski opened the scoring in the ninth minute off Arturo Vidal, chipping over goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann for his 15th season goal.

But Schalke were soon level through Naldo before teammate Guido Burgstaller and Bayern talisman Lewandowski were denied by the crossbar. The disappointing hosts then produced no danger until Javi Martinez aimed inches left in the 86nd.

"It was a tough match for us, Schalke played well," Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "We started well, but weren't compact enough later. We failed to win possession in the crucial moments, that's why we had problems. Overall it wasn't enough."

Leipzig could have moved within one point of Bayern but with Emil Forsberg still suspended and top scorer Tobias Werner among several flu victims they lost out in rainy Dortmund.

Aubameyang aimed high in the 33rd but did better two minutes later with a header for a league-leading 17th goals, set up superbly by Ousmane Dembele who raced past Marwin Compper and Willi Orban on the right wing.

Marco Reus, Aubameyang and Matthias Ginter missed further chances for Dortmund which almost backfired when Federico Palacios Martinez struck for Leipzig deep into stoppage time but was ruled just offside.

"We won and that's what matters. But I should have scored and then the offside situation in the end wouldn't have mattered. We deserved to win because we had more chances," Reus said.

Hoffenheim recovered from their first season defeat last weekend in Leipzig thanks to a 4-0 over Mainz, with Adam Szalai scoring a late brace, and Mark Uth and Marco Terrazzino getting the other goals.

Hertha Berlin clinched their first victory of the year 1-0 over second-last Ingolstadt, Cologne prevailed 1-0 over lowly Wolfsburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach got a second straight win, 3-0 over Freiburg.

Ailing SV Hamburg beat Leverkusen 1-0 on Friday while on Sunday Augsburg host Werder Bremen and Frankfurt can return to third with victory over bottom club Darmstadt.

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