BERLIN: Depleted Bayern Munich were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Union Berlin in the Bundesliga on Saturday, three days before their crunch Champions League return leg at Paris Saint-Germain.
Teenager Jamal Musiala beat three defenders to give injury-hit Bayern the lead midway through the first half at the Allianz Arena only for Marcus Ingvartsen to equalise for Union four minutes from time.
“That is very annoying,” Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer told Sky after the late equaliser.
“We played well over long stretches and would have deserved the victory.”
In Paris on Tuesday, European champions Bayern need to overturn a 3-2 first-leg defeat and started reserve team players Tiago Dantas, on a season-long loan from Benfica, as well as Josip Stanisic against Union.
The club world champions have nine players sidelined, including injured top-scorer Robert Lewandowski and winger Serge Gnabry, who is quarantined after testing positive for Covid-19.
Musiala showed great footwork to pick his way through the Union defence for the opening goal midway through the second-half, only for Ingvartsen to beat Stanisic and grab the visitors’ equaliser.
Off the field, tensions are brewing between sports director Hasan Salihamidzic and coach Hansi Flick, who has Neuer’s backing.
“I think Hansi Flick is the right coach for us,” added Neuer.
The home draw trims Bayern’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga table to five points ahead of second-placed RB Leipzig, who romped to a 4-1 win at Werder Bremen.
Leipzig dominated throughout and raced into a 3-0 lead as Dani Olmo gave them the lead before Alexander Soerloth netted twice.
Although Milot Rashica pulled a goal back for Bremen, Marcel Sabitzer finished a move for the visitors to make it 4-1 midway through the second-half.
The sides meet again in Bremen on April 30 in the German Cup semi-finals.
Eintracht Frankfurt took another key step towards reaching the Champions League for the first time with a thrilling 4-3 win at home to Wolfsburg.
The hosts ran riot as Daichi Kamada, Luka Jovic, Andre Silva and Erik Durm all netted for Frankfurt who now have a ten-point cushion in fourth, the Bundesliga’s final Champions League berth for next season.
The result puts pressure on fifth-placed Dortmund, who need to overturn a 2-1 first leg defeat at home to Manchester City on Wednesday in the Champions League, when they play later at Stuttgart. Third-placed Wolfsburg pulled goals back through Ridle Baku and Wout Weghorst before Frankfurt’s Brazilian defender turned the ball into his own net for a late own goal five minutes from time.
Borussia Moenchengl-adbach earned a 2-2 draw at Hertha Berlin despite playing 77 minutes a man down after goalkeeper Yann Sommer was shown an early red card for fouling Jhon Cordoba.
Goals by forwards Alassane Plea and Lars Stindl had put Gladbach in control after Santiago Ascacibar had given the lead with a superb strike before Cordoba equalised for Hertha just after the break.