Bayern slip up in exciting German title race, Dortmund fails to capitalize
With six duels left to play in the Bundesliga, German soccer fans are gearing up for the most exciting denouement in years. Leaders Bayern Munich lost points on Saturday at home against Hoffenheim (1-1), closest chasers Borussia Dortmund with standout Donyell Malen failed to capitalize on the slip by the Rekordmeister.
In a crazy final minute, Dortmund gave away a lead against ten-man relegation candidate VfB Stuttgart: 3-3. Substitute Silas provided the equalizer in the seventh minute of injury time. Just minutes earlier, Dortmund had been delirious with joy after a late goal by Giovanni Reyna.
In the first half, Dortmund still looked to be on their way to an easy win at the hands of Malen. First, he gave the assist on Sébastien Haller’s opening goal. The former Ajax striker could easily tap in the former PSV player’s cross.
Even before halftime, Malen doubled the margin. After a deflected corner, he resolutely shot the ball in under pressure from three defenders. The 24-year-old striker is currently in top form. In the last four league games, Malen was good for four goals and three assists.
Despite a red card for Stuttgart player Konstantinos Mavropanos, the home team came back to 2-2 deep in the second half before Dortmund lost points in injury time.
Mané with swollen lip
Bayern Munich, champions in Germany for the past 10 years, did not sparkle for a moment. Not even after an early opening goal from Benjamin Pavard. The defender accidentally got the ball at his feet during a goal attempt by teammate Kingsley Coman.
At Bayern, striker Sadio Mané was missing. He had been disciplined for striking teammate Leroy Sané during an argument in the locker room after the 3-0 defeat against Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday. The German striker played against Hoffenheim with a swollen lip.
Mané watched from the stands as Hoffenheim drew 1-1 in the 71st minute. A free kick by Andrej Kramaric went in via the fingertips of goalkeeper Yann Sommer and the inside of the post.
Soon Bayern thought to make it 2-1, again through Pavard. But VAR saw that the defender was offside at the moment Matthijs de Ligt headed the ball through.
As usual in recent weeks, De Ligt was the only one of the Dutch enclave with a starting place. Daley Blind and Noussair Mazraoui remained on the bench, Ryan Gravenberch was allowed to fill in for another ten minutes.
Gravenberch expressed his dissatisfaction with his reserve role in an interview this week. After Thomas Tuchel succeeded the suddenly sacked Julian Nagelsmann in March, the 20-year-old midfielder has only received 29 playing minutes.
The national title is probably the only prize left for Tuchel to grab. Bayern was eliminated in the German Cup by Freiburg earlier this month and will need a minor miracle on Wednesday to avoid elimination in the Champions League by City.