BERLIN — Bayer Leverkusen exposed Bayern Munich’s defensive frailties but was unable to get more than a 1-1 draw from their Bundesliga encounter on Saturday, when Hertha Berlin took another step toward relegation.

Bayern dropped points for the second time in four league games and posed more questions than answers ahead of its Champions League round of 16 second leg against Salzburg on Tuesday. Bayern only drew the first leg 1-1.

Bayern ‘keeper Sven Ulreich prevented worse against Leverkusen, though his team made the better start.

Niklas Sule, whose performances had been coming under extra scrutiny since his announced end-of-season switch to Borussia Dortmund, fired Bayern ahead in the 18th minute after Leverkusen failed to properly clear a corner.

Leverkusen equalized in the 36th when Bayern captain Thomas Muller directed Kerem Demirbay’s harmless-looking cross past his own goalkeeper.

The visitors should have gone on to lead with Amine Adli hitting the post after a mistake from Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano amid other good chances before the break.

Substitute Marcel Sabitzer had Bayern’s best chance of the second half but failed to beat Lukas Hradecky in their one-on-one, and Ulreich denied Jeremie Frimpong a late winner for the visitors.

Bayern stretched its lead to nine points while Leverkusen remained third, 14 points behind.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic missed the game after testing positive for COVID-19.


Hertha’s inexorable slide toward relegation continued with a 4-1 loss at home to Eintracht Frankfurt — a team that had lost its last three games.

Hertha had been hoping to challenge for European qualification ever since billionaire Lars Windhorst first invested in the club in 2019, but Tayfun Korkut’s team has yet to win a game this year. Hertha occupies the Bundesliga relegation playoff place with nine rounds remaining, and all of its relegation rivals — Augsburg, Arminia Bielefeld, Stuttgart, even last-placed Greuther Furth — appear to be in better shape.

Hertha has conceded 13 goals in its last four games, all defeats.

Frankfurt made the better start and Ansgar Knauff got his first goal for the club since his winter switch from Dortmund. Filip Kostic crossed for Knauff to head the ball inside the far corner in the 17th.

Hertha was whistled at by its fans at the break.

But it didn’t get any better for their team after it, as Brazilian defender Lucas Silva Melo — better known as Tuta — scored Frankfurt’s second goal in the 48th after more lackluster defending.

A simple ball over the top was enough for Frankfurt’s third in the 56th, with Hertha goalkeeper Marcel Lotka emerging to clear the ball but kicking it only as far as Jesper Lindstrom, who gratefully returned it to the empty net.

Substitute Davie Selke pulled one back in the 61st, but Rafael Santos Borre extinguished any Hertha hope when he replied straight away with Frankfurt’s fourth.

Leipzig scored late to draw with Freiburg 1-1, Wolfsburg defeated Union Berlin 1-0, and Bochum enjoyed a 2-1 win over last-placed Greuther Furth.

Stuttgart hosted Borussia Monchengladbach late.


There were several displays of support for Ukraine across the league following its invasion by Russia.

Fans held Ukrainian flags in Munich, where a giant message on the field before kickoff said “Stop the war!” in German and English. Both teams lined up around it.

Referee Daniel Siebert wore an armband in the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag, as did Bayern captain Thomas Muller.

In Berlin, the Ukrainian flag was shown on big screens with an appeal for peace, while the same message was displayed around the stadium on the advertising hoarding before kickoff.

The Wolfsburg team bore peace signs on the front of its jerseys where club backer Volkswagen usually has its logo.


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