Injury-ridden Bayern concede late draw to Union Berlin

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Berlin (dpa) – An injury-ridden Bayern Munich have conceded a late 1-1 draw to Union Berlin in the Bundesliga on Saturday, while 19-year-old Ansgar Knauff was Borussia Dortmund’s hero in the 3-2 win over Stuttgart.

Despite the setback, Bayern still top the table but their advantage was cut from seven to five points over second-placed RB Leipzig, who beat Werder Bremen 4-1 with an Alexander Sorloth brace.

Bayern were missing some usual starters due to injury such as top striker Robert Lewandowski, midfielder Leon Goretzka, defenders Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Suele, while Serge Gnabry is in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus and Alphonso Davies suspended.

This forced coach Hansi Flick to rotate his team, giving 20-year-old Tiago Dantas his first Bundesliga start and 21-year-old Josip Stanisic his league debut.

Jamal Musiala (2-R) of FC Bayern Muenchen scores their team’s first goal past Andreas Luthe of 1.FC Union Berlin during the German Bundesliga soccder match between FC Bayern Munich and 1. FC Union Berlin at Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, 10 April 2021. EPA-EFE/Matthias Hangst / POOL

Bayern had trouble to break Union’s defence but did so when Jamal Musiala slotted the ball into the net following a Thomas Mueller assist.

However, Marcus Ingvartsen rescued Union a point with a late goal in the 86th minute.

“I think we were the better side for most of the game and deserved to win today,” Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer said. “But that’s football, it’s a pity that we didn’t get all three points.”

Ahead of the Champions League quarter-finals second leg against Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern might have extra personnel problems. Kingsley Coman and Jerome Boateng had to be subbed.

But Flick explained after the game that “it was clear from the start that Kingsley would only play 45 minutes.”

“Boateng came off with some knee problems. Coman took a blow to the top of his fibula and had some issues. But I don’t think it’s anything too bad,” he said.

Bayern lost the first leg game at home 3-2 to PSG.

Dortmund came from behind to win at Stuttgart after Sasa Kalajdzic opened the scoring for the hosts. Jude Bellingham equalized and Marco Reus put Dortmund ahead, but Stuttgart levelled things up again with Daniel Didavi.

It was Knauff’s first ever Bundesliga goal that secured Dortmund the three points in the 80th minute.

Leipzig celebrated the three points as they keep title hopes alive with six games to go.

“The team really wanted the win. We’re driven and you could see that today. Overall it was a good performance and therefore it’s a deserved win. We’re very pleased with the three points,” coach Julian Nagelsmann said.

Meanwhile, in the fight for third place, Frankfurt beat Wolfsburg 4-3 in a thrilling home game. Ridle Baku’s early opener for the guests was quickly followed by Daichi Kamada’s equalizer.

Luka Jovic put Frankfurt ahead before Wout Weghorst levelled it up, but Andre Silva and Erik Durm secured the victory for the home side.

Wolfsburg remain third and Frankfurt fourth, but now only one point behind their opponents. Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin played out a 2-2 draw with Borussia Moenchengladbach.