Bayer Leverkusen took a big step towards winning the German Football Championship for the first time on Saturday. The factory side deservedly won 3-0 against FC Bayern in front of their home crowd and now sit five points clear of Munich at the top of the table. RB Leipzig drew 2-2 at FC Augsburg and are already three points behind fourth-placed Dortmund after Friday's 3-0 win over Freiburg.
Union Berlin won 1-0 at home against Wolfsburg, while Werder lost 1-2 in front of a home crowd against Heidenheim. Frankfurt ended 1-1 against Bochum, while the clash between Gladbach and Darmstadt ended 0-0.
In Leverkusen, the game developed without major highlights early on, but then the hosts dominated more and capitalized on Bayern's carelessness during a throw-in. Robert Andrich moved unchallenged down the left, his sharp Stankel pass was met by Josip Stanisic, on loan to Leverkusen from the reigning champions, and he did not celebrate the goal (18th).
The home side controlled the match thereafter, were the most dangerous team before the break and struck decisively after the break. After a remarkable assist from Nathan Della, Alex Grimaldo beat Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with a powerful shot into the near corner (49').
New in front corner
The record champions, who competed without the injured Konrad Leimer, could no longer progress; Top goal scorer Harry Kane was completely shut out of the game by the Bayer defense. Leverkusen's Jeremy Frimpong hit the bar in the 89th minute, only to be denied by Neuer just in front of goal a minute later. In the 95th minute, the Dutchman sunk the ball into the empty net from long range – Neuer had previously appeared for a corner in the opponent's box and didn't do it in time.
A few hours earlier, Leipzig fell behind in Augsburg thanks to Philipp Tietz (35th), but turned things around with headers from Lois Opanda (39th) and Benjamin Cesco (52nd). However, Augsburg managed to equalize from Ermedin Demirovic (60th) and Javor Schlager didn't look his best in the process.
The former Salzburger played, with his ÖFB teammates Nicolas Seewald (from 67th) and Christoph Baumgartner (from 84th) being replaced. In the end, Opanta lost a very poorly executed penalty to Augsburg keeper Finn Dahmen (81'), missing a great chance for Leipzig to win. The Red Bull club have picked up just five points in the last six rounds.
Eintracht Frankfurt are still in sixth place, five points behind Leipzig. Sasa Kalajjic was a first-time father in Hessen's 1-1 home draw against Bochum.
His compatriot Maximilian Wöber (until 72nd) could not overcome the 0-0 draw with Gladbach. Werder had no points with Marco Friedel and Romano Schmidt at home against Heidenheim, Schmidt heading in Bremen's consolation goal (19th) on his club's 125th birthday.
Unions can cheer
Union Berlin celebrated an important victory without the suspended Christopher Trimmel. In the capital club's 1-0 win over Wolfsburg, ex-ÖFB keeper Pao Bervan was unable to save Danilho Toki's header. Things could be tight for Wolfsburg coach Niko Kovac now.
The match was interrupted for more than half an hour and abandoned as supporters of both clubs repeatedly threw tennis balls onto the grass. Only two of the five afternoon games – at Bremen and Frankfurt – progressed without incident. Leverkusen against Bayern started after eight minutes due to expressions of displeasure.
The background to the protests is the opposition of some fan groups against the entry of an investor into the German Football League (DFL). The investor is expected to pay a billion euros for a one percent share in TV revenue.