Soccer-Bayern held to third straight draw as Bundesliga lead crumbles

Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt - Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany - January 28, 2023 Bayern Munich's Marcel Sabitzer in action REUTERS/Leonhard Simon

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) -Bayern Munich stumbled to a 1-1 draw against visiting Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday to leave them with only a slim Bundesliga lead after being held for the third game in a row with the same scoreline.

The result left the reigning champions one point ahead of second-placed Union Berlin, who now have 36 points after beating Hertha 2-0 in the Berlin derby.

RB Leipzig are in third spot on 35 following Friday's 2-1 win over VfB Stuttgart, with Frankfurt in fifth with 32.

Bayern, who visit Paris St Germain on Feb. 14 in the Champions League last 16, have had a turbulent few weeks.

The club frantically searched for a replacement for injured goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and signed Yann Sommer only a day before last week's season restart draw with RB Leipzig.

They then fired goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic, who is also a close friend of Neuer, and then had to reprimand winger Serge Gnabry for flying to Paris to attend a fashion event before yet another draw in midweek against Cologne.

With Gnabry left on the bench on Saturday, Bayern looked sharper than their opponents in the first half and went in front when Leroy Sane rifled in from a Thomas Mueller assist in the 34th minute.

Eintracht defended well in the second half but were largely anonymous until Daichi Kamada fed Randal Kolo Muani in the box and the forward beat France team mate Dayot Upamecano in a one-on-one to drill in a 69th-minute equaliser with his seventh league goal this season.

"In order to win the big games you have to play the smaller games in such a way so as to have a good run," Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said.

"We no longer have a lot of time until the big games in order to hit our stride. It was no special performance. There are many points we need to improve that we keep discussing such as playing faster and not always over the wings."

The Bavarians, chasing a record-extending 11th straight league title, had a treble chance to score before the equaliser but eventually ran out of gas against fellow Champions League club Eintracht.

Second-bottom Hertha sacked sports director Fredi Bobic after their derby defeat, having lost six of their last seven matches. They have 14 points from 18 games, two adrift of the safety zone.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis and Ken Ferris)

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