BERLIN: Bayern Munich went top of the Bundesliga table yesterday after a 1-1 draw away at lowly Nuremberg but failed to extend their winning streak to what would have been a record-equalling 10 league victories.
Thomas Muller, 20, replacing French international star Franck Ribery, who was absent with a foot injury, gave the German giants the lead, slotting home a cross from striker Mario Gomez into the top right corner after 38 minutes. But local rivals Nuremberg equalised on 54 minutes as striker Ilkay Gundogan took advantage of confusion in Bayern’s defence to tap the ball home from short range.
And despite throwing on German striker Miroslav Klose in the second half, the 21-time Bundesliga champions were unable to deliver the telling blow, bringing to an end a run of 13 consecutive wins in all competitions.
The result means Bayern go one point clear at the top of the table, but Bayer Leverkusen could overhaul them when they face sixth-placed Werder Bremen today.
The draw leaves newly-promoted Nuremberg in a precarious position, second from bottom with only 17 points from 23 games.
They will be hoping that bottom side Hertha Berlin fail to beat 15th-placed Freiburg today.
Meanwhile, Stuttgart warmed up for Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg match against the stars of Barcelona with an impressive 5-1 win away at Cologne, with striker Cacau hitting four.
The 28-year-old German burnished his World Cup credentials by stabbing home a cross from Italian defender Cristian Molinaro on 13 minutes, before curling a superb long-distance effort into the top right corner after 31 minutes.
Another toe-poke in a goalmouth scramble on 38 minutes completed the Stuttgart man’s hat-trick and he made it four on 74 minutes, a performance that will not have gone unnoticed at the Nou Camp, or by German coach Joachim Loew.
Russian attacker Pavel Pogrebnyak completed the misery for the hosts, who are too close to relegation for comfort.
Fifth-placed Borussia Dortmund also bolstered their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League with a 4-1 win at home to Hanover, who remain in relegation danger.
Hamburg, in fourth, who were missing new signing Ruud van Nistelrooy with a thigh strain, failed to pressure the leaders with a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Frankfurt.
Mainz and Bochum also played out a 0-0 draw.
In Friday’s match, a last-minute penalty from Brazilian midfielder Eduardo snatched a point in the mid-table clash at home to Borussia Monchengladbach. — AFP