Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Schalke 04 on Sunday, a result that leaves both clubs stranded three points behind leaders Werder Bremen.
Schalke led 2-0 inside 20 minutes on goals from Peter Lovenkrands and Levan Kobiashwili, but Munich salvaged a draw through Andreas Ottl in the 45th and Roy Makaay in the 52nd minute.
Neither side was able to capitalize on Bremen's surprise 1-1 draw on Saturday at home against Energie Cottbus. Ivan Klasnic scored with 14 minutes left to cancel out Cottbus' 49th-minute opener from Francis Kioyo.
Bremen lead the way with 20 points from an improving VfB Stuttgart, who have 18 points after a 4-2 win at Alemannia Aachen and are unbeaten in seven games. Munich and Schalke follow on 17 points apiece.
In the other game on Sunday, mid-table club Eintracht Frankfurt beat Borussia Moenchengladbach on a goal from Naohiro Takahara in the 78th minute. Thomas Helved was sent off for the visitors in the 56th minute for a second bookable offence.
Schalke had a dream start to the match -- although the majority of their fans kept silent for the first 19:04 minutes (a reference to the club's founding year of 1904) in protest against mediocer showings in recent games.
Lovenkrands opened the scoring to eerie silence in the 13th minute when he tapped in a defense-splitting pass from Gustavo Varela. Kobiashwili made it 2-0 some five seconds after the fan boycott ended, sending the 61,482 fans into a frenzy.
Kevin Kuranyi missed a golden opportunity for 3-0 in the 29th minute, firing straight at goalkeeper Oliver Kahn from point blank range -- a missed opportunity the hosts paid dearly for.
Ottl halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time after a poor clearance by Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who surprisingly got the nod from coach Mirko Slomka over veteran Frank Rost.
Munich further stepped up the pressure in the second half and got the equalizer in the 52nd minute when Ottl fed Roy Makaay for his sixth goal of the season, a low shot from just inside the area.
Munich failed to win at Schalke for the first time since 1998, but with the draw at least stopped a slide after three straight defeats on the road.
"We did not play well at all in the first half hour. But my team reacted in a great way and deserved the draw," Munich coach Felix Magath said.
In other action on Saturday, Hertha Berlin defeated Nuremberg 2-1, VfL Wolfsburg beat struggling SV Hamburg 1-0, Bayer Leverkusen were held 1-1 by 10-man Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund got a last-gasp 1-1 draw against Arminia Bielefeld.
VfL Bochum handed last place to Hanover 96 by winning their Friday night game in Hanover 2-0.
Police on Sunday claimed success in stopping Dynamo Dresden's notorious fans from rampaging again at a soccer match.
Dresden used 1,100 officers from several German states -- a record for a third-division match -- to control the 20,000 spectators on Saturday at a match between Dynamo Dresden and Union Berlin.
Trouble was expected after 23 officers were injured last weekend.
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