Bayern drop points in rare draw


Mon, Mar 31, 2014 - Page 19

Champions Bayern Munich dropped points for only the third time in the Bundesliga this season as they were held 3-3 at home by TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday.

Bayern were confirmed as German champions for the 24th time with a record seven games to spare after Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Hertha BSC, but, after partying hard in the capital, the European champions suffered a slight hangover at their Allianz Arena home.

Hoffenheim ended Bayern’s record run of 19 consecutive Bundesliga wins, giving the Munich giants a wake-up call ahead of their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Manchester United tomorrow.

“We need to analyze what happened today,” Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said. “If we play like we did today in the second half, we are not the favorites on Tuesday against Manchester.”

Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara has been ruled out of the Manchester match with a knee injury after limping off after only 25 minutes against Hoffenheim.

A lot of goals was always on the cards between the league’s two highest-scoring sides — Bayern with 82 goals to Hoffenheim’s 63.

It was just the third time they have failed to win this season, but they are still on course to become the first team to go through a Bundesliga campaign unbeaten.

Veteran striker Claudio Pizarro scored twice, while Switzerland winger Xherdan Shaqiri also got on the scoresheet in the first half after Hoffenheim took an early lead through striker Anthony Modeste.

Bosnia midfielder Sejad Salihovic curled in a 44th-minute free-kick to make it 3-2 at the break.

Hoffenheim equalized on 75 minutes when Brazilian left winger Roberto Firmino darted on to a through ball and his shot beat Bayern center-back Dante and goalkeeper Tom Starke.

Elsewhere, Germany winger Marco Reus netted a hat-trick as Borussia Dortmund fought back from two goals down to win 3-2 at 10-man VfB Stuttgart.

Christian Gentner and Martin Harnik took advantage of poor defending to net for the hosts, but Reus pulled one back with a superb finish on 30 minutes and hit the equalizer when he converted a 68th-minute penalty after Stuttgart’s Georg Niedermeier was sent off for bringing down Robert Lewandowski in the area.

Reus saved his best for last when he completed his hat-trick with a long-range shot that took a deflection off defender Daniel Schwaab on 83 minutes.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen hold on to fourth place despite drawing 1-1 at home to bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig as Sami Hyypia’s side struggle for form with one win in their past 11 games.

Braunschweig took a shock lead through defender Ken Reichel just after the break before Stefan Kiessling slotted home a penalty to spare Bayer’s blushes. Fifth-placed VfL Wolfsburg are just a point behind Leverkusen after their 2-1 win at home to Eintracht Frankfurt, with Brazil defender Naldo scoring their 89th-minute winner.

SC Freiburg are unbeaten in their past four games as they enjoyed a 3-2 win at home to Nuremberg.

FSV Mainz 05 broke back into the top six with a 3-0 win at home to Augsburg.