Leipzig held to 1-1 draw by Frankfurt in Bundesliga

LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) — Bayern Munich’s pursuit of a record ninth consecutive Bundesliga title got a boost on Sunday after second-place Leipzig drew 1-1 with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Needing a win to close the gap after Bayern’s 3-1 win over Werder Bremen on Saturday, Leipzig took the lead with Emil Forsberg’s goal in the 46th minute. Poor marking allowed Daichi Kamada to level the score for Frankfurt 15 minutes later. The draw left Bayern with a four-point lead with nine games remaining.

It was a day for the Bundesliga’s Japanese players to shine as Kamada scored for Frankfurt, while Ritsu Doan and Masaya Okugawa were on target for Arminia Bielefeld in a surprise 2-1 win over slumping Bayer Leverkusen.

LEIPZIG STALEMATE

Leipzig came into the game against Frankfurt on a run of six Bundesliga wins which had brought it back into striking range of Bayern. Justin Kluivert forced a good save from Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp early on. A slice of luck gave Leipzig the lead early in the second half as Trapp parried a speculative shot from Kluivert into the path of Forsberg for a simple finish.

Kamada was left in space to meet Andre Silva’s cross as the Leipzig defense tracked back. Leipzig’s defensive record is among the Bundesliga’s best, but errors played a big part in its elimination from the Champions League by Liverpool.

Trapp’s save from Yussuf Poulsen kept Frankfurt in the game before the visitors had a chance to win when Luka Jovic, on loan from Real Madrid, blasted a shot into the side netting.

The draw gives Frankfurt a two-point cushion over Borussia Dortmund in fifth. Leipzig center-back Dayot Upamecano went off injured after appearing to pull a muscle while sprinting.

LEVERKUSEN SLUMPS

Leverkusen’s defeat to Bielefeld continued a disastrous 2021 for a team which led the league in December.

Since Leverkusen lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich in December in a top-of-the-table match, it’s played 13 league games and won just three of them. Hosting relegation-threatened Bielefeld was a chance to close in on the Champions League places. Defeat means Leverkusen is sixth, four points off fourth-place Frankfurt.

Bielefeld won for the first time under coach Frank Kramer in his third game thanks to incisive counterattacks.

Doan beat Edmond Tapsoba to the ball to push Christian Gebauer’s cross in off the bar in the 17th minute. Okugawa scored the second when he was left free in the box as two defenders rushed to close down Anderson Lucoqui on the flanks, only for Lucoqui to play in Okugawa for the finish. Leverkusen closed the gap with Patrik Schick’s goal in added time, but couldn’t find another to level the game.

Bielefeld rose to 15th and dropped big-spending Hertha Berlin into the relegation playoff place.

STUTTGART ROLLS ON

Stuttgart made it five Bundesliga games unbeaten with a 2-0 win over Hoffenheim as Sasa Kalajdzic scored for the seventh game in a row.

Stuttgart winger Silas Wamangituka provided the cross which Hoffenheim’s Kasim Adams prodded into his own net for the opening goal, and Wamangituka assisted Austrian forward Kalajdzic for the second goal. Stuttgart climbs above Freiburg to eighth in its first season back after promotion.

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