Bayern fail to capitalize on Schalke slip

09:39, April 12, 2010      

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Bayern Munich's seven matches in 21 days, including their epic Champions League win over Manchester United, caught up with them on Saturday as they labored to a 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen.

The result allowed them to open up a two-point lead on Schalke, who slumped to a 4-2 defeat at relegation-haunted Hanover, in the race for the German league title with four games left.

Louis van Gaal's Munich side also have a six-point lead over third-placed Leverkusen and remain on course for a Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble.

"It was a very even match with few goal-scoring chances," said van Gaal.

"Bayer created the better chances and they would have hoped to get more out of the game.

"We gave too many balls away, which allowed Leverkusen to put us in a few dangerous situations. But we are two points ahead of Schalke and six in front of Leverkusen. It's in our hands."

Bayern dominated large parts of possession on Saturday, but rarely troubled Leverkusen goalkeeper Rene Adler.

Leverkusen came into the game on the back of three successive defeats and they had two good chances in the first half through Eren Derdiyok and Tranquillo Barnetta.

But it was Bayern who took the lead in the 51st minute when Gonzalo Castro fouled Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, who scored the crucial Champions League away goal at Old Trafford in mid-week, converted the penalty.

Leverkusen's top scorer Stefan Kiessling then headed against the post in the 58th minute before they drew level a minute later.

A free-kick from Toni Kroos, on-loan from Bayern until the end of the season, came back off the crossbar and Arturo Vidal tucked away the rebound.

Schalke's title hopes suffered a second successive setback when they slumped to a shock 4-2 loss at struggling Hanover.

The result came on the back of last week's 2-1 loss to Bayern.

Source:China Daily


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