With Uli Hoeness back in charge again, Bayern Munich bounced back from two straight defeats to beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 at home and keep pace with Bundesliga leader Leipzig on Saturday.
Hoeness, who returned as president the night before, watched as Thiago Alcantara and Mats Hummels scored to ease the pressure on coach Carlo Ancelotti with the side’s first win in four games across all competitions.
“There are moments in the season when it’s more important to win than play well,” Ancelotti said. “We’re going to improve.”
Leverkusen made the better start with Admir Mehmedi and Hakan Calhanoglu both going close before Joshua Kimmich headed straight at Bernd Leno at the other end.
Alcantara was well-placed to head the opener from close range in the 30th minute after Leno saved Philipp Lahm’s initial effort.
But Calhanoglu equalized five minutes later after eluding Lahm and playing a quick one-two with Julian Brandt to score from a narrow angle.
Poor defending allowed Hummels to restore Bayern’s lead with a header to Kimmich’s corner early in the second half. It was the Germany defender’s first league goal for Bayern.
Javi Martinez used his hand to deny Kevin Volland an equalizer late on but the incident was missed by the match officials and Bayern held on to stay three points behind surprise leader Leipzig.
“It’s difficult to see for the referee and Martinez was very clever,” Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt said.
Before the game, Hoeness apologized for calling Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund “enemies” at his election the night before.
“In football there are no enemies, only opponents or rivals,” said Hoeness, who returned after serving half his prison term for tax evasion.
EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 2, BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1
It was supposed to be Dortmund pressuring the leaders after defeating Bayern the weekend before – and following up with an 8-4 demolition of Legia Warsaw in the Champions League – but the visitor slumped to its third defeat and remain nine points behind Leipzig. Unheralded Frankfurt replaced Dortmund in third place.
Timothy Chandler crossed for Szabolcs Huszti to put the home side ahead right after the break.
Frankfurt was running more, and Dortmund was struggling. Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel reacted with three substitutions at once before the hour mark, sending on Marco Reus, Sebastian Rode and Ousmane Dembele.
Dembele crossed for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to equalize in the 77th, only for Huszti to set up Haris Seferovic at the other end just over a minute later.
Dembele summed up Dortmund’s afternoon when he struck the crossbar in injury time, when a penalty appeal added to the visitors’ frustration.
HAMBURG 2, WERDER BREMEN 2
Neither Hamburg, bottom after 12 games without a win, nor Bremen, only four points better off, would be happy after sharing the points in the northern derby.
Michael Gregoritsch headed the home side into a flying start in the third minute but Fin Bartels equalized for Bremen inside the first quarter-hour.
However, the visitors were defending like a relegation-threatened team and Nicolai Mueller set up Gregoritsch to score his second inside the half-hour mark. Hamburg’s defense looked even worse when Serge Gnabry equalized before the break.
BORUSSIA MOENCHENGLADBACH 1, HOFFENHEIM 1
Moenchengladbach’s patchy form continued after letting a lead slip against unbeaten Hoffenheim, which is level on points with fourth-place Cologne.
Mahmoud Dahoud scored midway through the first half to give ‘Gladbach a boost after five straight games without a win across all competitions.
Yann Sommer produced a great save before the break to deny Eugen Polanski the equalizer against his former side, but couldn’t prevent Nadiem Amiri from scoring after the break.
INGOLSTADT 1, WOLFSBURG 1
Wolfsburg rode its luck early against Ingolstadt, with Moritz Hartmann hitting the post and then having a penalty saved by Diego Benaglio. The home side deservedly went ahead through Anthony Jung.
Ingolstadt had nine efforts at goal compared to none from Wolfsburg in the first half, but the visitors improved after the break and Daniel Caligiuri grabbed a late equalizer. Cologne was held to a scoreless draw at home by Augsburg.