Champions Bayern Munich needed an 88th-minute winner by Joshua Kimmich to beat Hamburger SV 1-0 on Saturday and protect their three-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga.
Strugglers Hamburger had battled hard to protect a goalless draw, hoping to end a three-game losing run, with goalkeeper Rene Adler making a string of saves before Kimmich drilled in a Franck Ribery cutback at the far post.
The result lifted Bayern to 15 points, three ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who beat Freiburg 3-1 on Friday. “It was an extremely difficult game for us, as expected,” said Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti. “Hamburg played with a lot of intensity and were well positioned. They made it hard for us. It was slightly different in the second half and we managed to use our chance in the end.”
Bayern, who take on Atletico Madrid in the Champions League next week, faced a determined Hamburg team, looking to turn around their disappointing start to the season.
Their first big chance came after an hour with Javi Martinez’s effort cleared on the line by Adler, who was also on hand to save a curled David Alaba free kick 10 minutes later.
Ancelotti brought on Ribery and the Frenchman added instant pace down the left wing but neither Thomas Mueller nor Robert Lewandowski could beat Adler from close range.
The keeper was finally beaten when Ribery launched another trademark run, cut across the goalmouth and Kimmich slipped in to score the winner to extend Bayern’s perfect start to the season with their fifth win in five matches.
Borussia Moenchengladbach climbed to fourth on 10 points after easing past Ingolstadt 2-0 for their tenth straight home win under coach Andre Schubert. Cologne, in third place on 10 as well, take on RB Leipzig on Sunday.
Hertha Berlin conceded a stoppage time equaliser from Michael Hector to draw 3-3 at Eintracht Frankfurt and drop to sixth on 10.
Mexican striker Javier Hernandez scored a hat-trick, including a stoppage time winner, to lead Bayer Leverkusen from a goal down and 2-1 down to a last-gasp 3-2 win over Mainz 05.
Theodor Gebre Selassie also left it late when he headed in a stoppage time winner as Werder Bremen came from a goal down to beat VfL Wolfsburg 2-1 for their first win after four losses.
Substitute Lennart Thy had cancelled Wolfsburg’s lead in the 87th minute, with Werder’s interim coach Alexander Nouri leading celebrations for their first three points of the season in his second game in charge.
The victory lifted Werder off last place and into 15th, leaving Schalke 04, in action against Hoffenheim on Sunday, alone at the bottom on zero points.