Bayern Munich’s stellar Bundesliga run came to a halt when they drew 1-1 at lowly Nuremberg but the Bundesliga leaders still managed to extend their advantage at the top to eight points.
Champions Borussia Dortmund, in fourth place, closed to within nine points after a dominant 3-1 victory over Greuther Fuerth while second-placed Schalke 04 can cut it to five with a win over Bayer Leverkusen later on Saturday.
Eintracht Frankfurt moved up to 23 points in third place with a 4-2 victory against struggling Augsburg courtesy of two Alexander Meier goals that lifted him jointly top of the scorers’ list along with Bayern’s Mario Mandzukic.
Eager to grab their 11th win in 12 league games, Bayern got off to a flying start with Croat Mandzukic tapping in a Toni Kroos cutback in the third minute for his ninth goal before the hosts’ unusual 4-1-4-1 formation had any time to flourish.
Coach Jupp Heynckes had to leave injured Luiz Gustavo, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben in Munich and opted not to include Mario Gomez, back after ankle surgery in August.
Their absence was bitterly felt as Bayern, travelling to Valencia in the Champions League next week, enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first half but lacked the creativity to covert it into chances.
It was Nuremberg’s turn to catch Bayern cold a minute after the restart with Markus Feulner’s fluttering 25-metre drive beating keeper Manuel Neuer.
Timo Gebhart was sent off 14 minutes from time with a second booking after elbowing Bastian Schweinsteiger, spoiling an otherwise successful afternoon for Nuremberg, who move up to 14th on 12 points.