Berlin: Mats Hummels headed the winner as Bayern Munich beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 on Saturday to end a three-game winless streak and trim RB Leipzig's Bundesliga lead to three points.
Leipzig had gone six points clear at the summit on Friday with a 4-1 win at Freiburg, and Bayern were grateful to Hummels for heading home a Joshua Kimmich corner in the second half as they got the better of Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena to cut the deficit.
Thiago Alcantara had given Carlo Ancelotti's Bayern a first-half lead only for Hakan Calhanoglu to make it 1-1 at the break before Hummels struck.
In the second half, Leverkusen's Kevin Kampl and Kevin Volland both went close with late chances to equalise.
The result returns second-placed Bayern to winning ways following a 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim, a 1-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund and Wednesday's 3-2 Champions League loss at Rostov.
"It was an important win, we needed a reaction and I think we are improving," said Ancelotti.
"Every team wants to be at the top, what matters is at the end of the season, but congratulations to RB Leipzig, they are having a great season."
The win boosted Bayern, who re-elected Uli Hoeness as club president on Friday despite the 64-year-old having only finished a 21-month jail sentence for tax evasion in February.
Before kick-off against Leverkusen, Hoeness apologised for having declared on Friday that RB Leipzig had joined Borussia Dortmund as being categorised as an "enemy" of Bayern.
"In football -- there are rivals and opponents," Hoeness told Sky.
"I'd officially like to take the word 'enemy' back and I apologise for it."
Earlier, Dortmund were brought crashing to earth following a record Champions League win in midweek with a 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt, who went third.
It was a first defeat in 10 games for Dortmund and followed their 8-4 romp on Tuesday at home to Legia Warsaw -- a record score for a Champions League game.
Hungary international Szabolcs Huszti gave the home side the lead only for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to equalise, before Haris Seferovic grabbed the winner for Frankfurt, who are unbeaten in six league games.
Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel made eight changes to the team which started against Legia.
His side was again guilty of poor defending as Frankfurt scored both their goals from restarts.
"Technically, tactically, mentally and in our willingness we weren't up to it," fumed Tuchel.
After a goalless first half, Eintracht took the lead just 16 seconds after the break as Huszti converted a Timothy Chandler cross from close range.
Tuchel responded by making three changes with just over half an hour to go, bringing on Marco Reus, Ousmane Dembele and Sebastian Rode.
The move initially paid off as Aubameyang headed home Dembele's ball on 77 minutes, but from the restart, Seferovic slotted home Frankfurt's winner before Dembele hit the crossbar in added time for Borussia.
The result saw Frankfurt replace Dortmund in third and broke Borussia's run of four straight wins.
After their Champions League draw at home to Manchester City, Borussia Moenchengladbach were held to another 1-1 stalemate at Borussia Park, against Hoffenheim, to leave them winless in seven league games.
Gladbach took the lead when Syrian-born Mahmoud Dahoud belted his shot into the far corner on 25 minutes, but Nadiem Amiri equalised on 53 minutes to preserve Hoffenheim's unbeaten record this season.
Wolfsburg are just two points above the relegation spots after their 1-1 draw with Ingolstadt as Anthony Jung's goal was cancelled out by Wolfsburg's Daniel Caligiuri.
Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio saved a first-half penalty by Moritz Hartmann.
In a thrilling north German derby, bottom club Hamburg drew 2-2 at home to neighbours Werder Bremen.
Austrian international Michael Gregoritsch scored both of Hamburg's goals either side of a Fin Bartels strike before Bremen's Serge Gnabry made it 2-2 at the break.
In the afternoon's other game Cologne, who are fourth, were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Augsburg.
Vedad Ibisevic scored both goals before being sent off in Hertha Berlin's 2-1 comeback win over Mainz to lift his side to third in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
Both teams finished with ten men for the final quarter of an hour as Ibisevic was sent off for receiving his second yellow card.
His dismissal came after Mainz's defensive midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin was also sent for an early shower, also for a second booking.
"We stayed calm despite conceding the early goal, got ourselves level and then created the winner, so we deserved the win," said Hertha coach Pal Dardai.
Aaron Seydel had given Mainz the lead after 25 minutes at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, but Hertha responded when Salomon Kalou spotted Ibisevic unmarked and the Bosnia forward fired home Berlin's equaliser on 36 minutes.
Gbamin was sent off on 62 minutes and his dismissal changed the course of the game.
Kalou and Ibisevic combined again for Hertha's second.
Ivory Coast international Kalou headed back across goal on 67 minutes for his forward partner Ibisevic to fire home before he was sent off seven minutes later.
Hertha climb to third behind leaders RB Leipzig and second-placed Bayern Munich.
Earlier, Schalke 04 continued their rise as striker Eric Choupo-Moting atoned for a penalty miss by netting in their 3-1 comeback win against Darmstadt.
Having been bottom of the table after losing their first five games -- the worst start to a season in the club's history -- the result left Schalke eighth and unbeaten in their last 11 games in all competitions.
"It's the first time we have turned things around after going behind and we haven't lost for a while now," Choupo-Moting told Sky.
Markus Weinzierl's side will face a stern test of their renewed form when they visit Bundesliga leaders Leipzig, who won 4-1 at Freiburg on Friday to stay three points clear of Bayern, next weekend.
Cameroon's Choupo-Moting showed his class by redeeming himself for a missed first-half penalty.
After setting up Schalke's equaliser in the opening period, the 27-year-old made it 2-1 midway through the second half before Alessandro Schoepf grabbed their third on 90 minutes.
Darmstadt took the lead at Schalke's Veltins Arena when midfielder Marcel Heller poached the opening goal with just six minutes gone.
But Schalke roared back with the equaliser when Darmstadt lost the ball on the edge of their own area and Choupo-Moting fired in a cross which Bosnia defender Sead Kolasinac headed home from close range on 26 minutes.
The hosts should have doubled their tally barely a minute later when Germany international Leon Goretzka was fouled in the area, but Choupo-Moting failed with his penalty attempt.
He fired his spot-kick at the feet of the diving Darmstadt goalkeeper Michael Esser and the ball rebounded to safety.
"I thought he'd dive to the side, so I hit the ball down the middle, but it didn't work the way I wanted it to," Choupo-Moting explained.
"That sort of thing does stay on your mind, but it helps if you score afterwards."
The Cameroon forward then showed lightning reactions to slip his marker when attacking midfielder Max Meyer fired in a cross and Choupo-Moting tapped his shot past Esser on 60 minutes.
It was his third league goal of the season and he could have added another when he fired wide of the post with 14 minutes left.
Austria's Schoepf added Schalke's third with some good finishing after a chip over the Darmstadt defence from Ukraine international Yevhen Konoplyanka just before the final whistle.
Published Date: Nov 28, 2016 05:15 pm | Updated Date: Nov 28, 2016 05:17 pm