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Late Ribery winner grabs Bayern victory over Leipzig

<p class="">A late goal from Franck Ribery fired Bayern Munich to a nervy 1-0 win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday, which saw the Bundesliga champions move to within six points of league leaders Borussia Dortmund.</p>

<p class="">For long periods on Wednesday, it looked as if Bayern would squander the opportunity given to them by Dortmund’s shock defeat by Fortuna Duesseldorf on Tuesday.</p>

<p class="">Both sides came within inches of taking the lead in the first half. Robert Lewandowski was denied by a fine save from Peter Gulacsi at one end, while Dayot Upamecano thundered a header against the crossbar at the other.</p>

<p class="">Niklas Suele and Joshua Kimmich both missed chances from close range in the second half. Two red cards for Renato Sanches and Stefan Ilsanker crowned a scrappy game late on, but not before Ribery had finally swept in an 83rd-minute winner to breathe new life into the title race.</p>

<p class="">Bayern remain in third, but are now five points ahead of fourth-placed Leipzig. Eintracht Frankfurt, meanwhile, remain hot on Leipzig’s tail despite being held to a 2-2 draw at local rivals Mainz. Robin Quaison fired Mainz ahead on ten minutes before Luka Jovic pulled Frankfurt level on the half-hour mark.</p>

<p class="">Quaison restored the lead just five minutes later, turning in a dipping cross from Jean-Paul Boetius. Not to be outdone, Jovic headed in a second equaliser moments before half-time.</p>

<h>Schalke slip deeper into trouble</h>

<p class="">Earlier on Wednesday, Schalke were plunged further into crisis as they lost 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen in a cagey clash between the Bundesliga’s two underperforming teams.</p>

<p class="">Defeat leaves Schalke just a point above the relegation play-off place, having won just one of their last six league games.</p>

<p class="">Leverkusen opened the scoring on 26 minutes when Leon Bailey struck a curling shot against the post and Aleksandar Dragovic prodded in the rebound.</p>

<p class="">Alario doubled the lead less than ten minutes later, swivelling on the edge of the box to send a low volley underneath Ralf Faehrmann.</p>

<p class="">Having looked helpless for much of the first half, Schalke were given a glimmer of hope on the stroke of half-time when Haji Wright bundled the ball in at a corner to pull a goal back.</p>

<p class="">Yet the hosts wasted several chances to draw level in the second half. Steven Skrzybski missed the target from close range, while Yevhen Konoplyanka skewed wide.</p>

<p class="">Elsewhere, Werder Bremen held Hoffenheim to a 1-1 draw, while a bottom-of-the-table clash between Freiburg and Hanover also ended one goal apiece.</p>

<p class="">Bremen had several chances early on, including a remarkable miss at point blank range from Yuya Osako. The Japanese came to regret his poor finishing when Leonardo Bittencourt put Hoffenheim ahead at the other end.</p>

<p class="">The home side, who had been accused of using a drone to spy on Hoffenheim in the build-up to the game, equalised through Theodor Gebre Selassie shortly the break.</p>

<p class="">Freiburg took the lead with just two minutes played, Luca Waldschmidt converting a penalty after a clear handball from Hanover captain Waldemar Anton.</p>

<p class="">Ten minutes later, Felipe hooked the ball in from a corner to draw Hanover level and lift them off the bottom of the table.</p>

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