Hoffenheim cling on to hold Bayern on Nagelsmann return

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Hoffenheim cling on to hold Bayern on Nagelsmann return

Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann finally returned to former club Hoffenheim in front of fans on Saturday but was left frustrated as his Bundesliga leaders were held to a 1-1 draw.

Robert Lewandowski's 29th of the season on the stroke of half-time rescued a point for Bayern, who had trailed to Christoph Baumgartner's opener, but they will wonder just how they didn't win.

Thomas Müller, twice, and Lewandowski netted only to be denied by offside flags, Serge Gnabry hit the post and Müller had a goal-bound shot blocked on the line amid intense pressure.

Hoffenheim also had their moments though and only a fine save from Manuel Neuer denied Andrej Kramaric on the day the Croatia striker agreed a new three-year deal.

Bayern top the table by 10 points but have now played two games more than Borussia Dortmund, who welcome Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday.

Freiburg defeated Wolfsburg 3-2 to go provisionally fourth and Union Berlin were held 1-1 by struggling VfB Stuttgart.

Augsburg v Mainz was postponed following a coronavirus outbreak in the visiting squad.

Nagelsmann left Hoffenheim for Leipzig in 2019 but his previous visits back to his old ground were won behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This time 25,000 welcomed him back and the majority were cheering when Baumgartner wrong-footed Neuer at the back post to cap a 32nd minute counter-attack.

"It was a very good game for the fans," Nagelsmann told Sky. "I'm also broadly happy with the performance.

"The chances [from open play] resulted in three goals however all were marginally offside.

"The risk management was good, we had a good control, also when it was an open game at the end.

"We should have decided the game through our chances before Hoffenheim had their big opportunities."

Müller's disallowed goals were either side of this but Lewandowski headed in a corner in first-half injury-time to level. It is his 17th away goal in the Bundesliga season, equalling the record of Jupp Heynckes in 1973/74 and Timo Werner in 2019/20.

Home keeper Oliver Baumann made a string of saves but also enjoyed fortune when needed when Gnabry's shot bobbled onto the post.

And his poor pass was grabbed by Jamal Musiala – who at 19 became the youngest Bayern player to make 50 appearances – but the teenager hit the outside of the net from a tight angle.

And when Stefan Posch slid back to block Müller's shot on the line with his arm – accidentally – fifth-placed Hoffenheim clung on to their point.

"It was good for the neutrals, there were chances at both ends," Hoffenheim's David Raum, whose cross set up the goal, said. "I'm proud of what the team has shown here."

Hoffenheim trail Freiburg on goal difference as Nico Schlotterbeck's late drive from distance salvaged victory for Christian Streich's side after Wolfsburg fought back from two goals down.

And Stuttgart also struck late as Sasa Kalajdzic's last-gasp equalizer lifted them out of the bottom two and into the play-off place on goal difference above Hertha Berlin, who lost 2-0 at Borussia Mönchengladbach in the late game.

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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