Germany striker Miroslav Klose spared Bayern Munich's blushes on Saturday with a second-half equaliser to seal a 1-1 draw at Moenchengladbach.
After Bayern beat Lyon 1-0 in the first-leg of the Champions League semi-final on Wednesday, Klose came off the bench to score only his third league goal of the season and keep his side top of the Bundesliga. With two games left this season, second-placed Schalke's 1-0 win at Hertha Berlin means the Royal Blues are now level on points with Bayern, albeit with an inferior goal difference.
"We didn't play very well," admitted Bayern coach Louis van Gaal, whose centre backs Martin Demichelis and Daniel van Buyten are both struggling with calf injuries ahead of the return clash in Lyon. "We were the better team, but we didn't win. However, I am pretty happy to take a point."
German Cup finalists Bayern's draw also keeps them on course for the treble with the Champions League semi-final second leg at Lyon to come on Tuesday. After a hard-fought Champions League victory in midweek, Bayern appeared to be facing an equally daunting task when they conceded a goal on the hour.
'Gladbach midfielder Marco Reus, 20, was set free down the left by USA midfielder Michael Bradley who beat the Bayern defence and then blasted an inch-perfect strike past Bayern goalkeeper Hans-Joerg Butt. But 13 minutes later Klose, the top-scorer at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, showed his class by meeting a cross from German team-mate Philipp Lahm and rising to send a superb header past 'Gladbach's keeper Logan Bailly.
Schalke, Bremen take full points
Bottom side Hertha Berlin are now almost certain to be relegated at the end of the season after Schalke captain Heiko Westermann scored their winner on 87 minutes, putting his side level with Bayern on 64 points.
"It wasn't a good game for either side," said Schalke coach Felix Magath. "The victory at the end made things a bit happier for us and we are now sure of Champions League football for next season. In the fight for the Bundesliga title, I am sure Bayern will not win both of their last two games (against Bochum and Hertha)."
Werder Bremen are third in the league having beaten Cologne 1-0 with a last-minute goal as captain Torsten Frings scored a 91st-minute penalty after defender Pedro Geromel gave away the spot kick with a handball. Geromel was also red-carded.
Bayer Leverkusen are fourth after a 3-0 win over struggling Hanover. Germany striker Stefan Kiessling hit the opener on 26 minutes while Turkey midfielder Burak Kaplan added the second on 64 minutes, before Kiessling scored his 21st league goal of the season with a penalty on 87 minutes.
Dortmund stayed in the hunt for third place, and a potential Champions League place for next season, with a 3-2 win at relegation candidates Nuremberg as striker Lucas Barrios scored a hat-trick. Mid-table Mainz were held to a 3-3 draw at home to Eintracht Frankfurt while on Sunday Hoffenheim are at home to Hamburg while Wolfsburg are at Freiburg. On Friday, Stuttgart enjoyed a 2-0 win at Bochum which gave Christian Gross' side their 15th win of the season to leave them sixth and on the verge of a European place for next season.