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Dhaka Tribune

Champions Bayern held at home by Hoffenheim

Update : 30 Mar 2014, 03:14 PM

Champions Bayern Munich dropped points for only the third time in the Bundesliga this season as they were held 3-3 at home by Hoffenheim on Saturday.

Bayern were confirmed as German champions for the 24th time with a record seven games to spare after Tuesday's 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin but, after partying hard in the capital, the European champions suffered a slight hangover back at their Allianz Arena home.

Hoffenheim ended Bayern's record run of 19 consecutive Bundesliga wins, giving the Munich giants a wake-up call ahead of their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Manchester United on Tuesday.

And Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara has been ruled out of the Manchester match with a knee injury after limping off after only 25 minutes against Hoffenheim.

"We need to analyse what happened today," said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola.

"If we play like we did today in the second half, we are not the favourites on Tuesday against Manchester. We will miss Thiago, he's a special player in midfield."

A high-scoring encounter was always on the cards between the league's two highest-scoring sides -- Bayern with 82 goals to Hoffenheim's 63. However, this was the first time Bayern have leaked three goals in a Bundesliga match this season.

It was just the third time they have failed to win this season, though, and they are still on course to become the first team to go through a Bundesliga campaign unbeaten.

Guardiola rested stars Arjen Robben, Mario Mandzukic, Philipp Lahm and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from his starting line-up, but still fielded nine internationals.

Veteran striker Claudio Pizarro scored twice, while Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri also got on the scoresheet in the first half after Hoffenheim took an early lead through striker Anthony Modeste.

Bosnia midfielder Sejad Salihovic curled in a 44th-minute free kick to make it 3-2 at the break.

Hoffenheim equalised on 75 minutes when Brazilian left winger Roberto Firmino darted on to a through ball and his shot beat both Bayern centre-back Dante and goalkeeper Tom Starke.

Despite the draw, Bayern still remain 23 points clear at the top of the table and extended their record unbeaten Bundesliga run to 53 matches.

- Dortmund fight back at Stuttgart -

Elsewhere, Germany winger Marco Reus netted a hat-trick as Borussia Dortmund fought back from two goals down to win 3-2 at ten-man Stuttgart.

Dortmund, who face Real Madrid away on Wednesday in the Champions League quarter-finals, found themselves 2-0 down after just 20 minutes.

"We didn't stick to the plan in the first half and clearly needed to fall behind as things improved sharply in the second half," said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.

Christian Gentner and Martin Harnik took advantage of poor defending to net for the hosts but Reus pulled one back with a superb finish on 30 minutes and hit the equaliser when he converted a 68th-minute penalty after Stuttgart's Georg Niedermeier was sent off for bringing down Robert Lewandowski in the area.

Reus saved his best for last when he completed his hat-trick with a long-range shot which took a deflection off defender Daniel Schwaab on 83 minutes.

Bayer Leverkusen hold on to fourth place despite drawing 1-1 at home to bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig as Sami Hyypia's side struggle for form with one win in their last 11 games.

Braunschweig took a shock lead through defender Ken Reichel just after the break before Stefan Kiessling slotted home a 53rd-minute penalty to spare Bayer's blushes.

Fifth-placed VfL Wolfsburg are just a point behind Leverkusen after their 2-1 win at home to Eintracht Frankfurt with Brazil defender Naldo scoring their 89th-minute winner.

Freiburg are unbeaten in their last four games as they enjoyed a 3-2 win at home to Nuremberg to move five points clear of the relegation zone.

Mainz broke back into the top six with a 3-0 win at home to Augsburg while on Friday Schalke 04 were 2-0 winners against Hertha Berlin.

Nigerian Chinedu Obasi put Schalke in front after 16 minutes with Dutch star Klaas-Jan Huntelaar adding the second goal just after the interval.

It was Huntelaar's 11th goal in 13 matches in a campaign disrupted by knee surgery.

 

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