Bayern Munich extended their Bundesliga lead to six points with Jamal Musiala on target as they beat Mainz 2-1, while Borussia Dortmund were held by Bochum.
Karim Onisiwo headed Mainz into a surprise lead in the 22nd minute in a stadium empty because of coronavirus restrictions, but Kingsley Coman levelled for Bayern just after the break. The 18-year-old Musiala earned Bayern the win with his sixth goal of the season in the 74th minute.
Bayern’s victory restored a commanding lead in their pursuit of a 10th consecutive Bundesliga title and all but ensured the team will take the symbolic prize of being top at the Christmas break with two games to go.
The Bundesliga no longer has the famed Ruhr derby rivalry between Dortmund and Schalke after relegation for the latter last season, but smaller neighbour Bochum proved more than competitive enough to trouble Dortmund and hold them to a 1-1 draw.
Dortmund were left aggrieved by the refereeing in their 3-2 Klassiker loss to Bayern last week when midfielder Jude Bellingham was fined for questioning the referee’s integrity and coach Marco Rose received a touchline ban.
The club were on the wrong side of some more crucial calls on Saturday. Referee Matthias Jollenbeck immediately pointed to the spot when Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel rushed out to close down Christopher Antwi-Adjei shortly before half-time and sent the winger flying.
Sebastian Polter converted the spot kick, sending Kobel the wrong way from 12 yards. Marius Wolf thought he had levelled for Dortmund in the 53rd minute, but a video review spotted an offside in the build-up.
Julian Brandt finally salvaged a draw in the 85th minute from an Erling Haaland cross.
RB Leipzig enjoyed a winning start to life under new coach Domenico Tedesco with a 4-1 victory over struggling Borussia Monchengladbach. Tedesco’s team ended a three-game losing streak in the Bundesliga which cost coach Jesse Marsch his job last week.
Croatia defender Josko Gvardiol opened the scoring for Leipzig from an Angelino free kick – his first goal since moving to Leipzig – and forward Andre Silva doubled the advantage 11 minutes later.
Ramy Bensebaini gave Gladbach brief hope of a comeback with a goal in the 88th minute but Christopher Nkunku and Benjamin Henrichs each scored for Leipzig in added time.
Defeat left Gladbach 13th and heaped more pressure on coach Adi Hutter. He delighted fans with a 5-0 demolition of Bayern in the German Cup in October but the team – in the Champions League as recently as last season – have lost seven of 15 Bundesliga games and were humbled 6-0 by Freiburg last week.
Elsewhere, Hoffenheim left it late to beat Freiburg 2-1 and move up to fourth in the table through USA defender Chris Richards’ goal. Hertha Berlin’s new manager Tayfun Korkut picked up his first win in his second game in charge as his side beat Arminia Bielefeld 2-0.
Serie A: Juventus held by Venezia
Domestic problems deepened for Juventus as they were held 1-1 at relegation-threatened Venezia in Serie A.
Mattia Aramu scored in the second half for Venezia to cancel out Alvaro Morata’s opener.
Juventus qualified for the round of 16 of the Champions League as a group winner midweek but it has been a different story in Serie A.
The Bianconeri are six points below fourth-placed Atalanta, who had a game in hand.
Juve started well in Venice and, despite an early blow when Paulo Dybala limped off injured, they took a deserved lead in the 32nd minute when Luca Pellegrini crossed from the left for Morata to flick in at the near post.
However, Juventus sat back too much and Venezia levelled 10 minutes into the second half as the Bianconeri failed to clear on the edge of the area and the ball came through for Aramu to fire into the bottom corner.