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Bayern Munich move one step closer to third title in row
Berlin, April 26: Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger's late winner moved German football giants Bayern Munich 1-0 past Hertha Berlin while Bayer Leverkusen were held to 1-1 draw by FC Koln at the 30th round of Bundesliga.
Front-runners Bayern Munich reaped a hard earned 1-0 victory over Berlin on Saturday to theoretically seal their this season's Bundesliga title. If runner-up Wolfsburg drop points SUnday, Bayern wrap up their 25th Bundesliga title four rounds ahead of the seasons final, reports Xinhua.
However, it was all but an easy win for the German champions who were unable to overcome Berlin's well-positioned defence. Berlin defended deep while coach Pep Guardiola' s men lacked in penetration and ideas to break the deadlock.
After the restart, Berlin nearly caught the hosts flatfooted but goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was alert to the danger and averted it with a smart save at the 54th minute.
The promising chance for Berlin was a wake-up call for the "Bavarians" who piled on the pressure to work out opportunities through striker Robert Lewandowski and Schweinsteiger. Yet, But Bayern were denied by Berlin's goalkeeper Sascha Buchert.
However, it was Schweinsteiger who scored the decider from inside the box into the top right corner following an assist by youngster Mitchell Weiser, who shrugged-off four Berlin defender on 80 minutes.
Bayern lead the Bundesliga standings with 15 points and four games left, while Berlin stay on the 13th place with 34 points.
"We are almost Bundesliga champions. I am incredibly proud of the team because it was a difficult game. Nevertheless, we now have to focus on the other competitions," Pep Guardiola said.
Leverkusen's winning streak of seven games came to an end as the "Werkself" were held to a 1-1 draw by a resilient Koln team. The draw is a setback for third-placed Leverkusen in the race for a Champions League berth.
With the draw, both teams remain on their positions for the moment. Leverkusen stayed on the third position with 55 points and Cologne on the 12th place with 35 points.
Ninth-placed Dortmund cruised to a 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt increasing their hopes for a ticket for the Europa League. It's Dortmund's second win in row whereas Frankfurt wait for their first win since five games.
Coach Juergen Klopp's men reaped two second-half goals to put the result beyond doubt against Frankfurt.
Elsewhere, bottom side Hamburg edged sixth-placed VFL Augsburg 3-2, snatching crucial points to climb on the relegation play-off spot.
Ten-men Stuttgart suffered a setback in their relegation battle as they wasted a 2-0 lead to share the spoils with Freiburg.
Hoffenheim return to winning ways after four winless matches as they defeated Hannover, winless in 2015 so far, 2-1.