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Below-par Bayern held but retain top spot

Bayern have now gone 18 games undefeated in the Bundesliga but were held on their travels for the second game in a row after an absorbing contest in Cologne.

The 50,000 full house at the Rhein Energie Stadium saw ex-Munich man Lukas Podolski blast the home side in front after half an hour, but the Bavarians came out with all guns blazing after the restart and Bastian Schweinsteiger levelled before the hour was up. Schweini and sub Franck Ribery both hit the goal frame in the closing stages, but it was not to be for the dominant visitors on one of those days when the ball simply refused to cross the line.

The draw means Bayern remain top of the standings on 53 points from 25 matches, two ahead of Schalke and three clear of Leverkusen, although Bayer can now go back to the top with a win away to Nürnberg on Sunday.