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Bayern slip to fourth after derby stalemate

Below-par Bayern were forced to settle for a disappointing draw away to Bavarian rivals Nürnberg on Saturday, a result which means the champions slip back to fourth in the standings with five games to play. To rub salt into the wound, Arjen Robben saw a straight red card for dissent after the final whistle and will now miss at least the next match with suspension.

The 48,548 full house at the easyCredit stadium in Nuremberg saw Thomas Müller fire Louis van Gaal’s men ahead after just five minutes, but it was the only truly clear-cut chance of a first period in which Bayern were largely content to contain their busy opponents.

The home side came out fighting after the interval and Christian Eigler levelled on the hour with a stunning volley. There were chances at both ends as the action hotted up in the closing stages, but Mario Gomez blasted over an open goal and the game remained deadlocked through to full time.

The draw, combined with Hannover’s 2-0 win over Mainz, means the champions are down to fourth in the Bundesliga with 52 points from 29 matches, a point off Hannover and six behind second-placed Leverkusen, who play tomorrow – and then visit the Allianz Arena next Sunday, in what could be a decisive showdown for the coveted runners-up spot.