FC Bayern were held to a 1-1 draw by FC Nürnberg on Sunday evening, failing to make full use of Borussia Dortmund's defeat to Schalke on Saturday. Matheus Pereira put the hosts in front after the restart, Serge Gnabry levelling the scores with a quarter-hour to go. Nürnberg were awarded a penalty in the closing stages, Tim Leibold hitting the post.
The Bavarians started with Sven Ulreich in goal and Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Mats Hummels and David Alaba in a back four. Javi Martínez and Thiago anchored a midfield featuring Thomas Müller, Leon Goretzka and Kingsley Coman, with Robert Lewandowski as lone striker. Gnabry took over from Müller at half-time. James replaced Martínez before the hour mark, but the Colombian soon had to be replaced, Alphonso Davies coming on.
No way through
The 50,000 full house in Nuremberg saw Bayern dominate proceedings but struggle to create chances against the deep-lying hosts. Netminder Christian Mathenia beat Lewandowski to a Müller pass. Lewandowski was soon upended 25 yards out, Alaba stepping up to take the free-kick, but Mathenia made a strong save to direct the ball onto the crossbar.
Ulreich underestimated a Hummels pass and made a last-ditch tackle to prevent the onrushing Mikael Ishak from scoring, and a miscued Lewandowski free-kick meant the contest was goalless at half-time.
The second half began with a shock for Bayern. Ulreich made a fine save against Eduard Löwen, but Pereira slotted the rebound into the far corner of the net. Bayern went looking for a reply but continued to struggle to create anything of attacking note, and Süle was soon forced to make a crucial block against Löwen.
Bayern were awarded another free-kick with 20 minutes to go, but Mathenia made another strong save, directing James' effort onto the bar. A deflected Coman cross found Gnabry, who beat Mathenia, scoring an unlikely goal with an unlikely part of his anatomy. Davies upended Georg Margreitter in Bayern's box shortly before the final whistle, but Leibold's penalty crashed off the inside of the post and away to safety before Coman found himself confronted by space rather than opponents, but Mathenia proved equal to his effort, and match official Tobias Stieler blew for full-time.
The result means Bayern have 71 points from 31 matches, two clear of Dortmund. The German record champions will be back in action next Saturday, when they entertain Hannover in the Bundesliga.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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Mathenia – Bauer (Ilicevic 88), Mühl, Ewerton, Leibold – Behrens, Erras, Löwen (Margreitter 82) - Matheus Pereira, Kerk – Ishak (Tillman 72)
Bredlow – Kubo, Petrák, Rhein
Ulreich – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba – Martínez (James 57/Davies 72), Thiago – Müller (Gnabry 46), Goretzka, Coman – Lewandowski
Hoffmann – Robben, Rafinha, Sanches
Tobias Stieler (Hamburg)
1-0 Perreira (48), 1-1 Gnabry (75)
Ewerton / Süle
Leibold misses penalty (90)