It was a mouth-watering day of action in the Bundesliga as the top four faced off against one another on Saturday.
Here is what went down.
Bayern get revenge on Freiburg
SC Freiburg 0
Bayern Munich 1
Scorers: De Ligt 51′
Thomas Tuchel and Bayern travelled to Freiburg with revenge on their minds after being knocked out of the DFB Pokal only a few days ago.
This time around, it was a top-four clash as fourth hosted first, and the league leaders took control of the game early on.
Leroy Sane showed promising moments in the opening half and Sadio Mane had a curling effort go just off target. The performance by Freiburg goalkeeper Mark Flekken, in particular, kept things deadlocked and Bayern puzzled.
Just before the break, however, the hosts gave the visitors a big scare after almost grabbing the lead against the run of play. Alphonso Davies was caught sleeping, and Ritsu Doan could pounce on a loose ball only to hit the post.
The deadlock wouldn’t break until after the break when Bayern tried to tinker through Freiburg’s tight-knit defence.
Jamal Musiala then teed up Matthijs de Ligt way outside the box, and the defender took a chance from range. The ball blasted home for 1-0.
Sané wanted to help see the game off but skied two efforts over the bar, and it allowed the atmosphere to remain tense. Freiburg almost drew level, but Yan Sommer somehow denied a late attempt.
Serge Gnabry then also hit the bar late on, as scoring issues will be on Tuchel’s list of things to fix but the managed to win.
BVB wonder keeps title hopes alive
Borussia Dortmund 2
1. FC Union Berlin 1
Scorers: Mallen 28′, Moukoko 79′; Behrens 61′
Borussia Dortmund needed some super-sub requirements off the bench in order to stay on Bayern’s heels in the title race.
After a loss to the league leaders and being knocked out of DFB Pokal, the hosts were a fairly puzzled side against Union Berlin in the opening moments.
Jude Bellingham and Julian Brandt had Dortmund ticking, but it wasn’t until Donyell Malen’s creativity finally clicked did they find the net. He started and finished off his own play as Raphael Guerreiro’s 10th Bundesliga assist fizzled across the box.
As time went on, Matts Hummels was denied a goal of his own, while Frederik Rønnow made a huge stop to deny Sebastien Haller’s deadly header from point-blank range.
Coming out after the break, though, Union Berlin found their footing and managed to peg the hosts back.
A long all over the top caught Dortmund’s back line ball watching, and Kevin Behrens stayed composed enough in the box to pull things 1-1 at the hour mark.
It created a nervy atmosphere for the hosts as their title hopes could have slipped away. Brandt and Bellingham continued to lead the team forward but struggled to connect with their teammates.
In the end, some magic was needed off the bench as 18-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko once again proved why he’s one of Europe’s best up-and-coming stars.
The teenager sniffed out a through ball and used his pace to see Dortmund win 2-1.
The Bundesliga table has Bayern on 58 points, Dortmund on 56, Union on 51 and Freiburg on 47.