BERLIN: Bayern Munich will have to wait at least another week before wrapping up this season’s Bundesliga title after second-placed Borussia Dortmund won 2-1 at Stuttgart on Saturday afternoon.
Polish duo Lukasz Piszczek and Robert Lewandowski scored the goals for the visitors in Swabia, with Alexandru Maxim equalising in between for the home side.
The result means that Juergen Klopp’s side, who have won the Bundesliga title in each of the last two seasons, can still theoretically catch Bayern.
The Bavarians were hoping to become the first team ever to be crowned Bundesliga champions before the end of March, but will now hope to beat Hamburg later on Saturday and Eintracht Frankfurt next weekend to secure a 23rd national title.
The main focus for Dortmund just now is their Champions League quarter-final against Malaga, with the first leg to come in Spain on Wednesday, and the early loss of defender Marcel Schmelzer to a broken nose will affect their preparations for that match.
They took the lead just before the half-hour mark when Piszczek looped a header into the net following a Marco Reus free-kick, but Stuttgart, who have been poor at home this season, fought back in the second half.
The home side were inches away from equalising just before the hour, Christian Gentner hitting the post from a corner before Mario Goetze cleared Antonio Ruediger’s follow-up off the line.
Nevertheless, Bruno Labbadia’s men were level moments later, Romanian midfielder Maxim cutting in from the right flank and curling a shot inside the far post for his first goal since arriving in the Bundesliga in January.
That goal would have been celebrated just as loudly by Bayern fans as by those of Stuttgart, as a draw at the Mercedes-Benz Arena would have left the Bavarians in position to secure the crown.
However, Stutttgart were reduced to 10 men midway through the second half when former Bayern defender Georg Niedermeier, who had already been booked, was given his marching orders for a dangerous challenge on Goetze.
Dortmund took full advantage of the extra man as they wrapped up the points eight minutes from time, Lewandowski scoring his 20th of the season, and his ninth in as many games.
Elsewhere on Saturday afternoon, Bayer Leverkusen strengthened their grip on third place with a 4-1 win away to near neighbours Fortuna Duesseldorf.
Stefan Kiessling scored twice to take his tally for the season to 18, with Andre Schuerrle also bagging a brace.
Schalke climbed provisionally back into fourth with a 3-0 victory at home to Hoffenheim, while Adam Szalai scored the third-fastest goal in Bundesliga history in Mainz’s draw with Werder Bremen.
The Hungarian netted inside 12 seconds, only for Aaron Hunt to earn Bremen a 1-1 draw.
European hopefuls Freiburg beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0, with Max Kruse scoring both goals against the club he could join in the summer, while Hannover won 2-0 at Augbsurg.