Bayern Munich recovered from an early setback to swat Bayer Leverkusen aside 4-2 and take another giant step towards their record eighth consecutive Bundesliga title with four games remaining. The champions elect now only need two more wins despite suffering an early shock on Saturday.
Lucas Alario fired in after 10 minutes as Leverkusen, without the injured Kai Havertz, scored with the first chance of the game.
But Bayern recovered from the early shock and Kingsley Coman curled in the equaliser in the 28th minute before the visitors struck twice in three minutes to turn the game around.
Leon Goretzka completed a sensational passing move in the 42nd minute and Serge Gnabry chipped the ball over keeper Lukas Hradecky on the stroke of halftime.
Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski headed in Thomas Mueller’s 20th assist of the season to seal Bayern’s ninth straight win before a superb 89th-minute goal from 17-year-old Florian Wirtz cut the deficit for the hosts.
Champions League-chasing Leipzig suffered a late leveller by lowly Paderborn.
Captain Christian Strohdiek netted a dramatic injury time equaliser to hand last-placed Paderborn a 1-1 draw and keep alive their faint hopes of avoiding relegation.
Patrik Schick’s 27th minute goal saw Leipzig lead, but their fortunes turned after defender Dayot Upamecano was needlessly sent off two minutes from the end of the first half when he petulantly kicked away the ball after a foul.
Paderborn moved to 20 points but are still five adrift at the bottom.
Leipzig’s saving grace was the fact that their rivals in the top-four race also suffered setbacks — Leverkusen’s loss to Bayern and Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Friday night loss to Freiburg.
Gladbach — enjoying their best season since 1984 — saw their push stalled by Freiburg who clinched a 1-0 win.
With just four games left, Freiburg boosted their Europa League hopes with victory secured by Nils Petersen’s goal in the 58th minute.
Petersen had only been on the pitch for a minute after replacing Roland Sallai when he powerfully headed home from a free-kick.
To make matters worse for Gladbach, their French striker Alassane Plea was red-carded in the second half.
Leipzig remain in third and Gladbach are still ahead of Leverkusen in fourth place.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Eintracht Frankfurt went down 2-0 at home to Mainz, while Fortuna Dusseldorf and Hoffenheim played out a 2-2 draw.
Second-placed Borussia Dortmund were in action late on Saturday night against Hertha Berlin as they attempted to cut Bayern’s 10-point lead down to seven.
B Leverkusen 2 Bayern Munich 4
Frankfurt 0 Mainz 2
Dusseldorf 2 Hoffenheim 2
RB Leipzig 1 Paderborn 1