Runners-up Borussia Dortmund suffered a setback in the title race after losing 4-2 to rivals Schalke in the 31st round of Bundesliga on Saturday.
A brace from Schalke’s Daniel Caligiuri and straight red cards for Marco Reus and Marius Wolf dealt a blow to Dortmund’s title hopes as Bayern have the chance to increase their advantage atop the standings to four points on Sunday.
Knowing a victory would move Dortmund atop the standings they started highly motivated into the encounter and assumed control from the start.
Hence, it was only a matter of time before the hosts would open the scoring as Mario Goetze headed home Jadon Sancho’s pinpoint chip into the box with 14 minutes into the “Revierderby”.
It was a short lived joy for the hosts as Schalke fought back only four minutes later when Daniel Caligiuri made no mistake to convert an awarded hand ball penalty from eleven meters to restore parity.
Schalke piled on the pressure and shocked the “BVB” in the 28th minute after Salif Sane headed home a corner to turn the tides on the road.
After the restart, Dortmund took over immediately control as Raphael Guerreiro unleashed a long-range effort that missed the target just wide.
However, things went the other way with 60 minutes played as Marco Reus fouled Suat Serdar to see a straight red card. To make things worse for Dortmund, Caligiuri doubled the lead with the subsequent free kick to flabbergast the hosts.
Things went from bad to worse in the 65th minute when Marius Wolf received his marching orders as well after committing a rude foul to Serdar.
Despite their numerical disadvantage Dortmund were able to pull one back in the 84th minute after Axel Witsel tapped home Jacob Bruun Larsen’s assist.
However, Schalke remained unimpressed and destroyed all hopes of a comeback only two minuets later as Breel Embolo rifled the ball from the edge of the box into the far post corner to restore the two-goal lead and to put the result beyond doubt.
With the result, struggling Schalke returned to winning ways and increased their distance to the drop zone whereas Dortmund suffered their fourth loss of the season to remain on the 2nd place with a one-point deficit to leaders Bayern Munich.
Elsewhere, third placed Leipzig secured their place in the UEFA Champions League for next season after beating Freiburg 2-1.
Bottom side Hannover ended their eight-game losing streak as they edged Mainz on the sole goal from Hendrik Weydandt.
Werder Bremen suffered their second straight loss as newly promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf wrapped up a 4-1 win on home soil.
Eintracht Frankfurt and Hertha Berlin played out a goalless draw and struggling Stuttgart snatched a vital 1-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.
The following fixtures are scheduled for Sunday: Hoffenheim host Wolfsburg and relegation threatened Nuremberg face German record champions Bayern Munich.