Football: RB Leipzig falter in bid to catch Bayern Munich

Schalke's defender Benedikt Hoewedes (right) and Leipzig's midfielder Oliver Burke vie for the ball in the match on April 23, 2017.
Schalke's defender Benedikt Hoewedes (right) and Leipzig's midfielder Oliver Burke vie for the ball in the match on April 23, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - RB Leipzig wasted their chance to slash Bayern Munich's runaway lead at the top of the Bundesliga on Sunday (April 23) when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Schalke.

Carlo Ancelotti's Bayern are eight points clear despite having been held to a 2-2 draw at home to Mainz after Timo Werner's first-half goal for second-placed Leipzig was cancelled out by Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Werner, the top German scorer in the Bundesliga, gave Leipzig a superb lead when he out-leapt Schalke's captain and World Cup winner Benedikt Hoewedes for a deft header on 14 minutes to put Leipzig 1-0 up.

Leipzig should have gone further ahead when playmaker Emil Forsberg fired wide soon after.

Schalke flew out of the gates in the second half and Huntelaar's diving header was a just reward as the Dutch striker claimed his first Bundesliga goal since September just after the break.

The draw keeps Leipzig six points clear of third-placed Borussia Dortmund while Schalke are 11th with four games left.

Earlier, unfancied Freiburg continued their dream run to put them firmly in contention for a Europa League spot next season with a shock 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday in the Bundesliga.

The result bumps Freiburg, last season's second division champions, back up into sixth place.

Christian Streich's youthful team claimed another big scalp after recent wins over Cologne, Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg.

Ex-Bayern Munich striker Nils Petersen gave hosts Freiburg the lead at their Schwarzwald Stadion before Germany forward Kevin Volland converted a second-half penalty for Leverkusen.

But the hosts picked up the three points when winger Pascal Stenzel, on loan from Borussia Dortmund, came off the bench to finish off a counter-attack.

The 21-year-old hit the winner when he drilled the ball past Leverkusen's Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno two minutes from time after a brilliant run down the left wing.

It was another disappointing result for Leverkusen, who reached the Champions League last 16 this season, but have won just one of their last ten games and are 12th - only four points from the bottom three.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the league's top-scorer, hit his 27th league goal this season before Raphael Guerreiro headed the winner in Borussia Dortmund's 3-2 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach to climb to third.

Marcus Reus opened the scoring for Dortmund with a 10th-minute penalty.

Gabonese hot-shot Aubameyang crept one goal ahead of Bayern's Robert Lewandowski in the race to be the league's top-scorer this season.