BERLIN (Reuters) - Runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich hit back after falling two goals behind in 12 minutes to hammer Hoffenheim 5-2 on Saturday and stay on course for a sixth successive league title.
Borussia Dortmund snatched a last-gasp 2-2 draw at home to Freiburg after Nils Petersen’s outrageous lob almost gave the Black Forest side a famous win, while lowly Hamburg SV held RB Leipzig 1-1 in their first game under new coach Bernd Hollerbach.
Werder Bremen were held 0-0 at home by Hertha Berlin in the late game after having an early goal chalked off by the video assistant referee (VAR) decision.
Maximilian Eggestein had the ball in the net but the referee reviewed the incident and disallowed the goal for a foul in the buildup.
Hoffenheim threatened to hand Bayern their first home league defeat of the season as they made a flying start at the Allianz Arena.
Mark Uth put Hoffenheim ahead from a rebound after Serge Gnabry saw his penalty saved by Sven Ulreich, then Gnabry added the second with a low shot from outside the area.
But it turned out to be a false alarm for the Bavarians who were level before the half hour mark as Robert Lewandowksi diverted Joshua Kimmich’s shot into the net before Jerome Boateng headed in from a corner.
Bayern, who have 50 points from 20 games and a 16-point lead over Schalke 04, cruised home with second half goals from Kingsley Coman, Arturo Vidal and Sandro Wagner.
Schalke won 2-0 at VfB Stuttgart with goals in the first 20 minutes from Naldo and Amine Harit, from a penalty.
Dortmund, fifth with 31 points, remained winless since the winter break but it could have been worse.
They started well with Shinji Kagawa hooking home in the ninth minute after the ball ricocheted around the Freiburg area but Petersen turned in Janik Haberer’s cross at the near post to level in the 21st minute.
The game took an unexpected twist in the 68th minute when Dortmund’s Nuri Sahin sent a pass straight to Petersen who saw Roman Buerki off his line and lobbed the ball over the startled Dortmund goalkeeper from 35 metres.
Jeremy Toljan spared Dortmund a fourth home defeat of the season with a stoppage time equaliser after a poor Freiburg clearance.
A breakaway goal by Filip Kostic gave lowly Hamburg an unexpected point at RB Leipzig, cancelling Bruma’s early goal, to give new coach Hollerbach an early boost.
Hollerbach, a trained butcher who was known for his no-nonsense approach during a seven-year playing stint at Hamburg, took over from sacked coach Markus Gisdol in an attempt to save the club’s ever-present Bundesliga record.
Hamburg remained one place off the bottom and in the relegation zone, one point below Werder Bremen who are in the relegation playoff spot.
Bottom club Cologne were held 1-1 at home by Augsburg in the other game.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern; Editing by Christian Radnedge