Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Amin Younes scored a superb goal and helped create another as they beat Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich 2-1 on Saturday to stay on course for a Champions League spot.
Bayern remain on 49 points, with second-placed RB Leipzig, who have 44, in action at Hertha Berlin on Sunday. Fourth-placed Frankfurt are level on 42 points with VfL Wolfsburg, who are third and won 3-0 at Arminia Bielefeld on Friday.
Former Germany international Younes, on loan from Napoli, helped set up Daichi Kamada for the first goal after 12 minutes as Frankfurt stretched their unbeaten run to 11 league games.
With Germany coach Joachim Löw watching in the stands ahead of international matches in March, Younes, who won the last of five Germany caps in 2017, thundered in a shot from the edge of the box in the 31st after taking on the entire Bayern defence.
The Bavarians, who won their sixth title in less than nine months with their Club World Cup triumph last week in Qatar, looked anything but fresh and were struggling for ideas to find a way back into the game.
They were missing several players, including Thomas Mueller and Benjamin Pavard, to Covid-19 infections but upped the tempo considerably after the break with the introduction of Leon Goretzka.
Bayern had a string of chances, with Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp kept busy throughout the second half. They did cut the deficit with Robert Lewandowski’s 26th goal of the campaign in the 53rd minute after good early work from Leroy Sané.
But Frankfurt, playing without injured top striker Andre Silva, hung on for their fifth straight league win.
Borussia Mönchengladbach’s European aspirations suffered a big blow with a 2-1 loss at Mainz after Kevin Stoeger’s 86th minute winner.
La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid’s recent wobble in form continued as they fell to their first defeat in 12 league games when they were beaten 2-0 at home to Levante on Saturday.
José Luis Morales gave the visitors the lead on the half-hour mark with a deflected strike from just inside the area to deceive keeper Jan Oblak, while Jorge de Frutos knocked into an empty net to score the second in added time after Oblak had committed himself forward to contest a corner.
The result means they have taken only five points from four games in February, ceding ground in the title race to champions Real as well as Barcelona.
“We’re not happy at all with the result,” said Atlético defender Mario Hermoso. “We had so many attempts on goal but weren’t able to score. And if you don’t score any goals and keep letting them in you’ll be in trouble.
“But I’m sure we’ll start scoring soon, we’re the same team that got to this stage. It’s not easy for us right now but this is a marathon not a sprint.”
In Serie A Luis Alberto’s first-half goal earned Lazio a 1-0 win over Sampdoria on Saturday, with a seventh win in eight league games putting Simone Inzaghi’s side fourth in the Serie A standings.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s lovely through pass put Luis Alberto clear in the 24th minute, with the Lazio midfielder curling his seventh league goal of the season into the net to score what proved to be the winner.