BERLIN (AP) — Neither Erling Haaland nor Gio Reyna could help Borussia Dortmund keep pace with Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich on Sunday as the team was held 1-1 at Cologne.
Sebastian Andersson’s first-half equalizer earned Cologne a point from an intensive game and left Bayern six points clear of Dortmund with seven games left to play. Bayern beat Union Berlin 4-0 on Saturday.
Haaland was back in Dortmund’s starting lineup for the first time since getting injured against Hoffenheim on Jan. 22, while Reyna made his first start since Feb. 20 and only his second since Aug. 27.
But it was Marius Wolf who got the visitors off to a great start in the eighth minute, when he controlled Jude Bellingham’s through ball with his first touch and swept it past Cologne goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe with his next.
Dortmund should have made more of a four-on-two situation shortly afterward, before Haaland fired wide of the far post in the 25th.
Cologne pressured thereafter, roared on by majority of the sell-out 50,000 crowd.
Andersson got the deserved equalizer in the 36th, finishing from close range after Anthony Modeste headed on a cross from Jannes Horn.
Tempers were tested early in the second half when Bellingham needed new boots after a foul from Salih Özcan. The England star tied his laces on field, leading to a heated discussion among players and coaches with whistles from the fans, but it ended amiably with handshakes all round before the game continued.
Reyna sent Haaland through for a great chance shortly afterward but the Norwegian failed to beat Schwäbe.
Reyna made another break with around 15 minutes remaining but Jan Thielmann got back with a vital block. Thielmann, Schwäbe and the home fans celebrated as if they’d scored.
The center circle on the field was modified to represent a peace sign – a reference to Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
LEVERKUSEN LEAVES IT LATE
Brazilian forward Paulinho scored two late goals for injury-hit Bayer Leverkusen to consolidate third place with a 2-0 win at Wolfsburg.
The home team missed several good chances with Jonas Wind hitting the post before the hour mark, before Leverkusen coach Gerardo Seoane brought Paulinho on in the 81st minute and his team gave a lesson in efficiency.
The 21-year-old Paulinho needed just five minutes to score after he ran at the Wolfsburg defense, evading American John Brook before he let fly from 16 meters inside the near post. Wolfsburg ’keeper Pavao Pervan might have done better to stop the shot.
Kerem Demirbay then crossed for Paulinho to seal the result with a fine header in injury time. They were his first league goals of the season.
The center circle in Wolfsburg also displayed a peace sign.
Leverkusen moved three points clear of Leipzig, which was held 0-0 at home by Eintracht Frankfurt.
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Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP