Leaders Bayern share the spoils with Schalke

BERLIN: Bayern Munich had to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to Schalke 04 on Saturday, a result that cut their lead in the Bundesliga to a single point.

Ivan Rakitic beat Oliver Kahn with a low shot in the 36th minute to stun the 66,000 crowd at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern equalised with a Miroslav Klose header nine minutes after the break.

After five games, Bayern lead with 11 points, one ahead of Arminia Bielefeld and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bielefeld won 4-2 at home to Hansa Rostock while Frankfurt enjoyed a 2-1 thriller at home to Hamburg SV.

Champions VfB Stuttgart joined Schalke on seven points with a 3-0 win at home to Energie Cottbus.

With Luca Toni back and fit, Bayern looked capable of winning handsomely.

Toni, however, wasted his first chance in the seventh minute, dragging a shot wide after being put clean through on goal.

Klose then missed two perfect opportunities to play in his strike partner after neat build-up play and Christian Lell fluffed a good opening at the far post.

Schalke were struggling to hold on when from nowhere they took the lead.

Rakitic, fresh from his first two international games for Croatia, controlled the ball 25 metres out and swept in low at Kahn's right-hand post for a brilliant opener.

Kahn kept Bayern in the game by saving from Rakitic when the 19-year-old raced through on goal a minute before the break.

Bayern pressed hard and got the equaliser from a Franck Ribery free kick on the right. Toni's header forced a fine one-handed save from Schalke keeper Manuel Neuer and Klose pounced on the rebound for his fourth goal of the season.

Bayern had lots of possession but created few clear chances and Schalke might easily have claimed victory as two Christian Pander free kicks created confusion in the Bayern area.

“The first half was good,” Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld told reporters. “We didn't take our chances, though, and after that we didn't do enough. I think both sides deserved their point.” – Reuters
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