LEIPZIG, Germany: RB Leipzig’s faint title hopes faded further as they fought out a 2-2 home draw with Hertha Berlin after conceding a late equaliser from the penalty spot, having been reduced to 10 men in a see-saw Bundesliga encounter last night.
The result left Leipzig third on 55 points from 28 games, nine behind leaders Bayern Munich and two adrift of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, while Hertha moved up one place to 10th on 35 points.
The visitors took a 10th-minute lead through Serbian midfielder Marko Grujic, on loan from Premier League Liverpool, before Lukas Klostermann levelled in the 24th and Marcel Halstenberg was dismissed in the 63rd for a second yellow card.
Patrik Schick netted a bizarre goal five minutes later, following a goalkeeper error, but Leipzig could not hold on as substitute Krzysztof Piatek earned a share of the spoils for the visitors with an 82nd-minute penalty.
Like all other Bundesliga matches, the clash was played behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Grujic drew loud cheers from his team mates when he volleyed home a Marvin Plattenhardt corner from seven metres.
Klostermann levelled with a superb header as he ghosted away from his markers at the near post and met a Christopher Nkunku corner before Vedad Ibisevic skied his shot high and wide into the empty stands at the other end.
With Halstenberg dismissed for a second bookable foul, Schick gave Leipzig the lead thanks to a howler by Hertha keeper Rune Jarstein, who appeared to have smothered the Czech’s shot but the ball trickled out of his arms and over the line.
Hertha had the last laugh, however, as Matheus Cunha was fouled by Ademola Lookman and Poland striker Piatek sent home keeper Peter Gulacsi the wrong way with a perfect spot-kick.
In other matches last night, Hoffenheim snapped a seven-game winless run with an entertaining 3-1 victory over visitors Cologne while Fortuna Duesseldorf boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation after coming from behind to beat Schalke 2-1 at home and Union Berlin and Mainz drew 1-1.
Augsburg and Paderborn also shared a point each following a goalless draw.
The win lifted Hoffenheim into seventh place on 39 points with six games left in the season.
Mainz are now a point above the relegation playoff place with 28 from as many games, while Union are three points above them in 13th.