Lucky Leipzig leapfrogs Bayern once more
RB Leipzig knocked Bayern Munich off the top of the Bundesliga again after its controversial 2-1 win at home to Schalke 04 on Saturday left it three points clear.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern had regained the lead with a 3-1 win at Mainz on Friday, but Leipzig, helped by a dubious penalty, replaced it less than 24 hours later.
Bayern and Leipzig are set to meet at Munich’s Allianz Arena on Dec 21 in a mouthwatering pre-Christmas showdown.
A second-half own-goal from Schalke’s Sead Kolasinac sealed Leipzig’s win, extending its record unbeaten run to 13 matches in its first season in Germany’s top flight.
Leipzig took an early lead in controversial fashion as Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann conceded a penalty with just 19 seconds on the clock when the referee judged he had made contact with RB’s top scorer Timo Werner.
Replays showed the Leipzig forward dived, but Werner, 20, drilled in his eighth league goal of the season. Faehrmann was booked to add insult to injury for Schalke.
Werner insisted he told referee Bastian Dankert that there was no contact from Faehrmann, but hit the deck from a push by Schalke defender Naldo.
“I’m sorry that it looks like a dive, that wasn’t my intention, but there was a push from Naldo,” insisted Werner after watching replays.
“I told the referee there was no contact from Faehrmann, but he didn’t listen to me in the heat of the moment.”
Ref Dankert later admitted he made the wrong decision.
Long after the final whistle, Faehrmann was still fuming about the incident.
“It’s enough to make you sick. Werner told him (Dankert) that there was no contact and I still got a yellow card,” said the goalkeeper.
Schalke regained its composure and drew level when Bosnia winger Kolasinac drilled in a cross in the 32nd minute.
But the 23-year-old, who has been linked to Liverpool, turned the ball into his own net two minutes into the second half following a free kick from Leipzig’s Swedish winger Emil Forsberg.
Faehrmann tipped the ball onto the bar to deny a header from Leipzig defender Marcel Halstenberg 20 minutes from the end.
With time running out, Schalke’s Brazil centerback Naldo cleared off the line from Forsberg.
This was Schalke’s first defeat in 13 games, dating back to the end of September, to leave it eighth.
Elsewhere, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice as Borussia Dortmund prepared for their Champions League clash at Real Madrid with a 4-1 rout of Borussia Moenchengladbach.
RB Leipzig players and the club’s mascot celebrate scoring during their 2-1 Bundesliga victory against Schalke 04 at Red Bull Arena on Saturday.