Leroy Sane grabbed a late winner as Bayern Munich won 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday to open a nine-point lead over the Bundesliga cupwhile Robert Lewandowski led the league’s statement of support for Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion.
Sane came off the bench before sealing the three points for Bayern in a match overshadowed by external events, with the Frankfurt stadium lit up in the Ukrainian national colors of blue and yellow.
Electronic signs on the floor read: “Stop it, Putin!” in a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Before kick-off, there was a minute of silence, as in other areas in Germany.
The Bayern team wore black armbands for the victims of the conflict, while Munich captain Lewandowski wore a yellow-and-blue armband.
“I decided this morning to wear the bracelet, the world cannot accept what is going on, we have to support Ukraine and the people who are fighting there,” Lewandowski said.
“I am anti-war and think what is happening there cannot be allowed, it hurts.
“I hope the whole world supports Ukraine – their people are fighting for freedom and I have tremendous respect for them.”
Frankfurt beat Bayern in their previous two encounters and this was a squeeze until Sané intervened.
“That was hard fought. We could have taken the lead earlier, but the mentality was really good – that was important,” said Bayern midfielder Joshua Kimmich.
Just four minutes after Sane came in, Kimmich’s nimble pass through the defense sent the winger into space to roll his shot past Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.
It was heartbreaking for the hosts who came close with opportunities for striker Filip Kostic.
On the other side, Trapp made a series of saves and was massaged into the first half when Kingsley Coman’s shot slammed into his face.
“I’ve got a bit of a headache already,” Trapp joked. “You can’t defend everything against Bayern and we gave everything.”
Borussia Dortmund can narrow Bayern’s lead on Sunday away to Augsburg.
Earlier, Japanese midfielder Genki Haraguchi finally scored his first goal for Union Berlin in a 3-1 home win over Mainz.
Haraguchi ended his 22-match wait to score when he scored his first goal since coming over from the second tier of Hanover 96 for the season.
Sheraldo Becker scored Union’s second with a long-range chip from outside the box.
Mainz was reduced to 10 men when midfielder Dominik Kohr was sent off for a second booking.
Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi scored his 10th league goal this season before Dutch striker Delano Burgzorg scored Mainz’s late consolation.
Lucas Alario fired in through the crossbar before Moussa Diaby scored with two sharp finishes, while Bayer Leverkusen were consolidated in third with a 3-0 home win over Arminia Bielefeld.
Italian midfielder Vincenzo Grifo converted an early penalty before strikers Kevin Schade and Lucas Hoeler scored late goals in Freiburg’s 3-0 home win over Hertha Berlin.
It was a miserable Bundesliga debut for Hertha’s fourth-choice goalkeeper Marcel Lotka, with Alexander Schwolow out with Covid and his substitutes sidelined due to injuries.
After Sunday’s 6-0 Drubbing against Dortmund, Borussia Moenchengladbach earned a point when substitute Breel Embolo scored a late equalizer in their 2-2 draw at Wolfsburg.
The hosts played with 10 men in the final 20 minutes after Maxence Lacroix was sent off for eliminating Marcus Thuram, who replaced Embolo before scoring the equalizer.
Gladbach defender Matthias Ginter headed in the net in injury time, but the goal was rejected by VAR.
Bottom Greuther Fuerth are unbeaten in their last six home games, as they held Cologne to a 1-1 draw thanks to an equalizing goal from Sebastian Griesbeck.