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Union miss chance to close gap on Bayern with Cologne stalemate

March 4, 2023 (AFP)

Union Berlin missed a chance to draw level with second-placed Bayern Munich, with a scoreless draw at home against Cologne on Saturday.

The result, Union's third 0-0 draw in their past five matches, could see the third-placed Berliners fall five points behind Bayern if the Bavarians win at Stuttgart later on Saturday.

Chances were few throughout and despite some late attacking changes from Union manager Urs Fischer, the visitors held firm.

Elsewhere, Freiburg missed a chance to overtake RB Leipzig into the Champions League placings, drawing 0-0 away with a ten-man Borussia Moenchengladbach.

France striker Marcus Thuram won Gladbach a second-half penalty but the spot kick was overturned by VAR, which found insufficient contact with the forward's foot.

Gladbach were reduced to ten men with three minutes remaining when Algerian wing back Ramy Bensebaini picked up a second yellow for kicking the ball away in frustration, but the home side held on for a valuable point.

At the other end of the table, Schalke boosted their hopes of avoiding a direct return to the second division, winning 2-0 away at fellow strugglers Bochum.

The win, set up by a first-half goalkeeping howler from Bochum goalie Manuel Riemann and a clever second-half strike from Marius Buelter, was Schalke's first away victory since November 2019. 

Schalke, who had anchored the Bundesliga table since October, are unbeaten in their last six games ahead of next week's clash with derby rivals Borussia Dortmund. 

Mainz lifted themselves to seventh with a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Hoffenheim, thanks to a first-half strike from Leandro Barreiro.

The result was the visitors' seventh loss in eight matches in 2023, leaving Hoffenheim in grave relegation danger.

In Saturday afternoon's other match, Augsburg lifted themselves eight points clear of the relegation spots with a 2-1 home win over Werder Bremen. 

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