Sane sends Bayern 9 pts clear at Frankfurt

Leroy Sane of FC Bayern Muenchen scores their first goal during the Bundesliga match between Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Bayern München at Deutsche Bank Park on February 26, 2022 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 

Substitute Leroy Sane has fired Bayern Munich to a hard-fought 1-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt, sending the champions nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

Sane scored with aplomb on 71 minutes on Saturday, just four minutes after coming on, following Joshua Kimmich's perfect pass.

Second-placed Borussia Dortmund visit Augsburg on Sunday as they seek to narrow the gap.

It was really important. The way we played today was spot on," Kimmich told Sky. "The mentality was really good.

Bayern were playing away but still lit up their Allianz Arena back in Munich in the colours of Ukraine, while Frankfurt displayed a "Stop it, Putin!" message on their giant video screen.

Minute's silences and pro-Ukraine banners were seen at games throughout the country as German football showed its solidarity with the country following Russia's invasion.

Strugglers Borussia Monchengladbach had a winner chalked off in injury-time after battling back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to 10-man Wolfsburg.

Third-placed Bayer Leverkusen beat Arminia Bielefeld 3-0 at home, Freiburg went fourth with a 3-0 win over coronavirus-affected Hertha Berlin, seventh-placed Union Berlin overcame Mainz 3-1 and bottom side Greuther Furth drew 1-1 at home to Cologne.

In Frankfurt, Filip Kostic almost put the mid-table hosts ahead early but injury-hit Bayern, with Jamal Musiala replacing COVID-positive Thomas Muller, grew into the game and had several chances.

Bayern, who host Leverkusen next weekend, deservedly broke the deadlock with Kimmich producing one of the passes of the season as he continues to improve following a long coronavirus absence.

Robert Lewandowski, who earlier backed his Poland side's decision not to face Russia in a World Cup play-off next month, wore Bayern's captain's armband with Ukrainian colours.

The marksman missed out on the goal he needs to equal the Bundesliga away goal season record of 17 shared by Jupp Heynckes in 1973-74 and Timo Werner in 2019-20.

Gladbach's Matthias Ginter thought he had won it at the death against Wolfsburg but a foul in the build-up meant it was ruled out after video review.

Gladbach stayed 13th and the Wolves 12th but edged away from the drop-zone.

Leverkusen have a four-point cushion inside the top four, but had a slice of luck against Bielefeld when a handball by Paulinho was deemed accidental in the build-up to Lucas Alario's first-half goal.

Winger Moussa Diaby continued his strong season with a fine double in the second half.

Hoffenheim beat second-bottom Stuttgart 2-1 on Friday but have been replaced in the fourth and final Champions League spot by Freiburg, who are on the same points.

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