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Football: Eintracht held in Hanover, Bayern 3 wins from title

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Bayern Munich finished the weekend 20 points clear in the Bundesliga and are now just three league wins from the title, while Eintracht Frankfurt stayed in the chasing pack after Sunday's draw at Hanover 96.

If they win their next three matches, Bayern could be crowned German champions on April 6 at Frankfurt, who were held to a goalless draw at wintry Hanover in heavy snow.

Despite claiming a point, Frankfurt drop to fifth following a fifth consecutive league match without scoring having only netted five goals in their eight games so far in 2013.

They last scored on February 2 in the 2-0 win at Hamburg.

In a scrappy game, Hanover's ex-Manchester United striker Mame Diouf and Ivory Coast forward Didier Ya Konan both had chances up front for Hanover, who stay 10th.

There was controversy just after the break when Hanover claimed a goal after Frankfurt captain Pirmin Schwegler cleared Ya Konan's shot off the line, but even replays failed to determine whether the ball had crossed the line.

"During the game I was sure the ball was in, I had already reckoned the goal would count, but after seeing the replays I still don't know if it was the right decision," said Schwegler.

On Saturday, Bayern warmed up for Wednesday's Champions League clash with Arsenal by fighting back for a 3-2 win at home to Fortuna Duesseldorf.

Having beaten the Gunners 3-1 in London three weeks ago, Bayern are looking to book their quarter-final berth in the second leg at Munich's Allianz Arena.

With Borussia Dortmund, second, and third-placed Bayer Leverkusen both losing, Germany defender Jerome Boateng's 86th-minute header gave Bayern three more points after Thomas Mueller and France wing Franck Ribery had earlier equalised.

Schalke warmed-up for Tuesday's Champions League last 16, second leg clash at home to Galatasaray with a 2-1 win over neighbours Dortmund in Gelsenkirchen, but lost striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to injury.

Schalke have a fighting chance of reaching the last eight having drawn 1-1 in Istanbul three weeks ago and claimed their second Ruhr derby win of the season.

Having already enjoyed a 2-1 win at Dortmund last October, Schalke are fourth in the table after their third straight success, but will face Galatasaray without Huntelaar, who has torn knee ligaments.

The hosts went ahead when Japan defender Atsuto Uchida supplied crosses for Julian Draxler, on 11 minutes, then Huntelaar, on 35 minutes, to convert with the Dortmund defence all at sea.

Huntelaar had to be helped off on 53 minutes, while Dortmund pulled a goal back through Poland's Robert Lewandowski.

"We weren't good in switching from defence to attack, we made tactical errors," said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, whose team booked their Champions League quarter-final berth last Tuesday with a 3-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk.

There was more bad news for Borussia on Sunday with Germany centre-back Mats Hummels set to miss the next four weeks having partially torn ankle ligaments.

Werder Bremen broke their three-match losing streak with a 1-1 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach as Peniel Mlapa's second-half goal was cancelled out by Werder midfielder Aleksandar Ignjovski's late shot.

Bottom side Guerther Fuerth crashed to a 3-0 defeat at home to Hoffenheim to set a new Bundesliga record by becoming the first team to fail to win any of their first 13 home games.

They are now 14 points from safety and almost certain to be relegated after their first season in the top flight.

Wolfsburg are up to 12th after their 5-2 win at Freiburg, who drop to seventh, while Leverkusen suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Mainz, who move up to sixth.

ryj/cw/bc

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