Bundesliga: Bayern Munich 3 Hoffenheim 3
By Football News
Hoffenheim's reputation as the Bundesliga's great entertainers was enhanced further as they held champions Bayern Munich to a 3-3 draw.
The start of Bayern's six-week title celebrations got off to a stuttering start at the Allianz Arena on Saturday as Roberto Firmino netted the visitors' 63rd league goal of the season 15 minutes from time to end the Bavarians' 100 per cent home league record.
Only Bayern have scored more than Hoffenheim in Germany's top flight this term, with Anthony Modeste giving the away side a shock lead midway through the first period.
That only served to spark a much-changed Bayern into life, though, and a Claudio Pizarro brace and a strike from Xherdan Shaqiri in the space of nine minutes took Hoffenheim's tally of league goals conceded to 62 - extending their unwanted record of having the most porous defence in the division.
However, Markus Gisdol's men reduced the arrears before the break courtesy of a superb Sejad Salihovic free-kick before snatching a deserved point as Firmino took his 14th Bundesliga goal of the season in stylish fashion.
After clinching the title with Tuesday’s victory over Hertha Berlin, Pep Guardiola showed the vast array of quality within Bayern's squad as Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos, Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller formed arguably the strongest bench ever named ahead of the midweek UEFA Champions League trip to Manchester United.
Despite the joyous mood in the Allianz Arena, it was the visitors who opened the scoring in a goal-laden first half.
Modeste netted after 23 minutes as he latched onto a throughball, with Neuer’s back-up Tom Starke - playing against his former club - unable to keep the forward’s low effort out despite getting a hand to it.
The hosts were not behind long, though, as Pizarro levelled eight minutes later.
The Peruvian, who had already seen a shot well saved, met a right-wing cross from Shaqiri and flicked his header into the back of the net.
Bayern then turned on the style with two goals in six minutes to take control of the game.
Shaqiri put the champions ahead after Pizarro controlled a Rafinha cross perfectly for the Switzerland international to fire beyond Jens Grahl.
And a lightning quick counter-attack five minutes before the break led to Bayern's third. Two passes released Franck Ribery on the left, and he delivered the perfect cross for Pizarro to grab his second.
The first-half action was still not over, however, as Hoffenheim cut the deficit through Salihovic, the Bosnia-Herzegovina international curling a free-kick over the wall and into the top corner from 20 yards.
After such an action-packed opening 45 minutes, the second was quiet in comparison as neither side created a chance of note until Shaqiri wasted a perfect Ribery cross on the hour, the winger firing over with an acrobatic volley.
And Bayern were made to rue that miss as Firmino levelled with 15 minutes to play, the 22-year-old firing low past Starke to become just the third team to avoid defeat against Guardiola's team in the league this term.
Substitute Robben missed a late chance to snatch Bayern's 20th straight Bundesliga win, before Starke was called into action to deny Sebastian Rudy.
Guardiola will now anxiously await news on Thiago Alcantara's injury, which forced him off in the first half, before Bayern's visit to Old Trafford.