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Bayern beat lowly Cologne to delay Leverkusen party, Mainz win

FC Bayern Munich player thank the fans for their support and cheer after the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayern Munich and 1. FC Cologne at Allianz Arena. Tom Weller/dpa
FC Bayern Munich player thank the fans for their support and cheer after the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayern Munich and 1. FC Cologne at Allianz Arena. Tom Weller/dpa

Bayern Munich beat Cologne 2-0 at home on Saturday to delay Bayer Leverkusen's title party for at least another day and leave the second-bottom Billy Goats five points from absolute safety.

Raphaël Guerreiro's effort from distance on 65 minutes and Thomas Müller's late strike handed Bayern the win, but Xabi Alonso's Leverkusen will still clinch their first ever Bundesliga title if they win at home to Werder Bremen on Sunday.

"It is tough if you don't score early and don't take your chances. But I think 2-0 was fair," Bayern defender Matthijs de Ligt told Sky.

A win on Sunday will give unbeaten Leverkusen an unassailable 16-point lead with only five matchdays left.

Third-placed VfB Stuttgart stayed level with Bayern after a 3-0 home win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the late game.

Serhou Guirassy slammed home his 25th of the Bundesliga season on 11 minutes as a video review reversed the assistant referee's erroneous flag. Guinea's Guirassy has now scored more goals in a German top-flight season than any other Stuttgart player in history.

Strike partner Deniz Undav, a Germany Euro 2024 hopeful, soon made it 2-0 with aplomb against sixth-placed Frankfurt and Jamie Leweling prodded in the third before half-time.

In the relegation battle, fourth-bottom Bochum and new coach Heiko Butscher drew 1-1 at home to Heidenheim after Keven Schlotterbeck scored at both ends.

Bochum nudged five points above Cologne, who were also hampered by third-bottom Mainz - in the relegation play-off spot - coming back to beat Hoffenheim 4-1 and go four points above Timo Schultz's side.

In the Champions League race, fourth-placed RB Leipzig beat Wolfsburg 3-0 at home thanks to Dani Olmo, Benjamin Šeško and Loïs Openda while 10-man Borussia Dortmund - on the same points in fifth - prevailed 2-1 at Borussia Mönchengladbach after Marcel Sabitzer's double.

Six new faces were in the Dortmund line-up as Edin Terzic rotated ahead of Tuesday's Champions League action but injured Sebastien Haller lasted less than 10 minutes and was replaced by Youssoufa Moukoko.

Sabitzer's thumping finish and penalty made the difference for Dortmund, who saw Maximilian Wöber pull one back, another spotkick chalked off by video review and Karim Adeyemi sent off for two yellow cards.

"It was a different game to how we imagined but we dealt with it," Terzic said. "In the end that was a deserved and battling win."

Germany could end up with five entrants in next season's revamped Champions League depending on results in the remainder of the European season.

Winning the Champions League would also offer Dortmund, 2-1 down to Atletico Madrid in their quarter-final, a way into next term's competition.

Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel, in the stands after too many bookings, made seven changes to the side which drew 2-2 at Arsenal in their Champions League quarter-final. The second leg is on Wednesday.

Relegation-threatened Cologne had their chances in the first half but Bayern's Harry Kane and Mathys Tel also hit the post.

The second half started with Bayern and France winger Kingsley Coman going off with yet another serious-looking leg injury, but Guerreiro finally broke Cologne's resistance in style.

On Friday, Augsburg kept up their hopes of Europe next term with a 2-0 win over Union Berlin. Bottom side Darmstadt host Freiburg on Sunday.