BERLIN: Ten-man RB Leipzig were held 2-2 by Hertha Berlin on Wednesday as they failed to go second in the Bundesliga while Schalke fell 2-1 at Fortuna Dusseldorf for a 10th straight game without victory.
Lukas Klostermann and Patrik Schick were on target for Leipzig who had Marcel Halstenberg sent off. Hertha opened the scoring from Marko Grujic and salvaged a draw from a late penalty from Krzysztof Piatek.
Leipzig remain third, two points behind Borussia Dortmund, nine off leaders Bayern Munich who won Tuesday’s topper 1-0 in Dortmund, and only two ahead of Champions League rivals Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen.
Hertha moved into 10th, having earned seven points from the three unbeaten games under new coach Bruno Labbadia since the restart from the coronavirus-related two-month suspension of play.
Schalke have meanwhile lost all three games since the restart after the latest setback at third-last Dusseldorf, as Rouwen Hennings and Kenan Karaman reversed Schalke's lead from Weston McKennie.
Hoffenheim beat Cologne 3-1 in a game that saw both teams finishing with 10 men and Cologne’s Mark Uth fail to convert a penalty for the second time in four days; Union Berlin and Mainz drew 1-1; while Augsburg and bottom side Paderborn managed no goals.
Leipzig had won six of the previous seven matches against Hertha but were caught out cold from a ninth-minute volley by Grujic off Marwin Plattenhardt's corner kick.
But 15 minutes later Grujic didn't mark Lukas Klostermann well enough, allowing the Germany defender to head in the equalizer.
Halstenberg got his marching orders in the 63rd for a second bookable offence when he brought down former Leipzig player Mateus Cunha but the hosts still went 2-1 up from a freak goal five minutes later.
Hertha goalkeeper Rune Jarstein parried Schick’s shot aimed directly at him but when he then tried to gather the ball it bounced over his shoulder into the net.
However, Hertha had the last laugh when Krzysztof Piatek converted from the spot in the 82nd after Ademola Lookman had stuck out a leg against Cunha.
“Of course we are very frustrated, we had it served on a silver platter, we didn’t take it,” Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann said.
Schalke have been reeling since the winter break after a strong start into the season, and their European ambitions took another hit on the night in Dusseldorf even though McKennie put them 1-0 up with a diving header in the 53rd.
Dusseldorf were level 10 minutes later from Hennings whose little push ahead his header went unpunished; and Karaman nodded home as well another five minutes on for a first important win after four straight draws in their survival bid.
Schalke slipped to ninth while Dusseldorf remained 16th in the relegation play-off spot, but now five points clear of Werder Bremen and just one behind Mainz who occupy safe 15th. – dpa