BERLIN (AFP) - Miroslav Klose spared Bayern Munich's blushes with a second-half header as the Bundesliga leaders stayed top of the table with a 1-1 draw with Schalke 04 at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
This was Klose's fourth league goal of the season and calmed Bayern's nerves to maintain their unbeaten record as his equaliser gave his side their narrow one-point lead over second-placed Arminia Bielefeld.
Schalke had taken the lead against the run of play when Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic slammed home his shot from the edge of the penalty area on 35 minutes to beat Bayern's goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.
Bayern's Italian striker Luca Toni had earlier squandered three clear chances to give his side the lead, but it stayed 1-0 to the Royal Blues at half-time.
But the German giants, chasing their 21st crown as national champions, got back on level terms when a Franck Ribery free-kick was headed into the path of Klose and the German striker, the top scorer at last year's World Cup, headed home on 54 minutes.
"We had planned to take three points from this game to put some distance between us and the rest of the table, but we didn't manage it," said Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.
"The first half an hour was good, but we missed our chances and we were a bit too timid.
"In the second half, it was a much tighter game and Schalke demanded a lot of us. I think that both teams earned the draw."
Schalke boss Mirko Slomka, who celebrated his 40th birthday in midweek, acknowledged his side squandered their chances.
"After the first 20 minutes, it didn't look like we would win, Bayern were all over us and exposed some of our problems in defence," he said.
"But once we got our goal, we really flowed and it could have been 2-0 at the break.
"The team played very well and we did well to take a point from Bayern."
Elsewhere on Saturday, defending Bundesliga champions VfB Stuttgart picked up a much-needed three points with a 3-0 win at home to Energie Cottbus.
Brazilian's Cacau and Ewerthon scored second-half goals before Germany's player of the year Mario Gomez came off the bench to score the third.
This was only Stuttgart's second win in five Bundesliga games and lifted them up to seventh.
Second-placed Arminia Bielefeld routed bottom-side Hansa Rostock 4-2 to keep the pressure on Bayern.
Bielefeld took the lead when midfielder Joerg Boehme crashed home his indirect free-kick which took a deflection off Rostock's Nigerian striker Victor Agali after 31 minutes.
Rostock equalised just after the break, but Bielefeld put the game beyond doubt with three goals in nine minutes as striker Christian Eigler scored twice along with Artur Wichniarek, who got his fourth goal of the season.
The guests grabbed a second goal late in the game, but it was too little, too late.
Bayern Leverkusen enjoyed a 2-0 win over ten-man VfL Bochum after French midfielder Marc Pfertzel was sent off for a second yellow-card and Leverkusen's defender Karim Haggui grabbed their first goal with a header on 62 minutes.
German defender got the second goal two minutes from time and Bayern's win leaves them fifth, while Bochum crash down the table to ninth.
Hanover raced into a two-goal lead at Nuremberg when ex-Germany striker Mike Hanke headed home two first-half goals, but the German Cup holders hit back to force a 2-2 draw as Hanover were reduced to ten men for the last ten minutes.
And Eintracht Frankfurt stay third after midfielder Alexander Meier scored both their goals in their 2-1 home win over Hamburg.
There was an upset on Friday night as Werder Bremen had their run of three wins broken when they were left reeling after conceding three goals in ten minutes as they were beaten 3-0 by Borussia Dortmund.
Swiss midfielder Mladen Petric led the charge with two goals and the win takes Dortmund up to fourth in the table.
On Sunday, VfL Wolfsburg take on last season's second-division champions Karlsruhe and Duisburg host Hertha Berlin.
|17||M. van Bommel|
|Coach: O. Hitzfeld|
for B. Schweinsteiger 67'
for L. Toni 74'
|Moreno agent opens door to Real Madrid offer|
|Herrera: I´m very happy at Manchester United|
|Lars Bender undergoes ankle surgery|
|Delneri takes over at Verona|
|Bellerin: I did not know how to defend until I joined Arsenal|
|Panathinaikos hit with three-point penalty after violence|
|Martial and Depay unhappy under ´selfish´ Van Gaal - Parker|
|Injured Carvajal set to miss Cadiz tie|
|Klopp vows to play strongest Liverpool team against Southampton|
|Ronaldo rested for Copa clash|
|Sanchis implies Neymar provoked Isco kick|
|Benitez: I have no problem with James|
|Luis Enrique plays down Suarez Ballon d´Or omission|
|Sergio Ramos is right - football is cyclical, says Luis Enrique|
|Klopp defends Mignolet amid Ter Stegen rumours|
|Boksic backs Mandzukic to get 20 goals for Juve|
|Neymar hails ´great friends´ Messi and Suarez|
|Chelsea submit planning application for new stadium|
|French sports people need to be exemplary - Valls|
|Moyes: Valencia job has come too soon for Neville|
|Napoli loss ´doesn´t change anything´ for Mancini|
|Ronaldo ´uncomfortable´ as a number nine, claims Madrid great Sanchez|
|Manchester City receive $400m Chinese investment|
|Messi: Ronaldo deserves Ballon d´Or nomination, but I´d prefer Suarez|
|Moyes open to another European gig|
|Everton welcome cup pressure - Martinez|
|Casillas open to MLS move|
|Hughes: Butland going nowhere|
|Milner eyes trophies at ´exciting´ Liverpool|
|Napoli became anxious - Sarri|
|Inter did not deserve to lose - Mancini|
|Messi beats Ronaldo to top prize at La Liga awards|
|Bolton Wanderers 1 Brentford 1: Smith watches on as strugglers snatch point|
|Napoli 2 Inter 1: Higuain at the double as hosts go top|
|Lewandowski: Less pressure on me than Aubameyang|
|Defoe, Larsson to miss Arsenal match|
|Sassuolo 1 Fiorentina 1: Di Francesco´s side extend unbeaten home run|
|Barcelona took ´a step forward´ without Messi - Busquets|
|Unfair to blame Garcia for Roma form - Zanetti|
|Southampton v Liverpool: Returning stars have Ibe in buoyant mood|
|Lewandowski´s five-goal haul recognised for four records|
|Barcelona v Villanovense: Holders get second crack at minnows|
|Verona sack Mandorlini|
|Valencia confirm Nuno departure|
|Premier League clubs reveal agent fees|
|Stoke will not underestimate Sheffield Wednesday – Hughes|
|Robben wants Guardiola to stay at Bayern|
|Aguero allays foot injury concerns|
|Cadiz v Real Madrid: Pepe calls for hard work in Andalusia|
|Bolton confirm players have not been paid for November|
|Neville takes Valencia training following Nuno resignation|
|Mihajlovic targets Coppa Italia triumph|
|Garde confident Villa will survive|
|Everton to make late call on Barry and McCarthy|
|Davids: Messi is an anomaly but Ronaldo just an athlete|
|Simeone open to January signings following Tiago injury|
|Messi leads nominees for Puskas Award|
|Hummels defends himself after media criticism|
|Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar nominated for Ballon d´Or|
|Luis Enrique, Guardiola and Sampaoli up for World Coach of the Year|
|Chelsea about the team, not just Costa - Ivanovic|
|Kuyt open to Feyenoord extension|
|Barcelona lodge complaint over ex-Madrid duo´s Neymar comments|
|Davies wants Manchester City quarter-final to get crazy|
|Ribery ordeal is over – Rummenigge|
|Smalling: Vardy run opens door to non-League hopefuls|
|Bender relieved to end Dortmund losing streak|
|Mata: Manchester United have six finals in December|
|Vardy reveals painful road to Premier League record|
|Pardew urges Newcastle to back McClaren|
|Russian clubs banned from signing Turkish players|
|Klopp expects Coutinho to face Southampton|
|Valverde: Let´s hope Barcelona don´t sign Aduriz|
|De Bruyne relishing link-up with Silva|
|´Crazy´ Munich could convince Guardiola to stay|
|Defiant Garcia refuses to resign despite Roma slump|
|Monk confident Swansea can turn the corner|
|Bellerin: Arsenal can cope without Sanchez|
|McClaren: Newcastle not panicking|
|Klopp delighted with Sturridge, Henderson returns|
|I wouldn´t swap Lukaku for Vardy - Martinez|
|MLS Review: Timbers, Crew to meet in final|
|Nuno saddened by Valencia departure|
|Morata will become a key player - Allegri|
|Serie A Review: Juve revival continues as Roma stutter|
|Ligue 1 Review: Marseille and Monaco share thriller as Caen go second|
|Nuno resigns from Valencia post|
|Palermo 0 Juventus 3: Four Serie A wins in a row for improving champions|
|Neymar: ´MSN´ should be Ballon d´Or final three|
|Madrid must ´give everything in each match´ - Navas|
|´I take full responsibility´ - Monk|
|Neil hails Grabban display after Arsenal draw|
|Arsenal will survive ´bad spell´ - Wenger|
|Klopp proud of ´perfect´ Liverpool win|
|Bundesliga Review: Aubameyang at the double for Dortmund, Leverkusen draw with Schalke|
|Wenger: I nearly rested Sanchez|
|Ronaldo did well, insists Benitez|
|Liverpool 1 Swansea City 0: Milner spot on again as Henderson and Sturridge return|
|Norwich City 1 Arsenal 1: Sanchez, Koscielny limp off as Gunners are held|
|Bilic worried about Sakho muscle injury|
|Angers v PSG: Kurzawa wants unbeaten season|
|Tuchel relieved to see Borussia Dortmund return to winning ways|
|Pulis ´disappointed´ with free-kick decision|
|Manchester City v Hull City: Wounded Tigers must avoid ´a pasting´, warns Davies|
|Reus Deportiu v Atletico Madrid: Simeone´s side face in-form underdogs|
|West Ham needed a second goal - Bilic|
|Deila slams Stokes following Twitter outburst|
|Eibar 0 Real Madrid 2: Bale and Ronaldo on target|
|Borussia Dortmund 4 Stuttgart 1: Aubameyang double hands Kramny a losing start|
|Chelsea performance enthuses Mourinho|
|Mourinho: Costa wouldn´t use a bib to hurt me!|
|Chelsea felt like ´a small team´ to Tottenham - Pochettino|
|West Ham 1 West Brom 1: Reid own goal steals point for Pulis´ men|
|´Impossible´ to compare Icardi and Higuain - Mancini|
|Stoke City v Sheffield Wednesday: Visitors are clear underdogs, claims Carvalhal|
|´It was pretty embarrassing´ - Colback slams Newcastle|
|Pochettino lauds his Tottenham players as ´heroes´|
|Mourinho denies Diego Costa rift|
|Hazard rues ´beautiful´ Lloris save|
|Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 Celtic 3: Champions triumph despite Stokes storm|
|Inter playing to their strengths - Sarri|
|Tottenham 0 Chelsea 0: Pochettino´s side set record unbeaten run|
|Middlesbrough v Everton: Barry aiming to bounce back|
|AC Milan v Crotone: Mihajlovic targets four wins from four before mid-season break|
|Galliani: Milan refused to sell Niang|
|Premier League loan move unlikely for Drogba|
|Fekir dreams of Barcelona move and Ballon d´Or|
|Inter will not be criticised if they win the Scudetto - Prandelli|
|Newcastle fans right to be angry - McClaren|
|Ghoulam: Napoli-Inter not decisive in Scudetto race|
|Tiago out for at least three months|
|Monk: Klopp must make Liverpool title contenders|
|Lahm praises Bayern for adapting to injuries|
|Central Coast Mariners 0 Western Sydney Wanderers 2: Visitors win fifth straight|
|Arsenal building to title challenge - Mertesacker|
|Henry: Premier League title a five-horse race|
|Olsson urges Ibrahimovic to make Premier League move|
|Niang delighted with first Serie A goals|
|Wenger backs Campbell to earn spot|
|Much more to come from Firmino - Klopp|
|Kane dreaming of Premier League title win|
|Neymar´s evolution has been startling - Dani Alves|
|Van Gaal explains Lingard, Rojo absences|
|Messi number one regardless of goals - Iniesta|
|Klopp: I´m free to sign Dortmund players|
|Mourinho: Hazard not Chelsea´s number 10|
|Mihajlovic not surprised by Niang form|
|La Liga Review: Barcelona march on; victory for Atletico Madrid|