RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich’s nearest rivals, both lost in the Bundesliga on Saturday to give the eight-time defending champions a chance to pull seven points clear at the top.
Leipzig lost 3-2 in second place against relegation-threatened Mainz and Leverkusen was beaten 1-0 at home against Wolfsburg in third place.
On Sunday, Bayern visits last-place Schalke.
“In principle, if we lose games, we don’t need to talk about Bayern,” Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann said of his team’s diminished challenge after just one victory in four games.
“It’s about winning your games.”
In the 15th minute, American midfielder Tyler Adams got his team off to a great start with a goal, but Moussa Niakhate scored for Mainz twice, either side of the visitors’ 30th-minute strike by Marcel Halstenberg.
New signing Leandro Barreiro was set up by Danny da Costa for the Mainz winner in the 50th.
“It’s a tough starting point, but the path is clear,” said Bo Svensson, the Mainz coach, whose team remains second to last.
The 35th-minute header of midfielder Riddle Baku was enough for Wolfsburg.
Leverkusen made a strong start, but early opportunities were missed by Nadiem Amiri and Lucas Alario, with Alario hitting the post before Wolfsburg settled gradually.
Leverkusen continued his pressure, but the defense took a break and left Baku against the run of play to head in Renato Steffen’s cross.
By having former Manchester United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah for his Bundesliga debut, Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz responded at the break, but Wolfsburg saw the victory.
In the end, we didn’t have the strength and freshness,” said Bosz.”