A late goal from Portuguese striker Andre Silva left Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League hopes hanging by a thread on Saturday as they fell to a 2-1 home defeat against Bundesliga top-six rivals Eintracht Frankfurt.
Silva’s 87th minute header condemned Dortmund to a 10th defeat of the season, leaving them seven points adrift of Frankfurt and the Champions League qualification places with just seven games to go.
Failure to finish in the top four would be disastrous for Germany’s second-biggest club, who face a fight to hold on to coveted key players such as Erling Braut Haaland and Jadon Sancho in the next transfer window.
They missed a chance to close the gap as high-fliers Frankfurt pulled off a smash-and-grab win.
Frankfurt took the lead through a freakish own goal on 11 minutes, as Nico Schulz sent a looping header into his own net after a cross from Filip Kostic.
Kevin Trapp denied Haaland with a smart save ten minutes later before Mats Hummels hooked the ball in at a corner to level the scores on the stroke of half time.
Frankfurt’s Stefan Ilsanker had a headed goal ruled out for offside just after the hour-mark, but the guests restored the lead on the counter-attack in the dying minutes, Silva heading in from close range after another Kostic cross.
Frankfurt are seven points clear of fifth place and four points off third-place Wolfsburg, who beat Cologne 1-0 thanks to a second-half goal from Josip Brekalo.
Dortmund are level on points with Bayer Leverkusen, who eased to a 2-1 win over bottom club Schalke in their first game under new coach Hannes Wolf.
Lucas Alario opened the scoring with a one-touch finish in the first half, before Patrik Schick came off the bench to secure the three points after the break.
Dutch veteran Klaas-Jan Huntelaar grabbed a consolation goal nine minutes from time, scoring for the first time since his surprise return to Schalke in January.
Defeat pushed crisis-hit giants Schalke closer to a first relegation in over three decades,
Two brutal counter-attack goals from Ruben Vargas and Andre Hahn gave Augsburg a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim, despite a brilliant late half-volley from Robert Skov.
In the relegation fight, Mainz’ recent revival was halted by a 1-1 draw at home to fellow strugglers Arminia Bielefeld.
Bielefeld’s Andreas Voglsammer struck 15 minutes from time to cancel out Daniel Brosinski’s penalty and keep second-from-bottom Bielefeld within a point of safety.