Ribery to Bayern's rescue with late winner against Leipzig

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Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates, Dec 19, 2018.

Franck Ribery fired Bayern Munich to within six points of Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund with a late 1-0 win over Leipzig on Wednesday.

The veteran French winger, a Dortmund tormentor over the years, struck another blow against his old rival by scoring in the 83rd minute when it seemed Bayern would have to settle for a draw in Munich.

"He was there where we needed him. Thank you Franck," Bayern midfielder Thomas Mueller said.

Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi saved Renato Sanches' initial effort and Dayot Upamecano could only half clear. Ribery stopped the ball, dragged it with his left foot to leave two defenders sliding, and then fired it in with his right.

Bayern's relief was evident as the players celebrated closing the gap on Dortmund, which slipped to its first defeat at Fortuna Duesseldorf on Tuesday.

Both teams finished with 10 men after a bad challenge from Stefan Ilsanker on Thiago Alcantara in injury time. Ilsanker was shown a red card and Sanches a second yellow card for pushing the Leipzig midfielder in reaction to the foul.

Bayern remained third, behind Borussia Moenchengladbach on goal difference, ahead of the last round of games before the winter break. Leipzig stayed fourth, now five points behind Bayern.

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