- Associated Press - Saturday, May 2, 2015

BERLIN (AP) - Bayer Leverkusen substitute Julian Brandt scored on his 19th birthday Saturday to inflict a 2-0 defeat on Bayern Munich in the German champion’s first league game since sealing the title.

Brandt scored with a powerful shot past the helpless Manuel Neuer in the 81st minute, following a great run and through ball from Karim Bellarabi, who robbed Thiago Alcantara.

“He told me five minutes before he had cramp, and then he runs like that,” said Brandt. “I can sleep well now.”

Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring with a free kick through Bayern’s defensive wall in the 55th, finding the gap between Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez from 25 meters (yards).

“When you score a free kick against the best goalkeeper then you’re even happier,” Calhanoglu said.

Bayern, which sealed the title with four games to spare, next plays Barcelona away for the first leg of their Champions League semifinal on Wednesday.

Earlier Saturday, Barcelona routed last-place Cordoba 8-0 in the Spanish league.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola handed Bundesliga debuts to midfielder Rico Strieder, who started, and forward Lukas Goertler, who came on in the second half.

Leverkusen, which is provisionally third, dominated the game but Bayern had the better chances.

Mario Goetze rounded goalkeeper Bernd Leno only to see his shot cleared off the line by Tin Jedvaj in the first half. Leno denied Claudio Pizarro early in the second and then stopped Goetze’s second big chance.

“The most important thing for us was to avoid any injuries. It will be difficult in Barcelona but we’ll put everything into it,” Neuer said after what was only Bayern’s third defeat of the season.

Earlier, Klaas Jan Huntelaar ended his goal drought with a brace as Schalke defeated Stuttgart 3-2, while Borussia Dortmund was held 1-1 at Hoffenheim.

Huntelaar, who hadn’t scored in 1,187 minutes before kickoff, scored in the ninth minute and equalized in the 78th after Martin Harnik and Filip Kostic put Stuttgart ahead.

“I knew that I’d be successful again soon but you never know exactly when,” the Dutch striker said.

Stuttgart striker Daniel Ginczek had a role in both of his side’s goals. He set up Harnik, who scored with a delicate chip in the 22nd, and Kostic in the 51st.

Schalke fans turned their backs to the pitch with about 15 minutes remaining, before Huntelaar equalized, and then substitute Kevin-Prince Boateng’s 89th-minute volley was deflected in by Stuttgart defender Florian Klein.

Fifth-place Schalke’s first win in seven games left Stuttgart bottom, three points from safety with three rounds remaining.

Dortmund captain Mats Hummels’ 35th-minute header from a corner salvaged a point at Hoffenheim, which remained a point in front with both sides fighting for Europa League qualification.

“We have three games left, two of them at home. I still feel we’re within striking distance,” Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said.

Kevin Volland opened the scoring in the 33rd, eluding Marcel Schmelzer, turning and then firing past emerging goalkeeper Mitch Langerak to the far corner.

“A win wouldn’t have been undeserved. But after such a game I can be, and have to be, happy with a point,” Klopp said.

Elsewhere, second-place Wolfsburg drew 2-2 with Hannover, Paderborn boosted its survival hopes with a 2-1 win at Freiburg, Werder Bremen beat Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 and Augsburg drew 0-0 with Cologne.

Wolfsburg midfielder Kevin de Bruyne crossed for Bas Dost to score in the 24th. It was the Belgian’s 18th assist of the season, matching the Bundesliga record set by Zvjezdan Misimovic, also for Wolfsburg, in 2008-09.

Paderborn’s seventh win of the season lifted the promoted side out of the relegation zone, one point above Hannover in the relegation playoff place. Only goal difference separates Freiburg and Hannover.

Frankfurt coach Thomas Schaaf was given a warm welcome on his first return to Bremen, where he spent more than 40 years as player and coach.

Davie Selke scored the game’s only goal with his chest in the 66th for Bremen to climb to seventh, one point behind Augsburg in the last Europa League place.


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