The top three Bundesliga teams split points in the hunt for the Bundesliga title as Leverkusen secured one point on home soil against front-runners Bayern Munich whilst runners-up Dortmund were unable to break the deadlock at third-placed Berlin.
Josep Guardiola’s men suffered the second draw of the season and failed therefore to extend their lead atop the standings.
Bayer Leverkusen’s well-positioned defence gave the “Bavarians” a hard time. The hosts aggressively attacked the ball carrier and chocked off Bayer’s offensive action in the midfield. As a result, both sides got only one shot on target in the first half.
Leverkusen turned up in the second half but neither Javier Hernandez nor Hakan Calhanoglu were able to break the deadlock after the restart.
Guardiola reacted on Leverkusen’s action and fielded Thomas Mueller and Thiago Alcantara. Mueller was immediately a factor in Bayern’s game as the German international came close to opening the scoring twice, in the in the 64th and 67th minute.
Bayern pressed for the winner but Leverkusen’s defence, especially Oemer Toprak and Jonathan Tah secured their side one point on home soil.
With the result, Bayern remain atop the standings with an eight-point advantage to Dortmund. Despite the draw, Leverkusen slipped to the fifth place.
The top clash between third-placed Berlin and Dortmund ended also goalless.
Thomas Tuchel’s men lacked surprisingly in penetration and failed to threaten Berlin’s goalkeeper Rune Jarstein in the first half. Berlin’s well-organized defence kept Bundesliga top striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the distance and forced Dortmund to look for other options. In addition, the “Herthaner” posed threat on counter attacks.
The “BVB” increased their efforts after the break and pressed the hosts into defence but for all that, Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were unable to make use of promising opportunities.
Berlin almost caught the visitors flat-footed in the closing period but Dortmund defender Sokratis denied Alexander Baumjohann the winner in the last nick of time.
Dortmund recorded their third draw of the season and stay on the second place while Berlin’s advantage on the third place melts away.
Elsewhere, Schalke upset harmless Wolfsburg 3-0 as Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Johannes Geis and Alessandro Schoepf were on target. The “Wolves” wait for their first win in 2016 while fourth placed Schalke set third-placed Berlin under pressure.
Ten-men Stuttgart edged ten-men Frankfurt 4-2 to jump into the mid-table of the Bundesliga.
Mainz increased Hannover’s relegation worries with a 1-0 victory thanks to Jairo’s first half goal. After suffering the sixth straight loss, Hannover remain trapped in the Bundesliga bottom with seven points to safety.
Ingolstadt came from behind to beat Augsburg 2-1 by courtesy of Moritz Hartmann’s converted foul play penalty.
The following fixtures are scheduled for Sunday: Hamburg host Cologne and relegation-threatened Hoffenheim clash with newly promoted Darmstadt to complete the 20th round. Enditem