DORTMUND, Germany: Bayern Munich kept their five-point lead at the top of the table on Saturday, drawing 0-0 at second-placed Borussia Dortmund to stay on track for a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title.
The game, broadcast to 208 countries, lived up to its big billing. It was an entertaining encounter played at a frantic pace and a goal was the only thing missing as Bayern, especially, went close on several occasions.
“We had our chances to win this game,” said visiting coach Pep Guardiola. “The second half was good.
“Now every game is a final for us. It was a good game for the fans and German football.”
Bayern wasted a golden chance early on when Thomas Mueller’s effort went narrowly wide and Arturo Vidal followed suit a little later.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then missed a good opportunity for Dortmund as he was denied by keeper Manuel Neuer.
The best scoring chance fell to Bayern’s Douglas Costa who raced clear with only keeper Roman Buerki to beat but the Swiss stood his ground to deny the winger.
Bayern, chasing three trophies this season, kept up the pressure in the second half as Dortmund lost some of their early momentum.
SAVE OF GAME
Buerki made the save of the game on the hour, tipping a thunderous Vidal shot on to the bar.
The result lifted the Bavarians, who lost 2-1 to Mainz 05 in midweek, to 63 points from 25 games with Dortmund on 58.
“We had an outstanding first 30 minutes and a good first half,” said Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel.
“It was important to remain solid in defence. You have to keep defending (against Bayern) at a very high level.
“I am sure we will keep going, no matter what the distance to Bayern. It’s about delivering in every match.”
Substitute Franco Di Santo sealed Schalke 04’s 3-1 victory at Cologne to help the Gelsenkirchen side move into the top four, boosting their hopes of a return to the Champions League next season.
The Argentine, who has had a disappointing first season after joining from Werder Bremen, scored three minutes after coming on in the 73rd minute to give Schalke a two-goal cushion.
Bayer Leverkusen fought back from 3-0 down to snatch a 3-3 draw at Augsburg with three goals in the last half hour.
Hakan Calhanoglu’s stoppage-time penalty completed their revival after Koo Ja-Cheol had scored a hat-trick for the hosts.
Rejuvenated Claudio Pizarro was on target again, three days after his midweek hat-trick, as Werder Bremen crushed bottom club Hanover 96 4-1 to climb further away from the relegation zone.