Berlin, Feb 7 (IANS) Bayer Leverkusen held Bayern Munich to a goalless draw while Hertha Berlin and Borussia Dortmund equally shared the spoils in the 20th round of Bundesliga football league.
The top three Bundesliga teams on Saturday 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 against third-placed Berlin, reports Xinhua.
Josep Guardiola’s men suffered the second draw of the season and failed therefore to extend their lead atop the standings.
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 World Cup winner 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-organised 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 VfB 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.