Borussia Dortmund were held to a 2-2 draw by local rivals Schalke to fall two points behind Bayern Munich at the Bundesliga summit.
Dortmund took a first-half lead through an unlikely source, defender Nico Schlotterbeck, who was afforded time and space in the opposition half and duly fired a low shot beyond Ralf Fahrmann.
The Schalke goalkeeper was kept busy in the early stages and made several good saves, while Rodrigo Zalazar wasted the hosts’ best chance when he blazed over from a one-on-one.
Schalke did score five minutes after the interval, ending a goal drought of more than eight hours in this fixture, with Marius Bulter finishing off a sharp counter-attack.
Dortmund were back in front on 60 minutes as Raphael Guerreiro blasted home to emphatically end a nice move.
Yet Schalke were not done and substitute Kenan Karaman headed in a looping cross to draw them level for a second time and dent their rivals’ title hopes.
Guerreiro came within inches of restoring Dortmund’s lead, dragging a shot wide, before Maya Yoshida and Henning Matriciani made quickfire blocks to ensure it finished 2-2.
The draw also takes Schalke off the bottom of the table.
TALKING POINT – Bad week gets worse for Dortmund
A draw is not the worst result given this context, but having twice led it will feel like a loss and the Dortmund players’ body language at the end confirmed as much. They know that they now trail Bayern by more than just goal difference and their momentum is slipping away. A response is needed next weekend in what will be Dortmund’s only game before a crunch meeting with Bayern after the international break.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – Henning Matriciani (Schalke)
Set the tone early on with some eye-catching defending and made a massive block in the closing minutes to preserve Schalke’s point.
Schalke: Fahrmann 7, Brunner 5, Yoshida 6, Jenz 6, Matriciani 8, Kral 6, Krauss 5, Zalazar 5, Aydin 6, Frey 6, Bulter 7. Subs: Karaman 7, Terodde 6, Mohr 6, Balanta 6.
Borussia Dortmund: Meyer 6, Wolf 6, Hummels 6, Schlotterbeck 6, Ryerson 6, Can 7, Bellingham 7, Guerreiro 7, Malen 6, Bynoe-Gittens 5, Haller 6. Subs: Dahoud 5, Modeste 5, Reyna 5.
ZALAZAR SQUANDERS GREAT CHANCE 24′ – Schlotterbeck and Hummels make a real mess of a routine pass and Zalazar wins the ball. He’s though on goal and has time to think, but loses composure and lashes over. What a waste.
DORTMUND IN FRONT 38′ – Dortmund lead with a goal out of nowhere! Schlotterbeck is given time on the ball, with Yoshida reluctant to press outside of his own box, and the Dortmund defender unleashes a low, left-footed strike which Fahrmann cannot keep out.
SCHALKE DRAW LEVEL 50′ – Schalke win the ball in midfield and launch a deadly counter-attack. Frey gets in on the right and squares expertly for Bulter, who taps home before colliding with a camera.
GUERREIRO PUTS DORTMUND BACK AHEAD 60′ – Schalke are torn apart as Dortmund attack and Can picks out Guerreiro – in loads of space towards the left with no right-back in sight – and Guerreiro finishes emphatically, firing into the top corner.
DORTMUND INCHES AWAY 64′ – The visitors are incredibly close to a third goal as another nice move sets up Bynoe-Gittens, but the teenager shoots inches wide.
SCHALKE BACK LEVEL 79′ – Karaman equalises! The substitute powerfully heads home a looping cross and it is 2-2!
Dortmund squandered the chance to win a club-record ninth Bundesliga game in a row, while Mats Hummels’ quest to win a record 11th Ruhr Derby also fell short.
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