Berlin: In the top team clash, league leaders Bayern Munich gave away a neat 1-0 lead to share points with defending champions Borussia Dortmund while Leverkusen remain the closest Bayern chasers after a clinical 1-0 win over Nuremberg in the 15th round in Bundesliga.
In an exciting match Saturday, Bayern Munich shared points after a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena with Borussia Dortmund to minimise their gap to eight points.
Both sides staged a slow start as they focused on their defence to keep away the teams` key players from promising positions. Before the break Dortmund were able to threaten Bayern`s defence as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had to defuse a volley strike by Marco Reus.
With the restart of the match Dortmund`s Mats Hummels squandered the golden chance to open the scoring, only with Neuer to beat, when he was sent by Marcel Schmelzer following a quickly-taken free kick.
Toni Kroos staged a better figure in front of Dortmund`s goal as he shrugged off two defenders to beat Roman Weidenfeller with a low shot into the far post corner with 67 minutes played.
It was a short lived joy by the Bavarians as Dortmund`s Mario Goetze had all the time and space at the penalty line to bring down a rebound, following a corner, to slot home through traffic into the bottom right.
Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos had the winner on their boots but Dortmund goalie Roman Weidenfeller secured the draw with two terrific saves.
"It was an intense match between two teams that play modern soccer. In the closing period we had the better opportunities but Weidenfeller made great saves today," Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said.
Leverkusen started offensively into the match, as Hajime Hosogai, Simon Rolfes and Stefan Kieling were able to produce scoring opportunities in the opening period.
As the match progressed the visitors gained a foothold into the match to create promising chances through Timo Gebhardt, and Sebastian Polter, who rattled the crossbar with his header from very close range.
Nuremberg`s golden chances were a wakening call for the hosts who responded with the opener in the 37th minute through Kieling, who exploited an assist by Andre Schuerrle to score with a turn shot from penalty line.
The visitors tried their luck with frenetic but fruitless attacks, as Leverkusen killed the clock to accomplish their fourth straight win.
Schalke could stop their downtrend as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Monchengladbach. They earned just one disappointing point out of three matches to drop from second to fourth place.
Monchengladbach opened the scoring with their first chance in the 62nd minute as Igor de Camrago beat Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand following a turnover. In the sequel the "Royal Blues" piled on the pressure to set Monchengladbach under pressure. Finally, Julian Draxler avoided Schalke`s loss when his equaliser in the 85th minute secured one point on home soil.
Elsewhere, 10-men Stuttgart craved out a 1-0 win at newly promoted side Greuther Fuerth. Hannover lost 1-2 to 10-men Mainz owing to the winner by Adam Szalai and Augsburg shared points with Freiburg following a 1-1 tie.