Berlin: The Bundesliga was in danger of turning into another one-horse race on Sunday after second-placed VfL Wolfsburg were held 1-1 at home by promoted Paderborn, leaving titleholders Bayern Munich nine points clear at the top.
Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Moenchengladbach, third and fourth respectively, also played out a 1-1 draw as they lost further ground on the unbeaten Bavarians who have dropped only six points in 15 games and conceded just three goals.
The season is already threatening to turn into a repeat of last term when Bayern, who won 4-0 at Augsburg on Saturday, clinched the title with six games to spare.
Bayern have 39 points, followed by Wolfsburg on 30 with Leverkusen, Gladbach and Augsburg on 24.
Wolfsburg dominated against Paderborn but were foiled by an outstanding performance by visiting goalkeeper Lukas Kruse, whose repertoire of saves included one from an Ivan Perisic penalty when the hosts were 1-0 ahead.
The Wolves went in front after 17 minutes when Vierinha headed the ball back across goal and Paderborn defender Rafa Lopez, under pressure from Bas Dost, turned the ball into his own net.
Wolfsburg were awarded a penalty on the half hour but Perisic`s effort was saved by the inspired Kruse.
Dost hit the woodwork three minutes later and then had a goal disallowed just before the break because of a foul in the buildup.
Paderborn then equalised six minutes into the second half, Alban Meha converting a penalty after a foul by Naldo.
It became exasperating for Wolfsburg, especially Dost who was denied twice more by Kruse before being substituted in the 85th minute and kicking away a bottle on the touchline in disgust.
His replacement Nicklas Bendtner fared no better and was also denied at point-blank range by Kruse in stoppage time.
Leverkusen took an 18th minute lead in the other match with a route one goal.
A huge kick upfield by goalkeeper Bernd Leno was headed on by Stefan Kiessling and Hakan Calhanoglu lifted the ball over Yann Sommer, who was caught too far off his line.
Gladbach levelled five minutes before the break when Roel Brouwers broke free in the penalty area and met a corner with a volley which flew low into the net.