Bayern Munich fell to a disappointing goalless draw against RB Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday, leaving the title race in the Bundesliga to be decided at the end of the season.
While the Bavarians drew, title rivals Borussia Dortmund picked up a nerve-wracking and entertaining 3-2 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf at the Westfalenstadion to make sure that they lived to fight another day in the title-race.
It could easily have been a case of BVB struggling to take control of games despite being ahead when Oliver Fink had cancelled out Christian Pulisic’s 41st-minute opener. But Lucien Favre’s men kept pushing until they got the second goal and it did take long before Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney scored the second for BVB six minutes after Fink’s equalizer.
There were many nervous moments for the Dortmund defense as Dodi Lukebakio did have the ball in the back of the net in the 18th minute, but he was called offside. And the nervous moments kept coming in till the end of the game.
Dusseldorf had promising signs after they went 2-1 down, but Dortmund managed to stand firm. And after Adam Bodzek was sent off for Dusseldorf late in the game, Dortmund finally got a goal through Mario Gotze in the second minute of stoppage time and that meant assurance of all three points. The visitors did grab a late consolation through Dawid Kownacki, who struck in the fifth minute of stoppage time but it didn’t help Friedhelm Funkel’s men to get a point out of an entertaining tie.
Favre’s men, who have made a habit of slipping up when having gone ahead against the smaller teams, would be glad that the tricky game against Dusseldorf has gone out of the way. None more so because of Bayern’s goalless draw.
The gap between the two sides is now back to just two points, with Bayern on top with 75 points and Dortmund at second with 73 points.
Niko Kovac’s men play the last game of the season at home next Saturday against the ever-dangerous Eintracht Frankfurt, who were ousted from the Europa League in the semi-final of the competition by Chelsea on penalties.
Dortmund themselves face a tricky game away from home, locking horns with Borussia Monchengladbach. The Foals are fourth in the Bundesliga are just one point ahead of Frankfurt, who are sixth.
The two games will be played on the same day and at the same time. It isn’t just the title race which will be brought to a thrilling conclusion, but the race for top four will have a dramatic end too.
A loss or a drop in points from Gladbach or Frankfurt could hand the advantage to Bayer Leverkusen, with the Die Werkself facing 10th placed Hertha Berlin in a rather envious tie as the last game of the campaign.
But the crucial thing is that Frankfurt have a game in hand a win over Mainz could take them to fourth. Because of a superior goal-difference, Adi Hutter’s men could get away with a draw against Bayern even if Leverkusen and Gladbach win their games next weekend.