Borussia Dortmund conceded a late equalizer to draw 1-1 at home to 10-man Fortuna Duesseldorf on Tuesday as Bayern Munich’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga remained a commanding eight points.
Bayern host second-placed Dortmund on Saturday in the clash of the Bundesliga titans and with Munich playing yesterday night at SC Freiburg, Dortmund missed both the chance to cut the gap and earn their fifth straight victory.
Both Schalke 04 and Eintracht Frankfurt, in the pack chasing Bayern, suffered shock defeats and Bayern could go 11 points clear with a victory at Freiburg.
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp left out midfield stars Mario Goetze and Ilkay Gundogan, plus defender Mats Hummels, who were all carrying knocks.
The move backfired as Stefan Reisinger equalized on 78 minutes from a superb cross by Australian Robbie Kruse after Poland international captain Jakub Blaszczykowski — Kuba for short — had put defending champions Dortmund ahead on 43 minutes.
“We did not have many goal chances and we failed to convert the few we had,” Klopp said. “At halftime, I told them any success Duesseldorf had was because we allowed them to counterattack us. Duesseldorf should be happy with the point, they hit us very well on the counter.”
Duesseldorf were reduced to 10 men when former Dortmund midfielder Ivan Paurevic was shown an 87th-minute red card after earning a second booking when he brought down Borussia defender Lukasz Piszczek.
After the final whistle, Fortuna’s jubilant players were banned from giving interviews to German TV station Sky Sports.
“We aren’t giving Sky any interviews today, they have belittled us in the past,” explained Duesseldorf’s director of sport Wolf Werner, while angrily pulling captain Andreas Lambertz away from the cameras.
Schalke 04 suffered a 3-1 defeat at Hamburg SV as midfielder Maximilian Beister slammed home the hosts’ opener — which was recorded at 117kph — on 52 minutes, then helped set up Latvia international striker Artjoms Rudnevs three minutes later.
Hamburg defender Dennis Aogo had earlier kept his side in the game when he cleared a shot off the line, while Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar netted a 79th-minute penalty at the second attempt.
Hamburg midfielder Milan Badelj netted a 92nd-minute penalty to consign Schalke to their third defeat in their past five Bundesliga games as they remained in third.
“This phase of the season, where we have so many games, is a factor, but that is no excuse,” said Schalke 04’s Huub Stevens, whose side have qualified for the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League.
Frankfurt stay fourth despite their 3-1 defeat at FSV Mainz 05, having been outplayed, while Bayer 04 Leverkusen could jump to second from fifth if they won at Werder Bremen yesterday.
Hannover 96 moved up to sixth, amongst the European places, with a 2-0 win at home to second-from-bottom SpVgg Greuther Fuerth with goals by Senegal striker Mame Diouf and Swiss defender Mario Eggimann.