Saturday's game between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich was one of the most entertaining draws of the season, but the result leaves the title looking like a foregone conclusion.
Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Bayern Munich
There was no winner in the second installment of the Bundesliga's top-two clash as both sides failed to recover from a brilliant first half. Bayern might have ended the game as winners, but Pep Guardiola's team stay five points clear with nine games left nevertheless.
The game started at a furious pace. Thomas Müller blazed over with the goal gaping after Roman Bürki misjudged Douglas Costa's superb cross. Joshua Kimmich, preferred in defense ahead of Mehdi Benatia, had to work extremely hard to keep pace with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon striker showed his speed when he burst clear, but he couldn't find a way past Manuel Neuer.
The football on show was matching the incredible atmosphere in the stadium as Germany's best two teams continued to flirt with the lead. Costa's delivery continued to impress, but Arturo Vidal couldn't take advantage with an acrobatic effort. Xabi Alonso was booked for a studs-up challenge as the game's tension transferred into aggression.
Dortmund kept their focus on attacking quickly in transition, and it took a great challenge from Kimmich to deny Marco Reus in the box. Soon after, Costa had the best chance of the half when he broke free one-on-one with Bürki, but was denied by the Swiss keeper who stayed tall.
Bayern were on top in the final moments of an otherwise even half. Dortmund's defending became a little desperate as Arjen Robben fired wide, but there were no goals at the end of a breathless first half.
Even after the break, the game's quality continued. Aubameyang's gorgeous first touch wasn't rewarded when Neuer saved his following shot. After Dortmund had pinned Bayern in, Pep Guardiola's men broke out but Vidal's header went wide and Robben fired over. Bürki then made an incredible save to deny Vidal's powerful shot from inside the box as the contest continued to hang on a knife edge.
Julian Weigl uncharateristically gave the ball away in Dortmund's box, but Robben again couldn't find the target. With the game approaching it's final quarter of an hour, Bayern began to take control as Dortmund grew tired. Franck Ribery came on for Bayern, and then Adrian Ramos came on for a disappointing Reus. The Colombian had a glorious chance at the back post, but sent his header wide.
In the end the game which left its viewers on the edge of their seats throughout, never formulated into the real classic we were expecting. Both Dortmund and Bayern now return to European action with games in the Europa League and Champions League.