Before the start of the 2014/15 Bundesliga season, not many would have predicted that Eintracht Frankfurt would be the side to stop Bayern Munich's quest for a season full of wins.
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Bayern Munich
A record was broken at the start of matchday 11, but it wasn't the one everyone was expecting. With all eyes on Bayern Munich and whether or not they would stretch their win-streak to 11 consecutive league games (leveling the record set by Tottenham in 1960/61), it was Frankfurt's Stefan Aigner who set the record of the night after picking up the fastest booking in Bundesliga history. Eighteen seconds into the game, Aigner clattered into Rafinha and so began Bayern's first 0-0 draw since matchday nine of the 2014/15 season.
This was all of the dominance of Bayern in recent weeks, just without the end product. Pep Guardiola's charges never really found a way through, although, as captain Philipp Lahm said afterwards, that is difficult against a defensively-focused side.
To begin with Bayern had Frankfurt so cramped in it looked like Frankfurt (in black) were Bayern's (in white) very own shadows. Possession rocketed to 90 percent and at one point, there were even nine Bayern players in the Frankfurt box. Robert Lewandowski was caught offside more often than he threatened, but Javi Martinez was the man guilty of missing the first half's best chance when he failed to connect properly to a free header. Seconds after the restart, in-form Douglas Costa went one further and fired wide when Carlos Zambrano's slip presented him with a one-on-one chance.
Chances for both, but no goals
In a game expected to go only one way, Frankfurt were still alive after the first 45 minutes thanks to just enough solidarity in defense. Ten minutes into the second half, and Frankfurt had created just as many chances on goal than their fearsome visitors. Alex Meier, perhaps all worn out from defending in the first 45 minutes, only half reacted to a flick on from a corner before promising youngster Marc Stendera mishit a free shot at goal after Manuel Neuer uncharacteristically fluffed a long ball. Stendera's was a glorious chance. The kind of chance a more ruthless, experience side would convert without hesitation.
On this night though, not even Bayern were that side. Rafinha was sacrificed for the ever-reliable Thomas Müller, but not even he could find enough space to manipulate. Philipp Lahm tried to squeeze in an assist in attack, before he got booked for the first time in the Bundesliga since a trip to Nürnberg in the 2013/14 season. Lahm also scored on that day, but there was to be no repeat heroics in Frankfurt. Not even Lewandowski, a man who has raced to 13 goals this season, could take advantage when he broke free inside the last ten minutes. He later had the ball in the back of the net, but just to add further pain to a frustrating night for the Pole he was (correctly) ruled out for offside.
Arjen Robben was rightfully booked for a rather embarrassing dive late on as he sought a penalty to win the game in a desperate finale from both sides. In the end, popular or not, Frankfurt's defensive display earned them a point that many won't get near to this season. Thomas Müller said Bayern were not responsible for keeping the league competitive. In the same breath, Frankfurt are not committed to playing 90 minutes of attacking football every week and on this night, that was nearly enough for more than one special point.