Borussia Dortmund's slump continues as they were held to another draw with minnows APOEL. The result leaves them on the verge of elimination from the Champions League and puts coach Peter Bosz under even more pressure.
Borussia Dortmund 1-1 APOEL
(Guerreiro 29' - Pote 51')
Fifteen days on from their miserable night in Nicosia, Borussia Dortmund would surely make no mistake this time.
Peter Bosz's side were expected to end their run of one win in five - that win coming against third division Magdeburg in the German Cup - and generate some much-needed momentum ahead of Der Klassiker this weekend. Unfortunately for Dortmund, things didn't go to plan.
Bosz named an attacking eleven and, while it took them some time to stamp their authority on the game, they made the breakthrough in the 29th minute. The goal came courtesy of Raphael Guerriero, returning to the starting line-up after a four-month lay-off and finishing a fine move after a delicate touch by Shinji Kagawa.
But that was as good as it got for Dortmund. Rather than managing the game and putting it out of APOEL's reach, they conceded six minutes into the second period - and the goal was scored by the man who beat Roman Bürki in Cyprus two weeks ago. Rolling his marker Omer Toprak very easily, Mickael Pote simply pivoted and fired a close-range shot past Bürki again.
An increasingly desperate Bosz threw Andriy Yarmolenko, who the Dutchman may wish he had started, into the action midway through the second half and the Ukrainian added some impetus to Dortmund's attacks as they had 76 percent of the ball. But they simply lacked the invention and ingenuity to unlock an APOEL defence who understandably sat back and protected what they had.
Dortmund could have had a penalty for handball when the ball appeared to strike the elevated arm of Giorgos Merkis in the box - but it was not the kind of night when Dortmund were getting the rub of the green.
The home side pushed for a winner as the clock ticked towards full time. An off-colour Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could have snatched it late on but his header from close range went wide, taking his run without a goal to four games.
Dortmund are five points behind second placed Real Madrid in Group H and, barring a highly unlikely combination of results, will go out in the group stage of Europe's elite club competition for the first time since the 2011-12 season.