Separated by just five points at first and second place in the Bundesliga table, the Rückrunde rematch between Bayern Munich and Dortmund was the most anticipated of the season, with the title chances of both teams on the line. The intensity of play today lived up to the hype, as both teams played fiercely for the full ninety minutes, but neither team realized its ambitions, settling for a remarkably intense, but scoreless, draw.
The matched opened with a riveting exchange of attacks and counter-attacks to deafening noise from the famed Yellow Wall. The first chance of the game came from Douglas Costa, who planted a phenomenal cross directly in front of Dortmund's goal. Thomas Müller closed in as Bürki vainly leapt to clear the ball, but shot over the goal. Seconds later a shaken Roman Bürki was nearly dispossessed in front of his own goal by Robert Lewandowski.
Dortmund settled down and shifted into high gear. Ten minutes into the game Mkhitaryan found Aubameyang streaking toward Bayern's goal. As Joshua Kimmich struggled to keeping pace with one of the fastest players in the game, Aubameyang's shot was blocked by Manuel Neuer. Bayern struggled to resist Dortmund's attacks, and Xabi Alonso would receive a yellow card for a reckless tackle against Mkhitaryan.
Joshua Kimmich soon found himself at the center of yet another critical situation as Gündogan picked out Marco Reus in Bayern's penalty area. In a scene no one could have imaged at the beginning of this season, Kimmich expertly dispossessed Reus, easily Bayern's best defensive play of the game. Seconds later, Bayern countered with its best chance of the half: Robben found Douglas Costa breaking away from Dortmund's defense. But Costa, one on one with Bürki, shot the ball into the keeper's leg and out of danger. Bayern collected itself, winning the time and space for its methodical attacks, while Dortmund remained ready to pounce, but neither team could break through before the half came to a close.
The intensity of play carried over to the second half, as Bayern and Dortmund continued to trade blows, each countering the other. Dortmund stuck first, as the ball bounced Aubameyang's way, leaving him with only Neuer standing in his way: but Bayern's keeper beat the attack and deflected the shot. Bayern responded with a slower pace and greater control, but managed only two attempts by Robben and an off-target header by Vidal.
At the hour mark, Bayern had four more shots than Dortmund and 57% possession, but still had not found a way to break through Dortmund's determined defense. Goals continued to elude the Bavarians, as a lightning-fast reaction by Bürki deflected a point-blank shot by Arturo Vidal off the woodwork. Dortmund countered seconds later with a shot just wide by Aubameyang off an assist from Reus.
Bayern squandered yet another chance as Vidal stripped Weigl of the ball in Dortmund's penalty area: Costa collected it and passed to Robben, but Robben booted it clear over the goal. With fifteen minutes to play, Pep Guardiola brought Franck Ribery on for Douglas Costa, but Ribery had no more success than Costa. Bayern increasingly seemed to take control of the match, but still could not find the back of the net, notwithstanding Xabi Alonso's cheeky attempt to catch Bürki sleeping from the centerline.
Both sides fought for a goal as the match drew to a close. With minutes left to play, Aubameyang fired a cross past Kimmich to Adrian Ramos, but Ramos headed the ball poorly out of play. Another chaotic Bayern attack came to nothing as Alonso went down with an injury and was replaced by Medhi Benatia. After a minute of stoppage time, the most anticipated match of the season ended in a deserved draw.
Dortmund (0-0) Bayern Munich
Dortmund: Bender (37')
Bayern: Alonso (22')
Dortmund XI: Bürki - Schmelzer, Hummels, Bender, Piszczek - Durm, Weigl, Gündogan (Sahin 91') - Reus (Ramos 80'), Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan
Bayern XI: Neuer - Bernat, Alaba, Kimmich, Lahm - Alonso (Benatia 90'), Vidal - Costa (Ribery 75'), Müller, Robben - Lewandowski