Dortmund (dpa) 45 competitive games, no defeat: Bayer Leverkusen shows no signs of weakness even after winning the title early. Despite a rather dreary performance, the new German champions continued their impressive series of successes with a 1-1 (0-0) draw in the Bundesliga top game at Borussia Dortmund. In contrast, fifth-placed Dortmund suffered a setback in the fight for Champions League qualification.

The hopes of a spectacle between the two most recently successful teams were not fulfilled. A week after the championship party against Bremen and just three days after the exhausting semi-final in the Europa League at West Ham, the Bayer team lacked freshness and wit this time, but not the necessary concentration. In front of 81,365 spectators at Signal Iduna Park, Niclas Füllkrug (81.) and Josip Stanisic (90.7) ensured the deserved draw.

In contrast to their exhilarating performance in the quarter-finals of the European premier class against Atético Madrid five days earlier, BVB fell far short of their potential. The division of points puts the Terzic team in dire straits ahead of the duel with their neighbors from Leipzig, who are now two points better in the table, on the next match day.

Even without the rested Florian Wirtz, who initially sat on the bench, the Bayer team controlled the action from the start. The young star was one of five professionals that coach Alonso rotated out of the starting eleven after the game at West Ham. The Dortmund team, which had only changed in one position, found it difficult to get into the game.

Because both teams showed too much respect and were afraid to take risks, the entertainment value of the game was limited for a long time. Although the guests continued to dominate the game, they were unable to create any chances to score despite all the advantages they had in possession of the ball. Dortmund’s attack efforts were even poorer. Bayer goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky remained almost unemployed in the first half hour.

It only became livelier shortly before halftime. This was primarily thanks to Bayer professional Alejandro Grimaldo. But both the Spaniard’s long-range shot (36′) and free kick (39′) went just over the goal. This also encouraged BVB to take a more aggressive approach. Marcel Sabitzer missed the best chance of the game so far when he missed Hradecky with a shot from 14 meters after Julian Ryerson’s preparatory work. It was in keeping with the mediocre level of the game that Ian Maatsen stepped over the ball during the follow-up attempt.

Even after the restart, controlled build-up play prevailed on both sides without much speed. Goal chances only arose from standard situations, such as Grimaldo’s free kick parried by BVB keeper Gregor Kobel (57′). In the 68th minute, the Dortmund goalkeeper cleared the ball against Nathan Tella in desperate need. But shortly before the end of the game, BVB striker Füllkrug struck ice cold. After Sabitzer’s cross, he volleyed the ball into the goal.

Things got turbulent in the final phase. After a scramble between several players, Victor Boniface initially saw red, but referee Daniel Siebert took it back. And then Bayer scored to equalize: Stanisic scored from a corner to tie the game late.