Munich - Reigning champions Borussia Dortmund were made to come from behind to claim a point in a 1-1 draw with 1. FC Nuremberg on Saturday.
Der Club offered little way through for their illustrious visitors throughout and stole a lead with just over half an hour gone as Tomas Pekhart rose to head in a corner, but Jakub Blaszczykowski soon levelled proceedings. Dortmund took their time in getting started in the second period and could well have ended up on the losing side, though Nuremberg will be far from aggrieved with a point against the titleholders.
Faced with the reigning double-winners, Nuremberg's stance was clear from the start. The Franconians were happy to sit deep and remain compact as Dortmund did the early running with early warning shots from Ivan Perisic and Marco Reus doing little to trouble Raphael Schäfer from distance.
Indeed, it took until the 18th minute for the Nuremberg keeper's hands to be warmed. BVB captain Sebastian Kehl controlled the ball well with his chest before sending a rasping half-volley goalwards, but Schäfer's flying save denied the veteran midfielder what would have been a spectacular opener. Otherwise, the visitors seldom had the opportunity to break. At one stage, the Yellow-Blacks did find themselves in a three-on-three situation, but good defending ensured Ilkay Gündogan's eventual strike was blocked.
As the optimism rose among the home fans, the atmosphere inside the easyCredit Stadion lifted Nuremberg and, apparently, Tomas Pekhart (31') as he rose above Mats Hummels to head in Hiroshi Kiyotake's corner to give Dieter Hecking's side the lead. Dortmund responded swiftly, however, as Jakub Blaszczykowski (40') turned in the equaliser after Perisic's initial effort had come back off the bar.
Following the restart it was Nuremberg who looked the more likely. Having set up the opener, Kiyotake split the Dortmund defence with another fine pass, only for Neven Subotic to foil Pekhart with a saving tackle as the Czech burst through. Pekhart tested Roman Weidenfeller with a surprise low drive minutes later, before Robert Mak failed to cap a sweeping one-touch move as he concluded the home side's best spell with a wild shot over the bar.
The reigning champions subsequently shifted up a gear with Hummels seeing his header from a corner cleared off the line by Javier Pinola. The introduction of wonderkid Mario Götze, who netted the winner as a substitute against Werder Bremen on Matchday 1, was a further statement of intent, but Nuremberg continued to remain focused at the back, rarely letting their opponents in behind.
In fact, it was another substitute, Julian Schieber, who went closest for the away side towards the end. His fizzing shot was turned around the post expertly by Schäfer, but ultimately it was Nuremberg who came closest to stealing the points at the end as Mak's awkward cross skimmed the front of the post from an impossible angle. Weidenfeller could only thank his lucky stars that no-one was on hand to prod into the empty net.
Line-ups and statistics.