Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund missed the chance to re-establish a five-point lead over defending champions Bayern Munich after being held to a surprise goalless draw by bottom club Nuremberg on Monday.
Nuremberg did well to keep Dortmund chances to a minimum, whilst creating the occasional opening of their own in a tight-knit first half. The best of the bunch fell to Hanno Behrens, who forced a back-tracking Roman Bürki to tip over the crossbar and headed the ensuing corner wide from an unmarked position. A slip from Dan-Axel Zagadou allowed Matheus Pereira to test Bürki from range, but not before Nuremberg goalkeeper Christian Mathenia had thwarted a succession of efforts from Dortmund lone striker Mario Götze.
Dortmund’s attempts to break down a stubborn Nuremberg rearguard turned into something of a two-man sideshow between Götze and Mathenia in the second half. BVB’s captain for the night had fired off five of his side’s six efforts on goal by the hour mark, notably heading into the side netting and drawing a sprawling stop from Nuremberg’s unwavering last line of defence following silky footwork from Jadon Sancho. Paco Alcacer shot narrowly wide and Jacob Bruun Larsen had an effort ruled out for offside as Dortmund were made to settle for a point that keeps them just three points clear of Bayern after 22 matches.
- Dortmund have drawn their last three Bundesliga games in a row, while Nuremberg have taken just five points from their last 16 Bundesliga matches.
- Boris Schommers and Marek Mintal made their debut as interim Nuremberg coaches.
- Axel Witsel was booked for the first time this season, on his 22nd Bundesliga appearance.
- Marius Wolf made his first Dortmund start since October.
- The game pitted the Bundesliga's best attack in Dortmund (54 goals scored) against its second-worst defence in Nuremberg (46 goals conceded).
- Dortmund have only won one of the three league games top-scoring captain Marco Reus has missed through injury this season.
Nuremberg: Mathenia – Valentini, Mühl, Ewerton, Leibold – Petrak - Behrens (c), Löwen (Bauer 77'), Kubo (Palacios 85'), Pereira, Zrelak (Ishak 66')
Unused subs: Bredlow, Kerk, Jäger, Palacios, Erras
Out: Goden (muscular), Lippert (knee), Rhein (suspended), Salli (Achilles tendon), Margreitter (muscle), Misidjan (groin)
Interim coaches: Boris Schommers & Marek Mintal
Dortmund: Bürki – Wolf, Weigl, Zagadou, Diallo – Witsel, Delaney (Bruun Larsen 80') – Sancho, Philipp (Alcacer 63'), Guerreiro – Götze (c)
Unused subs: Hitz, Hakimi, Dahoud, Schmelzer, Toprak
Out: Piszczek (heel), Reus (groin), Pulisic (muscular), Akanji (hip)
Coach: Lucien Favre
Watch: Götze on the "special honour" of captaining Dortmund for the first time in the Bundesliga