In their efforts to continue moving up the standings, Dortmund viewed their draw with Köln as two points lost on Matchday 25
In their efforts to continue moving up the standings, Dortmund viewed their draw with Köln as two points lost on Matchday 25

Dortmund held by battling Köln

Dortmund - Borussia Dortmund made it consecutive Bundesliga stalemates for a first time since 2008 after a 0-0 draw with 1. FC Köln at the Signal Iduna Park.

Köln’s fast start

The visitors enjoyed the best first-half chances through Deyverson and Anthony Ujah, while their defensive organisation denied Marco Reus, Shinji Kagawa and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang any clear-cut opportunities. Die Schwarz-Gelben improved as the second half wore on, with Reus and Mats Hummels coming close late on, but were forced to settle for a point.

The oldest Dortmund side ever to take the field under Jürgen Klopp were forced to weather an early storm. Both Deyverson and Ujah drew good saves from Roman Weidenfeller during the opening five minutes with the best chances of the first half, and although BVB had penned the visitors in by the quarter-hour mark, Köln’s counter-attacking gameplan was evident.

The tactic ceded the ball to the hosts, who had enjoyed 65 per cent of possession after 20 minutes, but struggled to create any noteworthy opportunities, with Peter Stöger's side continually forcing them into a packed central area. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Kagawa and Reus buzzed sporadically, but apart from Aubameyang heading the latter’s cross wide in the 26th minute, the Billy Goats’ defence, marshalled impressively by Dominic Maroh, was untroubled.

A tale of few chances

In an attempt to defy Köln’s tactics, BVB brought full-backs Oliver Kirch and Marcel Schmelzer higher while centre-half Mats Hummels inched further forward, but Aubameyang remained isolated up top with Matthias Lehmann and Kevin Vogt keeping Reus and Kagawa on a leash. Marcel Risse and Mkhitaryan traded weak shots before the break, while Schmelzer failed to test Timo Horn with a free kick from a good position.

At the start of the second period Reus attempted to find a direct route to goal, but was again foiled by the organised Köln defence, while six minutes later Deyverson spurned his second gilt-edged opportunity at the other end. After collecting Ujah’s low cross, the Brazilian cut inside but hashed his shot over the bar. BVB returned to patient, possession play, which prevented any further chances for the visitors, and Klopp sent a signal to up the ante on the hour mark with the arrivals of Jakub Blaszczykowski and Kevin Kampl.

All huff and puff

The Slovenian linked up instantly with Reus, with Maroh forced into a last-ditch challenge in the six-yard box to prevent the German international getting a shot away. Reus then came closer in the 66th minute, with a slight deflection from Maroh on his volley forcing Horn into his first real save of the encounter, the custodian diving low to his left to prevent the opener.

Kampl stretched the game, allowing Schmelzer to hare forward and create the space for the substitute to fire over ten minutes after Reus’ effort. Hummels enjoyed the next best chance as the hosts ramped up the late pressure, with Horn forced into evasive action to deny the BVB captain in the 79th minute and then again Schmelzer two minutes later. Klopp’s side huffed and puffed in the closing stages, but, as had been the case throughout, were held at arm’s length by the well-organised Billy Goats.

Line-ups and statistics