Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund: Final score 1-1, Gotze salvages point for BVB

Lennart Preiss

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund battled it out to a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena, with Toni Kroos and Mario Gotze exchanging goals in the second half and Roman Weidenfeller producing some spectacular saves at the death to deny the hosts all three points. However, the match was at least partially overshadowed by a severe injury for Bayern centre back Holger Badstuber.

As expected, Bayern pushed the visitors onto the back foot from the beginning. Dortmund spent most of the opening spell stuck in their own half, and Roman Weidenfeller's box was under significant pressure early. Franck Ribery was the cause of many of BVB's problems, with Jakub Blaszczykowski offering minimal resistance down the right flank and forcing Lukas Piszczek to give away far too many free kicks for Jurgen Klopp's liking.

Thomas Mueller was also proving troublesome, and it took a thumping challenge from Neven Subotic to nick the ball off the Germany international's feet as he danced through a swarm of buzzing yellow shirts and looked to pull the trigger.

The action wasn't entirely in Dortmund's half, however, and the visitors did have one major early chance. Granted, it was mostly the result of Manuel Neuer attempting to shoot his team in the foot by dawdling on a backpass and letting Marco Reus nick it off his toes. Fortunately for Bayern, Reus was too wide to do much more than fizz the ball into Robert Lewandowski's midriff, and the striker was unable to control the ball.

Ultimately the most important moment of the first half wasn't a goal or a clear-cut chance but an injury to centre back Holger Badstuber, who left his knee out while trying to tackle Gotze and came off by far the worse, ending up on the ground undergoing treatment for several minutes before the stretcher was summoned. Jerome Boateng was sent on in his place.

The Badstuber injury served to shift the momentum completely, with Dortmund clearly growing in confidence after the substitution. Suddenly they were able to bomb forward, and Neuer was forced into action with a flying save from a Reus volley. That was the first real chance of the match from either side, and it took 44 minutes to get there, a testament to the ferocity of the midfield battle that was taking place.

BVB continued their heavy pressure to start the second half. Mats Hummels very nearly broke the deadlock after breaking through the Bayern defence with a clever run on a quickly taken free kick, but the centre back couldn't get the vital touch and Neuer was able to scramble clear. The goalkeeper then denied Reus after he was played in with an excellent through ball before Marcel Schmelzer blasted wide following a scramble in the box.

But Bayern eventually managed to regroup and reassert control of the game. Ribery was again key, causing havoc on the Dortmund right and putting the defence under serious pressure. But it was Kroos who grabbed the opener, picking up a pass from Mueller at the top of the box before dancing himself into a yard of space and threading a lovely shot past Weidenfeller in the 67th minute.

That lead didn't last long. Blaszczykowski came close to an equaliser before being hauled off for Ivan Perisic, but Gotze managed to restore parity shortly thereafter, blasting in a loose ball from a corner to make it 1-1. That goal set up a grandstand finish as BVB desperately tried to haul themselves back into the title race with a win while Bayern broke at speed whenever given the opportunity.

Kroos came close (but no cigar, haha!) to reestablishing the home side's lead when some brilliant movement left him one on one with Weidenfeller four minutes from time, but he was denied his brace by a superb save. Then Mueller attempted an audiacious chip that was just punched over, and from the following corner Weidenfeller produced an incredible save, flinging himself to his left to prevent Javi Martinez from scoring Bayern's second.

Weidenfeller's triple save proved to be the last real action of the match. Bayern will be much happier with maintaining the status quo than Dortmund -- the defending champions remain 11 points adrift of the top spot. At this point, it'd be a major shock if Bayern don't win the title by mid April.

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