For Bayer Leverkusen, Red Bull Salzburg manger Roger Schmidt has been named as the permanent replacement for Sascha Lewandowski and will take over at season's end. Leverkusen still have a lot to play for, though, and with Wolfsburg drawing earlier today, the door has been left wide open for them in terms finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League. A win for Dortmund would see them just about secure a second-place league finish.
The match got off to an open start with both teams having a few dangerous looking attacks. The loud crowd at the BayArena saw the first goal scored seven minutes in after Lars Bender, on the eve of his 25th birthday, scored following a corner where a header from Stefan Kießling hit the post and fell straight to Bender who cooly nodded it in.
Dortmund looked to play their usual counterattacking game, but good pressure from the home side prevented them from doing so. Striker Robert Lewandowski was closely marked and found it hard to get service. Leverkusen continued to look dangerous throughout the first half, creating chance after chance, but were not able to build their lead.
Dortmund got their breakthrough just shy of the half-hour mark when Marco Reus delivered a set piece perfectly from the left wing and Oliver Kirch jumped and headed it perfectly into the goal despite him being faced away from it. It was Kirch's first goal for Dortmund, and surely a special one for the lifelong Dortmund fan.
The game didn't stay tied for long, Seventeen-year-old Julian Brandt put in a cross from the right side on a Leverkusen counter that Gonzalo Castro headed back across perfectly to the far post giving keeper Roman Weidenfeller zero chance.
Three minutes after the goal, Lewandowski went up to head the ball and Roberto Hilbert jumped to mark Lewandowski but threw his hand in the air and a penalty was given. Reus sent the keeper the wrong way with a classy finish. Reus was denied a second goal in two minutes after stealing the ball from the defense, but his toe poke was deflected by Bernd Leno and sent out for a corner, which Die Schwarzgelbe couldn't take advantage of.
The second half wasn't as goal-filled as the first, but didn't lack action. Three minutes in, Lewandowski picked up a yellow card for a mistimed challenge on Ömer Toprak. Jürgen Klopp voiced his displeasure with the fourth official because of this, since the tackle was not the first late one of the day, but the first that produced a card.
Leverkusen had a great chance to take the lead in the 72nd minute when Brandt found himself one-on-one with Weidenfeller, but the keeper was up to the task in saving the youngster's chipped effort. Both managers seemed reluctant to bring substitutes on, but the openness of the game forced Klopp to act first. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was subbed on for Henrikh Mkhitaryan with 15 minutes left to play and looked to end a 14-match scoreless drought.
Sascha Lewandowski made a double switch nine minutes from full time replacing Castro with Simon Rolfes, and Brandt with Levin Öztunali, a fellow Germany U19 international. Kiesßling came up limping and was replaced in the 84th minute by Eren Derdiyok. Derdiyok looked like he hurt his ankle two minutes after coming on, but was able to finish the match. Julian Schieber replaced Lewandowski at the beginning of the two minutes of added time.
The draw sees both teams pick up a point, and Dortmund stay in second with Leverkusen in fourth.
Bayer Leverkusen: Leno; Hilbert, Toprak, Spahic, Boesnich; Bender, Can; Brandt (Öztunali 81'), Castro (Rolfes 81'), Son; Kießling (Derdiyok 84').
Goals: Bender (7'), Castro (35')
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Sokratis, Hummels, Großkreutz; Kirch, Sahin; Jojic, Mkhitaryan (Aubameyang 75'), Reus; Lewandowski (Schieber 90').
Goals: Kirch (29'), Reus (39') (P)