Borussia Dortmund have all but confirmed their place in the Champions League next season despite only registering a 1-1 draw on the road to SV Werder Bremen.
The Black and Yellows remained unchanged from their squad that knocked four past Bayer Leverkusen last week, and Marco Reus found himself on the scoresheet once again to take his tally for the season up to six.
But a late first half header from Thomas Delaney earned the hosts a deserved point in northwest Germany ahead of their upcoming match against Leverkusen next week.
Dortmund are now on the brink of booking their place in the Champions League next year but their draw at the Weserstadion has seen Peter Stöger’s side stay two points behind their local rivals Schalke 04, while Werder Bremen are now mathematically safe from relegation thanks to Wolfsburg’s defeat against fellow strugglers Hamburg on Saturday.
The hosts weren’t overawed by the occasion in the opening stages of the game and their young winger Milot Rashica was their biggest attacking outlet, getting the better of Lukasz Piszczek on more than one occasion.
But it was the Polish right back who had the first real chance of the game when he raced into the Bremen penalty area. Piszczek’s close-range effort was well blocked by Miloš Veljković and Marco Reus could only direct the follow-up shot into the side netting.
Maxi Philipp was denied by an acrobatic Jiří Pavlenka following a surging run from Manuel Akanji soon after, but the 26-year-old was helpless to keep out Reus’ powerful half-volley just before the 20-minute mark.
A looping cross from Mario Götze was headed back across goal by Piszczek and despite seeing Philipp’s goal-bound effort blocked, Reus reacted the quickest to fire Borussia Dortmund into a deserved lead.
Roman Bürki was finally called into action to keep out Bremen’s captain Zlatko Junuzović, while Max Kruse’s shot seconds later fizzed past the Swiss goalkeeper’s far post.
Marco Reus wasted a golden opportunity to double Dortmund’s lead in the closing stages of the first half and the visitors were made to pay just before the break, with Thomas Delaney scoring a clever header on his return to the squad following a suspension.
Bremen’s momentum carried on after the break and Maximilian Eggestein came close on two occasions in the early stages of the second half.
Borussia Dortmund did have the ball in the back of the net midway through the second half but Ömer Toprak’s effort was correctly chalked off for offside. Marco Reus was then denied his second of the game moments later by the base of the post.
Manuel Akanji also saw a shot hit the woodwork after Jiří Pavlenka’s fingertip save as Dortmund increasingly looked as though they would find a way to score a winning goal.
André Schürrle and Jadon Sancho both wasted clear opportunities to swing the advantage back into Dortmund’s favour, while Lukasz Piszczek was inches away from scoring a decisive own goal.
But neither side were able to find a breakthrough in the last few minutes of the game, with the points deservedly being shared between Werder Bremen and Bourassa Dortmund in northwest Germany.