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Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Fortuna Dusseldorf: Champions blow chance to close on Bayern

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Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Fortuna Dusseldorf: Champions blow chance to close on Bayern
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Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Fortuna Dusseldorf: Champions blow chance to close on Bayern

Borussia Dortmund blew the opportunity to close to within six points of Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich after being held to a 1-1 draw by Fortuna Dusseldorf at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday.

Jakub Blaszczykowski gave the champions the lead in spectacular fashion at the tail end of a disappointing first half, but Stefan Reisinger deservedly drew the visitors level on 78 minutes to split the points. Kevin Grosskreutz then missed a glorious chance to win it for Dortmund,

With both sets of supporters at Signal Iduna Park partaking in a 12-minute silent protest related to ticketing, the opening exchanges were played out in a very surreal atmosphere. They wouldn’t have had much to cheer about anyway, as a compact Dusseldorf restricted Dortmund to a couple of speculative efforts from Marcel Schmelzer.

A low drive from Marco Reus, which was easily turned around the post by Fabian Giefer in the Dusseldorf goal, was the best Dortmund could muster before the defending champion took the lead in a manner that was completely at odds with what had gone before.

Lukasz Piszczek was released into space down the right-hand side and he swung over a cross that Blaszczykowski chested down into the path of the supporting Grosskreutz. The winger immediately cushioned the ball back to his teammate, who promptly dispatched a sublime volley past a helpless Giefer.

Blaszczykowski nearly netted again two minutes into the second half, albeit in far more fortuitous circumstances, with the Pole’s mishit cross from the right wing requiring a smart save from the scrambling Giefer.

Dusseldorf had offered little by way of an attacking threat up until that point but it should have levelled matters moments later. Robbie Kruse sprung the offside trap down the left-hand side before driving infield. The Australia attacker took too much out of the ball in trying to go around Roman Weidenfeller and only just managed to toe the ball to Reisinger, who then saw his goal-bound effort inadvertently blocked by teammate Ken Ilso.

Kruse found himself in space down the left wing once more and this time he made it count, sending over a wonderfully inviting cross that Reisinger headed home at the back post.

Dortmund had an almost immediate chance to reclaim the lead when Lukasz Piszczek nodded the ball down into the path of Grosskreutz, but the Germany international criminally balooned the ball over the bar from just eight yards out with the goal at his mercy.

Jurgen Klopp's men threw everything they had left at Dusseldorf during a frantic finale in which Ivan Paurevic was sent off for a second yellow, but they were unable to find a way through, meaning Bayern can now put 11 points between the two sides ahead of Saturday's clash at the Allianz Arena.

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