Borussia Dortmund's challenge of completing a Bundesliga three-peat took another blow after the champions were pegged back by Hannover in a 1-1 draw at the AWD Arena on Sunday.
Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring with a tap in on 26 minutes, but intense Hannover pressure in the second half was rewarded with the equalizer from Mame Biram Diouf in the 86th minute. As a result, Dortmund could not build on its encouraging 1-1 mid-week draw at Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League. The club was held to another disappointing domestic result and trails Bayern Munich by nine points early in the season, while Hannover stretched its unbeaten home record to 22 matches and remains only one point behind Dortmund in the standings.
Dortmund could have been in front after only 20 seconds, as a glanced header from Marco Reus was parried by Ron Robert Zieler at the far post. Hannover would hit back soon enough, when Artur Sobiech took aim from outside the box, but Roman Weidenfeller was equal to his chipped effort and tipped over the bar.
There was a real ebb and flow developing to the game, and the home side nearly broke free again through Lars Stindl on the left byline, but Neven Subotic was alert to make a superb sliding challenge to halt a dangerous situation in its tracks. Despite Hannover’s threat going forward, Dortmund found itself a goal to the good after 26 minutes.
Mario Gotze worked the ball wide to Lukasz Piszczek on the right flank, and the fullback raced clear towards the byline before squaring to Lewandowski, who made no mistake from close range. Dortmund could have had a second immediately after the restart, but Jakub Blaszczykowski blasted wide after isolating Konstantin Rausch just inside the area.
Hannover should have been level in the 77th minute, as Rausch did extremely well to manufacture space on the left and square towards Diouf in front of goal, but he somehow could not convert the sitter from point-blank range.
Diouf redeemed himself with four minutes to go though, as a scramble from a free kick afforded him an inch of space to slot confidently under Weidenfeller.