Borussia Dortmund missed the chance to go nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga after their 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt saw them gain just one point on their nearest rivals, after Bayern Munich's defeat at Bayer Leverkusen.
It was the hosts who started the brighter of two sides, racing out of the traps and testing Roman Burki in the third minute through Danny da Costa's strike, but the Swiss produced an excellent low save. The visitors grew into the game, however, with the pace of Jadon Sancho on the right hand side causing Frankfurt numerous problems on the counter attack.
Just as Dortmund were beginning to dominate possession in the game, they capitalised. Raphael Guerreiro made a driving run into box the from the left, drawing three players in, only to nonchalantly square the ball to Marco Reus to tap in for a 22nd minute lead.
Wounded from conceding, Frankfurt could very easily have found themselves two and three goals down in within four minutes from the first. Reus first spurned a one on one opportunity, disappointingly placing the ball wide, then failed to make the most of Sancho's cutback, agonisingly crashing a shot against the crossbar when it looked easier to score.
Burki was helpless to avoid Frankfurt equalising in the 36th minute as the Bundesliga top scorer Luka Jovic poked the hosts in front. Ante Rebic's bending shot crashed off the woodwork and rebounded out to da Costa, whose cross found Jovic to finish on the stretch..
Lucien Favre's side started the second half at lightening speed, always looking to feed Sancho down the right, who caused Evan N'Dicka problems all afternoon. Paco Alcacer stung the palms of Kevin Trapp within five minutes, while Axel Witsel blazed an effort over from outside the box.
Die Borussen continued to probe and carve out chances as the second half wore on, Trapp once again saved well from Alcacer, while the introduction of Christian Pulisic for Sancho nearly worked with immediate effect. The American's cutback nearly found the run of Reus, but a last ditch tackle prevented the German from getting his second.
The away side continued to press for a winner, yet a stubborn Frankfurt defence limited Die Schwarzgelben to mostly shots from distance. Achraf Hakimi nearly found the top corner with a fierce effort, while Alcacer fired a free kick just over from 25 yards. The game petered out as neither side was willing to over commit, and overall both teams will be satisfied to share the spoils after this encounter.
Key Talking Point
Having lost their first league game of the season back in December, Dortmund proceeded to win their next three Bundesliga matches to maintain, or build on, their six point lead over nearest rivals Bayern Munich.
Favre's side showed their attacking prowess on numerous occasions at the Commerszbank-Arena, however, came up against a side hell-bent on halting the Black and Yellow's search for a first league title since 2012.
Starting XI: Bürki (8); Piszczek (7), Weigl (7), Diallo (7), Hakimi (7); Witsel (7), Delaney (6); Sancho (7), Reus (8), Guerreiro (8); Alcacer (6)
Substitutes: Pulisic (7), Larsen (6), Gotze (N/A)
STAR MAN - Raphael Guerreiro
It was his neat give and go with Reus that ended with the Portuguese ace driving into the box and squaring for the German to open the scoring in the first half. The 25-year-old has been in inspired form for Dortmund of late, providing four assists in his last six league games, surpassing his best in Europe's top five leagues already this term.
He was hooked off on 77 minutes, as Favre looked to find a better balance in attack with the match drawing to a close, but the winger was nonetheless very impressive once again for his side on Saturday. His technical ability and link up play will be crucial to the club in their bid for domestic success.
WORST PLAYER - Paco Alcacer
The Spaniard has had an excellent season at Dortmund since his loan from Barcelona was made permanent back in November, yet spurned a few good chances on Saturday to increase his league tally past 12 goals. Trapp was equal to the three efforts he had on goal, the one shortly after the restart being chance he should have finished off.
He will no doubt prove to be a shrewd piece of business by Favre, yet on this occasion, appeared to leave his shooting boots on the bus.
Dortmund are in DFB-Pokal German Cup action next up, hosting Werder Bremen in just three days time before returning to Bundesliga duties to play Hoffenheim at the Westfalendtadion.
Eintracht Frankfurt on the other hand face a tricky away trip to RB Leipzig in the league, and then play the first round of their last 32 Europa League fixture away at Shakhtar Donetsk.