Dortmund failed to put Stuttgart away and they ultimately paid the price as the visitors snatched a point in the closing stages.Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund paid the price for not killing off a spirited VfB Stuttgart side in a 1-1 draw in the Signal Iduna Park. Mario Goetze's wonderfully taken goal gave Juergen Klopp's men the lead three minutes before the break but Pavel Pogrebnyak secured a point for the relegation battlers with five minutes remaining.
Der BVB took the lead three minutes before the half-time interval and it was the result of a scintillating move, even by die Borussen's standards. Mats Hummels' ball forward was nonchalantly helped on by Nuri Sahin into the path of Kevin Grosskreutz. He squared it to Mario Goetze, who showed lightning-quick feet by controlling the ball on his left then switching it to his right-foot before slotting it past Sven Ulreich.
Stuttgart snatched an equalizer five minutes before the end of normal time. Zdravko Kuzmanovic cleverly backheeled the ball into the path of the onrushing Pavel Pogrebnyak. The Russian striker took the ball in his stride before lashing it home into the corner beyond Roman Weidenfeller.
In spite of last week's impressive win in Leverkusen, Dortmund started a little tentatively and Stuttgart had a couple of decent chances in the opening twenty minutes with Christian Gentner's header saved by Weidenfeller and Sven Schipplock heading wide.
Dortmund then began to grow into the game and Goetze's deft touch played in Sahin on 22 minutes with the Turkish international drilling the ball wide of the goal. Moments later Marcel Schmelzer came close to a birthday goal but he was denied by a good stop from Sven Ulreich.
Stuttgart began to put the league leaders under more pressure after the break, with Juergen Klopp's concern clear for all to see. Schmelzer was called upon to make a vital clearance from Timo Gebhart's cross in the 53rd minute.
Dortmund proceeded to spurn a number of gilt-edged opportunities to put the game to bed. Robert Lewandowski shot wide on 56 minutes when it was easier to miss after excellent work from Sahin and Goetze before substitute Lucas Barrios fired over from Grosskreutz's cutback. Ulreich then came rushing out of his goal on 75 minutes to deny the Paraguay international once again, which was to prove crucial.
The home side, stunned by the equalizer, thought they had won the game with just over a minute left in normal time however, Sven Ulreich made a magnificent fingertip save from a Barrios header, which had taken a deflection off Georg Niedermeier. Neither side could force a winner and a draw was the right result on the balance of play.
Dortmund, who remain top with a thirteen point lead, travel to Wolfsburg next weekend while Stuttgart host surprise package Freiburg at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
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