An evenly matched contest ended all square as Jurgen Klopp's men missed an opportunity to keep the pressure on Bayern MunichBorussia Dortmund and Stuttgart played out a 1-1 draw at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Saturday's Bundesliga clash, meaning Jurgen Klopp's side loses ground on league leaders Bayern Munich.
Serdar Tasci opened the scoring for the hosts, but Lukasz Piszczek equalised for the visitors just before halftime to earn the defending Bundesliga champion a share of the spoils.
The match began at a frantic pace, with chances coming thick and fast in the opening exchanges. Robert Lewandowski fired a warning shot when he struck the post after creating space in the box in the fourth minute, with Mario Gotze firing inches wide only moments later. Shinji Kagawa and Ivan Perisic also both sent efforts wide before Stuttgart attacked.
First, Cristian Molinaro forced Roman Weidenfeller to parry his shot from a tight angle on the left flank. Then, Martin Harnik’s cutback just missed the boot of the onrushing Cacau at the far post to cap off an enthralling opening 10 minutes.
The game slowed down shortly after, but the hosts still managed to take the lead in the 22nd minute, courtesy of a scrappy goal by Tasci. A free kick by Harnik deflected off the post into the path of the German defender, who made no mistake from a few yards out.
That goal seemed to fill Stuttgart with confidence, and they looked menacing thereafter thanks to some questionable Dortmund defending. Molinaro’s deliveries from the left were causing the visitors all sorts of problems, and only a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Hummels denied Harnik a one-on-one with Weidenfeller.
However, against the run of play, Dortmund grabbed an equalizer on the stroke of halftime. Gotze picked out Kagawa on the left flank, who teed up Piszczek inside the six-yard area for an easy finish.
Dortmund started the second half strongly, and Kagawa forced a great save out of Sven Ulreich in the 50th minute with an effort from 20 yards out. Ten minutes later, the Japanese evaded two Stuttgart defenders at the top of the box to find himself clean through on goal, but could only send his finish high over the bar.
The tempo of the game slowed down shortly afterwards, with both sides seemingly content to settle for a point. However, after Marcel Schmelzer forced Ulreich into a smart stop from his free-kick in the 84th minute, Dortmund dominated possession in an effort to score a winner in the time that remained.
Neven Subotic and Piszczek both missed great chances from corners, before the Polish defender fired just wide from an offside position with the last kick of the game.
The result sees Stuttgart remain in 5th place, while Dortmund sinks to third on 20 points, and is now five points behind leader Bayern.