Borussia Dortmund and Schalke finishes goalless
Last Updated: 25/03/14 9:32pm
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of Schalke applaudes his team's fans after the draw
Borussia Dortmund and Schalke shared the spoils after a 0-0 draw in the 144th Revierderby.
Pride and second place in the table were up for grabs as both teams sought to finish on the front-foot - but neither could find a breakthrough.
The start was end-to-end and played at a ferocious tempo, which suited the youthfulness of the Royal Blues - who were looking to pressure a Dortmund side running on empty in recent months.
Erik Durm has proven to be an able deputy for Marcel Schmelzer and the left-back showed similar attacking determination to the German international, crossing for Robert Lewandowski on six minutes - but the Pole headed over.
Another header from Sebastian Kehl, who signed an extra 12-month extension at Dortmund this week, was the closest as the home side came in the first 15 minutes.
Boasting a diverse group of young and older players, Jens Keller could be forgiven having a little bit of doubt going into such an intensive environment.
But he was not let down with Kaan Ayhan making a last-ditch challenge to prevent Lewandowski scoring on 34 minutes.
Reus fired wide four minutes later, before Ralf Fahrmann proved his worth again with a solid stop from the left-sided Dortmund forward on the stroke of half-time.
Although Jurgen Klopp's men had the upper-hand after the interval, the best chance fell to their rivals on 59 minutes.
Roman Neustadter was left completely unmarked from Julian Draxler's set-piece and he headed straight at Roman Weidenfeller from just outside the six-yard box.
Fahrmann has strong credentials to be Schalke's player of the season and he was a rock under pressure again, making back-to-back stops as Dortmund built forward momentum.
First, he produced a fingertip save to deny Lewandowski's header and then, with 20 minutes remaining, defending stubbornly as the Polish striker looked to take the ball round him one-on-one.
It was poor Dortmund finishing next time as Henrikh Mkhitaryan passed up the best chance of the match, shooting wide in the 73rd minute as the home side's patchy league form continued.
|18||SC Paderborn 07||34||31|