BERLIN (Reuters) - Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund played out a lacklustre 0-0 draw on Saturday that saw both teams drop off the pace in the Bundesliga title race.
Schalke twice hit the woodwork through Salif Sane and Suat Serdar in a dominant first half with Dortmund content to play second fiddle.
Schalke who won four games on the trot before stumbling in their last two, should have scored in the second half but for teenager Rabbi Matondo’s less than clinical finish.
Dortmund left their attacking game for the second half with Jadon Sancho coming close, but they were badly missing injured top striker Paco Alcacer, out with a muscle problem.
Third-placed Dortmund, who have now won only one of their last five league games, are on 16 points, with Schalke in seventh spot on 15.
While avoiding defeat at Schalke is important in such a derby, the pressure on Dortmund coach Lucien Favre is mounting after their midweek Champions League loss to Inter Milan.
Bayern Munich lead the standings on 18 points after edging visitors Union Berlin 2-1, with striker Robert Lewandowski becoming the first Bundesliga player to score in each of the first nine league games.
Freiburg are second on 17 points after their 2-1 home victory over RB Leipzig who are sixth on 15.
Borussia Moenchengladbach and VfL Wolfsburg have the chance to take over at the top on Sunday if they can beat Eintracht Frankfurt and Augsburg respectively.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Clare Fallon and Ken Ferris