RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund have both missed a big opportunity to put pressure on champions Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga after being held to costly draws.
Captain Marco Reus missed a penalty in Dortmund’s 1-1 draw with lowly Mainz on Saturday while Leipzig again missed the chance to move to the top when they had to settle for 2-2 at Wolfsburg.
Julian Nagelsmann’s Leipzig, who had lost at home to Borussia Dortmund last weekend, salvaged their draw thanks only to Willi Orban’s second-half equaliser.
It means they’re still a point behind Bayern after 16 games, with the spluttering champions now having the chance to go four points clear when they host Freiburg on Sunday..
Dortmund were looking for a fourth win in five league games under new coach Edin Terzic but were frustrated by a committed performance from Mainz in Bo Svensson’s second game in charge.
The draw was enough for Mainz to move off the bottom on goal difference from Schalke, who visit Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
Dortmund got off to a fine start with Erling Haaland firing inside the left post in the second minute but the goal was ruled out through VAR as Thomas Meunier was offside in the buildup.
Jude Bellingham struck the post toward the end of the half and it was as close as Dortmund came to scoring before the break.
Mainz defended doggedly and took their chance in the 57th minute when Levin Oztunali eluded Mats Hummels with a back-heel trick and let fly from 20 metres inside the top right corner.
The visitors almost grabbed another shortly afterwards when Alexander Hack struck the crossbar with a header.
The 16-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko had just gone on for Dortmund and he played a decisive role for his side’s equaliser in the 73rd, sending in a cross that was cleared by Mainz defender Phillipp Mwene – only as far as Meunier, who fired back in.
Meunier was then fouled in the penalty area by Hack, giving Reus a chance to score from the spot but the Dortmund captain sent his kick outside of the left post.
It could have been worse for Reus and his team as Mainz captain Danny Latza hit the post late on.
The setback left Dortmund fourth, four points behind Bayern, who also have a game in hand.
Elsewhere, Werder Bremen scored late to beat Augsburg 2-0 at home, Cologne drew with Hertha Berlin 0-0 and Hoffenheim against Arminia Bielefeld also ended scoreless.