Despite performing well, Borussia Dortmund were held to a 1-1 (1-1) draw at SV Werder Bremen on Matchday 32 and missed the opportunity to climb to second place in the Bundesliga table. The results this weekend mean the race for a UEFA Champions League place next season remains largely unchanged ahead of the final two rounds of matches, with the third-placed Black & Yellows still carrying their fate in their own hands.

Dennis-Julian Gottschlich reporting

The 42,100 spectators at a sold-out Weser-Stadion saw a committed display from the hosts, but BVB held strong in the opening half and took a deserved lead through Reus on the 19-minute mark. However, they came under increasing pressure in spells towards the end of the first period and were pegged back by a Delaney header on the stroke of half-time. Bremen continued to be difficult opponents after the interval but the visitors nonetheless went for the win, which they were ultimately denied by a combination of the woodwork – Reus (65), Akanji (69) and Sancho (80 were all kept out by the frame of the goal – and the outstanding Werder shot-stopper Pavlenka.

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Piszczek wins an aerial battle with Kruse.

The scenario:
Third-placed BVB would climb up to second and take a major step towards Champions League qualification with a victory. Meanwhile, 12th-placed Werder's top-flight status for next season had been guaranteed before kick-off thanks to results elsewhere this weekend and so they were able to play without the spectre of relegation hanging over them.

Personnel matters:
Schmelzer, Schürrle and Kagawa were all recalled to the squad by Peter Stöger, who fielded the same XI that had convincingly beaten Leverkusen 4-0 a week earlier. The visitors were without the injured Zagadou (muscle injury), Durm (torn lateral collateral ligament in ankle), Rode (groin operation) and Guerreiro (fitness), while Dahoud and Castro were omitted from the squad. Bremen were without Zetterer (wrist operation), Bargfrede, Kainz (both suspended), Käuper (foot operation) and Bartels (torn Achilles tendon).

Both teams lined up a 4-3-3 formation. During spells, the Black & Yellows transitioned to a 4-1-4-1 system when their hosts had the ball, with Reus and Götze using their central midfield positions as a launchpad to initiate attacks. Reus was frequently involved in offensive actions, forming part of a four-pronged attack alongside Pulisic, Philipp and Sancho.

Sancho was in the same left-wing role he occupied against Leverkusen but could not make the same impact he had that day.

The match & analysis:
Werder were happy to let their visitors take the initiative but defended in disciplined fashion and repeatedly sought to switch the play via Rashica. While that defensive mindset caused headaches for BVB, Peter Stöger's charges still managed to get into shooting positions time and time again. The first chance fell to Piszczek, whose shot following a lovely backflick from Reus was blocked by Delaney before Reus hit the follow-up into the side-netting (11). Four minutes later Akanji burst into the box from the left and set up Pulisic, whose shot from 15 metres was saved by Pavlenka.

However, the Black & Yellows finally got their breakthrough four minutes later. Götze floated a lovely ball across to the right-hand side of the penalty area, where Piszczek nodded it sideways for Philipp. The former Freiburg man's shot was blocked by Veljkovic but the rebound landed at the feet of Reus, who wrong-footed Pavlenka with a powerful effort from 13 metres out to put the visitors ahead (19). Stöger's charges took their foot off the gas in the ten minutes or so that followed, allowing Bremen to create their first good chances. Junuzovic was denied by excellent reactions from Bürki (24), before Kruse dragged a volley from 12 metres out inches wide of the back post a matter of seconds later (25) and Toprak intervened in the six-yard box to deny Rashica a sniff of goal (26). But the Black & Yellows rode out that wave of pressure and subsequently managed to reassert a degree of control over the match.

On the stroke of half-time, Reus latched onto a delightful ball from Götze and, though he was denied by Pavlenka coming off his line (44), it looked as if BVB would be taking in a deserved 1-0 lead at the break. But with seconds of the first half remaining, the hosts worked their way into the Dortmund box and after Bürki had made a strong save to deny Eggestein the ball bounced out to Delaney, whose header from 14 metres looped over the Swiss custodian and into the net (45).

Delaney heads the ball over Bürki to level the score at 1-1.

The first opportunity of the second half fell to Junuzovic, who was comfortably denied by Bürki (47). Sokratis then intervened to nullify a threat from Maximilian Eggestein in the box (51) before Bürki saved a long-range effort from the Bremen man (52). BVB initially struggled in the second period and it was some time before they made an impact going forward. Eventually, it was a deflected effort by Reus from a centre-right position smashing against the upright that opened the gates for a wave of attacks by the hosts (65). Four minutes later Götze played an excellent through-ball to Akanji, only for Pavlenka to parry his shot from 14 metres onto the woodwork (69). At the other end Reus was fortunate when he deflected a fizzing Junuzovic cross millimetres wide of his own goal (77).

In the closing stages, Philipp fizzed a shot from the edge of the penalty area over the frame of the goal (79) before Pavlenka made a sensational save with his feet to deny Schürrle and Sancho headed the rebound against the bar (80). The Westphalians continued to exert pressure on their hosts but Pavlenka again stood in their way, somehow clawing a Schürrle header away and then stopping Reus in stoppage time (90+2) to deny the visitors a late winner.

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Borussia Dortmund will play their final home game of the campaign against 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday (5 May, 15:30 CET), before visiting TSG Hoffenheim on the last day of the season (12 May, 15:30 CET).

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