Borussia Dortmund were held to a goalless draw by Schalke in Saturday’s Revierderby clash in Gelsenkirchen.
Dortmund had a chance to leapfrog the Bundesliga’s top two, with Borussia Monchengladbach and Wolfsburg not in action until Sunday.
However, it was Schalke who had the better opportunities to claim three points, hitting the woodwork twice in the first half.
The result is Dortmund’s fourth draw in five games and leaves them third, two points behind new leaders Bayern Munich and one adrift of Freiburg ahead of the weekend’s remaining matches, while Schalke stay seventh.
Schalke had the better of the first half but it was the visitors who had the opening shot on target, when Jadon Sancho drew a diving save from Alexander Nubel in the third minute.
Salif Sane headed against the crossbar from a corner as Schalke turned up the pressure before a defensive mishap opened the door for Suat Serdar in the 33rd minute, only for the midfielder’s shot to bounce back off the left-hand upright.
Rabbi Matondo was then guilty of dithering when he had the time and space to shoot in the box, ultimately conceding possession cheaply.
And the Wales international fluffed his lines again after being sent through one on one with Marwin Hitz before half-time, firing straight at the goalkeeper. He was eventually flagged offside but replays suggested a VAR review would have been a very tight call indeed.
Raphael Guerreiro cleared off the line from a Guido Burgstaller header early in the second half before Sancho curled an effort around the right-hand post.
Schalke’s penalty appeals went unrewarded when the ball appeared to strike a Dortmund hand in the box and Matondo then wasted another opportunity, blazing over after being played in by Jonjoe Kenny.
Both sides had attacks that threatened to produce a winner before full-time but neither could finish the job.