Bayer Leverkusen played 30 minutes with just 10 men but managed to force a scoreless stalemate with leaders Bayern Munich at BayArena in Bundesliga.
Tayfun Korkut’s side compressed to defend and it took the visitors a half-hour to create a threatening shot, but the successive goal-line chances they created got blocked by an inspired Leverkusen backline.
Munich even earned an advantage in numbers near the hour mark after Bayer’s 21-year-old centre-back Tin Jedvaj received his second booking in the game and had to exit the match, but the leaders failed to make their very few chances count.
“I am proud of the team and the way we have kept this point here,” said Leverkusen boss Torkut. “We did not allow [Bayern] so many chances. That was very important to us.”
Munich, who rested key players for a visit to Real Madrid in their Champions League tie, had critical chances but failed to pounce on them, including Thomas Muller’s indecisiveness to shoot on a clear target that allowed Leverkusen to recover and defend.
“I think we deserved a win,” said Munich manager Carlo Ancelotti. “We earned it, but Bayer Leverkusen fought superbly. We have to accept it.”
Bayern are on the brink of elimination in the Champions League following their 1-2 loss to Madrid in the first leg of their quarter-final tie, and this goalless draw with Leverkusen in the league will give ground to their closest pursuers RB Leipzig.
Leipzig trampled Freiburg 4-0 earlier in the day and sit eight points below Munich in the table.
Jedvaj became the youngest lad to get three ejections in Bundesliga at just 21 years and around five months old.