Bayern Munich missed the chance to open an 11-point gap at the Bundesliga summit as they were held to a thrilling 1-1 draw by Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side were 5-0 up after 37 minutes in the reverse meeting last October, and needed just 18 minutes at the Allianz Arena to take the lead through Niklas Sule.
Thomas Muller’s own goal levelled things up in the first half, but neither team could find a winner after the interval despite an end-to-end affair that produced a host of opportunities.
The result leaves Bayern nine points clear of second-placed Dortmund, who have a game in hand and are not in action until March 13, while Gerardo Seoane’s Leverkusen sit 14 adrift of the leaders in third.
Amine Adli drilled the first chance of the contest narrowly wide for Leverkusen, and it was Bayern who opened the scoring shortly after.
Sule slammed past Lukas Hradecky following Charles Aranguiz’s goal-line clearance from a deflected Joshua Kimmich corner, before Serge Gnabry flashed just wide.
Parity was soon restored when Muller poked Kerem Demirbay’s free-kick into his own net, and Leverkusen should have headed into half-time ahead.
Adli rounded Sven Ulreich following Dayot Upamecano’s wayward pass but could only strike the post, before the same visiting player shot wide when clean through, and then the Bayern goalkeeper thwarted Aranguiz minutes later.
Jamal Musiala forced a smart Hradecky stop after the break, while Florian Wirtz’s deft touch squirmed just off target with Ulreich seemingly beaten at the other end.
Hradecky denied substitute Marcel Sabitzer when one-on-one immediately after his introduction as Bayern’s push for a winning goal came to no avail.
What does it mean? Bayern comfortable despite missed chance
Bayern were looking to collect a fifth straight top-flight victory over Leverkusen for just the second time in the Bundesliga, but they faltered against Seoane’s vibrant young side.
Nagelsmann’s team still hold a substantial lead over Dortmund. Meanwhile, Leverkusen sit four points clear of fourth-placed Freiburg after Christian Streich’s team shared the spoils with top-four chasers RB Leipzig.
Sule has already agreed to join Dortmund at the end of the season when his contract expires, but Nagelsmann assured the centre-back would be committed to Bayern until then.
The 26-year-old repaid his manager’s faith with a dominant performance, albeit not in a winning cause, as he completed a game-leading 99 successful passes, with no player attempting more in the opposition half (53).
Lewandowski had 28 goals in only 24 Bundesliga appearances this season before the clash with Leverkusen, but he was largely stifled by Seoane’s three-man defence as he failed to score for a second straight game.
The Poland international managed just 16 passes and 38 touches – the fewest of any outfield Bayern starter – while finding the target with just one of his game-high six attempts.
Bayern host Salzburg in the return leg of their Champions League clash on Tuesday, before visiting Hoffenheim on Saturday. Leverkusen travel to Atalanta in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday, before hosting Cologne three days later.