Bayer Leverkusen 0 Borussia Dortmund 0: Frustrating draw leaves BVB bottom
Borussia Dortmund's woes continued on their return from the mid-season Bundesliga break as they were left bottom of the league following a turgid 0-0 draw at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
A tight game saw both sides struggle to create chances, with Mats Hummels denying Gonzalo Castro an opener on the goal line towards the end of the first half, before Ciro Immobile was denied by Bernd Leno just after the interval.
Leno was perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch having handled outside the area early in the contest, in one of the game's few talking points.
It was a reasonably quiet introduction for Dortmund debutant Kevin Kampl, with the visitors unable to break down a resolute home defence.
The result does little for either side, with Dortmund's league campaign lurching to another low point, while a rare blank drawn by Leverkusen at home sees them slip from a UEFA Champions League spot after Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach victories in Saturday's earlier action.
Speculation linking star players Marco Reus and Mats Hummels with moves away will only add to the pressure on boss Jurgen Klopp, who was recently backed by the club's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Leverkusen took a Bundesliga record-breaking nine seconds to score when the sides met in August's reverse fixture, and they soon went about setting the pace once again, with visiting goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller forced into a smart save by Roberto Hilbert's speculative 25-yard drive within the opening minute.
Klopp came into this game having never overseen a Dortmund defeat at the BayArena, but his side remained cagey during a tightly contested start.
The hosts were perhaps lucky not to go down to 10 men inside 13 minutes, when goalkeeper Leno appeared to handle outside the box as he rushed out to deny Immobile, but referee Knut Kircher remained unmoved.
Dortmund grew into the game, but largely struggled to call Leno into action, Nuri Sahin cutting inside to bend an effort wide from the edge of the area just before the half hour.
They were nearly made to pay for their profligacy seven minutes before half-time when a sweeping counter-attack allowed Karim Bellarabi to get behind the defence on the right flank.
The winger squared to Castro inside the area, only for his shot to be cleared off the line by Hummels' diving header.
Dortmund responded, and nearly broke the deadlock five minutes after the break, when a charged down clearance allowed Immobile to race into the area, but his angled shot was palmed away.
Stefan Kiessling fired wide for the hosts four minutes later, following some good work from Josip Drmic and Castro, with the latter chipping over the bar when one-on-one 13 minutes from time to sum up a frustrating outing for both sides.