Mario Gomez’s 23rd-minute header rescued a point for 10-man Bayern Munich against rivals Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park in a dress rehearsal for the Champions League final.
Dortmund got off to a flyer after 11 minutes when Kevin Grosskreutz put the home side ahead. Bayern failed to track the run of Julian Scheiber down the left wing. The midfielder latched onto the ball and cut inside on to his left foot. He crossed towards the far post where Grosskreutz was on hand to poke the ball into the roof of the net past Manuel Neuer.
But Gomez scored his 11th league goal of the season following some good hold-up play which brought Rafinha into play. The Brazilian’s cross found the big German at the far post where he nodded it back across goal to score the equaliser.
Rafinha, though, was later dismissed for an elbow on Jakub Blaszczykowski.
Ilkay Gundogan almost put Dortmund two goals ahead after he played a delightful one-two with Robert Lewandowski on the edge of the area but after feeling the slightest contact from Diego Contento, hit the deck. The referee was having none of it and waved play on.
Almost immediately after this incident Gundogan was subbed for Moritz Leitner with what looked like an injury and this allowed Bayern to take control of the ball.
They pressed higher up the pitch and Anatoliy Tymoschuk and Luis Gustavo began to control the midfield.
In the 23rd minute, Bayern got their reward for their patient football. Gomez, who had been largely anonymous until this point, held the ball up well and played it right to Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. The winger dropped the ball back to Rafinha who whipped a cross in to the far post. Gomez was on hand to nod the ball across the goal and into the opposite corner to equalise.
Bayern continued to play well but Rafinha’s over-enthusiasm saw him run straight into trouble with the ball. The right-back was out of position and Lewandowski saw his chance to exploit the space. He picked the ball up and ran into the penalty area, brushing by Daniel Van Buyten and using a neat turn to get by Jerome Boateng before getting his shot away. Neuer was out quickly to block at the Poland international’s feet and deny a wonderful goal.
Ten minutes later and Gomez found himself with a chance to put Bayern ahead. David Alaba turned skilfully away from two defenders to find some space in central midfield and continued to drive at the Dortmund back four. He slipped a ball through to Gomez on the edge of the area who ducked inside one defender only to see his low left-footed shot saved by the outstretched toe of Roman Weidenfeller.
The second half began and Dortmund were well on top playing with a new sense of purpose and intensity.
Bayern were denied a penalty in the 50th minute when Contento played a delightful lofted pass to Pizarro who controlled wonderfully. He cut inside onto his right foot and before he was able to pull the trigger, was tripped by Neven Subotic but no penalty was given.
Just eight minutes later and Dortmund received a penalty after a soft handball from Boateng. Nuri Sahin struck and the ball appeared to hit the shoulder of the defender but the referee pointed to the spot anyway.
Lewandowski stepped up but his low shot to Neuer’s left was saved by the Germany international.
Rafinha then got himself sent off for a deliberate elbow on Blaszczykowski despite the free-kick being given to Bayern Munich. What ensued wasn’t pretty as Rafinha let the Polish winger know exactly what he thought. The referee did well to calm the situation down even after Juergen Klopp and Bayern's Matthias Sammer had a touchline altercation.
Dortmund pressed for the winner but could not find an opening until the introduction of Marco Reus from the bench.
In the 87th minute Reus raced through the midfield and straight at the heart of the Bayern defence. He played in Scheiber to his left whose first touch let him down and allowed Neuer to come out and claim at the feet of the winger.
In the end Bayern did enough to see out the match and gain a rather meaningless point given they wrapped up the Bundesliga title weeks ago. Dortmund will be pleased with a point that sees them stretch to six points clear of Bayer Leverkusen in third.
These two sides will of course be doing it all again in three weeks time at Wembley for the Champions League final. And both sides will be hoping for a better result.