Thomas Tuchel equalled his longest winless streak in the Bundesliga as Borussia Dortmund coach thanks to a 0-0 Revierderby draw against Schalke at Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund went into the clash with their arch-rivals having failed to triumph in their past three top-flight outings, a run they have only twice experienced since Tuchel took over at the start of the 2015-16 season.
Despite the return of star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed the midweek penalty shoot-out victory over Union Berlin in the DFB-Pokal with a calf injury, they were unable to avoid a fourth match without maximum points.
Schalke applied early pressure on Dortmund and stifled their usually positive forward line, the first half ending without the hosts registering a shot on target.
A knee ligament injury ruled Klaas-Jan Huntelaar out for Markus Weinzierl’s first Revierderby at the Schalke helm, and wing-back Sead Kolasinac was unable to convert their best chance in the second half.
Dortmund made a late push for a winner but Mario Gotze was denied by Ralf Fahrmann and a brilliant clearance from Kolasinac stopped Christian Pulisic converting at point-blank range, Tuchel’s side slipping eight points adrift of leaders Bayern Munich.
Schalke started with high intensity, Max Meyer having a shot blocked by Sokratis Papastathopoulos within three minutes.
The visitors were playing a physical game but referee Felix Brych showed the first yellow cards to Dortmund duo Shinji Kagawa and Julian Weigl.
Franco Di Santo regularly looked to run in behind and stretch the hosts’ defence, but it developed into an even match with few goalscoring opportunities.
Dortmund lacked urgency and were pressed well by Schalke, and Leon Goretzka’s tame shot from 18 yards that was comfortably held by Roman Burki in the 22nd minute proved to be the only shot on target in the first half.
The hosts felt they deserved a penalty when Ousmane Dembele’s cross hit Benedikt Howedes’ arm inside the box, but Brych signalled for play to continue.
Schalke responded with a swift break launched by Johannes Geis’ raking cross-field pass to Kolasinac, who tore down the left flank and drilled his shot too close to Burki.
The game slowly came to life, but Pulisic missed the target twice before Aubameyang struck the wall with a free-kick on the hour mark as Dortmund took control.
Fahrmann finally had a save to make in the 73rd minute, rushing off his line to block Gotze’s attempt to stab home following a one-two with Dembele.
Dortmund had an even better chance one minute later when Aubameyang was released by Dembele and dinked a square pass over the onrushing Fahrmann.
Pulisic had the goal at his mercy inside the six-yard box, but Kolasinac raced in to make a crucial block and send the ball behind for a corner.
Aubameyang volleyed wide inside the final 10 minutes but there was to be no breakthrough, Dortmund’s top-flight troubles continuing while Schalke made it seven games in all competitions without defeat.
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