BERLIN — Bayern Munich missed the chance to go 10 points clear in the Bundesliga after being held to a scoreless draw at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
It was only the third time that Pep Guardiola’s side dropped points in 20 games this season. Also, Xabi Alonso was sent off late for two tactical fouls within minutes of each other.
There were few chances in the first half, with Leverkusen having the only effort on goal for either side — Omer Toprak’s header went straight to Manuel Neuer.
Watch match highlights: Schalke 3, Wolfsburg 0 || Frankfurt 2, Stuttgart 4 || Hannover 0, Mainz 1 || Hertha BSC 0, Borussia Dortmund 0 || Ingolstadt 2, Augsburg 1 || Bayer Leverkusen 0, Bayern Munich 0
"In the first half we had problems stringing together more than four or five passes. Then it's impossible," said Guardiola, whose side still leads by eight points.
Leverkusen looked more like scoring early in the second, Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez sending a spectacular effort just wide, before Hakan Calhanoglu was blocked.
The visitors improved with the introduction of Thomas Mueller, who missed two good chances that he'd normally take.
Bayern pushed for a winner even after Alonso's sending off, but Robert Lewandowski in particular was left to rue near misses.
"A scoreless draw was deserved. Though we were lucky in the end," said Leverkusen's 19-year-old defender Johnathan Tah, who was outstanding alongside Toprak. "We delivered a super team performance."
Hertha Berlin held league top-scorer Borussia Dortmund to a goalless draw, with Jose Mourinho watching from the stands.
Mourinho was a guest of Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke.
"It's perfectly OK. If he takes over from me next week then it's no longer OK," Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel joked of the former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach's presence.
Tuchel's team was frustrated for long periods by the home side.
Dortmund gave 17-year-old attacking midfielder Christian Pulisic his second Bundesliga appearance, but needed a last-ditch tackle from Sokratis on Alexander Baumjohann to safeguard the draw in second-half stoppage time.
"Despite the lack of goals it was a good game," said Hertha coach Pal Dardai, whose side remained third, 10 points behind Dortmund. "We could have earned more from it because we had more chances to win."
Schalke defeated Wolfsburg 3-0 to move to fourth, two points behind Hertha, thanks to goals from Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Johannes Geis, and Alessandro Schoepf.
Huntelaar struck a low shot to the far corner from around 25 metres (yards), Geis placed his free kick just inside the left post, and Schoepf came on for his second league appearance and completed the scoring with three minutes remaining.
"It could have been 3-0 or 4-0 after the first half. Then the second half was damage-limitation. It was too little today," said Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking, whose side is in crisis after its seventh league game without a win.
"You can see that it's difficult for us in all areas at the moment. Schalke used that today," said Wolfsburg midfielder Julian Draxler, back at his home club for the first time since switching between the sides.
Elsewhere, Stuttgart won at Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 to move five points clear of the relegation zone, Ingolstadt came from behind to defeat Augsburg 2-1, and Mainz won at bottom side Hannover 1-0.
Stuttgart and Frankfurt finished with 10 men.
Stuttgart captain Christian Gentner opened the scoring and Daniel Didavi converted acrobatically before the break for the visitors.
Frankfurt captain Alexander Meier pulled one back before Gentner crossed for Georg Niedermeier to make it 3-1.
Didavi's sending off shortly afterward gave the home side hope, but Frankfurt's Carlos Zambrano followed him off in the 75th after giving away a penalty that Filip Kostic converted.