Borussia Dortmund sit just three points ahead of Bayern Munich at the Bundesliga summit after a disappointing 0-0 draw against bottom club Nurnberg on Monday.
Bayern's 3-2 win over Augsburg on Friday cranked up the pressure on Lucien Favre's side and they were unable to respond, labouring to just a solitary point against a team that has won only twice in the league this season.
Dortmund came up against a goalkeeper in inspired form, Christian Mathenia producing a string of fine saves to frustrate the visiting team's attackers, most notably Mario Gotze.
The result means that Dortmund have now gone five games in all competitions without a win, while Nurnberg are now five points away from safety.
Any thoughts that Dortmund would sweep aside their lowly opponents were dispelled in the early stages with Nurnberg looking significantly more robust than they did during September's 7-0 thumping at Signal Iduna Park.
Their positive start was almost rewarded before the half-hour mark, Hanno Behrens twice going close with headers. His first effort was pawed over by Roman Burki and the unmarked Nurnberg captain powered over from eight yards from the resulting corner.
An out-of-sorts Dortmund belatedly woke from their slumber in the closing stages of the first half, carving out a number of clear opportunities to take the lead.
Gotze was twice denied by excellent stops from Mathenia, while Axel Witsel saw a close-range effort deflected into the side netting.
Mathenia got down sharply to again deny Gotze shortly after the break, while the Germany international flashed wide from a promising position soon after.
Substitute Jacob Bruun Larsen had a late strike rightly ruled out for offside, but all three points would have flattered Favre's stuttering side, who could be level on points with Bayern by the time they host Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
|Wales captain Jones crowned Six Nations Player of the Championship|
|Warriors locked in for playoffs – Thompson|
|No offers yet for Jovic, insist Frankfurt|
|LeBron ready for Lakers return against the Nets|
|Pickford defends form amid scrutiny over England spot|
|Solskjaer the only candidate for Manchester United job, says Rooney|
|Fornaroli joins Perth Glory|
|Durant leads Warriors to victory after friend´s death, Nuggets roll on|
|Former champ Azarenka falls as Andreescu saves match point|
|Tomic earns Djokovic clash, Auger-Aliassime impresses again|
|Adelaide´s Ilso provisionally banned for doping|
|Scaloni: No more adjectives to describe Messi|
|Sunwolves axed from Super Rugby by SANZAAR|
|United States 1 Ecuador 0: USA make it three from three under Berhalter|
|Varane refuses to discuss Madrid future|
|Real Madrid and Barcelona want Skriniar – agency|
|´Focus on the game´ – Bryant to Duke star Zion|
|MLB preview: Projecting AL West|
|Dahmen, Straka share Valspar lead|
|Celtics´ Smart fined $50k after shoving 76ers star Embiid|
|O´Neill wants more goal threat from Northern Ireland|
|Cousins set for Warriors return|
|Koeman applauds Depay but accuses Netherlands of being ´careless´ in 4-0 win|
|This Week in US Sports: MLB handing out tons of extensions, playoffs loom in NBA|
|Hazard: Tielemans will be major player|
|Zion Williamson: Love for Duke led to injury return|
|Andreescu roars back from the brink to pull off stunning Miami victory|
|Warrington cling on to beat Wakefield in thriller|
|Netherlands 4 Belarus 0: Depay inspires winning start to Euro 2020 qualifiers|
|Belgium 3 Russia 1: Hazard spares Courtois´ blushes|
|Northern Ireland 2 Estonia 0: McGinn, Davis get Euro 2020 qualification campaign off to a flyer|
|Paqueta ready for Brazil´s number 10 shirt|
|Robert Griffin III returns to Ravens to back up Lamar Jackson|
|Rays sign Blake Snell to five-year, $50m extension|
|McLeish brushes off Scotland sack talk after dismal defeat|
|Messi to start for Argentina after nine-month absence|
|Khedira cleared to return to training after heart problem|
|Southgate ´won´t hesitate´ to start Sancho, Hudson-Odoi after Rashford injury|
|Timberwolves without Rose, Teague and Covington for rest of season|
|CAS delays decision on Semenya case|
|Rashford out of England double-header|
|Rice apologises for pro-IRA social media comments|
|Kazakhstan 3 Scotland 0: McLeish´s men torn asunder in Astana|
|Bancroft appointed Durham captain|
|Vunipola: Mental weakness not an issue for England|
|China beaten by Thailand in Cannavaro´s first game in charge|
|Ichiro retires: Baseball legend bids farewell in Tokyo|
|LOOK: Inside Tottenham´s new stadium ahead of grand opening|
|Rashford misses full England training|
|Jaime Mata admits Spain call-up is ´a bit of a novelty´|
|Barclay to make long-awaited Edinburgh bow|
|Ronaldo fined but avoids ban after Atletico celebration|
|Archer surprised by rapid rise to England contention|
|Wolff happy to see competitive Red Bull|
|Marchisio feels for Dybala in Juve´s Ronaldo era|
|Pogba relishing partnerships with Mbappe and Rashford|
|Double bogeys spoil Que´s stunning start|
|Pogba: Solskjaer asked us to enjoy football again|
|Burgess double inspires Rabbitohs comeback|
|Crusaders preparing for emotional Super Rugby return|
|FIFA bans referee from football for life for corruption|
|Rockets´ defensive frailties frustrate Harden|
|Odegaard surprised by Zidane´s Real Madrid return|
|Embiid: Smart´s cheap shot inspired 76ers win|
|Target Maguire and don´t be afraid to kick - Vydra reveals Czech Republic´s England plans|
|Henderson vows to win Liverpool, England trophies after near misses|
|Embiid leads 76ers to rallying win over Celtics, Raptors top Thunder in OT|
|Neymar missed by Brazil – Richarlison|
|Angels confirm Trout´s record contract extension|
|Tipsarevic ends ATP drought as rain wreaks havoc|