It feels like a lifetime ago that Borussia Dortmund's lead at the top of the Bundesliga table and ahead of Bayern Munich was so great that "die Schwarzgelben" was already being etched onto the Meisterschale.

Lucien Favre's side were helped out in the early stages of the campaign by Bayern, who were going through a transition under new manager Niko Kovač and at times even slipped outside of the top two in the league table.

But Dortmund's dominance this season was still largely their own doing. They remained unbeaten in the Bundesliga until December and along the way they made Diego Simeone's Atlético Madrid look like a pub team in the Champions League.

That first defeat, however, on the road to then relegation candidates Fortuna Düsseldorf, has turned Dortmund's season on its head and it looks like it will be the catalyst which hands Bayern Munich a seventh straight Bundesliga title.

Jean Zimmer

Since goals from Dodi Lukebakio and Jean Zimmer sent shockwaves around the Merkur Spielarena on matchday 16, a confidence struck Borussia Dortmund have dropped points in exactly half of their league games.

The took the lead in matches against Eintracht Frankfurt and TSG Hoffenheim before letting their opponents steal a draw, with the latter even coming from three goals behind to upset the odds at the start of the month.

Their most recent draw against Bavarian side FC Nürnberg was arguably the most frustrating of all their results, however, as it looked like an open and shut case of top versus bottom in the build-up to kick off.

Monday's hosts have just parted ways with manager Michael Köllner in a desperate attempt to claw their way out of the relegation zone, choosing to put his former assistant Boris Schommers in caretaker charge at the Max-Morlock-Stadion.

But somehow Borussia Dortmund couldn't capitalise on Nürnberg's frailties and had to make the journey back from Bayern Munich's doorstep with just one point to their name, with three points now separating the reigning champions from top spot in the Bundesliga.

An embarrassing exit in the DFB-Pokal at the hands of SV Werder Bremen where they twice threw away the lead in extra time has only compiled their misery, while their future in Europe's elite competition is hanging in the balance after losing 3-0 to Tottenham in the first leg of their knockout stage match.

But even before Borussia Dortmund's mini-crisis - they are without a win in five games across all competitions - there was already talk that the Black and Yellows might not actually be favourites to win the Bundesliga this season.


Fans were looking ahead to the second instalment of Der Klassiker at the start of April as a game which could prove to be a title decider, but with three points now separating the two German heavyweights, it seems increasingly likely that Bayern Munich will be top of the table when they eventually host Dortmund later this year.