Matchday 24 brought far more than just an enthralling Der Klassiker, with big results also coming all around the league. Borussia Mönchengladbach continued their poor period by losing at home to Bayer Leverkusen, RB Leipzig stormed to victory on their travels against SC Freiburg, and Hertha Berlin picked up their first win of the Pal Dardai era by beating FC Augsburg.
Bayern Munich continue to reign supreme in Der Klassiker, but there is still hope for Dortmund
Despite getting off to a flying start and taking an early 2-0 lead through an Erling Haaland brace, Borussia Dortmund were ultimately unable to put an end to their seven year losing streak away at the Allianz Arena. Robert Lewandowski replied with two goals of his own to draw the Rekordmeister level before the in-form Leon Goretzka then gave them lead and the Pole added another to complete his hat-trick, taking his total to 31 for the season.
However, all is not lost for Edin Terzic's side. In recent year's against Bayern, the games have been more like processions than contests as the aggregate score of the last three games in Bavaria was 15-0 in favor of Munich. This contest was much more competitive, and Dortmund even found themselves controlling the match for periods before eventually relinquishing command of the tie.
It is important to remember that Die Schwarzgelben were without key players for this fixture as well. Jadon Sancho, who had been in imperious form before getting injured in their DFB-Pokal quarter-final, was the most notable absentee, with Axel Witsel, Raphael Guerreiro, Manuel Akanji, and Giovanni Reyna all also unavailable. With a full squad, Dortmund could have potentially been able to get over the line with a draw, if not a win of their own. It may have been a frustrating loss, but with their form improving in recent weeks, things are definitely looking better for BVB.
RB Leipzig lay down a gauntlet of their own
Leipzig continued to keep the title race alive as they swept to their sixth consecutive victory, with this one coming against Freiburg in convincing fashion. The win means that Julian Nagelsmann's side remain within two points of Bayern after their derby day result, but with many questioning Leipzig's pedigree to stay in the title hunt as of late, the manner of their victory will be what is most important.
Freiburg have proven themselves to be a very astute side of their own this season, beating both Dortmund and Leverkusen earlier in the year. However, that would not prove to be the case at the Schwarzwald-Stadion this time around, as Leipzig put on a very combative, but well thought out performance, with Kevin Kampl starring in an anchoring role. They also took full advantage of the chances offered to them by the home side, something which will be vital if they are to keep up the title chase.
With every week that goes on without a slip up, the heat of the title race increases, and Leipzig's chances of winning the league rise with it. Die Roten Bullen take on Bayern at the start of April, and that game is looking more and more as if it could be a title decider.
Gladbach's woes continue
Saturday afternoon's matchup of two underperformers between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen felt like a must win for both teams. It was Marco Rose's side that were the less fortunate of the two, though, losing out by a close margin through a Patrick Schick strike in a game of very few chances.
The loss now means it's five defeats in a row in all competitions for Gladbach and seven without a win in the league. Despite coming up against a Leverkusen side that were struggling themselves, Die Fohlen struggled to break down a Leverkusen defence led resolutely by Jonathan Tah.
After the game, Gladbach midfielder Hannes Wolf said, "We're just lacking that bit of enjoyment for football because the results simply aren't coming at the moment." There certainly is a lack of spirit to their play in the Rückrunde, especially in attacking terms, as they've scored only twice in their past five home games. The dramatic downturn in form means they now find themselves in 10th place, and to make things worse, they are still yet to identify a manager for next season.