BERLIN — Borussia Moenchengladbach held Bayern Munich to an exciting 0-0 draw on Sunday as the Bundesliga's top two teams maintained their unbeaten starts to the season.
Bayern, looking to extend its lead at the top of the table, had goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to thank for keeping the game scoreless and its closest rivals four points at bay after nine games.
Bayern came closest early on, first through Thomas Mueller and then David Alaba, who hit the post after Yann Sommer got his fingertips to his rasping shot in the 10th minute.
'Gladbach had the better of the second half, when Max Kruse, Andre Hahn and Raffael all had chances, only to be denied by Germany goalkeeper Neuer, who has now gone 658 minutes without conceding in the league.
"We knew we could create chances on the counter, but Bayern are always dangerous," Borussia coach Lucien Favre said. "I'm satisfied. We defended with intelligence. We tried to play in the second half, which wasn't the case in the first half."
Earlier, Mainz slipped to its first Bundesliga defeat of the season, losing 3-0 at Wolfsburg, which finished the weekend third on goal difference behind Moenchengladbach.
It was the first time in more than 40 years that traditional rivals Bayern and Moenchengladbach met as the top two teams in the league. On the last occasion, in May 1974, Moenchengladbach recorded a 5-0 victory over the freshly crowned European Cup winners.
"We knew we were facing a strong opponent," said Moenchengladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer, referring to Bayern's 7-1 rout of Roma's in the Champions League on Tuesday. "That's why we stayed deep and relied on the counterattack."
Kruse had Moenchengladbach's best chance in the first half, when Robert Lewandowski came agonizingly close at the other end, only to see his deflected trickle just wide.
In the second, 'Gladbach had three against two in a counterattack when Kruse played Hahn through, Neuer saved the shot, and Mehdi Benatia cleared the rebound off the line from Raffael.
Neuer pulled off another good save to deny Patrick Herrmann, before Hahn skied over with the home side in the ascendency.
Mario Goetze tested Sommer at the other end, before Neuer again had to react again to push Raffael's free kick away. It was his fourth save of the game, more than in any other this season.
Goetze had a penalty claim waved away after he fell under Martin Stranzl's challenge, before Raffael forced Neuer into another save at the other end.
Bayern substitute Claudio Pizarro missed a great chance to win it deep in injury time.
"We had opportunities to win but Borussia also had chances to go ahead. So we can live with the draw," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said. "It's not easy to come through at this stadium and in this atmosphere."
Guardiola was shrugged off by fourth official Bibiana Steinhaus when he put his hand on her shoulder to complain in injury time. The Spaniard said he told her more time should be played due to an injury to Moenchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka.
Naldo scored one and set up another in Wolfsburg's convincing win earlier.
The Brazilian defender got the home side off the mark in the 15th with a powerful header from Marcel Schaefer's corner, and set up Wolfsburg's second in similar fashion in the 69th, when Ivan Perisic got the final touch.
Daniel Caligiuri wrapped up the scoring in the 87th after dominant Wolfsburg had missed a host of chances, with Maximilian Arnold striking the post and Ivica Olic hitting the crossbar in the second half.
Sami Allagui had Mainz' only chance of note early in the second half.