It was the dress rehearsal that didn't really matter, and the understudies were given their chance to play a part. Still, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have drawn 1-1 in a sometimes tense Bundesliga warm-up.
Borussia Dortmund rested several stars during Saturday evening's top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash. And new champions Bayern Munich, with a deeper squad at their disposal, only played one definitive first-choice outfielder, David Alaba, who was given a shot out of his usual spot at left-back.
With the Bundesliga decided and strenuous Champions League semifinals behind them, neither Jürgen Klopp nor Jupp Heynckes wanted to give their opposing coach a good look at their preferred lineups ahead of the Champions League final at Wembley next month.
Bayern had Manuel Neuer between the sticks, also wearing the captain's armband as a treat in Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger's absence. Neuer saved the draw for Bayern - perhaps a particularly sweet sensation for a Schalke youngster in Dortmund's stadium - by getting his gloves to a second-half Robert Lewandowski penalty and turning it onto the post.
Yet, what the game lacked in star quality, it compensated for with tension. Dortmund took an early lead through home hero Kevin Grosskreutz. Jakub "Kuba" Blaszczykowski popped up on the left and spotted the right-back arriving at the far post, delivering an inch-perfect cross. Grosskreutz arrived and volleyed into the roof of Neuer's net.
As omens go, this was a great one for Dortmund. In the 20 previous matches where Grosskreutz had scored, Dortmund had gone on to triumph.
Dortmund concede a softie, miss penalty
A dozen minutes later, at the midpoint of the first half, Dortmund's defense let them down. Nobody closed down Rafinha on the right flank, and his cross picked out a similarly unmarked Mario Gomez in front of goal. The German international made no mistake with his head from close range.
Later in the game, Rafinha went from hero to villain, picking up a pair of bookings in just a couple of second-half minutes. The Brazilian was furious about his first booking, awarded for a clumsy but not particularly vicious challenge from behind. Moments later, Rafinha and Kuba collided near the corner flags, with replays showing that Lahm's understudy had led with his elbow in the challenge.
Despite dropping down to 10 men, Bayern remained on a relatively even footing with Dortmund in the closing phases. Even the introduction of Marco Reus failed to create a real breakthrough for the hosts in front of some 80,000 fans.
As was the case in Munich earlier in this Bundesliga season, the top two German sides drew 1-1, this time without putting all their firepower into the encounter. When they next meet, in the British capital on May 25 in the Champions League final, one side will have to be crowned winner.