THE PERFECT WEEK FOR DORTMUND
After overcoming PSG in the Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday, Dortmund follow-up with a good win at Werder Bremen. Two second half goes from Dan-Axel Zagadou and - of course - Erling Haaland, seal the win and take Dortmund within four points of league leaders Bayern Munich before RB Leipzig face Schalke this evening.
HAALAND GOES ALONE
The striker is played away down the right and he has four teammates in support. It's all set-up for a simple goal but Haaland goes for it alone at the near post. Pavlenka makes the save but no Dortmund player minds too much. Would have been a different story with the game on the line.
We'll have three minutes of added time here in Bremen.
HAKIMI GOES CLOSE
The wing-back plays a tidy one-two with Haaland on the edge of the Bremen box and is able to then shoot at goal on his left. It takes a deflection on its way at goal, but Pavlenka is able to adjust and save with his feet.
WITSEL DOWN AGAIN
This time it's his right foot which is causing pain after a challenge with Sargent. Favre may be forced to bring him off now.
HAALAND FORCES A SAVE
The 19-year-old shows off his incredible strength as he latches onto a ball over the Bremen defence while pushing Toprak away from him into the box. He shoots low at goal on his right foot, but Pavlenka makes a good save from close range.
RARE CHANCE FOR BREMEN
Selke is able to get a touch of the ball from Gebre Selassie past Hummels and it goes to Eggestein. He controls and volleys at goal on his left foot, only to watch it bounce wide of the mark from the edge of the box.
The Belgian has taken a knock to the hip here and is limping slightly as he walks off. He could get replaced here with around 15 minutes to play in Bremen.
ANOTHER HAALAND RECORD
Dortmund's star man is the first player with nine goals in his first six Bundesliga matches. He has 40 goals in 30 games in all competitions this season for both Dortmund and Salzburg. A stunning record.
HAALAND SO CLOSE AGAIN
It was almost a brace for Haaland there as a cross from the right goes towards the back post and the striker is perfectly-placed to wait for it, but Veljkovic makes an outstanding last-ditch clearance.
BVB LOVE A SECOND HALF GOAL
Favre's side have scored 44 of their 65 in the second half and 17 alone in 2020. No team in the Bundesliga has more this season or in 2020.
WHO'D HAVE GUESSED IT?
Sancho plays Hakimi in behind the Bremen defence down the right into the box. He looks up, spots Haaland drifting off his marker and finds him with a simple pass which Haaland smashes beyond Pavlenka on his right foot. His 12th goal for Dortmund in just his 9th game.
DORTMUND IN CONTROL
The away side are dominating the ball here and moving it forward well. No answer for Bremen right now with BVB clearly going for another goal to double the lead.
HAALAND DENIED AGAIN
A great run from Guerreiro comes from the left flank, moving into the middle. He pokes the ball through a defender for Haaland to chase and he gets to it, but Pavlenka does too, and he slides the ball away far enough for his defence to come and do the rest. Bremen on the back foot right now.
NO.14 FOR SANCHO
The Englishman has his 14th assist of the season for Dortmund, the joint-most in the league now alongside Thomas Müller and his has equalled his total from the whole of last season.
AND ZAGADOU SCORES!
From the resulting corner, Dortmund go ahead. Sancho curls in the corner and Zagadou pokes it into the net with his left foot. It's the 11th time Bremen have conceded from a corner in the Bundesliga this season and the first goal for Zagadou in 11 months.
HAALAND HAS HIS FIRST CHANCE
Great interplay from Dortmund as Witsel plays Zagadou the ball into the Bremen box down the left. Hse cuts the ball into the box for Haaland whose shot is blocked...
CAN SHOT BLOCKED
Guerreiro lofts a ball into the Bremen box from the left which is chested down by Hazard and falls kindly for Can. He takes a touch and looks to curl a shot at goal, but the Bremen defence is quickly in front of him to make a block. Dortmund starting this second half well in possession.
A SHOT ON TARGET
Immediately we get our first shot which is saved by either goalkeeper as Bittencourt goes from goal from 20 yards out on his left foot. Bürki is well placed to gather it, though.
SECOND HALF BEGINS
We're back underway without a change from either side during the break.
ONE SIDE HAPPIER THAN THE OTHER
The home side - with the leakiest defence in the Bundesliga this season - will be pleased with their first half performance in keeping Dortmund - with the league's best attack - goalless until half-time. Favre had kept things unchanged for the third time in a row for today's game, but he will likely look to make changes sooner rather than later as he goes in search of goals. Haaland has been kept quiet.
A great cross goes into the Bremen box this time from a Dortmund set-piece, teasing for everyone around it, but the Bremen goalkeeper is in the perfect place to punch the ball clear around his six-yard box.
A CHANGE NEEDED
Neither side has registered a shot on target in this first half. Bremen perhaps happier with the current situation than Dortmund, which could see the away side be the first to change something.
AS CLOSE AS WE'VE COME
A free-kick swings into the Dortmund box from the right flank and it's Toprak who connects with it, poking the ball towards goal on the stretch. It bounces wide, though, and the flag is up on the far side with Bittencourt a step too far forward when the free-kick was taken.
THE FORMATION BATTLE
Both sides are lining up in a 3-4-3 formation today and it's proving to be the downfall of them both. Defence is winning the day so far with neither side able to break the other down or get a clear look at goal. Looking at Favre and Kohfeldt for a change in set-up to spark this game into life...
SANCHO TRYING AS HE MIGHT
The Englishman has been all over the pitch so far. Starting on the left wing, he's been seen deep in central midfield, on the right wing and even up front through the middle. He's doing everything to get into this game and connect with Haaland, but the Bremen defence is snuffing everything out thus far.
SET-PIECES THE KEY?
Bremen have conceded 15 goals from set-pieces this season - the most in the league. 10 of those have come from corners, which could be a key for the away side to make a breakthrough here.
The former Dortmund man is lining up in a new position today, central midfield alongside Davy Klaassen. A big job when coming up against Axel Witsel and Emre Can but he's started well, chasing Wistel here and tackling him twice to force the ball out of play. The home fans love that commitment.
Bremen dominated the opening five minutes and Dortmund have taken control of the game since then, but neither side has taken a testing shot at goal for either goalkeeper.
FIRST FORWARD MOTION
Dortmund take the ball into the Bremen half in a threatening manner for the first time. Sancho plays the ball to his left and the overlapping Guerreiro, but his cross goes out of play. They're playing a team who has not won at home since 1 September, a run of eight games.
IT'S NOT RAINING, IT'S POURING!
The weather is rough here in Bremen with heavy, heavy rain coming down at the Weserstadion. Let's see what kind of a role it plays in this game...
BREMEN STARTING STRONG
The home side have dominated these opening minutes with Dortmund only touching the ball to clear it from their own box.
The ball is rolling in Bremen and the home side are on the offensive early on...
RAINING IN BREMEN
The rain is pouring down in Bremen as the players take to the centre circle to pay tribute to the victims of the recent tragedy that took place in Hanau, just outside of Frankfurt. Pure silence in Bremen.
We're just over 10 minutes from kick-off here in Bremen for what should be a special game. The attacking talent of Dortmund against the never-say-die attitude that the home side have to work with for the remainder of the season. Anything could happen, as ever, in this Bundesliga game...
OLDEST TEAM OF THEIR SEASON
Florian Kohfeldt's Bremen line-up today is the oldest they have put out in the Bundesliga this season. On average, it's 28 years old. Meanwhile, Lucien Favre has put out the same starting line-up for the third competitive game in a row: a first for him while at BVB-
THE BREMEN BUNDESLIGA STRUGGLES
Florian Kohfeldt's side have celebrated just one win in their last nine league games, coming away at Fortuna Düsseleorf in the first game back from the winter break. A lack of goals has been the problem, too, with only three goals in those same nine outings. However, three goals against this Dortmund team in the DFB Cup gives hope to a team with quality in attack: Yuya Osako, Davie Selke and Milot Rashica start there today.
SANCHO EXCLUSIVE: "ITS A GREAT FEELING TO PLAY WITH HAALAND"
In case you haven't seen it already, this week bundesliga.com had the pleasure of speaking exclusively with Dortmund's top scorer and assister in the league this season, Jadon Sancho. He spoke about playing with another world-beating star, Erling Haaland, what he's learned most at Dortmund and why he wishes he could play football every day until he was 100. Read the full interview right now on the site or in the app.
KEY AT BOTH ENDS OF THE TABLE
After the result in Munich last night, Dortmund now sit seven points behind league leaders Bayern at the top of the table. Dropping points today could be a crucial slip-up for BVB, with RB Leipzig playing later today at Schalke. Meanwhile, at the other end, Bremen are sitting second-bottom, stranded five points adrift of Mainz in the nearest spot of safety. With only 12 games to play, including today, every point is vital.
THE STORY OF HAALAND
The first player in Bundesliga history to score five goals in his opening two games. The first Bundesliga debutant to score a hat-trick after coming on as a substitute. Only two teams have stopped Haaland scoring for Dortmund since he joined the club: Bayer Leverkusen and Bremen. If the home side can do the same again today, they will go a long way to earning themselves vital points.
ONE GUARANTEE: GOALS
Dortmund are the Bundesliga’s top scorers with 63 goals, which is a new club record after 22 matchdays and has been spread around a league-high 15 players. They have bagged at least three in each of their last five Bundesliga games. Only two teams have stopped BVB scoring three in a game since Haaland joined: Paris Saint-Germain and Werder Bremen.
DFB CUP SHOCK REPEAT?
Today sees Bremen host Dortmund a little over a fortnight since the north German side pulled off a cup upset to knock-out Lucien Favre's side in the DFB Cup last-16. Selke, Bittencourt and Rashica scored on that day and all three start today with Bremen looking to provide a similar result. For BVB, meanwhile, it's all about revenge.
BREMEN STARTING XI!
Pavlenka - Toprak, Moisander (c), Veljkovic - Gebre Selassie, Klaassen, Bittencourt, Augustinsson - Osako, Selke, Rashica
Kapino, Lang, Pizarro, Langkamp, Sahin, Sargent, J. Eggestein, Friedl, Woltemade
DORTMUND STARTING XI!
Bürki - Piszczek (c), Hummels, Zagadou - Hakimi, Can, Witsel, Guerreiro - Sancho, Haaland, Hazard
Hitz, Dahoud, Götze, Schulz, Akanji, Balerdi, Brandt, Schmelzer, Reyna
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Bremen vs. Dortmund from matchday 23 of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season at the wohninvest WESERSTADION. Check back here for full information on the match.