Sebastien Haller scored twice as Borussia Dortmund beat 10-man Augsburg to go above Bayern Munich and one win away from the Bundesliga title.
Before a ball was kicked on Matchday 33, Dortmund needed a helping hand to have any chance of winning a first title since 2012. They got that on Saturday night when RB Leipzig beat leaders Bayern. It meant BVB would be champions if they won their final two games, starting in Augsburg. And the visitors came out knowing that victory was indeed the only option for them at the WWK Arena. They mustered up 17 attempts in the first half alone, but found no way through. Newly crowned Rookie of the Season Karim Adeyemi fluffed his lines when failing to connect with a cut-back, while the best chance fell to Haller, who was denied by a combination of a last-ditch Jeffrey Gouweleeuw block and good reactions from Tomas Koubek. Matters got tougher for Augsburg, coached by former BVB reserves boss Enrico Maaßen, when Felix Uduokhai was sent off for pulling back Donyell Malen, but Die Schwarzgelben failed to find any way through before the break.
With the exception of an early Arne Engels free-kick that went behind off the wall early in the half, the match continued to follow the same pattern after the restart. The 10 men of Augsburg soaked up the pressure and were almost breached when Emre Can struck the base of the post. The breakthrough finally came just before the hour mark when Haller pounced on a loose ball in the box and finished across the previously impassable Koubek with BVB’s 22nd attempt of the game. Substitute Irvin Cardona almost silenced the travelling supporters immediately when he got onto a long ball, but was denied by Gregor Kobel, who had been a spectator up till that point. It seemed to spark the hosts into life and injected plenty more emotion into the game, with Augsburg still battling for their top-flight survival. Haller calmed any remaining nerves when he tapped in a rebound from a Marco Reus shot. Julian Brandt then added a third in added time to set up championship point for Dortmund when they host Mainz on the final day knowing that they must simply match Bayern’s result in Cologne to be champions.
- Haller took his total for Dortmund since recovering from cancer to nine in the Bundesliga, including five in the last three games. Only Marvin Ducksch and Malen (also nine) have scored as many goals in the Rückrunde.
- Borussia’s 56 Bundesliga goals in 2023 is by far the most in the division.
- Seventeen shots in the first half was the most by Dortmund in a Bundesliga game since October 2013. It was the most Augsburg had ever faced in the first 45 minutes of a top-flight game.
- Every Dortmund outfield player who started had fired off at least one shot by the 53rd minute.
- Uduokhai received the second red card of his Bundesliga career, having previously received a second yellow for Wolfsburg against Augsburg in April 2018.
- This was only the third time this Bundesliga campaign that Jude Bellingham was absent from the Dortmund starting line-up. They also won both the previous two, away at Mainz and at home to Hertha Berlin.
Watch: Sebastien Haller - "We know it's in our hands"
Augsburg: Koubek - Pedersen (Colina 46’), Gouweleeuw (c), Uduokhai, Veiga - Engels, Dorsch, Rexhbecaj (Cardona 61’), Demirovic (Maier 85’) - Yeboah (Bauer 40’), Beljo (Berisha 61’)
Unused subs: Klein, Sarenren Bazee, Caligiuri, Mbuku
Out: Baumgartlinger (knee), Gikiewicz (shoulder), Gumny (suspended), Hahn (knee), Iago (thigh), Oxford (fitness), Strobl (cruciate ligament), Vargas (ankle)
Coach: Enrico Maaßen
Dortmund: Kobel - Wolf, Süle, Hummels (c) (Schlotterbeck 90'+1), Ryerson - Brandt, Can, Guerreiro (Reus 80’) - Malen (Reyna 90'+2), Haller, Adeyemi (Özcan 72’)
Unused subs: Meyer, Duranville, Passlack, Moukoko, Modeste
Out: Bellingham (knee), Bynoe-Gittens (shoulder), Coulibaly (international duty), Meunier (adductor)
Coach: Edin Terzic
Watch: Edin Terzic - 'We have to do it one more time'
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