bundesliga

Florian Wirtz fires Bayer Leverkusen back to winning ways against Borussia Dortmund

Florian Wirtz won the day as Bayer Leverkusen ended a four-game winless run with a 2-1 victory over top-four rivals Borussia Dortmund

Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
Goals: 1-0 Diaby (14'), 1-1 Brandt (67'), 2-1 Wirtz (80')

Dortmund barely landed a glove on Leverkusen in a largely one-sided first half. The returning Wirtz was first to try his luck with a long-range effort that Roman Bürki could only parry. Wirtz was involved again as Lucas Alario curled wide, before Leverkusen forged ahead through Moussa Diaby. The Frenchman showed a great first touch from Leon Bailey's raking long ball, and the finish - threaded under the advancing Bürki - didn't disappoint. Erling Haaland went within a whisker of applying the decisive touch to Thomas Meunier's cross as Dortmund threatened an equaliser, while Julian Brandt fired wide of an upright. Leverkusen might have added to their lead, but Alario's effort was blocked in front of goal after Bürki had denied Wirtz. Bürki was called on again soon after, albeit with an unconvincing save to thwart the runaway Diaby from inside the area.

Dortmund showed a significant improvement after the restart as Marco Reus slipped a pass into the box for Haaland, only for Wirtz to intervene at the last. Jadon Sancho then showed great feet to dig out space and a pass for Meunier, who failed to make the desired connection. Manuel Akanji prevented Wirtz from working his magic on the break - a timely intervention ahead of Brandt's thunderous equaliser. Thomas Delaney hounded the opposition, Raphael Guerreiro helped the ball on and the former Leverkusen midfielder rocketed an effort into the far corner, despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. The hosts were on the ropes as Edmond Tapsoba cleared off the line from Brandt, and Sancho sliced an effort wide, but instead it was a slick Leverkusen counter that put BVB down for the count, Wirtz hammering in an emphatic winner 10 minutes from time.

Match stats

  • Leverkusen climb to a temporary second place with the win, three points clear of Dortmund.
  • Aged 17 years and 261 days, Wirtz is the youngest Bundesliga player in history to reach four goals.
  • Bailey has assisted two of Diaby's three Bundesliga goals this season.
  • Diaby's opener was Leverkusen's eighth goal in the opening 15 minutes of a match this season, a league-high shared with Union Berlin.
  • Brandt ended a run of 30 Bundesliga games without a goal. He's scored 16 of his 38 goals at the BayArena, though this was his first on his former stomping ground as a Dortmund player.
  • Bürki made more saves than in any other goalkeeper in a single league game this season (11).

Watch: Bailey: "We did our jobs as well as possible"

Line-ups

Leverkusen: Hradecky - L. Bender (c), Tah, Tapsoba, Wendell (Sinkgraven 60') - Wirtz, Aranguiz, Amiri - Bailey, Alario (Schick 69'), Diaby
Unused subs: Grill, Lomb, Dragovic, Jedvaj, Fosu-Mensah, Gedikli
Out: Arias (ankle), Baumgartlinger (not included), Bellarabi (hand), S. Bender (knee), Palacios (back), Paulinho (knee), Weiser (thigh)
Coach: Peter Bosz 

Dortmund: Bürki - Meunier, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro - Bellingham (Moukoko 83'), Delaney - Sancho (Reyna 73'), Reus (c) (Tigges 89'), Brandt - Haaland
Unused subs: Hitz, Morey, Dahoud, Schulz, Reinier, Piszczek
Out: Can (suspended), Hazard (thigh), Schmelzer (knee), Witsel (Achilles tendon), Zagadou (hamstring)
Coach:
 Edin Terzic

Watch: Brandt on ending his scoring drought and the defeat to Leverkusen