Borussia Dortmund restore lead at summit with nervy win over Bayer Leverkusen
Borussia Dortmund claimed three vital points as they beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 thanks to goals from Dan-Axel Zagadou, Jadon Sancho, and Mario Götze.
Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Bayer Leverkusen
Goals: 1-0 Zagadou (30’), 1-1 Volland (37’), 2-1 Sancho (38’), 3-1 Götze (60’), 3-2 Tah (75’)
Dortmund welcomed former coach Peter Bosz’s Leverkusen to Signal Iduna Park, looking to reopen a three-point gap at the top of the Bundesliga table. They had to do so without injured captain Marco Reus and were second-best in the early stages of the match, when Leverkusen bossed possession and could have scored at least twice. However, Dortmund came to life and took the lead on the half-hour mark. Leverkusen conceded a corner, which Sancho curled over the heads of the defenders and onto the foot of Zagadou for his first goal of the season. Bayer wasted little time in getting back on level terms; Kai Havertz played a lovely one-two with captain Kevin Volland, who placed a low drive into the bottom-left corner. But, anything Bayer could do, Dortmund could do better; within one minute, Abdou Diallo put a cross in from the left for Sancho to volley home and restore the hosts’ lead.
The second half began somewhat scrappily, with both sides aiming to move the ball quickly and keep it on the deck. With 60 minutes gone, Dortmund once again struck. Achraf Hakimi’s cross from the right took a deflection and landed at the feet of stand-in captain Götze, who immediately fired his shot low past keeper Lukas Hradecky. Dortmund striker Pablo Alcacer thought he had broken his goal drought just three minutes later, only to see it ruled out for offside. Bayer reduced the deficit to one goal from a free-kick which Julian Brandt delivered to a completely-unmarked Jonathan Tah, who headed the ball into the net to set up a pulsating close to the match. Bayer pressed and probed in search of an equaliser, but could not find a way through, giving Dortmund a vital win in their quest for the Bundesliga title.
- With his opening goal, Zagadou became the 18th player to score for Dortmund this season, a new record for the club.
- Sancho is now the youngest Bundesliga player (18 years, 336 days) to score nine goals. The previous record holder was Lukas Podolski.
- Leverkusen seem to be a favourite opponent for Sancho; in three appearances against Bayer, the Englishman has been involved in seven goals (scored three, assisted four).
- Götze’s goal was his fourth of the season, one more that he managed in the past two campaigns combined.
- Volland notched his 29th goal for Leverkusen in 77 appearances. That’s as many as Michael Ballack managed in 114 matches.
- Tah scored his second goal of the season; his first was in Leverkusen’s 4-2 loss to Dortmund in the reverse fixture.
Dortmund: Bürki – Hakimi, Akanji, Zagadou, Diallo – Witsel, Weigl – Sancho, Götze (c) (Dahoud 83’), Guerreiro (Bruun Larsen 76’) – Alcacer (M. Wolf 90’)
Unused subs: Hitz, Schmelzer, Delaney, Philipp
Out: Pulisic (hamstring), Piszczek (heel), Reus (groin)
Coach: Lucien Favre
Leverkusen: Hradecky – Weiser, Tah, S. Bender, Jedvaj – Baumgartlinger, Aranguiz - Brandt, Havertz, Bailey (Alario 70’) -Volland (c)
Unused subs: Özcan, Dragovic, Wendell, Kohr, Paulinho, Kiese Thelin
Out: Bellarabi (thigh), Pohjanpalo (ankle), L. Bender (thigh), Retsos (thigh)
Coach: Peter Bosz
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