In the battle of the Bundesliga's top two, Borussia Dortmund came out on top against Borussia Mönchengladbach with goals from Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus, both assisted by Mario Götze.
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goals: 1-0 Sancho (42’), 1-1 (Kramer 45+1), 2-1 (Reus 54’)
Despite both sides fielding weakened defences due to several injuries, both were solid in the first half for 40 tactically intense minutes before the net was first hit. Marco Reus had the game’s first chance after being played in on goal by Paco Alcacer, but Yann Sommer was equal to the BVB captain’s effort. Just after the half-hour mark and an injury blow came for the home side as Alcacer was forced off, replaced by Götze. But it was the substitute’s pass which would lead to the first goal of the game as Dortmund went ahead before the break. A swift counter-attack saw Götze find Sancho in the box, and the English teenager beat Oscar Wendt in a one-on-one before shooting across goal from what seemed an impossible angle, finding the net off the inside of the far post. The 18-year-old would have thought he’d given his side a half-time lead, but Christoph Kramer had other ideas. Making his first appearance since October, the midfielder was the first to a loose ball in the Dortmund box to poke home past Roman Bürki after a cross from Denis Zakaria.
The second half picked off from where the first had left off as Dortmund took the lead once again just nine minutes in. Sancho cut inside before playing the ball out to his own usual right wing position for Götze. The substitute then provided his second assist of the game with an inch-perfect ball to the back post, which Reus slid home beyond Sommer. Reus came within centimetres of his second goal with a superb free-kick, which was only denied its glory by the post. Dieter Hecking made early changes to try and bring forwards Thorgan Hazard and Alassane Plea into the game, but Dortmund’s defence was superb to nullify both danger men. The home side held on to secure a huge three points in the title race, taking them six points clear of Bayern Munich into the winter break.
- Dortmund’s seven-match winning run against Gladbach is their best against any current Bundesliga club, it’s also the first time that the Foals have lost seven in a row against the same team in the top flight.
- Reus has scored 11 goals in one half of a Bundesliga season for the first time in his career.
- Götze came off the bench to produce two assists in a Bundesliga match for the first time since April 2013.
- BVB coach Favre took charge of 189 competitive games with Mönchengladbach between February 2011 and September 2015 (88 wins, 49 draws and 51 defeats).
- The Foals have won every home game this season, but have now failed to score in their last three on the road. This is their third-best Bundesliga campaign of all time with 33 points.
Dortmund: Bürki - Piszczek, Weigl, Toprak, Hakimi - Witsel, Delaney – Sancho (Wolf 90+2’), Reus (c), Guerreiro (Bruun Larsen 90+3’) – Alcacer (Götze 34’)
Unused subs: Hitz, Pieper, Dahoud, Pulisic
Out: Akanji (adductor), Diallo (thigh), Rode (thigh), Zagadou (ankle)
Coach: Lucien Favre
Mönchengladbach: Sommer - Johnson, Beyer, Strobl, Wendt (c) – Kramer (Hofmann 68’), Zakaria, Neuhaus (Cuisance 81’) - Hazard, Plea, Herrmann (Traore 73’)
Unused subs: Sippel, Lang, Drmic, Jantschke
Out: Doucoure (thigh), Ginter (face), Raffael (broken collarbone), Villalba (ankle), Stindl (ankle)
Coach: Dieter Hecking