Borussia Dortmund blow Cologne away to keep title race on a knife edge
Borussia Dortmund left visiting Cologne in a daze with a first-half masterclass that saw the hosts get back to winning ways and take the lead at the top of the Bundesliga standings.
Borussia Dortmund 6-1 Cologne
Goals: 1-0 Guerriero 15' (assist: Malen), 2-0 Haller 17' (assist: Guerreiro), 3-0 Reus 32' (assist: Guerreiro), 4-0 Malen 36', 4-1 Selke 42', 5-1 Haller 69', 6-1 Reus 70' (assist: Malen)
Until recently, Dortmund could boast of an incredible 100 percent record in 2023. Having been ousted from the Champions League by Chelsea and then held by rivals Schalke in last weekend’s Revierderby, however, the question was, how would Edin Terzic’s title chasers respond with Cologne in town? The answer was provided with some Black-and-Yellow fantasy football that had the hosts out of sight by the break. The remodelled Raphael Guerreiro 2.0, midfield magician, was involved almost throughout. The Portugal international supplied a sublime touch and flicked finish towards the far corner after Donyell Malen brilliantly nutmegged and spun Julian Chabot before laying on the assist. A subsequent one-touch move on the edge of the Billy Goats’ box left the visitors mesmerised, with Jude Bellingham, Marco Reus and Guerreiro combining ahead of Sebastien Haller’s rising power strike to the top corner. Guerreiro then teed up Reus for the captain to send an angled, first-time strike away from the beleaguered Marvin Schwäbe as the Signal Iduna Park swayed in celebration. Schwäbe could only palm Malen’s thumping effort in for 4-0, while at the other end Davie Selke managed to reduce the arrears at the second attempt.
Had Selke managed to nod in from Jonas Hector’s set piece shortly after the restart, the visitors might have had the faintest of hope of producing an unlikely fightback. As it was, it was BVB who turned the screw in a more slower-paced second half. Haller had his second of the game from a tap-in after Mahmoud Dahoud’s free-kick cannoned back off the upright. Reus then bagged his brace – and his 161st competitive goal for Dortmund – after a series of fortunate bounces saw the ball sit up nicely for the 33-year-old, who overtook Michael Zorc in the club's all-time top scoring charts in the Bundesliga era. Both sides struck the woodwork as the encounter neared its end while at the final whistle, the home supporters roared their approval following a victory that sent Dortmund provisionally back to the top of the table - their position confirmed the following day after Bayern Munich lost at Bayer Leverkusen - ahead of a post-international break Klassiker in Munich.
- Reus passed Zorc on the Dortmund goalscoring charts, the BVB captain netting for the 160th and 161st times in Black and Yellow.
- The Germany attacker also brought his overall goals tally in the Bundesliga to 150.
- No Bundesliga player has contributed more goals than Guerreiro since the start of February - nine (two of his own, plus seven assists).
- Borussia scored four goals in the opening 45 minutes for the first time this season.
- Dortmund's nine-match unbeaten run in the league is currently the longest of any Bundesliga team.
- Selke registered his first goal in Cologne colours.
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Watch: Haller: "My performances are improving"
Dortmund: Meyer - Wolf, Süle, Schlotterbeck, Ryerson (Rothe 79') - Bellingham, Dahoud (Hummels 79'), Guerreiro - Malen (Meunier 72'), Haller (Modeste 71'), Reus (c) (Reyna 72')
Unused subs: Lotka, Passlack, Papadopoulos, Njinmah
Out: Adeyemi (thigh), Brandt (hamstring), Bynoe-Gittens (shoulder), Can (suspended), Duranville (thigh), Kamara (knee), Kobel (thigh), Özcan (cold), Moukoko (ankle), Morey (match fitness)
Coach: Edin Terzic
Cologne: Schwäbe - Schmitz, Hübers, Chabot (Martel 58'), Hector (c) - Skhiri - Olesen, Ljubicic (Schindler 83'), Kainz (Huseinbasic 58') - Adamyan (Maina 58'), Selke (Tigges 69')
Unused subs: Horn, Soldo, Lemperle, Downs
Out: Andersson (knee), Dietz (cruciate ligament), Kilian (muscular), Pedersen (muscular), Uth (pelvis), Thielmann (thigh)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
Watch: Terzic: "We've got a big week when we return"
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