Borussia Dortmund propelled themselves into the Bundesliga's tightest-ever title race after goals from Karim Adeyemi, Donyell Malen, Marco Reus and Julian Brandt fired the five-time champions past a battling Hertha Berlin.
Following Bayern Munich’s loss against Borussia Mönchengladbach and Union’s failure to beat Schalke, BVB knew a win against lowly Hertha would take them level on points with their aforementioned title rivals at the top of the standings. A pulsating atmosphere thus greeted the hosts, kitted out in their limited-edition coal and steel kits and although Edin Terzic’z men started slowly – allowing the visitors a few sights of goal – Borussia soon began to put fire in their fans’ bellies. Adeyemi was Dortmund’s star turn in the midweek win against Chelsea in the Champions League, and the 21-year-old was centre stage again here, flicking in superbly from Reus’s mis-hit shot for 1-0. With a blustery wind at their backs, Die Schwarzgelben breezed forward again soon afterwards. Another fine build-up had Adeyemi haring down the left. The Germany international’s angled pass to the far post popped up perfectly for Malen, who slotted in. The downside for Dortmund and Adeyemi was a muscular injury that forced his early exit.
Hertha ended a four-game losing streak with an impressive 4-1 victory against Gladbach last weekend and Sandro Schwarz’s men emerged for the second half showing plenty of the fight that won the day on Matchday 20. The Old Lady were back in the contest just two minutes after the restart, Lucas Tousart ramming in off the underside of the crossbar following Suat Serdar’s cut-back. Marvin Plattenhardt then drove narrowly wide as Dortmund nerves frayed. When the hosts got over their wobble, substitute Jamie Bynoe-Gittens drew a smart save from Oliver Christensen with a shot from distance. Terzic's introduction of Jude Bellingham offered further stability and when Reus floated in a fabulous free-kick from the edge of the area, the Black-and-Yellows' 100 per cent start to 2023 looked set to continue. Brandt's late finish after some trademark Bynoe-Gittens skills was the icing on the cake as Dortmund stepped up to rub shoulders with Bayern and Union.
- BVB extended their 100 per cent winning record to eight games in all competitions in 2023.
- Reus scored his 111th Bundesliga goal for Dortmund and his 158th in all competitions.
- Adeyemi has now scored in his last four games in all competitions.
- Dortmund have scored at least once at home in their last 44 consecutive games at Signal Iduna Park - a new club record.
- Brandt, who has now had a direct hand in five goals in 2023, was facing his favourite opponent. He's produced eight goals and four assists in 19 Bundesliga appearances against Hertha.
- Suat Serdar provided a first assist in his 50th Bundesliga game for Hertha.
Dortmund: Kobel - Wolf, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Ryerson - Can, Özcan (Bellingham 65') - Brandt, Reus (c) (Süle 87'), Malen (Haller 66') - Adeyemi (Bynoe-Gittens 35')
Unused subs: Meyer, Reyna, Dahoud, Guerreiro, Meunier
Out: Duranville (thigh), Kamara (knee), Morey (match fitness), Moukoko (ankle)
Coach: Edin Terzic
Hertha: Christensen - Uremovic (Rogel 68'), Kempf, Dardai - Richter, Tousart, Cigerci (Boateng 79'), Serdar (Boetius 68'), Plattenhardt (c) - Ngankam (Scherhant 68'), Niederlechner (Lukebakio 68')
Unused subs: Ernst, Kenny, Mittelstädt, Sunjic
Out: Ejuke (knee), Jarstein (not considered), Jovetic (muscular), Kanga (toe), Nsona (knee), Pekarik (hip)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
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