Borussia Dortmund were at their dominant best again as they took a clear 5-2 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach to stay right on Bayern Munich's heels in the Bundesliga title race.
Borussia Dortmund 5-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goals: 1-0 Malen 5’, 2-0 Bellingham 18’ (pen.), 3-0 Haller 20' (assist: Malen), 4-0 Haller 32' (assist: Malen), 4-1 Bensebaini 75' (pen.), 4-2 Stindl 85' (assist: Netz), 5-2 Reyna 90+4'
Dortmund wasted no time in showing their intention to keep the title race alive with vital three points following Bayern Munich’s 6-0 win over Schalke earlier on Saturday. A little over four minutes were on the clock when Jude Bellingham brought the ball into the danger area and Donyell Malen ran onto a looping deflection to head in from close range. There was no letting up in a lively opening phase, with Ramy Bensebaini drawing a save from Gregor Kobel and Bellingham firing just wide. Sebastien Haller was then bundled down by Florian Neuhaus, before Bellingham slotted the spot kick past Jan Olschowsky. Malen then drilled the ball across, and Haller span and backheeled the ball in for Dortmund’s third in a deadly opening 20-minute salvo. There was little Daniel Farke’s shell-shocked visitors could do to halt Dortmund’s charge. Sure enough, Haller struck again on the half-hour mark, turning in a cross from Malen at the near post to secure a commanding 4-0 lead at the break.
The home side eased off somewhat in the second-half with the points already as good as in the bag. Bellingham drew a good save from Olschowsky in their first good opportunity of the second period and the Englishman then headed over from inside the six-yard box. Karim Adeyemi twisted through the Gladbach defence before slipping, and Julian Brandt fired wide as the one-way traffic continued. The visitors looked like they would be fortunate just to see out the game without conceding any further goals, but then began an unexpected fightback when Gio Reyna brought down Bensebaini in the box, and the Algerian stepped up himself to net. Luca Netz then chipped the ball over Kobel only for Niklas Süle to clear before it crossed the line as the visitors threatened to further cut the lead. Lars Stindl then did get a second for Gladbach with a neat drive from outside the box. As spirited as the visitors' late rally was, there was ultimately no stopping Dortmund taking the three vital points - especially when Reyna bundled in from close-range with the last kick of the game for Dortmund's fifth goal.
- Bellingham has scored eight goals this season - twice as many as in his first two Bundesliga seasons combined.
- Malen has 13 goal involvements in his past 11 appearances (nine goals and four assists).
- Dortmund raced into a 3-0 lead earlier than in any match since against Schalke in November 2017.
- Bensebaini has scored all seven penalties he has taken in the Bundesliga.
- Stindl has scored four of his seven goals this season as a substitute. No player in the Bundesliga has netted more off the bench.
- Gladbach conceded four goals or more for the fourth time this season.
Watch: Haller on Dortmund's title hopes: "Why not?"
Dortmund: Kobel - Wolf, Süle, Hummels (c) (Özcan 59'), Ryerson (Guerreiro 59') - Bellingham, Can, Brandt (Reus 69') - Malen (Reyna 69'), Haller (Moukoko 79'), Adeyemi
Unused subs: Meyer, Schlotterbeck, Modeste, Passlack
Out: Bynoe-Gittens (shoulder), Coulibaly (international action), Duranville (thigh), Meunier (adductor), Morey (match fitness)
Coach: Edin Terzic
Gladbach: Olschowsky - Lainer, Elvedi (Jantschke 82'), Friedrich, Bensebaini - Weigl, Kone (Netz 75') - Hofmann, Neuhaus (Kramer 68'), Wolf (Itakura 46') - Ngoumou (Stindl 75')
Unused subs: Sippel, Herrmann, Thuram, Scally
Out: Omlin (muscular), Plea (suspended), Sanches (ankle)
Coach: Daniel Farke
Terzic: “We sent out another statement”
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