Title-hungry Borussia Dortmund beat RB Leipzig to maintain perfect start


Jude Bellingham says his goal is to lift the title, after Borussia Dortmund extended their perfect start to 2023 to eight Bundesliga matches with a 2-1 win over top-four rivals RB Leipzig.

Borussia Dortmund 2-1 RB Leipzig
Goals: 1-0
Reus (pen. 21'), 2-0 Can (39'), 2-1 Forsberg (assist: Raum) 74'

Dortmund went into the game as Europe's form team, but had to survive a number of first-half scares at the Signal Iduna Park. Nico Schlotterbeck prevented Christopher Nkunku going through on goal, before Dominik Szoboszlai tested the reflexes of Alexander Meyer - parachuted in after Gregor Kobel sustained an injury in the warm-up - with a stinging shot from distance. Shortly after Nkunku sent another effort wide, Julian Brandt had a thunderous finish ruled out for handball and a goal-bound shot blocked by Josko Gvardiol. Reus won and converted a penalty after being upended by Janis Blaswich, but Leipzig continued to give as good as they got as Marcel Halstenberg volleyed over from close range. Emre Can made no such mistake with a deflected 20-yard strike that put BVB firmly in control at the break.

The high-octane action continued apace after the restart as Andre Silva sent an inventive outside-of-the-boot attempt narrowly wide of Meyer's far post. Dortmund responded in kind, with Salih Özcan toe-poking Brandt's free-kick off target from six yards. After an inevitable lull, the game sprung back into life as Blaswich made a fabulous flying save to prevent Reus finding the roof of the net from 18 yards. Meyer followed suit to thwart Silva in a one-on-one, before Szoboszlai lashed wide. Leipzig's patience was rewarded when Emil Forsberg turned in substitute David Raum's back-post cross, but Dortmund held on, with Schlotterbeck and Meyer pulling off some last-gasp heroics to deny Timo Werner and Forsberg. The result ensures the Black-Yellows stay level on points with Bayern Munich, who won at VfB Stuttgart on Saturday, and seven clear of Leipzig. It also prompted Bellingham to produce his two favourite German words: 'Deutscher Meister' (champions of Germany) and 'BVB', saying the goal now is to combine those by leading Borussia to the title this year.

Watch: Bellingham on Dortmund's title ambitions

Match stats

  • Dortmund have kicked off 2023 with a club record-equalling eight Bundesliga wins. The class of 2011/12 achieved the feat on their way to winning a second straight title under Jürgen Klopp.
  • Reus scored his 159th competitive goal for Dortmund. He's now level second in the all-time club charts with Michael Zorc.
  • BVB are unbeaten in their previous 33 Bundesliga home games on a Friday (W25, D8).
  • Can scored his first Bundesliga goal since 23 April 2023 (a 3-1 loss to Bayern).
  • Dortmund have scored at least once in their last 45 home Bundesliga matches, dating back to June 2020.
  • The Black-Yellows ended a run of three straight competitive losses to Leipzig.

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Dortmund: Meyer - Wolf, Süle, Schlotterbeck, Ryerson - Can - Brandt (Hummels 83'), Bellingham, Özcan (Dahoud 83'), Reus (c) (Bynoe-Gittens 72') - Haller (Modeste 72')
Unused subs: Reyna, Guerreiro, Meunier, Passlack
Out: Adeyemi (thigh), Duranville (thigh), Kamara (knee), Kobel (muscular), Malen (ankle), Morey (match fitness), Moukoko (ankle)
Coach: Edin Terzic

Leipzig: Blaswich - Henrichs, Orban (c) (Simakan 71'), Gvardiol, Halstenberg (Raum 61') - Schlager, Haidara (Kampl 84') - Szoboszlai, Nkunku (Werner 83'), Forsberg - Silva (Poulsen 72')
Unused subs: Nyland, Klostermann, Clark
Out: Diallo (knee), Gulacsi (knee), Laimer (suspended), Olmo (thigh)
Coach: Marco Rose