Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus scored on his long-awaited comeback from injury in BVB's last pre-season friendly of the summer in a 2-1 win over Dutch Eredivisie side Sparta Rotterdam.
Dortmund dominated throughout against a team that ranked 11th in the 2019/20 Eredivisie standings when their maiden top-flight campaign was brought to a premature end by the coronavirus pandemic. Lucien Favre was able to field a strong line-up despite a number of first-team players remaining away on international duty. Emre Can and Julian Brandt returned from Germany's senior squad to start, while Reus was back in action for the first time since February. Chances were hard to come by in the first half, however, with a Reus free-kick and header from debutant Reinier, the closest Dortmund came to scoring without troubling the Sparta goalkeeper.
Things opened up in the second half, though, as Dortmund opened the scoring just after the hour mark. Brandt played Reus the ball on the edge of the Sparta box and the BVB skipper dribbled his way past three defenders, dancing through the visitors' penalty area before smashing the ball home back across goal. Just three minutes later and the scoreline was doubled with substitute Immanuel Pherai on the end of Marius Wolf's cross from the left to poke home from close range. Changes were made towards the end of the second half with Reus, Brandt and others coming off having gotten good minutes under their belts ahead of Dortmund's first competitive game of the season in the DFB Cup against Duisburg next Monday. The Black-Yellows begin their Bundesliga campaign at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach on 19 September.
- Reus recorded 11 goals and five assists in 19 Bundesliga appearances in 2019/20, having a direct goal involvement every 94 minutes.
- Dahoud played for the first time since injuring his knee in the 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich on 26 May.
- The 2019/20 Eredivisie season was cancelled in April due to the coronavirus outbreak, with Sparta ending up in 11th place with 33 points from 26 games.
- This was the first meeting between these teams, although Dortmund faced Sparta's Rotterdam city rivals Feyenoord 4-2 in a January friendly earlier this year thanks to a brace from Raphael Guerreiro and goals from Gio Reyna and Chris Führich.
- Reyna has been in fine form in pre-season, scoring four times in four outings.
- Brandt and Can returned from international duty with Germany on Sunday to start the match on Monday.
Dortmund: Hitz – Piszczek (Hippe 46'), Hummels, Can - Passlack, Brandt (Pherai 64'), Dahoud (Hober 86'), Reyna (Collins 83'), Wolf - Reus (Gürpüz 70'), Reinier (Duman 46')
Subs: Bakir, Reckert, Maloney, Schmeling
Out: Akanji, Bellingham, Delaney, Guerreiro, Haaland, Hazard, Meunier, Moukoko, Sancho, Witsel (all international duty), Schmelzer (knee), Schulz (calf) Zagadou (knee)
Coach: Lucien Favre
Sparta: van Leer (Okoye 46') - Fortes, Abels, Heylen, Vriends, Pinto (Faye 46') – Auassar, Duarte (Mijnans 72') - Smeets (Emegha 72'), Thy (Gravenberch 46'), Rayhi (Martis 81')
Out: Coremans (knee), Kharchouch (knee)
Coach: Henk Fraser
Watch: All of Reus' goals and assists in 2019/20
As it happened
It's all over in Dortmund and BVB's pre-season has come to an end with a 2-1 win over Sparta Rotterdam.
81' - SPARTA GET A GOAL
Sparta get a goal back in the final 10 minutes as they break away through the middle. A great run from Emanuel Emegha as he reaches the box before playing the ball to the right and sees the pass returned to him in front of goal to smash the ball home past Hitz.
79' - DORTMUND CONTINUE TO ATTACK
Reyna is another who has been in fine form today and he attempts to break into the Sparta box to work a shot on goal, but the last touch fails him as he continues to work hard up the pitch. Just about 10 minutes to play here in Dortmund with the sun still shining as Favre and his side look to end pre-season on a high.
70' - REUS COMES OFF
The Dortmund captain is subbed off with his work done for the day. A goal and an impressive performance from him on his return as he is replaced by Göktan Gürpüz from Dortmund's U23 team.
66' - GOAL! PHERAI MAKES IT TWO!
Lovely stuff from Dortmund once again as this game opens up. Reyna plays Wolf the ball in space on the left side of the Sparta box and he sends a first-time ball across goal for Pherai to tap home past the goalkeeper. Quick, slick football from BVB.
63' - GOALS! REUS GETS HIS SCORES!
Fantastic from Reus as he collects Brandt's pass out wide to the left. He cuts inside past one, two, three defenders across the box before firing his shot back across goal and into the bottom corner. Superb from the BVB captain who has been on fire today.
59' - REUS HITS THE POST!
That's as close as we've come to the opening goal after some outstanding interplay from Dortmund. Reyna finds Reus with his back to goal and the BVB captain flicks it on with one touch to Brandt. He takes the ball into the box and returns it into the middle for Buman, who then flicks it back to Reus on the run on the left side and he clips the ball towards goal but can only watch as it bounces back out of the far post.
55' - BRANDT HAS A GO
Reyna's pass towards Brandt is blocked by a Sparta defender but the ball continues to run loose and the Germany international has a go at goal from the edge of the penalty area. His right-footed effort is on target, but Sparta 'keeper - Okoye, fresh on at half-time - makes a good save.
52' - CAN WITH A BIG HIT!
Good early work in the second half from Dortmund as Wolf plays Reus towards the byline and his cut-back is cleared just as far as Can who lines up a shot from distance. He connects well and it looks like it's heading towards goal, but a Sparta defender makes the block with his head.
46' - KICK-OFF!
Things are back underway in the second half in Dortmund with two changes for the home side. Lukasz Piszczek and Reinier have come off at the break with two U23 players coming on in their place - Maximilian Hippe and Taylan Duman. There have also been three transfers made by Sparta Rotterdam.
All square at the break with the scoreline goalless as Can fired a shot over just before the break from the edge of the Sparta penalty area. Promising from Dortmund that they have been able to control the game so well, however, more needed going forward if they want to open the scoring and find the net consistently before the end of the game.
40' - TRYING AND TRYING
Dortmund in full control here as we approach half-time. The Bundesliga side have had no trouble in dominating the possession with Piszczek, Hummels and Can providing a stable backline to work from. Only two or three big chances have come for Favre's side on goal in the first half till now.
32' - REYNA POKES ONE OVER
Passlack charges forward and finds Brandt, who flicks the ball into the box to match Reinier's run. The Brazilian teenager loses out but the ball falls kindly towards Reyna in front of goal, however the American can't keep the ball on target as he pushes it towards goal with the outside of his right foot.
30' - HALF-HOUR GONE
Dortmund still in total command of possession here but have struggled to breakdown their opposition. Brandt, Dahoud and Reyna have all looked to be the creative sparks through the middle but there's not a lot of space to work with, making things difficult for the Dortmund attacking line.
22' - REUS CLOSE AGAIN
Superb from Wolf as he collects Brandt's pass in while tightly-marked on the edge of the Sparta box. He then backheels it through for Reus, who cuts past one defender and goes for goal with a left-footed shot, but the Sparta defence recovers well to make a vital block.
20' - FIRST SHOT FOR SPARTA
A counter-attacking opportunity opens up for the away side and Fortes is played the ball on the run down the right flank. He reaches the BVB box and shoots low at goal, but doesn't get the contact he'd want as Hitz makes a simple save.
16' - WOLF CURLS ONE
Reus' run into the box sees him lose out in possession as he reaches the Sparta penalty area, but the ball runs loose to Marius Wolf who curls a shot towards the far top corner. Van Leer is there to make another good save for the visiting Dutch side.
10' - REUS FREE-KICK!
The returning Dortmund captain goes for goal with a free-kick from the right corner of the Sparta box and forces a good save from the goalkeeper who tips Reus' shot over his own crossbar.
10' - SOLID EARLY START
Dortmund have had most of the early possession here in the sunshine in Brackel. Reyna and Brandt are playing in attacking midfield roles with Dahoud as the only defence-minded midfield in front of the back-three. All of them have been heavily involved so far, while Reus and Reinier and pressing high from the front.
3' - THREE AT THE BACK
Favre's side are playing with a three-man defence once again today in preparation for the new season, with Piszczek, Hummels and Can at the back. Passlack is at right wing-back, with Dahoud, Reyna and Brandt rotating in the middle and Wolf on the left. Meanwhile, with Brandt as closest support so far, Reus and Reinier lead the line together.
1' - KICK-OFF!
We're underway in Dortmund for BVB's final pre-season game before the start of the new campaign.
IN THE NEW AWAY KIT
Dortmund are sporting their new away kit for the coming season, black socks, yellow shorts and a black shirt with yellow cross from the top right to bottom left corners of the shirt. A tidy number - as always - from BVB.
PRE-SEASON SO FAR
Dortmund have played four friendly matches so far this summer ahead of the 2020/21 season, which will begin at the weekend when BVB face MSV Duisburg in the DFB Cup before they host Borussia Mönchengladbach one week later. So far, BVB have recorded wins over Rheindorf Altach (6-0) and Austria Vienna (11-2), but drew with Paderborn (1-1) and lost to Bochum (3-1) on the same day at the end of August.
Lucien Favre has been able to field a strong starting XI despite missing a host of first-team players who are away on international duty. The likes of Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Thorgan Hazard are all still away and not able to take part. However, with Reus back as well as Julian Brandt and Emre Can returning from their time with Germany and immediately starting - it's a very strong side on show at Dortmund's training ground in Brackel.
THE ROLLS REUS IS BACK
Dortmund's already legendary club captain and born leader Marco Reus returns today to make his first appearance for the club, competitive or not, after nearly seven months of training and rehabilitation following injury in February. He starts up front today with a new face in the starting line-up alongside him in Reinier, BVB's new loan signing from Real Madrid.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Dortmund's final pre-season fixture of the summer against Sparta Rotterdam of the Netherlands.