Goals from Paco Alcacer and Marco Reus helped Borussia Dortmund beat Werder Bremen 2-1 and move nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
Dortmund 2-1 Bremen
Goals: 1-0 Alcacer (20’), 2-0 Reus (27’), 2-1 Kruse (35’)
Borussia’s leading scorer Alcacer had netted ten times in his previous nine league games going into Saturday’s encounter, and the former Barcelona man continued his purple patch when he headed home Raphael Guerreiro’s inswinging free-kick after 20 minutes. The header was initially ruled out for offside, but referee Guido Winkmann allowed the goal to stand after liaising with the VAR in Cologne. Dortmund captain Reus found the bottom corner following Jadon Sancho’s incisive pass to double BVB’s lead, before Max Kruse pulled a goal back eight minutes before half-time with a thunderous volley from the edge of the area.
The visitors started the second half the way they had ended the first and went close to an equaliser when Kevin Möhwald - who replaced the injured Klaassen in the first half - struck a powerful effort straight at Roman Bürki from 20 metres out. Dortmund nearly restored their two-goal advantage when Reus fired wide from Alcacer’s cross, before Sancho was denied by Pavlenka after latching onto Reus’ pin-point through-ball. Florian Kohfeldt threw on USMNT international Josh Sargent in the closing stages as Werder pushed for an equaliser, but Dortmund - who had a late Mario Götze goal chalked off for offside - held on to extend their lead over Borussia Mönchengladbach at the summit and clinch the Bundesliga's nominal autumn championship.
- Alcacer’s goal lifted him above Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga goalscoring chart.
- The Spaniard is the first player in Germany’s top flight to score 11 goals in his first 378 minutes as a Bundesliga player.
- Reus netted his tenth goal of the season at the Signal Iduna Park - the last time he scored ten before the winter break was for Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2011/12.
- Kruse ended a run of 868 minutes without a Bundesliga goal. He hadn’t scored in the league for Bremen since Matchday 5.
- Kruse’s goal was Werder’s sixth long-range goal of the campaign. Only Dortmund have scored as often from outside the area this season.
Dortmund: Bürki – Piszczek, Akanji, Diallo, Hakimi – Witsel, Delaney – Sancho (Philipp 90+3'), Reus (c), Guerreiro (Pulisic 89') - Alcacer (Götze 81')
Unused substitutes: Hitz, Dahoud, Weigl, Toprak
Out: Zagadou (foot)
Coach: Lucien Favre
Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Langkamp, Moisander, Augustinsson – Sahin, M. Eggestein (Sargent 83'), Klaassen (Möhwald 18') – Harnik, Kruse (c), Rashica (Osako 73')
Unused substitutes: Plogmann, Pizarro, Kainz, Friedl
Out: Bargfrede (Achilles), Bartels (ankle), Johannsson (ankle), Veljkovic (hamstring)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt