Julian Brandt keeps Borussia Dortmund level with Bayern Munich after win at Hoffenheim
A Julian Brandt goal took Borussia Dortmund outright top of the Bundesliga for 24 hours, before Bayern Munich went back ahead on goal difference, but they were made to work hard for all three points by a Hoffenheim side who slip even deeper into relegation danger in defeat.
Hoffenheim 0-1 Borussia Dortmund
Goal: 0-1 Brandt 43’ (assist: Reus)
The carrot of moving three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga for a night was being dangled in front of Dortmund as they took to the field in Sinsheim, and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens nearly got them off to a flyer with a low shot which Oliver Baumann did well to get down to at his near post. Hoffenheim had an agenda too, though, with the relegation zone closing in on them, and they missed a gilt-edged opportunity to take the lead when Christoph Baumgartner’s blocked effort looped up and Ozan Kabak had the goal at his mercy, but headed over from barely a yard out. An ankle injury ended Kabak’s involvement before half an hour had been played and Hoffenheim may still have been trying to readjust at the back when Sebastien Haller skipped through and brought another fine save out of Baumann. From the resulting corner, Baumann had to be at his best yet again to deny Haller from point-blank range. There was nothing he could do to prevent Brandt from opening the scoring moments later, though, as the in-form German forward ducked under Marco Reus’ curling free-kick and diverted the ball in with his lower back. Intentional or not, it counted and continues his purple patch.
Marius Wolf thought he had doubled Dortmund’s lead with a stunning strike which went in off the inside of the post, but VAR was consulted due to an earlier infringement and the referee agreed that Nico Schlotterbeck had impeded Ihlas Bebou at the other end and the goal was chalked off. Wolf aimed for the same corner moments later, but could not find it. Baumann saved Hoffenheim again, turning a fizzing Raphael Guerreiro drive wide. The goalkeepers were dominating the limelight with ex-TSG man Gregor Kobel pushing a Baumgartner effort wide at the other end. Andrej Kramaric took a lick of paint off the left-hand upright before Fisnik Asllani missed the best chance of the lot to bring Hoffenheim level, fluffing his lines with a free header at the far post. Dortmund rode their luck, and hit the woodwork through Jude Bellingham as they held on for the three points which took them level with leaders Bayern Munich in the style of a team capable of grinding out results even when not at the best – the true hallmark of a title candidate.
Watch: Brandt: "We're all riding a wave"
- Dortmund are the only team in Europe's top 10 leagues with a 100 percent record in 2023.
- Edin Terzic is enjoying his first full season as permanent head coach of BVB.
- January’s Player of the Month Brandt has now scored in four consecutive Bundesliga fixtures, a feat he also achieved in 2016 with Bayer Leverkusen.
- He has never before scored eight goals after 22 games of a season, with one more needed to match his personal best for a single campaign.
- Dortmund have the best record (seven wins from seven games) in the Bundesliga since the winter break, while Hoffenheim have the worst (one point from seven games).
- Hoffenheim have picked up a single point from 10 games against teams in the top half of the Bundesliga table this season.
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Watch: Terzic: "We are not finished yet"
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Kabak (Bicakcic 30'), Vogt, Akpoguma - Kaderabek, Tohumcu (Dolberg 65'), Rudy (Stiller 78'), Angelino - Baumgartner - Bebou (Asllani 65'), Kramaric
Unused subs: Philipp, Dabbur, Delaney, Becker, Brooks
Out: Bischof (ankle), Bruun Larsen (groin), Geiger (unknown), Prömel (ankle), Skov (calf)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo
Dortmund: Kobel - Wolf, Süle, Schlotterbeck, Guerreiro - Can, Bellingham - Brandt, Reus (c) (Hummels 88'), Bynoe-Gittens (Malen 64') – Haller (Özcan 77')
Unused subs: Meyer, Reyna, Dahoud, Modeste, Meunier, Passlack
Out: Adeyemi (thigh), Duranville (thigh), Kamara (knee), Morey (match fitness), Moukoko (ankle), Ryerson (knock)
Coach: Edin Terzic
Watch: Can: "Still a long way to go"
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