Dortmund - Borussia Dortmund left it late to get the better of bitter rivals FC Schalke 04 in the 146th edition of the Revierderby, but eventually, and deservedly, took all three points in a 3-0 triumph.
BVB squandered a plethora of chances in both halves of a one-sided match, but just when it appeared their visitors might snatch an unlikely point, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkitaryan and Marco Reus all scored within the space of eight minutes to secure Dortmund’s fourth consecutive Bundesliga win.
The Signal Iduna Park was a blur of yellow and blue in the opening period of a characteristically frenetic fixtue, as both sides looked to assert their dominance early on. Schalke defied expectations and initially went on the front foot, but were almost caught out by the hosts’ first foray forward. A delightful through-ball from Shinji Kagawa on the edge of the box put Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang clean through, but 19-year-old Schalke keeper Timon Wellenreuther saved superbly.
That instigated a dominant spell from Dortmund, in which they created chances almost by the minute. Marco Reus flashed an exquisitely-executed volley narrowly wide, Shinji Kagawa’s lob likewise bobbled off target and Aubameyang squandered a further two gilt-edged opportunities, before Nuri Sahin headed straight at Wellenreuther when unmarked at a corner.
Schalke living on the edge
The one-way traffic towards Schalke’s goal continued up to half-time, and still Dortmund couldn’t find the net despite slicing open the Royal Blues’ defence seemingly at will. The closest they came to breaking the deadlock was a sumptuous half-volley from the edge of the area from Reus that was deflected on to the crossbar by Roman Neustädter. The half-time whistle came as something of a relief for the guests, who could, and probably should have been several goals down by that stage.
In the second period Jürgen Klopp’s men carried on where they had left off prior to the break. Their first real opening came after ten minutes or so, but it was worth the wait. Sahin threaded an awesome 40-yard pass through several opposition players and into Reus’ stride, allowing the Dortmund No11 to gallop into the area, only for Wellenreuther to pull off another stunning save, with Neustädter clearing the rebound ahead of the onrushing Aubameyang.
Better late than never
Schalke appeared to accept that it wasn’t going to be their day and duly trained their efforts on keeping a clean sheet, with Kevin-Prince Boateng being replaced in midfield by the more defensive minded Tranquillo Barnetta to set up an eight-man defensive block. Dortmund stuck to their task, however, and kept Wellenreuther busy, albeit not with the same regularity as previously.
Borussia were eventually rewarded for their dominance when Aubameyang poked them in front. Mkhitaryan then slid in at the back post to convert Ilkay Gündogan’s pinpoint cross from the right, before Reus crowned an outstanding individual display by chasing down and dispossessing Wellenreuther to force the ball over the line from close range and give BVB a thoroughly deserved derby win.
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