Michy Batshuayi scored his sixth Bundesliga goal in seven games as Borussia Dortmund consolidated a place in the top four courtesy of a 1-0 home win against Hannover on Matchday 27.
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Hannover
Goals: 1-0 Batshuayi (24')
As if offended by Thursday's European exit to Salzburg, BVB began determined to prove a point. Batshuayi burst in behind after 36 seconds, but directed his shot onto the post – an augury of what was to come. Dortmund peppered Philipp Tschauner's goal with shots – Gonzalo Castro and the impressive Andre Schürrle both went close – before Batshuayi gave the dominant hosts a deserved lead, cleverly diverting Schürrle's front-post corner into the net. There was no let-up from BVB, either: Batshuayi spurned two chances from close range prior to the interval, while Pirmin Schwegler shot straight at compatriot Roman Bürki with Hannover's only real opening.
Dortmund's fire and brimstone in the first half was replaced by a more measured approach at the start of the second period. The introduction of Sokratis for Ömer Toprak gave BVB some more defensive ballast, with the hosts content to circulate the ball through midfield. Although chances were few and far between – Hannover's Felix Klaus had two speculative efforts – Peter Stöger's side rarely had to leave their comfort zone. Indeed, the margin of victory could have been greater, but substitute Maximilian Philipp rattled the post in the closing stages. It mattered little in the final reckoning - BVB held on comfortably and keep up the pace in the top-four race.
Man of the match
Impressive as Schürrle was, Batshuayi was a constant outlet for BVB. The Belgian was always willing to run in behind, harried and harassed the Hannover defence throughout and showed just why Dortmund were so keen to sign him in January.
- Batshuayi has scored six Bundesliga goals in seven games since arriving on loan from Chelsea in January.Every single goal scored by Batshuayi in the Bundesliga has given Dortmund the lead.Pulisic has made 25 Bundesliga starts for BVB this season, more than any other outfield player.Schürrle's assist for Batshuayi was the first time the World Cup winner has ever set up a goal from a corner in his Bundesliga career.For the first time under Stöger, Dortmund have kept back-to-back clean sheets.BVB's last home defeat on a Sunday came in August 2010.Niclas Füllkrug is Hannover’s top scorer with 10 goals – twice as many as he managed in Bundesliga 2 last season, with seven games still to play.Hannover captain Schwegler made his 229th outing in the Bundesliga, overtaking BVB legend Stephane Chapuisat to move into fourth in the all-time Swiss appearance-makers in the Bundesliga (now trailing Ciriaco Sforza, Tranquillo Barnetta and Diego Benaglio).
Dortmund: Bürki – Piszczek, Akanji, Toprak (Sokratis 46'), Schmelzer (c) – Castro (Weigl 64'), Dahoud – Pulisic (Philipp 70'), Götze, Schürrle – Batshuayi
Unused subs: Weidenfeller, Sancho, Sahin, Guerreiro
Absentees: Rode (shin), Yarmolenko (tendon), Reus (muscular problems), Zagadou (thigh)
Coach: Peter Stöger
Hannover: Tschauner (c) - Sorg (Fossum 78'), Anton, Sane - Korb, Schwegler, Bakalorz (Maina 86'), Ostrzolek - Klaus - Jonathas, Füllkrug (Sarenren Bazee 73')
Unused subs: Esser, Elez, Albornoz, Hübner, Maina
Absentees: Prib (knee), Bebou (suspended)
Coach: Andre Breitenreiter
Watch: Schürrle on whether Batshuayi meant his stunning back-heeled winner!