Borussia Dortmund lost ground in the Bundesliga title race after conceding four against Bayer Leverkusen in the ‘Topspiel’. Several thousand Borussia Dortmund fans made the short 156km round trip for their Bundesliga clash at the BayArena and many of those would have travelled home dejected knowing that by Sunday evening, they could be six points behind Bayern Munich should they win against RB Leipzig.
For their expansive play, Borussia Dortmund’s defence will cost them the title
In typical Borussia Dortmund fashion, their defence let them down once again which will ultimately cost them the Bundesliga title. Bayer Leverkusen took the lead through Kevin Volland following an excellent counter-attack, started by goalkeeper Lukáš Hrádecký. The 27-year-old staking his claim for a place in Joachim Löw’s Germany squad.
Borussia Dortmund then equalised instantaneously through Mats Hummels, rising above Bayer’s defence to nod home a Jadon Sancho corner before Emre Can beautifully placed the ball beyond Hrádecký to give Lucien Favre’s side a 2-1 lead.
Leading for the first time on Saturday evening, Borussia’s defence fell asleep yet again from a set-piece for the umpteenth time this season, to which Volland capitalised, equalising for Bayer as the two teams went into the break level.
The second-half wasn’t much better for Favre despite Raphaël Guerreiro giving Borussia the lead after 65 minutes. Controlling for much of the second-half, a lapse in concentration resulted in Dortmund’s defence self-capitulating.
Substitute Leon Bailey equalised for Bayer Leverkusen with 10 minutes remaining before captain Lars Bender rose above a static BVB defence to nod home the winner just seconds later, to the delight of Leverkusen’s Nordkurve.
Switching back to 4-3-3, playing Manuel Akanji out of position at right-back showed and it ultimately cost Borussia Dortmund on the night. It’s yet again another poor defensive display and whilst it’s all well and good scoring, you’re not going to win a title with a defence that has conceded seven goals in four games.
No goal for Haaland, but exploitive in other ways
Erling Braut Haaland was never going to score in every game he played, and Saturday night against Bayer Leverkusen was just one of those. The absence of Marco Reus was evident whilst Borussia’s front three just couldn’t seem to get going, despite scoring three.
The Norway international had a great chance in the opening five minutes but after that, there wasn’t must he could do against an impressive Leverkusen defence, that included 21-year-old Edmond Tapsoba, who made his debut.
Following the game, Haaland looked dejected. He fought hard, but it just wasn’t clicking for him. At such a young age, you can already see that he’s an excellent player and his knowledge of the game is that of an experienced professional.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund a great advert for Bundesliga football
As if Bundesliga football didn’t need an advert, Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund certainly provided fans with quite the spectacle. A seven-goal thriller, two goals in one minute and an exceptional goal from Emre Can, who made his first start for Borussia Dortmund.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund is a fixture that rarely disappoints. 29 goals in six Bundesliga games before Saturday’s five-goal thriller, which also included three goals being ruled out, Moussa Diaby and Leon Bailey for offside and Jadon Sancho’s for a foul in the build-up.
The atmosphere surrounding the game was rowdy – in a positive way – and it just shows what the Bundesliga has to offer and why so many travel to get the ultimate Bundesliga experience.
Daniel Pinder – BayArena