Borussia Dortmund’s unbeaten record in the Bundesliga this season remains intact after Marco Reus bundled the ball over the line to secure an important three points for Die Schwarzgelben, who needed a positive response following their midweek showing in the Champions League.
Changes were aplenty for Borussia Dortmund heading into the game following their 2-0 defeat against PSG on Tuesday. Edin Terzic opted for a 5-3-2 in Paris, but reverted to a 4-3-3 against Wolfsburg. Salih Özcan replaced Emre Can and both Karim Adeyemi and Donyell Malen dropped to the bench, the latter a surprising move. Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Marco Reus and Niclas Füllkrug all started.
It took Borussia Dortmund just five minutes to test Koen Casteels in the Wolfsburg goal. Reus, who started for the first time since the opening weekend, tested the Belgian with a superb free-kick. That would become the only real opportunity that Dortmund had in the first half. Julian Brandt and Julian Ryerson linked up well on the right-flank, while Jamie Bynoe-Gittens impressed on the left, but Wolfsburg defended comfortably.
Possession was shared almost equally in the opening 45, but it was perhaps Wolfsburg that had the best opportunity of the first half. Eight minutes before the break, Niko Kovač’s side found themselves in a 3v1 situation after Dortmund lost the ball inside their own half. Jonas Wind and Tiago Tomas combined, but the former forced Gregor Kobel into an excellent save.
It was much of the same for the opening 20 minutes of the second half. That was until Donyell Malen was introduced. The Dutchman was dangerous from the off, injecting his pace into the game. He played a significant role in Reus’ goal after the German managed to swing his left foot at the ball, prodding it past Casteels.
It’s a important result for Borussia Dortmund against what is a strong Wolfsburg side under Kovač. It keeps them to within two points of leaders Bayern Munich, who demolished Bochum at the Allianz Arena.
Edin Terzic doesn’t know his best XI
Edin Terzic made six changes from their midweek defeat against PSG. Ramy Bensebaini, Salih Özcan, Felix Nmecha, Marco Reus, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Niclas Füllkrug all returned to the starting XI. Marcel Sabitzer, who went off injured in the 14th minute against PSG, would have likely started in place of Nmecha, but it’s in attack where Dortmund’s problems lie. As noted by Stefan Bienkowski, Dortmund have selected three different attacking lines in their last three games, which suggests that Terzic doesn’t quite know his best team just yet.
Sébastien Haller, who is yet to score in the Bundesliga this season, has been displaced by Füllkrug. Karim Adeyemi has also failed to net and has dropped to the bench while Malen, who is Dortmund’s top scorer this season, also found himself among the substitutes.
Defensively the team almost picks itself. Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck and Bensebaini appears to be Terzic’s preferred backline with both Niklas Süle and Marius Wolf being further defensive options. But with upcoming games against Hoffenheim and Milan, Terzic must find his best attack soon.
Jamie Bynoe-Gittens shines for Borussia Dortmund
One player that shone for Dortmund was Jamie Bynoe-Gittens. The Englishman has certainly thrown his name in the hat to be named in BVB’s starting XI. The 19-year-old, who spent much of last season sidelined with a shoulder injury, looked dangerous every time he was in possession of the ball. Because of the threat that Bynoe-Gittens posed on Saturday afternoon, constantly he would drag two Wolfsburg’s players with him, which allowed Reus to commandeer the space.
He also looked dangerous when his was introduced against PSG on Tuesday, and with his explosive pace and neat trickery, Bynoe-Gittens could enjoy a breakout year for Dortmund if he manages to remain injury free.
Marco Reus is still a player of significant importance
34-year-old Reus netted his second Bundesliga goal of the season to secure an important win for Borussia Dortmund. Despite relinquishing his role as Dortmund prior to the season starting, Reus still remains a significant figure around the club despite just his second Bundesliga start this season with five games gone.
Reus completed 83 minutes, had two shots on target and completed 80 percent of his passes. He also registered one key pass and had 43 touches of the ball. One of Dortmund’s best players on the afternoon.
Borussia Dortmund XI: Kobel – Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Bensebaini – Özcan, Nmecha, Brandt – Reus (Can), Bynoe-Gittens (Malen), Füllkrug (Haller).
Wolfsburg XI: Casteels – Maehle, Lacroix, Jenz, Rogerio – Svanberg (Vranckx), Arnold – Cerny (Kaminski), Majer (Wimmer), Tomas (Baku) – Wind (Sarr).
GGFN | Daniel Pinder