VAR, Karim Adeyemi & Marcel Sabitzer: Borussia Dortmund overcome difficult Gladbach test

Borussia Dortmund remain in the hunt for Champions League football next season, but they were made to work for it against a resilient Borussia Mönchengladbach side that fought for every ball. Nico Schlotterbeck and Co. felt the relief at the full-time whistle after withstanding increased pressure from Gerardo Seoane’s side in front of a boisterous Borussia-Park. Celebrating in-front of the travelling support, Dortmund remain fifth – level points with RB Leipzig, who beat Wolfsburg – as the fight for fourth and the final Champions League place continues.

In the absence of Sébastien Haller, who was substituted after just nine minutes, Marcel Sabitzer was the unlikely hero for Borussia Dortmund. The Austrian’s late runs into the area caused Marvin Friedrich and Gladbach’s defence problems, and that’s exactly how Dortmund’s first goal occured.

Sabitzer ghosted behind the Gladbach defence unmarked, unleashing a superb volley over the stricken Jonas Omlin after Schlotterbeck’s defence splitting pass found the Austrian after 22 minutes. The duo were at the heart of it again as Dortmund doubled their lead six minutes later. Schlotterbeck was trodden on inside the area, with Sabitzer dispatching the resulting penalty with ease.

But despite being in control at 2-0, Dortmund looked troubled after Maximilian Wöber headed his side to within one goal of Dortmund, who conceded yet again from a set piece. Ultimately though, Borussia Dortmund defended well from the Gladbach onslaught in the final 30 minutes, holding on to a crucial 2-1 win.

VAR again at the centre of attention for the wrong reasons

Bundesliga and madness go hand-in-hand at times, and today was no different. Adeyemi chased down a ball over the top, to be brought down in the penalty area by Omlin. Sabitzer, for a second, thought he had his second of the afternoon but despite scoring the resulting spot kick, the referee was called over to the VAR monitor. After three minutes, it was then decided to overturn to the original decision, despite the penalty being converted, after Omlin was judged to have got the ball before taking Adeyemi.

Sébastien Haller and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens given the all-clear

After almost seven months, Haller’s return to Borussia Dortmund’s starting eleven lasted just nine minutes. Returning from an ankle injury, the Ivorian went down after colliding with Nico Elvedi. Despite being treated and continuing, the 29-year-old couldn’t play on and was replaced by Youssoufa Moukoko. Edin Terzic did give some positive news on Haller ahead of their Champions League game against Atletico Madrid, saying: “He’s just been able to perform slightly on it again and doesn’t think it’s too bad. We’re hoping that he won’t be out for too long.”

The same goes for Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, who was replaced because of a back complaint, but the Englishman shouldn’t face a lengthy spell on the sidelines. “He showed that hopefully it wasn’t that bad,” added Terzic.

Karim Adeyemi shows fight, but it almost cost Borussia Dortmund 

After being shown a yellow card for a foul on Franck Honorat in the fourth minute of stoppage time in the first half, several Dortmund fans on X suggested that Terzic should replace the German, who cut a frustrated figure. In the spotlight again just 10 minutes after the break, Adeyemi was sent off for a second-bookable offence after holding onto Stefan Lainer. Borussia Dortmund endured a difficult 30 minute spell with 10 men, but overcame a difficult task at Borussia-Park, beating Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1.

GGFN | Daniel Pinder, from the Westfalenstadion

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