Borussia Dortmund proved once again that they can win without super-striker Erling Haaland. Marco Rose's BVB held on for a 2-1 win over FC Augsburg before 40,000 live fans at Signal-Iduna Park.
A thrilling set of 15:30 Kickoffs in the Bundesliga also saw winners emerge from the other three fixtures. Stuttgart, Gladbach, and Freiburg all claimed three points on the day.
Thanks to the Bundesliga's all-time greatest "Super Sub" Nils Petersen, SC Freiburg are up to 3rd place in the table.
|Marius Wolf.||Photo: Borussia Dortmund|
Borussia Dortmund successfully bounced back from their defeat to Gladbach last week. Three points against Augsburg pushes the Westphalians up to second in the table behind Bayern.
Facing his second consecutive match without talisman Erling Haaland, BVB trainer Marco Rose built a 4-2-3-1 around lead-striker Donyell Malen. Marius Wolf and Julian Brandt replaced Thorgan Hazard and the suspended Mahmoud Dahoud. Wolf worked the left wing whilst Brandt served on the right. Marco Reus played ten, buttressed by a double-six pairing of Axel Witsel and Jude Bellingham.
FCA head-coach Markus Weinzierl, facing a whole myriad of problems with his lagging squad, pulled the trigger on five changes from last week's 0-3 defeat away at Freiburg. Sergio Cordova, Arne Maier, and Andi Zeqiri formed an entirely new front three. Tobias Strobl and Carlos Gruezo anchored the new four-man midfield. Captain Jefferey Gouweleeuw ran pivot in a back-three.
The NRW hosts initially took their time setting up attack builds, but were quickly penetrating the danger area after approximately six minutes. The pressure ended up paying off when Gouweleeuw caught Malen's heel in the 9th. Match official Tobias Welz pointed directly to the spot. Raphaël Guerreiro actually stepped forward to take the penalty, which he converted easily.
The Schwarzgelben continued to press forward in search of another goal. The visiting Bavarian Swabians were actually forced into two tactical fouls in order to hold their hosts back. After not being able to accomplish much offensively, the FCA's Maier opted to have a go from 25 meters out in the 35th. In a flukish occurrence, the ball bounced off the crossbar, off keeper Gregor Kobel's back, and into the path of Zeqiri.
Parity was thus restored against the run of play. The Fuggerstädter then dropped deep for the duration of the half in order to preserve a 1-1 scoreline heading into the tunnel. It worked, but Dortmund were able to retake the lead six minutes after the restart. In a solid team upfield charge, Wolf made a great solo run before playing on to Reus. The BVB captain then in turn played onto Brandt, who finished with a solid low shot past Rafal Gikiewicz into the corner of the net.
Zeqiri had a second equalizer disallowed moments later for a foul in the run up to the goal. Reus hit the crossbar shortly after that and Malen somehow failed to score during a scramble in front of the net. Matters calmed down a bit after the hour mark. Both trainers flooded the pitch with substitutes and flow accordingly suffered. The subbed on Thorgan Hazard would hit the post later. Further efforts from Brandt and Reus didn't miss by much. The guests couldn't manage much more as the clock ran out.
Elsewhere in an excellent set of Bundesliga 15:30 kickoffs, Hertha BSC managed to draw level with visiting Freiburg late in their match. Raining on "die alte Dame's" parade, however, it was none other than (who else?) Nils Petersen. The Bundesliga's all-time greatest "Super Sub" led the SCF to a 2-1 victory.
Pellegrino Matarazzo's VfB Stuttgart secured a desperately needed 3-1 win over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, looking thoroughly convincing for the first time this season. On the topic of desperately needed wins, the Borussia Mönchengladbach revival continued with a 3-1 victory over VfL Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena.
Gladbach have now won two straight league fixtures and move up to 8th place in the table. One-time table toppers VfL Wolfsburg have now dropped two straight after their impressive start and drop down to 5th.
|24||T. Meunier ↪51|
|15||M. Hummels ↪66|
|13||R. Guerreiro ⚽|
|28||A. Witsel ↪66|
|19||J. Brandt ⚽|
|11||M. Reus (C)|
|39||M. Wolf ↪72|
|21||D. Malen ↪72|
|14||N. Schulz ↩72|
|34||M. Pongracic ↩66|
|10||T. Hazard ↩51|
|23||E. Can ↩66|
|6||J. Gouweleeuw (C)|
|8||C. Gruezo ↪78|
|3||M. Pedersen ↪86|
|10||A. Maier ↪78|
|9||S. Córdova ↪63|
|21||A. Zeqiri ⚽ ↪78|
|7||F. Niederlechner ↩78|
|11||M. Gregoritsch ↩78|
|29||L. Günther ↩86|
|17||N. Sarenren-Bazee ↩78|
|24||F. Jensen ↩63|