An absolutely glorious set of 15:30 kickoffs left football fans across the Bundesrepublik completely breathless.
Five simultaneous kickoffs produced an incredible 23 (!!) goals. Emerging with three points from these fixtures were Dortmund, Bochum, Köln, and Hoffenheim.
A massive win for Borussia Dortmund sees the BVB temporarily move to the top of the Bundesliga table with Bayern needing a win later to catch them.
Hoffenheim are the other big table climbers of the afternoon, up to the 5th place after putting nine goals past Fürth.
Two teams coming off massive disappointments midweek in the Champions' League met in Lower Saxony on Saturday afternoons in an immensely important match with huge implications for the Bundesliga table. Visiting Dortmund were able to edge out Wolfsburg with a well-earned lead. Erling Haaland then came off the bench to take care of the rest.
BVB trainer Marco Rose made four changes to the XI from Wednesday's disappointing loss to Sporting Lisbon. Emré Can, Mats Hummels, and Marius Wolf came on for the benched Reinier, Marin Pongracic, and Axel Witsel. Mahmoud Dahoud also replaced the unavailable due to injury Jude Bellingham. Can played as sweeper in a staggered 4-1-4-1 with Dahoud slightly ahead of him, and Marco Reus (central), Julian Brandt (left), Wolf (right) working the second axis behind Donyell Malen.
Florian Kohfeldt made just one personnel change to the squad that experienced its own UCL disappointment Tuesday against Seville. Dodi Lukebakio replaced Yannick Gerhardt. The new VfL trainer's 3-4-3 proceeded without major alterations. As it so happens, the trained constellation got off to a dream start. The pacey Lukebakio took his buttressing wingback Ridle Baku with him on a forward rush in the 2nd minute. Baku then serviced Wout Weghorst, who chested in to give the home side a 1-0 minute lead before either team could get settled.
The electrifying start to the encounter continued, with Malen and Baku trading good looks at goal for their respective sides over the next 15 minutes. Dortmund ultimately got their possession game established and lorded over much more of the ball. The Wolves were nevertheless always lurking dangerously on the counter. It appeared for some time that there would be no way through for the NRW guests. A late challenge from Maxence Lacroix on Marco Reus in the penalty area finally gave the BVB a clear shot at an equalizer. Can converted the 32nd minute spot kick to tie matters up 1-1.
The remainder of the first half featured many stoppages, with match official Sven Jablonski issuing multiple bookings. The unchanged sides produced more fluid football after the break. Malen's cross into the area for Nico Schulz three minutes after the break ended with the former German national team defender hitting the post. Malen narrowly missed his own chance four minutes later, but did not miss in the 55th on a very nice set-up from Reus. The fine distance finish gave the Schwarzgelben a deserved 2-1 lead.
Whilst all of this was unfolding, broadcast cameras couldn't help but focus on the sight of Erling Haaland warming up on the sidelines. Entering the fixture, the primary question on the mind of football fans everywhere remained how many minutes the über-phenom would get in his return to Rose's bench squad. Kohfeldt brought on Luca Waldschmidt and Paulo Otavio to try and impact the match first. Despite some chances, the Wolves were unable to draw level.
The traveling BVB contingent made themselves heard as Haaland came on for Malen in the 72nd. Sure enough, the Norwegian superstar managed a shot on target within 60 seconds of his introduction. Over the next ten minutes, the hosting WOB were undeniably the stronger team. It felt as if Kohfeldt's crew would be able to equalize despite Haaland's introduction. Reus and Brandt ultimately got the ball Haaland the ball he needed in the 81st. An artistic finish effectively put the game to bed.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, a wild and crazy shoot-out at the Sportpark Ronhof saw nine goals scored between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and SpVgg Greuther Fürth. Ilhas Bebou ended up scoring a hat trick and Georginio Rutter a brace as Sebastian Hoeneß's Kraichgauer topped Fürth 6-3. In an especially bitter pill for last place Fürth, their former star David Raum ended up forcing the own-goal that ended up putting the game out of reach.
The highly anticipated Rhineland derby took some time to get going before also exploding into a goal-fest. Five goals were scored in the final 35 minutes as hosting Köln piled onto their arch rivals for a huge 4-1 victory. This counted as a major upset. There was another one of those in North-Rhine Westphalia on this day. VfL Bochum came back to defeat SC Freiburg 2-1 at the Castrop.
One final fantastic finish over at the Olympiastadion saw FC Augsburg pluck a point off Hertha BSC at the last possible moment. Michael Gregoritsch scored at 90+7 to ensure that the Fuggerstädter escaped the country's capital with a 1-1 draw.
|23||J. Guilavogui ↪90|
|20||R. Baku ↪74|
|27||M. Arnold (C)|
|15||J. Roussillon ↪61|
|10||L. Nmecha ↪61|
|9||W. Weghorst ⚽|
|7||L. Waldschmidt ↩61|
|17||M. Philipp ↩90|
|5||M. van de Ven|
|6||P. Otávio ↩61|
|19||K. Mbabu ↩74|
|14||N. Schulz ↪85|
|23||E. Can ⚽ ↪85|
|39||M. Wolf ↪62|
|11||M. Reus (C)|
|21||D. Malen ⚽ ↪73|
|9||E. Haaland ↩73 ⚽|
|36||A. Knauff ↩62|
|5||D. Zagadou ↩85|
|28||A. Witsel ↩85|