Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 5
(1 - 3)
M. Akanji (11), S. Tigges (89)
J. Frimpong (16), F. Wirtz (20), R. Andrich (28), J. Tah (53), M. Diaby (87)
By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Five-star Leverkusen crush Dortmund with ruthless display

Die Werkself's firey first half exploited Dortmund, while Tah and Diaby put the affair to bed after the break.
Dortmund and Leverkusen clashed today in a game which many hoped would be another re-enactment of the stunning 3-4 thriller played in the BayArena earlier in the season. Despite the recent difficult run of fixtures, Dortmund came into this match up with the wind firmly in their sails having defeated difficult opponents like Freiburg and Hoffenheim in recent weeks. Sadly, this time they had to do without the prolific Erling Haaland who missed out through injury. Leverkusen too arrived in a rich vein of form, despite the loss of Hradecky in goals and two centre-halves to the AFCON tournament.

The visitors struck first goal in the 10th minute in unorthodox fashion. Zagadou, a man short on gametime, lazily passed into the path of Schick who drew a strong save from Kobel. Unfortunately for the Swiss goalkeeper, his save thundered into the recovering Akanji who deflected the ball into his own net for 0-1. Less than 5 minutes later and the sides were level and once more it was an own goal – this time from Frimpong, who go the last touch on Meunier’s headed effort.

In a frantic start to the match, Leverkusen roared back into a 1-2 lead through the composed Florian Wirtz. Die Werkself made it a goal to remember after breaking dangerously on the counter and ripped the Dortmund rear guard apart with some brilliant one touch football – a truly breath-taking opening 20 minutes living up to the recent history when these two sides meet. Leverkusen then made it 1-3 on 28 minutes through Andrich who’s beautifully curled freekick gave Kobel no chance between the posts – Seoane’s side incredibly efficient inside the opening half hour.

Rose did make one change at the break – Meunier made way for Wolf on the right flank. Leverkusen extended their lead to three goals on 53 minutes. A corner left the Dortmund defence in disorder as the ball fell to Tah, who converted for 1-4 with a stunningly acrobatic effort.
With the result practically ensured for the visiting team after the German centre-half’s goal, the game ran its course for the remaining half hour. One bright spark came in the second half for Dortmund – Gio Reyna made his return in Black and Yellow colours after a lengthy injury sustained back on Matchday 3.

Diaby did put the icing on the cake for Leverkusen when he latched onto Frimpong’s perfectly timed cross minutes from the end of the game. The two were quickly substituted afterwards, receiving a warm standing ovation from the travelling support. Replacement, Tigges did grab a small consolation goal for Die Schwarzgelben before the death, but it did little to lift the spirits of a deflated Signal Iduna Park, leaving the score 2-5.

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