Borussia Dortmund were unable to recover from an early red card issued to defender Mats Hummels on Saturday evening. In spite of the fact that Edin Terzic's BVB were able to score two shorthanded goals, die Schwarzgelben have forfeited their place in the Bundesliga's top-four with a 2-3 home loss to Leipzig.
|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0
Terzic made a total of five changes to the team that lost to Stuttgart in the Pokal midweek. Missing Pokal starters Julian Ryerson and Youssoufa Moukoko to injury, the BVB trainer turned to Ramy Bensebaini and Niclas Füllkrug. Thomas Meunier, Julian Brandt, and Macro Reus also took the place of Marius Wolf, Marcel Sabitzer, and Karim Adeyemi. Sabitzer and Wolf were unavailable for the encounter as well. Rose made no secret of the fact that he wished to line his team up in a back-three. As such, defender Castello Luke for attacker Yussuf Poulsen was the lone personnel change.
The Westphalian hosts looked strong in possession over the opening ten minutes. Soon, however, a atrophic double-error from Meunier and defender Mats Hummels turned the game on its head. A wayward touch from Meunier in the 12th put RB striker Loïs Openda through on goal alone. Hummels had no choice but to employ a tactical foul just outside the area. Match official Sven Jablonski initially awarded Leipzig a penalty. After review, a free-kick outside the area was the decision. So too was an ejection for Hummels.
Despite the fact that they were [ut a man-down early, Dortmund managed to hold their own against their guests for a time. Leipzig were finally able to make the man-advantage count in the 32nd. The opening goal did not result from open-play, but rather a dead ball. Moreover, it was Bensebaini who tipped the ball into his own-net whilst trying to mark Mohamed Simakan off a corner. In any event, the Saxons finally had the lead and settled into a more comfortable dominance for the duration of the half.
At the tail end of the half, Terzic's Schwarzgelben nevertheless sprung to life. RB keeper Janis Blaswich was forced to make top quality saves against Füllkurg and Salih Özcan in first -half injury time. The long VAR review following Hummels' tackle meant that the two sides were playing beyond 45+6. It was on the last play of the half that Dortmund snatched an improbable equalizer. The subbed-on Niklas Süle finished off corner, aided by some nice prep work from Brandt and Emré Can.
Leipzig were able to restore the lead nine minutes after the restart. Christoph Baumgartner and Xavi Simons combined wonderfully inside the area to put the 2-1 past a hitherto outstanding BVB net-minder Gregor Kobel. Rose's charges demonstrated little interest in adding to the lead they regained in the 54th. The match's flow in general began to slow up due to a significant amount of fouls and stoppages.
Terzic went all in with offensive minded substitutions, but the team was unable to score another sensational equalizer. Instead, RB sub Yussuf Poulsen capped proceedings with a third goal at the beginning of added time. Füllkrug reignited hope for the home town crowd by heading home a corner at 90+3. The fans in the Signal Iduna stands were given more to cheer about as their side pressed hard for an equalizer in the closing moments.
Süle narrowly missed from the right at 90+4. BVB substitute Giovanni Reyna forced a spectacular full-stretch save out of Blaswich at 90+5. A pair of corners in front of the Dortmund FanKurve in the waning moments led to nothing. Jablonksi blew the whistle at 90+7 and the match finished with a 2-3 scoreline.