Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 3
(2 - 1)
D. Malen (21), N. Schlotterbeck (25)
I. Bebou (2), M. Beier (61), M. Beier (64)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Error-riddled performance undoes Dortmund against Hoffenheim

Borussia Dortmund have squandered an opportunity to go four points clear of top-four competitors RB Leipzig with a 2-3 home loss against visiting TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Signal Iduna Park on Sunday evening. 

The Westphalian hosts - who did fight back from an early deficit - dominated in every statistical category except goals. BVB fans whistled their team down heavily after they themselves blew a 2-1 lead. 

Germany U21 international Maximilian Beier - with quite a bit of help from the hosts - recorded a scorer's brace in the TSG victory.
In what has become an all-too familiar tale, passing errors out of the back have undone Dortmund in a match they absolutely should have won yet again. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - who had previously failed to earn a point against the BVB in their last five fixtures - traveled to Signal Iduna Park on Sunday evening and marched away with all three points thanks to passing/possessional errors on all three Sinsheimer goals. The loss leaves Dortmund just one point clear of RB Leipzig in the race for the top four.

BVB trainer Edin Terzic maintained the 4-2-3-1 he's been using in recent weeks. Dortmund had to contend with continued absences of defender Niklas Süle and keeper Gregor Kobel. Mats Hummels was also taken ill with gastro-intestinal problems over the weekend, meaning that captain Emré Can had to slip back into central defense. Julian Brandt took over for Can alongside Marcel Sabitzer in midfield. Otherwise, the squad remained unchanged from Tuesday's draw against PSV in the Champions League. It did appear as if Jadon Sancho and Donyell Malen switched flanks.

TSG trainer Pellegrino Matarazzo made two changes to the XI he deployed against Union Berlin last week. John Anthony Brooks took the place of the suspended Stanley Nsoki while Robert Skov deputized for the injured Grischa Prömel. The TSG gaffer refashioned his previous 3-4-3 into a very deep-seated 3-4-2-1. Andrej Kramaric worked behind a double striker set of Ihlas Bebou and Maximilian Beier. Skov and Pavel Kaderabek worked as wingbacks not especially far ahead of midfielder Anton Stach and Umut Tohumcu.

The hosts got off to something of a nightmare start when a stray pass out of the back from Can left central defensive partner Nico Schlotterbeck unable to fend off a high-pressing Bebou. The Togolese striker took the ball off the BVB defender and pile-drove the 1-0 into the back of the net from an acute angle. To their immense credit, Dortmund did not allow the early shock to unsettle them and were soon bravely venturing forward. After an almost uninterrupted period of pressure, the Westphalians finally equalized in the 21st.

Malen was able to stuff home the equalizer after the hosts skillfully won a series of corners. Four minutes after that, the lead came off another set-piece. Schlotterbeck atoned for his earlier ball loss by beating both Bebou and Stach after taking down a Marco Reus free-kick in the 25th. Reus, who had extended Brandt's corner on the 1-1, recorded his second assist on the 2-1. Die Schwarzgelben continued to dominate proceedings for the duration of the half, racking up 70 percent possession and peppering TSG keeper Oliver Baumann with shots on target.

The initial quarter-of-an-hour after the restart was impeded by many stoppages. Hoffenheim striker Beier had a wonderful opportunity to equalize for the guests in the 57th when Dortmund made another terrible error at the back. The Germany U21 international nevertheless couldn't take advantage of Julian Ryerson's mistake and flashed over from about 17 meters out. Four minutes later, Beier would find the right finish. Beier - helped by a slight deflection off Schlotterbeck - netted the 2-2 after a bad ball loss from Niclas Füllkrug in the 61st.

It only took an additional three minutes for Beier to completely turn the game on its head. Schlotterbeck and Füllkrug were again culpable with poor touches when Stach and Florian Grillitsch unblocked Beier in the 64th. The 21-year-old completed a brace with his 10th league goal of the season. Terzic - who had hitherto employed no changes - flooded the pitch with subs in the hopes of turning matters back around. Hummels himself came on late to assist Youssoufa Moukoko, Karim Adeyemi, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, and Julian Duranville.

Adeyemi and Moukoko added some additional impulse, but no real chances in the final third emerged. Can missed the best chance to salvage a point for his team at 90+3 when he headed a Brandt free-kick wide. Hummels pushed forward to spearhead the attack late. It would produce nothing as Dortmund simply couldn't recover the thread. The BVB's fourth league loss of the season leaves them just one point ahead of Leipzig in fourth place.

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