No Erling Haaland? No problem for Dortmund as defensive talisman Mats Hummels netted a fine brace one week after opening his 2020/21 account.
A continuation of the 31-year-old's power burst did come with some concerning news, however, as the BVB's "defensive-quarterback" incurred a thigh injury in the 86th.
|Mats Hummels.||Photo: Borussia Dortmund|
The big-news in Bielefeld prior to kick-off was Erling Haaland's absence from both the starting XI and bench squad. The 20-year-old evidently struggled with some knew problems that precluded him from suiting up.
Dortmund trainer Lucien Favre responded by slotting Julian Brandt into the no. 9 position. Marco Reus started behind him, flanked by a returning Thorgan Hazard on the left and Jadon Sancho on the right. Favre also rotated out his sixes, giving the Jude Bellingham and Thomas Delaney the start over Axel Witsel and Mahmoud Dahoud. Felix Passlack started over Raphäel Guerreiro at left-back.
Bielefeld head-coach Uwe Neuhaus did his best to contain the favored Schwarzgelben with a 5-3-2 spread. The constellation succeeded in closing down the Dortmund attacking lanes for a time, with only Delaney and Sancho finding enough space to unleash efforts in the opening half hour. Nearly 80 percent possession proved immaterial for Favre's men couldn't find a way through in the final third.
Hazard and Manuel Akanji still got off late first-half efforts to suggest that the more talented team lay on the precipice of breaking down the system. The breakthrough came on a 53rd-minute corner kick. Jadon Sancho swung in a good effort. Thomas Meunier supplied a slight redirection onto Hummels thigh for the opener.
The second goal in the 71st also originated from a corner kick. Arminia initially managed to defend that one well. Bielefeld defender Mike van der Hoorn's clearance nevertheless proved insufficient and the ball found its way to Hummels' head via Bellingham and then Reus.
Brandt and the subbed-on Guerreiro forced keeper Stefan Ortega into two saves down the stretch as the BVB came close to running up the scoreline. Hummels couldn't continue on after sustaining a knock in in the 85th.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, 1. FC Köln denied Manuel Neuer the all-time Bundesliga clean sheet record by pulling back a late goal in their 1-2 defeat to FC Bayern München. SV Werder Bremen, in large part thanks to striker Josh Sargent's first Bundesliga goal of the season, held off Eintracht Frankfurt for a hard-fought 1-1 draw.
Augsburg's André Hahn, filling in for an ill Florian Niederlechner, netted his own brace in the Fuggerstädter's 3-1 win over FSV Mainz.