Those who pejoratively tend to suggest that the Bundesliga "isn't a draw" were proven wrong by the league's round ten 15.30 kickoffs. Three of the four fixtures ended in hard fought deadlocks.
In the most captivating off them all, Dortmund's young guns came close to completing a spectacular comeback against Frankfurt. Adi Hütter's men were barely able to hang on.
|Giovanni Reyna.||Photo: Borussia Dortmund|
The rampant speculation over Lucien Favre's weekend lineup kept most football watchers in the Bundesrepublik guessing up until the very end. Shortly after kickoff, an interesting 3-4-3--resembling more of a 3-4-2-1 on the ball--began to take shape.
Julian Brandt spearheaded the attack as a traditional nine, flanked by Giovanni Reyna and Jadon Sancho on the second attacking axis. Axel Witsel and Mahmoud Dahoud worked as sixes in the midfield, with Nico Schulz and and Mateu Morey buttressing the assault flankers from the left and right respectively. Mats Hummels, Dan-Axel Zagadou, and Emré Can formed the back three.
The two sides traded early chances before the guests took a surprising lead. Martin Hinteregger unleashed Daichi Kamada with a fantastic through ball in the 9th. The Japanese international calmly lifted the ball over an onrushing Roman Bürki to give the SGE a 1-0 lead. Adi Hütter's Adler then took advantage of the rattled Shwarzgelben, effectively shutting down the BVB for much of the first half.
By far Dortmund's most lively player of the pitch, Sancho did get some quality chances in before it was time to head into the tunnel. At the other end, Aymen Barkok wasted a good position with a misplaced effort ten minutes before the halftime whistle.
Salivating German football fanatics were very pleased to see Favre bring Youssoufa Moukoko on for Dahoud at the half and try to level matters with a 3-5-2. The young phenom played his heart out, even if his first touch failed him in some instances.
Dortmund's two Wunderkinder secured the equalizer approximately ten minutes after the re-start. Sancho punched through on the left and played Reyna through. The 18-year-old US international then shook off the marking Hinteregger with some marvelous footwork and fired home from 14 meters out.
For a while it appeared as if Reyna's scorcher would be followed by a go-ahead-goal. Moukoko, Brandt, and Sancho all got further looks in as the BVB played fast and intelligently with the bit between their teeth. A flurry of attacks culminated in a Moukoko chance in the 78th. The SGE were capable of parking the bus and choking off the charge thereafter.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15.30 kick-offs, Köln and Wolfsburg also couldn't be separated in a surprisingly engaging four-goal Battle Royale. SC Freiburg surprised Borussia Mönchengladbach by tallying twice themselves in another 2-2 fixture.
To complete a set of surprising results, the one team capable of attaining all three points was the much-maligned Arminia Bielefeld. Loanee Ritsu Doan scored one goal and set up another to put the struggling club up 2-0 against fellow bottom dwellers FSV Mainz 05. Even then, the NRW hosts were lucky to hold off a comeback. Kevin Stöger netted his first goal for the Rheinhessen. The Pfälzer still fell short 1-2.
|19||David Abraham (C)|
|17||Sebastian Rode ↩66|
|27||Aymen Barkok ↩74|
|33||André Silva ↩74|
|15||Daichi Kamada ⚽|
|9||Bas Dost ↪74|
|24||Danny da Costa|
|3||Stefan Ilsanker ↪66|
|28||Dominik Kohr ↪74|
|15||Mats Hummels (C)|
|8||Mahmoud Dahoud ↩46|
|32||Giovanni Reyna ⚽|
|19||Julian Brandt ↩74|
|18||Youssoufa Moukoko ↪46|
|22||Jude Bellingham ↪74|