Leverkusen - Dortmund

Germany: Bundesliga
Leverkusen F. Wirtz (9), P. Schick (45), M. Diaby (55)
BayArena3-4
Dortmund E. Håland (37), J. Brandt (49), R. Guerreiro (71), E. Håland (Pen. 77)
PreviewLineupReview

15.30 kickoffs: Dortmund complete comeback victory, Wolfsburg guaranteed first place as perfect start continues

By Peter Vice

In a pulsating seven-goal-affair at the BayArena, visiting Borussia Dortmund pulled off an incredible 4-3 comeback victory against Germany's red company team. An Erling Haaland brace and goals from Julian Brandt/Raphaël Guerreiro proved the difference.

The opening set of kickoffs also ensured that Wolfsburg will remain the Bundesliga table-toppers at the end of the weekend.

No one can catch Germany's green company team after they won their fourth straight match and secured a maximum twelve points to begin the campaign.

Julian Brandt.
Julian Brandt.Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0

Borussia Dortmund emerged the winner in a seven-goal thriller in Leverkusen. Die Schwarzgelben fell behind thrice, but were always able to come-back and eventually took a lead that lasted.


With Mats Hummels still not deemed fit enough to start, BVB head-coach Marco Rose immediately inserted newly-acquired center-halve Marin Pongracic into the starting XI. As expected, Julian Brandt started in place of the injured Giovanni Reyna. In something of a surprise move, Rose opted to build a 4-4-2 diamond without Donyell Malen as the second striker. Captain Marco Reus worked alongside Erling Haaland with Brandt serving as the ten.

Leverkusen trainer Gerardo Seoane gave two of his South American internationals a rest. Charles Aranguiz (Chile) and Exequiel Palacios (Argentina) took a seat after returning late from international duty. Brazilian Paulo Henrique "Paulinho" Sampaio Filho--who was not called up to his national side during the break--was able to start on the left flank. Florian Wirtz made his first start of the season. As Seoane promised earlier in the week, new acquisition Robert Andrich got his first start for his new club. Andrich and Kerem Demirbay paired as sixes in a 4-2-3-1.

A energetic and dynamic opening ten minutes saw both sides display elegant approach play. The match plans were clearly well drawn-up on this day. The first tally nevertheless belonged to the hosts. Paulinho unlocked Florian Wirtz, who split the novel center-back partnership of Pongracic and Manuel Akanji with some skillful dribbling and a precise finish into the lower right corner. Brandt had a pair of chances to equalize shortly thereafter, but the former Leverkusen phenom just didn't have the finishing touch.

The game then calmed down a bit for a prolonged stretch. The visiting Schwarzgelben had difficulty reaching their Norwegian target man. Brandt struggled as well, frequently looking to hesitant on the ball and unsure as to whether to have a go himself when in possession. Just when it appeared as if nothing more would happen before the break, Thomas Meunier suddenly found himself in space on the right. The Belgian international made up for what had been a poor first half with an excellent cross for Haaland in the 37th. The BVB's superstar himself was unmarked and finished for the 1-1.

Two minutes later, it appeared as if Jude Bellingham had given the guests the lead. His 39th minute tally was overruled after a VAR review revealed a Mahmoud Dahoud foul in the lead-up. Bellingham then missed another chance in the 44th Instead of Dortmund heading into the tunnel with the lead, Demirbay and Wirtz managed to set up Patrik Schick at 45+1. Die Werkself took a 2-1 advantage into the dressing room.


Four minutes after the restart, Brandt finally located his scoring touch. Haaland managed to shuffle out for him and Brandt actually made the most of some very tight spaces, finishing top shelf against his former club from a very acute angle. Parity only lasted six minutes, however. Moussa Diaby, initially hindered by teammate Mitchel Bakker, kept his eye on the ball and slammed home a 55th minute effort to put Leverkusen back up 3-2.

Having fallen behind for the third time in the match, one might have expected Dortmund's spirit to be broken. Incredibly enough, Rose's men were able to draw level yet again. This time Raphaël Guerreiro curled in a direct free kick on a well designed set-piece that used Reus as a decoy. Three minutes after that, Werkself defender Odilon Koussounou lost his cool and smacked Reus in the face in the penalty area.

Video review led to a penalty being awarded. Haaland converted to put Dortmund ahead for the first time all afternoon. The fixture's seventh goal proved the final one. Many players began to cramp up down the stretch. The subbed on Lucas Alario missed the best opportunity to level the score in the 82nd. The Argentine failed to lift an effort over an onrushing Gregor Kobel. With flow-breaking substitutions, Rose was able to effectively protect the lead.

The sensational result gives Dortmund nine points on the season; good for second-place in the live table. For Leverkusen, the pursuit of the top gets more difficult. The is because VfL Wolfsburg had absolutely no trouble dispatching a woeful SpVgg Greuther Fürth side 2-0. Mark van Bommel's Wölfe have now taken a maximum twelve points through four rounds of play. Lukas Nmecha and Wout Weghorst scored in a game that could have ended much more lopsided.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 Kickoffs, Mainz were also able to beat Hoffenheim by a 2-0 scoreline. New attacking addition Marcus Ingvartsen sealed the victory with a goal in relief. Freiburg and Köln shared the spoils with a 1-1 draw. An unfortunate Rafael Czichos own-goal in the 89th meant that Steffen Baumgart's Geißböcke couldn't take all three points. Union Berlin also had a rough luck outing against Augsburg. Die Eisernen hit the post and crossbar thrice in a match that ended 0-0.


Leverkusen
(4-2-3-1)
1Lukáš Hradecky (C)
30Jeremie Frimpong
6Kossonou Odilon
4Jonathan Tah
5Mitchel Bakker
10Kerem Demirbay ↩79
8Robert Andrich
19Moussa Diaby
27Florian Wirtz
7Paulinho ↩63
14Patrik Schick ↩78
Bench
40Andrey Lunev
13Lucas Alario ↪78
31Amine Adli ↪63
38Karim Bellarabi ↪79
3Panagiotis Retsos
22Daley Sinkgraven
11Nadiem Amiri
25Exequiel Palacios
Dortmund
(4-3-2-1)
1Gregor Kobel
24Thomas Meunier
34Marin Pongracic ↩84
16Manuel Akanji
13Raphaël Guerreiro
22Jude Bellingham ↩89
28Axel Witsel ↩66
8Mahmoud Dahoud
19Julian Brandt
11Marco Reus (C)
9Erling Håland
Bench
35Marwin Hitz
18Youssoufa Moukoko
21Donyell Malen ↪66
36Ansgar Knauff
15Mats Hummels ↪84
20Reinier
30Felix Passlack
39Marius Wolf ↪89
42Göktan Gürpüz

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