Borussia Dortmund just keep on winning. Die Schwarzgelben beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 in impressive fashion, after they failed to do so in their recent four encounters.
After rotating on Thursday against Krasnodar it was obvious that Tuchel would go back to what’s left of his favourite starting eleven against Leverkusen. Only two questions remained: who will play on the right wing and who will play at right-back? It was Jonas Hofmann who got the nod on the right wing, while Marco Reus made the squad for the first time after his foot injury. Matthias Ginter got to keep his place as right-back over the convalescent Lukasz Piszczek.
Mixed zone – find the post match quotes here
For Leverkusen there was only one slight surprise, as Giulio Donati had to play for injured Roberto Hilbert at right-back. Former Dortmund player Kevin Kampl replaced injured Lars Bender in central midfield.
Dortmund got off to a great start but Mkhitaryan and Hofmann both failed to make their first two chances count. After 19 minutes it was again Hofmann who rewarded Tuchel’s men for the great start. Hofmann picked up a great long pass from Kagawa, managed to round Leverkusen’s keeper Leno, who was totally out of position, and finished it calmly past Wendell.
Shortly afterwards Dortmund had to overcome a little scare when Chicharito found himself alone in front of Bürki, but didn’t manage to find the goal with his shot. After the 1-0 Leverkusen got a bit better, while Dortmund were a bit too inaccurate with their passing. Especially Weigl (77,1%) and Gündogan (74,6%) weren’t as good as they usually are in that regard. (Figures via WhoScored)
In the first few minutes of the second half referee Deniz Aytekin became the main protagonist. First he denied Aubameyang a clear penalty after a foul from Tah, which also could’ve been a red card, and then he did exactly the same on the other side as Schmelzer pushed Chicharito in the box, also a red card worthy offence. After Aubameyang missed another nice chance from a Weigl through ball, Kagawa finally managed to score the deserved 2-0 in the 58th minute.
Dortmund quickly won the ball back after losing it on the right side, where Hofmann managed to shake Wendell with a great move. After a few nice passes through Gündogan and Mkhitaryan, Kagawa, who had an extraordinary game, managed to put the ball past Leno with a cheeky outside of the boot shot. Afterwards Dortmund looked in total control, except for one Calhanoglu free kick which Bürki managed to turn away.
Then it was again Aytekin’s turn who, this time, made no mistake and rewarded Dortmund a penalty after an obvious foul from Wendell on Ginter. Aubameyang had no problem scoring the penalty, this time with a forceful strike rather than a cheeky Panenka like against Hannover. From this point Dortmund cruised through the game and almost scored another goal, but former Leverkusen player Castro was denied by the post.
Dortmund have now won 11 out of 11 games under Thomas Tuchel and look as impressive as ever. Many expected this Leverkusen match to be the first big test this season, and Dortmund solved that test in impressive fashion. While it’s a little early to sing about Dortmund winning the championship, like the fans in the stadium did, we’re looking at a great season so far and hopefully it’ll continue just like that on Wednesday against Hoffenheim.