BVB overcome bad stretch in the first half to win 3-1 in Bremen and extend their winning streak to five.
Thomas Tuchel decided to return to his favourite starting eleven, with the exception of Joo-Ho Park playing instead of Marcel Schmelzer. Bremen opted for a mix between a four and five at the back, with Fin Bartels roaming between midfield and right-back.
After the first few minutes were relatively balanced, Marco Reus was able to put Dortmund ahead in the ninth minute. Ilkay Gündogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan made that goal possible with some nice passing.
For the next 30 minutes Dortmund arguably played some of their worst football of the season. Despite seeing a lot of the ball, they weren’t able to create any dangerous situations and even failed to get a shot off between the ninth and 26th minute. Bremen were able to slowly sneak their way back into the game and finally, in the 32nd minute, managed to equalize in person of Anthony Ujah. In the build up to the goal Florian Grilitsch and Fin Bartels displayed some nice combination play and were able to exploit Borussia’s relatively slow back four (with the exception of Sokratis). Matthias Ginter managed to block Grillitsch’s shot on the line but Ujah was in the right place at the right time to clean things up for Bremen.
Almost up until half-time Dortmund kept on struggling, just to be bailed out by one of the more beautiful goals you’ll see this season. Central defender Mats Hummels received the ball on the left wing after a set-piece and delivered a beautiful outside-of-the-boot cross directly onto the head of Mkhitaryan, who slotted the ball home with a nice diving header.
In the second half, Dortmund started to get into the game a bit better. Well, not entirely… One Gabonese striker decided he doesn’t want to score any goals that day. First it was Julian Weigl who delivered a great pass to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but he wasn’t able to control the ball quick enough and Bremen’s goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald managed to save the “shot”. Then, in the 51st minute, Mkhitaryan delivered a beautiful pass to Aubameyang, who softly took the ball down with his chest, but then got a bit too fancy with the shot and skied it over Bremen’s goal.
After the linesman denied Dortmund a couple of chances by wrongfully raising his flag, it was again Aubameyang’s turn to deny Borussia a goal. The striker had already lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper and had only one outfield player to beat on the line, but, of course, he hit the ball straight at that one outfield player, Gebre Selassie. It just wasn’t Aubameyang’s day.
Luckily for Dortmund, and the nerves of their fans, Reus had a better day in front of the goal and made it 3-1 in the 72th minute, Mkhitaryan again setting up the goal for him. From there on out the game was basically over and nothing much happened anymore, besides referee Tobias Welz picking up an injury (get well soon).
Dortmund are now six points above Schalke and “only” five points behind Bayern (not that it really matters). Reus is back in fine form and Aubameyang saved all his goals for next week’s derby.
It’s a good time to be a Dortmund fan.