All eyes turned to Dortmund heading into this weekend’s marquee match-up with Borussia Monchengladbach. The hosts have struggled to find their footing this season, and with the league-leaders visiting Westfalenstadion, the Black and Yellow couldn’t afford to settle for anything less than a win.
The drama started before the match as Dortmund announced that winger Jadon Sancho had been suspended for the match. With 3 crucial points on the line, Dortmund needed to find ways to score without one of their most prolific play-makers.
Jadon Sancho’s absence opened the door for Thorgan Hazard to shine against his former club. Hazard created plenty of opportunities for the Black and Yellow but was unable to tally his first goal after VAR overturned what would have been the contest’s opening goal in the 33′.
Neither side were able to convert and the match remained scoreless heading into the break, but the quantity and quality of opportunities favored Dortmund. Both sides struggled to sway the balance of the match until Thorgan Hazard set up Marco Reus for the opening goal against his former club in the 58′.
Adding to the drama, Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki left the match in the 71′ and Marwin Hitz was tasked with preserving their one-goal lead. Hitz was tested quickly, and if not for a crucial intervention from Mats Hummels, Borussia Monchengladbach would have leveled the scoring in the 72′.
Unlike in recent weeks, Dortmund’s back line held up well for the remainder of the match. The best opportunity for either side in the closing minutes saw Julian Brandt’s clinical finish ruled out as Marco Reus screened Yann Sommer from an offside position.
Dortmund weren’t as dominant in possession as they have been this season, but Reus’ goal proved to be enough for Dortmund to earn 3 critical points at a very rainy Westfalenstadion. Unless Schalke win tomorrow, Dortmund will rest at 4th place in the Bundesliga, just one point behind first-place Monchengladbach, heading into the always-exciting Revierderby in Schalke, next weekend.
A 2019 graduate from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Ryan is an aspiring sports writer with a profound passion for the Black and Yellow. On match day, Ryan can likely be seen draped in Dortmund’s colors, perennially pacing the living room of his Ann Arbor apartment. He dreams of one day watching a match from world football’s largest and most impressive standing terrace, The Yellow Wall.