Borussia Dortmund needed 3 points in Frankfurt to keep pace with first-place Leipzig. Dortmund looked up to the challenge in the opening minutes. Defensively, Dortmund held their shape and waited for the right moment to press. Forcing a turnover, Dortmund took possession and used their pace on the wings to open up the middle.
Thorgan Hazard, who started on the right wing instead of his usual position on the left, found himself with space on the left side of the box in the 10′ as Dortmund’s midfielders filled gaps in the middle. Spotting Axel Witsel crashing towards the keeper, Dortmund’s leader in assistsHazard placed a cross in the center of the box. Witsel volleyed it past the keeper for his first goal of the campaign to give Dortmund the early lead.
With only 3 defenders, Frankfurt were vulnerable to Dortmund’s pace on the wings. Several opportunities came when Dortmund pushed the ball out wide to Hakimi and Guerreiro, but Dortmund lacked composure in the final third.
As Dortmund inched closer to another goal, Frankfurt flipped the match on its side when an unmarked Andre Silva capitalized on a glorious opportunity to level the score in the 42′. Standing just outside the 6-yard box, he placed a first-touch finish off the right post and into the back of the net. Both teams headed into the dressing room level.
The second half started a little slower than the first, and the first key moment came in the 62′ when Mats Hummels was forced to leave the game with an injury. Dortmund’s veteran defender was replaced by the young Dan-Axel Zagadou.
Dortmund managed to continue their control of possession, and it paid off when Witsel found Jadon Sancho to give Dortmund the 2-1 lead in the 65′. Without Hummels on the pitch, Dortmund still had a the opportunity to cruise to the final whistle and take 3 points.
Dortmund looked like they were going to see out their victory as they were able to kill time and hold possession. But a costly turnover in the 86′ gave Frankfurt another chance to score a late equalizer. Loading men into the box, Frankfurt made it difficult for Dortmund to maintain their shape at the back, and wayward cross deflected by Thomas Delaney sailed into the net to the level the score in the 87′.
In the closing moments, Dortmund didn’t look lost, but a lack of organization stemming from Mats Hummels premature departure from the match seemed to play a role. Both Bayern and Leipzig handled their business this weekend, and Dortmund fell to third in the table. Dortmund look to get back to their winning ways next weekend when they host Werder Bremen.
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.