Borussia Dortmund’s clinical finishing and resilient defending helped them beat Wolfsburg 2-0 at the Volkswagen Arena.
Borussia Dortmund: Bürki, Akanji, Hummels (Can 45’), Piszczek, Hakimi, Guerreiro (Schmelzer 83’), Delaney (Balerdi 83’), Dahoud, Brandt (Sancho 65’), Hazard (Reyna 79’), Haaland
Wolfsburg: Casteels, Mbabu, Pongracic, Brooks, Roussillon (Klaus 64’), Mehmedi (Victor 85’), Schlager, Arnold, Steffen, Ginczek (Brekalo 64’), Weghorst.
The first half of the game did not start with an impressive deal of finesse from either side. In the opening 20 minutes, the game was largely centred around the midfield scrap between Delaney and Dahoud vs Schlager and Arnold. The former narrowly came on top as Dortmund dominated possession.
As the players adjusted to the quick tempo of the game, players from both sides created chances. The first one falling to Thorgan Hazard, who’s curling shot went wide of the goal.
After continuous possession but no final product, Dortmund finally found the breakthrough in the 32nd minute when Raphaël Guerreiro slid the ball into the back of the net from Thorgan Hazard’s brilliant cutback. Guerreiro has now scored in both games since the resumption of the Bundesliga.
The only other clear-cut chance of the half fell to Hazard when Hakimi found him on the edge of the box. Hazard, however, fluffed his lines, as his tame shot was wide of the post.
Wolfsburg used an entirely fresh approach in the second half, as they looked to target Borussia Dortmund’s back four immediately. Their best chance of the game came just 3 minutes after the game resumed when Steffen drove a powerful shot off the crossbar. Steffen took on another hard chance 15 minutes later when his volley from range was well saved by Bürki.
Just as Dortmund seemed to struggle to get grips of the game, their counter-attack in the 78th minute led by substitute Jadon Sancho reaped great dividends. Sancho passed the ball on to the charging Achraf Hakimi, who fired the ball through Casteels legs into the goal. Hakimi seemed delighted with his goal, as both his full-back counterpart and him have got on to the scoresheet in consecutive games. The goal also marks Jadon Sancho’s 16th assist of the season, as he continues to prove his worth in the squad.
Things went from bad to worse for Wolfsburg as their substitute Klaus was sent off in the 81st minute for a rash tackle on Manuel Akanji. Wolfsburg couldn’t muster up anything in reply to Dortmund’s clinical finishing, as they failed to get a single chance in the closing minutes of the game.
The result closes the gap between Dortmund and Bayern Munich to just one point, as the onus is now on the Bavarians to win all three points in their game against Eintracht Frankfurt later today. Dortmund’s result today should leave them filled with confidence before their all-important tie against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.