Manuel Veth –
Bremen v Dortmund – February, 22 – Weserstadion, Bremen, Germany
In front of a sold-out Weserstadion struggling Werder Bremen hosted a Borussia Dortmund side coming off a midweek 2-1 win over PSG. Both sides had a conservative approach to the game and Werder, in particular, sat deep trying to hit Dortmund on the counter. Dortmund, in the meantime, were too static to truly challenge Bremen’s backline. The Black and Yellows only tested Jiri Pavlenka once just before halftime when a Raphaël Guerreiro freekick slipped through Bremen’s backline, forcing the keeper into making a diving save.
Dortmund started better in the second half and in the 51st minute, Erling Haaland saw a shot blocked inside the box. One minute later the ball was in the goal, Dan-Axel Zagadou scoring from the ensuing corner kick. The goal opened Werder up and in the 66th minute, Haaland scored his ninth Bundesliga goal in just his sixth game after a great pass by Sancho. That goal settled the match in Dortmund’s favor, as the Black and Yellows easily played down the last 20 minutes of the game.
Bremen v Dortmund – Three Stars
Emre Can (Borussia Dortmund)
The midfielder once again had a strong game for Dortmund. At halftime Can had completed 100% of his passes. The German national team player led the way when things were tough in the first half laying the foundation for Dortmund’s brilliant second half.
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
The Norwegian striker cannot stop scoring. On Saturday he scored his ninth Bundesliga goal in just his sixth game. A remarkable statistic for the 19-year-old striker and a new league record.
Dan-Axel Zagadou (Borussia Dortmund)
Zagadou with another strong performance. The French defender established himself in the starting XI on matchday 13 and has since been crucial for the Black and Yellows.
GOALS: 0-1 (Zagadou, 52’) 0-2 (Haaland, 66’)
Another record by Haaland secures all three points for the Black and Yellows. Dortmund struggled the first 45 minutes but then showed their quality in the second half.
Some of it might be due to the midweek Champions Leauge match against PSG. But Bremen were also well organized, at the same time Werder could not keep up the tempo in the second half. At this stage the Green and Whites look like a likely relegation candidate.
Bremen v Dortmund – Line-ups
Pavlenka – Augustinsson, Moisander, Toprak, Veljković (Sargent, 82′), Gebre Selassie – Klaassen, Bittencourt (Eggestein, 67′) – Rashica, Selke, Osaka (Woltemade, 90′)
Bürki – Zagadou, Hummels, Piszczek – Guerreiro, Witsel, Can, Hakimi (Akanji, 90′) – T. Hazard (Brandt, 90′), Haaland, Sancho (Reyna, 75′)
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He is the Area Manager USA for Transfermarkt and contributes to Forbes.com. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.