Manuel Veth –
Werder v Borussia Dortmund had plenty of drama. Bayern had beaten Hannover earlier on Saturday putting the pressure on their title challengers Dortmund and the Black and Yellows bottled a two-goal lead dropping two points against Bremen.
- Title challenge all but over?
- Dortmund bottle two-goal lead
- Bremen with a magnificent comeback
Werder v Borussia Dortmund
Goals: 0-1 (Christian Pulisic, 5’), 0-2 (Paco Alcacer, 40’), 1-2 (Kevin Möhwald, 70′), 2-2 (Claudio Pizarro, 75′)
It was American Christian Pulisic that broke the deadlock early on. The USMNT winger got the start to replace Marco Reus and opened the scoring with a wonderful solo goal in the 5′ minute.
Dortmund were flying during the opening stages, and it was only thanks to Bremen keeper Jiri Pavlenka that Dortmund did not double the lead in the 14′ minute. Mario Götze was allowed time and space inside the box, but his low drive was tipped around the post by Werder’s keeper.
Both sides played beautiful football at this stage. But it was Dortmund that showed a bit more urgency in the attack and Jadon Sancho, in particular, had his moments of magic. The English winger, however, failed to deliver a final product in the attacking third and Bremen managed to hang on.
Instead, Paco Alcacer delivered his sixth goal in the last six games. Pulisic was brought down outside the box, and the Spaniard stepped up to hammer home the freekick in the 40′ minute.
Dortmund had an excellent first half responding well to the pressure Bayern had put on them earlier on Saturday. But could they keep it up in the second half?
In the 55′ minute, Thomas Delaney appeared to have scored with an effort from 22-yards, but his shot was spectacularly tipped over the bar by Pavlenka.
The Black and Yellows seemed in control. But in the 70′ minute, Bremen scored out of nowhere. Kevin Möhwald received the ball outside the box and hit the ball on net, Roman Bürki appeared to have the situation under control, but the Swiss keeper let the ball slip through his legs.
It went from bad to worse for Dortmund quickly. In the 75′ minute, Manuel Akanji failed to see the ball go out on the byline allowing Ludwig Augustinsson to play the ball to the centre where Claudio Pizarro was wide open and put the ball past keeper Bürki.
Borussia Dortmund were now all over the place and in the 78′ minute were lucky that referee Marco Fritz did not award a penalty to Bremen after Götze had played the ball with his arm inside the box. It would have been fitting for Dortmund’s situation during this stage of the game as the Black and Yellows were crumbling under pressure put on them by Bremen.
Could Dortmund find the lead one more time?
Werder v Borussia Dortmund – Man of the Match
Christian Pulisic was brought into the starting XI to replace Marco Reus, who was sent off with a red card in the Revierderby. The American could not be blamed for tonight’s result; the winger was excellent and scored a fantastic solo goal.
Werder v Borussia Dortmund – Talking Point
Dortmund’s title challenge is all but over. It is now four points between Bayern and Dortmund with just two games to go. Even if Bayern should drop points, it is unlikely that Dortmund will be perfect in the last two games.
Werder v Borussia Dortmund – Match Stats
- Paco Alcacer has scored three free kick goals this season. More than the entire Dortmund team have scored last season combined.
- Paco Alcacer is the first Dortmund player to score 18 goals in his first 24 Bundesliga appearances since Norbert Dickel in 1987.
Werder v Borussia Dortmund – Line-ups
Pavlenka – Augustinsson, Langkamp, Veljković, Friedl – Klaassen, Sahin (Möhwald, 60′), M. Eggestein – Rashica, Kruse, Osako (Pizarro, 60′)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Bürki – Akanji, Diallo (Philipp, 90′), Weigl, Guerreiro – Delaney (Dahoud, 83′), Witsel – Pulisic, Götze (Bruun Larsen, 83′), Sancho – Paco Alcacer
Coach: Lucien Favre
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. 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. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.