Matthew Marshall – Signal-Iduna-Park, Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund v Düsseldorf – Borussia Dortmund ensured the Bundesliga title race will go down to the final Matchday after a hard-fought 3-2 win against Fortuna Düsseldorf. Christian Pulisic opened the scoring in the 41stminute with a Marwin Hitz howler allowing Oliver Fink to equalise shortly after the restart.
- Drama at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK
- Christian Pulisic scores in his final match at the Westfalenstadion before a summer switch to Chelsea
- Bundesliga race remains open
Borussia Dortmund v Düsseldorf
Goals: 1-0 (Pulisic, 41’), 1-1 (Fink, 47’), 2-1 (Delaney, 53’), 3-1 (Götze, 91’), 3-2 (Kownacki, 94’)
Fortuna Düsseldorf started the brightest in Dortmund and had the hosts on the back foot in the opening stages. Dodi Lukebakio took up position in the central striker role and had the first chance of the match, a week effort on the stretch after combining with winger Markus Suttner.
Christian Pulisic has Dortmund’s first chance of the match that he dragged wide before the Black and Yellows were given a fortunate reprieve. Kaan Ayhan intercepted a loos Pulisic pass and released Dodi Lukebakio behind Borussia’s backline, the Belgian showing good footwork to beat two defenders and fire past Marwin Hitz but ruled offside after a VAR intervention.
Borussia Dortmund slowly began to exert control on the match and went close in the 21stminute. Raphael Guerreiro combined with Mario Götze on the edge of the box, his shot saved by Michael Rensing with Pulisic’s follow up effort blocked.
Thomas Delaney tackled Oliver Fink and raced forward before shooting wide, Guerreiro the next to have a chance that he skied way over the bar. Fortuna were organised off the ball and getting numbers back in defence but couldn’t prevent Pulisic putting Dortmund in front in the 41st minute.
Guerreiro’s cross found Delaney at the back post, his header across the face of goal finding Pulisic who headed past Rensing from close range. Despite going into the break 1-0 behind, Fortuna were more than capable and equalised minutes after the restart.
A Markus Suttner cross was headed tamely towards goal by Oliver Fink, Marwin Hitz inexplicably allowing the ball to slip through his fingers in a blatant howler. Düsseldorf would stay level for just six minutes, however, Dortmund restoring their lead after some intricate build-up play.
Paco Alcacer and Mario Götze combined to set up Delaney, his shot was blocked but fortunately fell back to the midfielder whose powerful left-footed shot found the bottom corner. If the Westaflanstadion faithful thought their side would cruise to victory, they were sorely mistaken as Fortuna were awarded a penalty minutes later.
A harmless header towards goal saw Lukebakio sneak in between Manuel Akanji and Marwin Hitz, the striker taking a touch before clattering into Hitz with referee Tobias Stieler pointing to the spot. Lukebakio sent Hitz the wrong way but shot wide which sent the home crowd into a frenzy.
Jadon Sancho replaced Jacob Bruun Larsen (61’) for the home side, and Funkel brought on Benito Raman for Markus Suttner (67’) as the game opened up. Funkel made his second switch with Kenan Karaman replacing Oliver Fink (76’) with both teams looking to hit each other on the counter-attack.
It was from one such foray that reduced Fortuna to 10 men. Jadon Sancho raced clear but was taken down from behind by Adam Bodzek who shown a straight red card. Christian Pulisic made way for Marcel Schmelzer (91‘) with the match appearing over, but there was more drama in store.
Mario Götze appeared to put the icing on the cake in added time with a fine finish, but it was far from over. Fortuna pulled one back in the dying minutes with Dawid Kownacki latching onto Kaan Ayhan’s ball over the defence, taking a touch and firing past Hitz to set up a nervy finale.
Nico Gieselmann’s cross found Andre Hoffmann whose shot was deflected wide despite protests for handball. Raman then won a free kick in a dangerous position, Kevin Stöger’s free-kick finding Karaman who volleyed over the bar from close range.
Borussia Dortmund v Düsseldorf – Man of the Match
Christian Pulisic has had an injury-plagued season, but the United States international made a triumphant return to the starting side last week in Bremen and scored an impressive solo effort to open the scoring. He was given the microphone to address the Südtribune before kick-off and afforded a resounding reception before his final home game.
The 20-year-old dragged an effort wide early on, but it was no surprise when he was on the spot to head in Dortmund’s opening goal. He was a constant danger in the second half and linked up well with Lukas Piszczek, brought off in the final minutes in a fitting farewell.
Borussia Dortmund v Düsseldorf – Talking Point
Borussia Dortmund were on the ropes in the final minutes despite having this one in the bag. It’s been a familiar tale this season, but the three points combined with Bayern Munich’s 0-0 draw in Leipzig ensured the title race will go down to the final Matchday for the first time in 10 years.
The equation is clear, win at Borussia Mönchengladbach and hope that Eintracht Frankfurt can pull off an upset against FC Bayern in Munich.
Borussia Dortmund players given a final farewell before travelling to Mönchengladbach next weekend. They have to win and hope Bayern Munich slip up against Eintracht Frankfurt to take the Bundesliga title. pic.twitter.com/Ccpg5Jd5x3
— Matthew Marshall (@noobzcorp) May 11, 2019
Borussia Dortmund v Düsseldorf – Match Stats
- Borussia Dortmund become the first Bundesliga side to score 2+ goals in every home match in a single season
- Fortuna Düsseldorf edge the expected goals 2.08- 2.04.
- Bundesliga title race goes to the final Matchday for the first time in 10 years
Borussia Dortmund v Düsseldorf – Line-ups
Hitz – Piszczek, Weigl, Akanji, Guerreiro – Witsel, Delaney – Pulisic (Schmelzer 91‘), Götze (Philipp 94‘), Bruun Larsen (Sancho 61‘) – Alcacer
Coach: Lucien Favre
Rensing – Zimmermann, Ayhan, Hoffmann, Gießelmann – Kownacki, Stöger, Bodzek, Fink (Karaman 76‘), Suttner (Raman 67‘) – Lukebakio (Morales 85‘)
Coach: Friedhelm Funkel
Matthew Marshall is a freelance football journalist. Born in Australia and living in Germany, he is sports mad but his passion is undoubtedly the beautiful game. Primarily covering the Bundesliga and the Portuguese national team, he follows all the major European domestic leagues intently alongside both UEFA club competitions. A member of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS). Follow Matthew Marshall on Twitter @noobzcorp