Dortmund survive a late Leverkusen scare to increase their lead at the top of the Bundesliga

Dortmund survive a late Leverkusen scare to increase their lead at the top of the Bundesliga

Matthew Marshall – Dortmund, Germany

Dortmund vs Leverkusen – The hosts emerged victorious in a pulsating 3-2 win against Bayer Leverkusen at the SIGNAL-IDUNA PARK. Dan-Axel Zagadou put Dortmund ahead before Kevin Volland equalised for Peter Bosz’s side. Jadon Sancho then restored Die Schwarzgelben’s lead with a sublime volley sixty seconds later.

  • Dan-Axel Zagadou opened the scoring for the hosts on the half hour
  • Two goals in two minutes saw the scoreline move to 2:1 just eight minutes later
  • Leverkusen’s four-game unbeaten run ends in the Westfalenstadion

Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen

Goals: 1-0 (Zagadou, 30′), 1-1 (Volland, 37′), 2-1 (Sancho, 38′), 3-1 (Götze, 60′), 3-2 (Tah, 75′)

Bayer Leverkusen started on the front foot with Dortmund’s passing wayward and the hosts unable to string three passes together. Leverkusen were winning the midfield battle with an organised press forcing Favre’s side into errors.

Dortmund had just 23% possession in the opening 15 minutes as a Sven Bender effort was deflected for a corner and Kai Havertz shot narrowly wide. The Black and Yellows got a foothold in the match midway through the first-half with Jadon Sancho looking the most likely to make it happen.

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Abdou Diallo was finding space, sending a cross to Sancho who picked out Alcacer – who could only steer his shot over the crossbar. Dortmund’s dominance was short lived however, a beautiful exchange between Havertz and Kevin Volland resulting in the Leverkusen striker firing past Roman Bürki to make it 1-1.

A minute later Dortmund restored their lead. Another cross from Diallo sailed over Tin Jedvaj straight to Sancho who unleashed an unstoppable volley into the bottom corner. What technique, what a strike!

The game opened up in the second half with both sides creating counter-attacking opportunities. It was Dortmund that struck first with Achraf Hakimi’s cross falling to Mario Götze who finished past Hradecky to make it 3-1.

Paco Alcacer thought he had finished off a fine team move to give Dortmund an unassailable 4-1 lead but the goal was ruled offside. Leon Bailey had a diving header saved before Lucas Alario replaced Bailey and immediately got involved, his header forcing a strong save from Bürki.

Raphael Guerreiro conceded a free kick after holding back Havertz from which Leverkusen got back into the game. Julian Brandt’s free-kick found Jonathan Tah who powered his header past Bürki to reduce the deficit to 3-2.

Memories of the 3-3 capitulation against Hoffenheim came flooding back with Leverkusen going for broke. Dortmund were able to hold on this time however, a vital victory after going five games without a win in all competitions.

Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen – Man of the Match: Jadon Sancho

Dortmund's English midfielder Jadon Sancho celebrates scoring their team's second goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen on February 24, 2019 in Dortmund. (Photo by Patrik STOLLARZ / AFP) / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Jadon Sancho celebrates scoring Dortmund’s second goal during the Bundesliga match Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen. (Photo: Patrik STOLLARZ / AFP)

The teenager was the catalyst for Dortmund overcoming their slow start and getting the hosts into the game. His pinpoint corner found Zagadou for the opening goal before showing an incredible technique to volley home for this ninth goal of the season.

Sancho’s potential is limitless and he continues to go from strength to strength. The 18-year-old became the youngest player in Bundesliga history to score nine goals in one season

Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen – Talking Point

Dortmund restored their three-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga but Bayern München won’t be relinquishing their title without a fight. The Black and Yellows were far from convincing and Der Klassiker at the Allianz Arena on 6 April is shaping up as the title decider.

Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen – Match Stats

  • Jadon Sancho becomes the youngest player in Bundesliga history to score nine goals in one season
  • Leverkusen have taken just five points in their last nine Bundesliga games against Dortmund
  • Dortmund had just 31% possession during the first half, their lowest since Bundesliga match data collection began in 2004

Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen – Line-ups

Borussia Dortmund:

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Bürki – Hakimi, Akanji, Zagadou, Diallo – Weigl, Witsel – Sancho, Götze (Dahoud, 83′), Guerreiro (Bruun Larsen, 76′) – Alcacer (Wolf, 90′)

Coach: Lucien Favre

Bayer 04 Leverkusen:

Formation: 4-1-2-2-1

Hradecky – Weiser, Tah, S. Bender, Jedvaj – Baumgartlinger – Aranguiz, Brandt – Havertz, Bailey (Alario, 70′) – Volland

Coach: Peter Bosz

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</