Borussia Dortmund suffered a massive blow in the Bundesliga title race after a damning 5-2 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen at Signal Iduna Park, in a game which saw four first-half goals.
Gerardo Seoane’s side took the lead in the 8th minute courtesy of a shocking mistake by Dan-Axel Zagadou, which eventually led to Manuel Akanji turning the ball into his own net.
Dortmund were level just four minutes later, as Julian Brandt’s free-kick found its way into the Leverkusen goal off the head of Jeremie Frimpong to give the game its second own goal.
Then, seven minutes of madness for Dortmund saw them concede twice. Leverkusen finished off a precise counter attack for the first, as Florian Wirtz rounded off a superb break to score an easy goal from inside the box in the 20th minute.
Robert Anrich added Leverkusen’s third with a sweetly struck free-kick into the bottom corner from 20-yards out just minutes later.
Dortmund’s misery was compounded further just eight minutes into the second half, as Jonathan Tah scored a fantastic volley from inside the area.
Leverkusen may have eased off the scoring for much of the second period but completed the rout with two minutes to play when Jeremie Frimpong crossed the ball on the break, and Moussa Diaby slotted in from inside the box.
Steffan Tigges tapped in a stoppage time consolation for the home side.
TALKING POINT – TITLE RACE NOW OUT OF REACH?
Borussia Dortmund’s faint hope of challenging for the Bundesliga title in Marco Rose’s first season in charge is now hanging by a thread as after they now sit nine points behind Bayern Munich.
Dortmund were on a good run and secured wins in all of their games following the winter break, following an inconsistent run of results prior to the start of the year. The feeling amongst fans was that their side were once again hitting their stride.
For that reason, this result will be very hard to take. Not only because of the ramifications in terms of the title race, but also the manner of the performance. The manner of the goals conceded and the lack of shots on goal will be a major concern for Marco Rose.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – JONATHAN TAH
The Bayer Leverkusen defender was outstanding today – his defensive contribution was superb, and he also got on the scoresheet with a superb volley from inside the box for his side’s fourth goal.
The 25-year-old’s physical presence was definitely a reason why Borussia Dortmund were struggling to get shots on goal from inside the penalty area.
In total, Tah won all three of his aerial duels and made two successful tackles (100% success rate).
Borussia Dortmund: Kobel 6, Guerreiro 6, Zagadou 5, Akanji 6, Meunier 6, Bellingham 6, Dahoud 6, Reus 6, Brandt 7, Hazard 6, Malen 6. Subs: Wolf 6, Reyna 6, Moukoko 6, Tigges 7.
Bayer Leverkusen: Grill 7, Bakker 7, Tah 8, Hincapie 7, Frimpong 7, Andrich 7, Kerimbay 7, Wirtz 8, Diaby 7, Bellarabi 7, Schick 7. Subs: Adli 6, Kossounou 6, Aranguiz 6, Fosu-Mensah 6, Alario 6.
11’ – DORTMUND OWN GOAL! (Manuel Akanji OG) – What a clanger from Dortmund! Zagadou gives the ball away shockingly at the edge of his area. It puts Schick through on goal, but his shot is initially saved by Kobel. The ball then rebounds straight off Akanji and into the back of his own net! A comedy goal!
16’ ANOTHER OWN GOAL! DORTMUND ARE LEVEL (Jeremie Frimpong OG) – Brandt delivers the free-kick in, and the ball comes off the top of the head of Jeremie Fringpong and into the net Initially it looked like it was a header scored by Thomas Meunier, but the replays show otherwise! The Dortmund man looked a touch offside, so a VAR check delays the goal being given but eventually, the referee awards it.
20’ GOAL! (Florian Wirtz) – Dortmund are done on the counter attack! The hosts play the ball very well on the edge of the box but cannot get the shot away. Reus is dispossessed and Leverkusen break away with four players involved in the move. Schick plays in Bellarabi to his right, and the German then threads in Wirtz in the area, and the Leverkusen man has an easy tap in! What a frantic last couple of minutes!
28’ – GOAL! (Robert Andrich) – Leverkusen lead! What a fantastic strike from Andrich! He curls the free-kick beyond the wall and into the corner!
53’ – GOAL! (Jonathan Tah) – Tah hammers in a volley to pile the misery onto Dortmund! A corner is delivered, which cannons off Zagadou onto the path of an advanced Tah. The central defender scores an audacious volley and Leverkusen are in dreamland