Jude Bellingham’s fine second-half goal gave Borussia Dortmund victory in a pulsating game at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Dortmund took the lead in the 20th minute when Donyell Malen set up Julian Brandt who drove home an effort through the legs of goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.
The advantage only lasted six minutes until Daichi Kamada drove home his seventh league goal of the season from outside the box, leaving Gregor Kobel with no chance.
Eight minutes after the restart Bellingham scored the decider, letting the ball run through to Youssoufa Moukoko who clipped a ball for the Englishman to run onto and he turned inside a defender before slamming home.
The result was hard on the hosts for whom forwards Jesper Lindstrom and Randal Kolo Muani had a glut of chances but found Kobel in inspired form.
The win lifts Dortmund up to third in the table, three points behind leaders Bayern Munich, with Eintracht still in fifth.
TALKING POINT – WHERE IS THE BEST POSITION FOR BELLINGHAM IN THE WORLD CUP?
A partnership alongside Declan Rice in midfield feels like it could be etched on an England team sheet for the next decade, but the type of goal he scored against Frankfurt, his eighth of the season, illustrates the danger he possesses in advanced positions. He cannot be limited to a holding-midfielder role, he is too good for that. As plentiful as England’s forward options are behind Harry Kane, there is no one as good at getting beyond him to latch onto through balls or crosses. Whether this means him playing in the middle of a forward three and another alongside Rice or giving the former Birmingham man the freedom to make use of his box-to-box attributes, Gareth Southgate must make full use of his most damaging player.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – GREGOR KOBEL (BORUSSIA DORTMUND)
By rights Frankfurt should have got something from this game. The reason they didn’t was due to the heroics of the visitors’ ‘keeper. He has been in fine form this season and continued it in this match denying Randal Kolo Muani on multiple occasions. His two fine point-blank stops from Jesper Lindstrom were most memorable though. There were some sceptics when he signed for Dortmund the summer before last but he has more than proven this season he is worthy of the No. 1 shirt.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp 6; Tuta 6, Jakic 7, Ndicka 6; Dina Ebimbe 6, Pellegrini 6; Kamada 7, Rode 6; Lindstrom 7, Gotze 7; Muani 7.
Subs: Sow 6, Alario 6, Borre 6.
Borussia Dortmund: Kobel 9*; Sule 6, Hummels 6, Schlotterbeck 7; Adeyemi 6, Bellingham 7, Ozcan 6, Hazard 6; Brandt 7, Malen 6; Moukoko 6.
Subs: Reyna 6, Can 6, Modeste 6, Wolf 6.
20′ GOAL FOR DORTMUND! Malen races into the area and skips around a challenge before crossing to Brandt who fires a low drive home through the legs of the goalkeeper.
26′ GOAL FOR EINTRACHT! A nice run and pass from Muani finds the in-form Japanese star 25 yards from goal and he drills a low effort which Kobel can’t get near.
42′ HOW DID THAT STAY OUT? A delightful lob from Muani from a tight angle comes back off the post and then Lindstrom went down in the box looking for the rebound before the referee gave a handball against Frankfurt. A little surprising they did not look at VAR.
53′ GOAL FOR DORTMUND! Bellingham with a great goal to put his side in front. A lovely ball around the corner from Moukoko and then Bellingham turned inside a defender before slipping the ball past the ‘keeper.
56′ GREAT STOP FROM KOBEL! A fine effort from Lindstrom with a stabbing movement using the studs of his boot diverting the ball swiftly towards goal and Kobel had to be on his game to get down quickly and push away from danger.
57′ OFF THE LINE FROM SCHLOTTERBECK! Kobel denied Muani and then Gotze and Lindstrom coolly exchanged passes from the rebound but though Gotze’s shot beat Kobel somehow the big centre back lunged to his left and got the ball clear.
58’ ANOTHER GREAT STOP FROM KOBEL A mistake from Schlotterbeck and the Dortmund ‘keeper seemed to have left room inside his front post but he sprawled himself to deny Lindstrom’s effort there.