Borussia Dortmund got back to winning ways in the Bundesliga at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, as Marco Rose’s side secured their first victory in three games with a 2-0 success over VfB Stuttgart.
Within two minutes, Dortmund were dealt a setback, as Gio Reyna pulled up with an injury, as his fitness woes this season continued. The American was replaced by Julian Brandt.
The midfielder then put BVB ahead after 12 minutes, becoming the earliest Bundesliga substitute goalscorer in the process. Jude Bellingham played Erling Haaland in behind from midfield, before the Norwegian squared the ball for Brandt to slot home at the far post.
Despite the flag initially going up for offside, the replays showed Haaland had timed his run perfectly, and the goal was awarded following a VAR check.
Brandt then got his brace and sealed the win for Dortmund with 20 minutes to go, placing a low effort from outside the area into the bottom corner.
The result sees Dortmund close the gap to Bayern Munich to six points at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Stuttgart remain a point above the relegation zone.
TALKING POINT – DORTMUND GET VERY UNLUCKY WITH INJURIES
One of the key talking points of the game were the injuries that Dortmund suffered, which resulted in three substitutions during the course of the 90 minutes, which included two in the first half alone.
In addition to Gio Reyna pulling up early on, Mahmoud Dahoud needed to be replaced in the 36th minute with a dislocated shoulder. Then, at half-time, Mats Hummels was taken off due to yet another problem, and replaced by Dan-Axel Zagadou at the heart of the defence.
BVB have already struggled with key injuries, with Erling Haaland and Hummels being among the notable absentees at certain points this season, and Marco Rose will be hoping that none that were suffered on Friday are not long-term problems.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – JULIAN BRANDT
The fifth-minute substitute turned in a fantastic performance for his side, bagging a brace in the process on the way to a significant win for Borussia Dortmund, as they try to cling on to Bayern Munich at the Bundesliga summit.
The 25-year-old came on for Dortmund in unfortunate circumstances, as Gio Reyna’s night ended quicker than it began, as the American pulled up within two minutes, picking up another disappointing injury.
However, Brandt produced one of the best substitute performances you will see, helping to link the play between midfield and attack, and getting in on the act with two crucial goals. The pick of them was his second, a fantastic long-range strike from outside of the box.
In total, Brandt made one successful dribble, make one key pass, and had a passing accuracy of 88%.
VfB Stuttgart: Muller 6, Stenzel 6, Mavropanos 6. Ito 6, Sosa 7, Endo 7, Karazor 6, Mangala 6, Fuhrich 6, Tomas 6, Marmoush 6. Subs: Millot 6, Massimo 6, Thommy 6, Coulibaly 6.
Borussia Dortmund: Kobel 7, Guerreiro 7, Akanji 7, Hummels 6, Can 7, Dahoud 6, Bellingham 7, Reus 7, Reyna 6, Hazard 7, Haaland 7. Subs: Brandt 8*, Wolf 6, Zagadou 6, Witsel 6.
12’ – GOAL! (Julian Brandt) – Confusion in Stuttgart. Mavropanos collides with a team-mate on halfway as Bellingham sends Haaland in behind. The forward could go it alone, but squares for Brandt to slot home at the far post. The flag goes up for offside, but the replay shows Haaland had timed his run to perfection. The goal is given following a short VAR review.
22’ – WHAT A MISS! – Stuttgart squander their best chance of the game, and they should be level! Mangala clips in a delightful chipped ball from deep in midfield for Marmoush in the area. The winger opts to try to chip Kobel one-on-one from an angle after taking a good touch to bring it down, but he gets it all wrong, and it sails over the bar from a couple of yards out!
71’ – GOAL! (Julian Brandt) – The first-half substitute has his brace with a fantastic low effort from just outside the area! Reus gets the ball, before playing it to him to his right. Brandt takes a touch before firing in beyond Muller into the bottom corner!
90’ – OFF THE BAR! – Almost a fantastic wondergoal from Sosa, who controls the ball with his head before volleying against the crossbar from just inside the Dortmund area. So unlucky – it deserved a goal! Stuttgart have had chances!