Marco Reus netted a stoppage-time winner as Borussia Dortmund returned to the top of the Bundesliga with a dramatic 3-2 win over Hertha BSC at the Olympiastadion.
In a game with a lot riding on it for BVB, the visitors got off to the worst possible start, with Salomon Kalou tapping in from close range for Hertha on four minutes after Roman Burki’s fumble.
Dortmund responded well and were back on level terms just ten minutes later as Thomas Delaney’s deflected shot levelled the scores, only for Kalou to net a penalty ten minutes berfore half-time to restore Hertha’s lead.
Lucien Favre’s side started the second period on the front foot as they searched for an immediate equaliser following the interval, which came on 47 minutes, as Dan-Axel Zagadou was left unmarked to head home Jadon Sancho’s corner.
Dortmund were handed a boost in the final five minutes, after Jordan Torunarigha was sent off for the hosts for two bookable offences – and they took full advantage as Marco Reus netted deep into stoppage time to earn BVB all three points – moments before Vedad Ibisevic was sent off for the hosts.
Here’s 90min’s breakdown of the game.
Starting XI: Jarstein (7); Stark (8*), Rekik (7), Torunarigha (4); Lazaro (7), Maier (6), Grujic (7), Mittelstadt (7); Duda (7); Kalou (7), Selke (5).
Substitutes: Ibisevic (2), Leckie (5), Lustenberger (N/A).
Key Talking Point
It wasn’t pretty by Borussia Dortmund but they won’t care in the slightest, going back top of the table after this narrow win.
Instead of going one point clear however, Reus’ late moment of magic ensured they took a three point lead over nearest rivals Bayern – though the Bavarians can close the gap when they play Mainz on Sunday.
FT. Hertha Berlin 2 Borussia Dortmund 3. What a great game. Dortmund go 3 points clear of Bayern Munich at top of Bundesliga #birthdayinBerlin
— Paul (@paulj71) March 16, 2019
What a comeback from Borussia Dortmund in Berlin. Reus amazing composure in 93rd minute to win 3-2. #BVB
— Phil Gordon (@PJG_Sport) March 16, 2019
After a poor run lately and exit from CL, today’s win was exactly what Borussia Dortmund and their fans needed with Bayern Munich coming on to push for another title #BVB
— Bundesliga Fanatic (@Bundesliga4u) March 16, 2019
Playing before Die Roten, it was vital for BVB to take maximum points and not concede the advantage in the title race, as Dortmund proved they have the staying power it takes to win a league title.
Starting XI: Burki (5); Wolf (6), Akanji (6), Zagadou (7), Diallo (6); Weigl (5), Delaney (8*); Sancho (7), Reus (8), Pulisic (6); Bruun Larsen (6).
Substitutes: Guerreiro (5), Hakimi (6), Toprak (N/A).
Despite Reus’ late winner for Borussia Dortmund in Germany’s capital, Thomas Delaney was a driving force at the heart of midfield, with the Dane covering every blade of grass with yet another energetic display.
He was involved in Dortmund’s fortuitous first goal with a powerful run from midfield before his strike deflected off Rekik, and was unfortunate not to find the back of the net late on – with his long-range strike cannoning off the crossbar.
Both sides return to action following the international break, with Hertha away to RB Leipzig.
Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, host a VfL Wolfsburg side in fine form in their next game, before the small matter of Der Klassiker at the Allianz Arena to begin April, in what is likely to be a title decider.