Borussia Dortmund continued their Meisterschaft pursuit in the title race on Saturday, as they beat Wolfsburg 2-0 at the Volkswagen Arena.
After controlling the first half-hour, Borussia Dortmund finally got their breakthrough thanks to Raphaël Guerreiro. Thorgan Hazard pulled it back and found the Portuguese, who couldn’t miss, slotting home to score his third goal in a week and put the visitors in front.
Renato Steffen had a golden chance to equalise moments after the restart, as Wout Weghorst put him through with a slick ball. However, the Swiss forward couldn’t hold his nerve one-on-one, smashing his effort over the bar with Wolfsburg’s best chance of the game.
Wolfsburg kept knocking on the door, with a host of half-chances to draw level. Steffen’s stinging long shot was pushed away by country compatriot Roman Bürki, while John Brooks hit his effort wide of the target, though Die Wölfe were fighting hard to find a way back into the game.
The hosts had missed their opportunity to do just that, when Dortmund doubled their lead and wrapped up the win. Wolfsburg couldn’t handle the speed of substitute Jadon Sancho, who slipped it into Achraf Hakimi – and the Real Madrid loanee finished emphatically to secure all three points on the road.
A late red card for Felix Klaus added insult to injury for Wolfsburg, as VAR ruled that the substitute’s tackle on Hakimi was excessive. Dortmund saw out what was a vital win at the Volkswagen Arena, as they made it two wins from two since the return of the Bundesliga.
Starting XI: Casteels (6); Mbabu (7*), Pongračić (5), Brooks (6), Roussillon (7); Schlager (65, Arnold (6); Steffen (6), Mehmedi (6); Ginczek (6), Weghor (6).
Substitutes: Brekalo (6), Klaus (4), Victor (N/A).
Any sort of attacking quality for Wolfsburg came down the right flank, thanks to the talent of Kevin Mbabu. The Swiss full-back sent some tantalising crosses into the box and was bright all game, giving Die Wölfe any chance of finding a goal thanks to his energetic display.
Key Talking Point
After a statement derby win over Schalke last week, Borussia Dortmund hoped to make it six consecutive league wins. They would do so with the same XI and repeated absence of Jadon Sancho, though concerns over his place on the bench were far less prevalent given their 4-0 victory in the Revierderby.
It was no surprise to see the game follow the same pattern as last week, albeit with a lesser mismatch. Settled in after the opening half hour, Dortmund took the chance and scored a well-worked goal, finished off by the in-form Guerreiro as the Schwarzgelben drew first blood.
Mats Hummels coming off at half time did open up Dortmund’s defence in the absence of the commanding German, but Emre Can covered well. They had to stay organised at the back to keep a resurgent Wolfsburg quiet, before hitting them excellently on the counter attack to make it two.
Lucien Favre’s side have now won back to back games since the restart and have won six games on the bounce – perfect timing for Tuesday’s derby. Dortmund will need to be at their very best for their next game, but they’ve done everything right in the buildup as they saw out another strong victory.
Starting XI: Bürki (6); Piszczek (6), Hummels (7), Akanji (6); Hakimi (7*), Dahoud (6), Delaney (7), Guerreiro (7); Hazard (6), Haaland (6), Brandt (6).
Substitutes: Can (6), Sancho (7), Reyna (5), Balerdi (N/A), Schmelzer (N/A).
Another fluid attacking display from Dortmund, but this time spearheaded by Achraf Hakimi. The Moroccan full-back put in another excellent display, powering down the wing and threatening the hosts every time he went forward with the ball.
His energy and crossing was critical in Dortmund winning the game, and it was his goal and brilliant finish that saw out the victory. In a game where the inform front three were quieter than usual, Hakimi stole the show with a superb performance which helped BVB to a massive three points.
Both sides are in midweek action, with Matchday 28 just days away. Wolfsburg make the trip to Bayer Leverkusen next Tuesday, in a huge clash between two high fliers. Die Wölfe return to the Volkswagen Arena next weekend, when they host Eintracht Frankfurt on 30 May.
Borussia Dortmund now turn their attention to the biggest game of the Bundesliga restart next Tuesday, as Bayern Munich visit the Signal Iduna Park for another edition of Der Klassiker. BVB then face a side at the opposite end of the table, as they travel to bottom side Paderborn on 31 May.