BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund beat top-of-the-table Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-0 to end a run of three consecutive 2-2 draws and jump to fourth in the Bundesliga on Saturday, level with Bayern Munich.
Dortmund’s win saw the top of the Bundesliga grow even more congested with the top nine separated by just two points.
Gladbach remained top, ahead of VfL Wolfsburg on goal difference. Both have 16 points from eight games. Bayern, Dortmund and RB Leipzig are all one point behind. Then come four teams on 14 points, including Freiburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt and Schalke 04, who have a game in hand.
Marco Reus’s second-half strike was enough for Dortmund to end their three-game winless streak, though the home side needed to overcome two disallowed goals and its own suspension of England forward Jadon Sancho for disciplinary reasons.
Thorgan Hazard’s first-half strike for the home team against his former club was ruled out by VAR for a tight offside call.
Hazard then found a sprinting Reus with a perfect through ball to score in the 58th minute.
Even though another Dortmund strike was erased by VAR in the 85th minute, the home team finished the game hanging on, adopting a back-five and even a back-six in added time and was grateful to reserve goalkeeper Marwin Hitz for securing the win after he came on for the injured Roman Buerki.
Gladbach was left to rue two penalty decisions that didn’t go their way, while coach Marco Rose was booked in injury time for protesting.
“We are very, very happy that our efforts were rewarded with victory today. You could see that the game could have turned in the other direction,” said Reus.
Coach Lucien Favre didn’t hide his annoyance with the two tight VAR decisions that went against his side.
“That the two goals were not given is not good for football,” lamented the Swiss coach.
Favre suspended Sancho after he returned late from international duty with England.
“Jadon is a great kid, but he is still very young,” Dortmund director of football Michael Zorc told German television before kick-off. “The decision was not easy, but there was no other choice. The suspension is only active for today.”
Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019