Borussia Dortmund put leaders FC Bayern under pressure with a successful start to the second half of the season. In the impressive 5-1 (3-0) win in the Bundesliga top game against fourth-placed SC Freiburg, Marco Rose’s team acted like a real contender for the title and reduced the gap to Munich to three points, at least for one day.
Barely a week after the hard-fought victory in Frankfurt, the Revierklub also mastered the next challenging task. In front of just 750 spectators due to the corona situation, the double goal scorers Thomas Meunier (14th/29th minute) and Erling Haaland (45th/75th) as well as the strong Mahmoud Dahoud (86th) sealed the third away defeat for Freiburg on Friday evening. According to the statistics service provider Opta, the Norwegian striker’s second goal was BVB’s 2000th home goal in the Bundesliga.
Breisgau’s performance improvement came too late and was only rewarded by Ermedin Demirovic’s goal to make it 3-1 (61st). Coach Christian Streich’s team is threatened with falling out of the Champions League this weekend.
The spectators, who fervently intoned “You’ll never walk alone” in the huge Dortmund stadium before the game, saw only about ten cautious minutes at the beginning. Then Borussia quickly and impressively took control. With intensive pressing and improved combination play, she got closer and closer to the Freiburg goal. Only three minutes after Donyell Malen’s first chance (11th), who missed the goal from 16 meters, there was the reward for the committed start. After a corner kick from Julian Brandt, full-back Meunier headed in and gave his team a 1-0 lead with his first goal of the season.
“We’re trying to play along,” Freiburg coach Christian Steich announced on DAZN, but his team initially started far too passively. Dortmund, who won 3-2 at Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend with great morale after being 2-0 down, determined the events and showed themselves to be offensive. In addition, they were obviously trying to implement coach Marco Rose’s request for fewer bad passes in the build-up game.
Commitment and dynamism were rewarded: The 2-0 was almost a double of the first goal. Brandt took another corner, but this time from the right, Meunier headed in again and gave SC goalkeeper Benjamin Uphoff no chance to defend himself.
Uphoff once again replaced regular keeper Mark Flekken, who was absent, as was defender Nico Schlotterbeck. Ironically, the standard specialists in the league conceded two goals after dead balls. With 16 standard goals, the Breisgauers lead the corresponding league statistics. On this evening, however, they hardly found their way into the game and remained without a dangerous chance until the half-time whistle. Even worse from the point of view of Freiburg: Haaland increased to 3-0 before the change after a pass from Jude Bellingham. Dortmund’s superiority in the first 45 minutes was also reflected in the 12:1 shots on goal – although Woo-Yeong Jeong’s header did not pose any problems for Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel (44th).
However, the BVB keeper didn’t look so good after the break when substitute Demirovic scored the first Freiburg goal. Kobel fended off a cross from Roland Sallai, but unluckily right in front of the Joker’s feet, who shot in from close range. With the feeling of safe leadership, BVB switched to administration mode to save energy for the cup game on Tuesday at FC St. Pauli. That brought Freiburg back into the game for a short time – before Haaland removed the last doubts and Dahoud even increased it to 5: 1.