5 Oct

Reus out of the eternal dilemma

As soon as Marco Reus stays fit, he regularly becomes match winner, also in Leverkusen. After a weak start, the BVB was again thrilled – and Bayer beat himself.

Scene of the match: From a central position, Kai Havertz had a great chance to restore Leverkusen’s two-goal lead. But he headed straight for Roman Bürki. The BVB goalkeeper parried the ball, quickly threw it to Jadon Sancho and after 14.7 seconds and a double pass with Marco Reus, the ball was in the Bayer goal for the second time. The equaliser in the 69th minute sums up the history of this exciting football match perfectly.

The result: Leverkusen lost against Dortmund 2:4 (2:0). Click here for the match report.

The first half: 7:0 against Nuremberg ! During the week the BVB had inspired. The hunt for the Bavarians seemed open for many. And then came Leverkusen. Bayer played his best 45 minutes of the season so far and led to the break deserved. Dortmund had only one goal chance – a free kick by Reus, which Lukas Hradecky held. The host took the lead with a dream goal from Mitchell Weiser, while Jonathan Tah, after a chaotic scene in the penalty area, took the lead in a corner – with a 0:2, BVB’s starting position seemed hopeless.

The second half: “open exchange of blows”, that’s a term that is often overused in football. But in the case of these 45 minutes, there is no expression that seems more appropriate. Leverkusen played further forward, had several good chances. Kevin Volland, who hit the post, gave away the best one. But also Dortmund became more and more dangerous and rewarded itself: Jacob Bruun Larsen scored by dusting, Reus at the end of a counter and Paco Alcácer after a cross from Achraf Hakimi as well as in the final minute into the empty goal.

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The Leverkusen problem: It could have been the perfect week. Three games, nine points. At the break, there was nothing to indicate a different result. And if Bayer had used one of the many scoring chances to score 3-0, the match would have been decided. But Leverkusen kept the opponent in the game himself. The missed header of the previously strong Havertz again and the subsequent counterattack to 2:2 were therefore so characteristic of the game.

The decisive factor for BVB: Reus played his twelfth Bundesliga match in a row in Leverkusen across the seasons. And yes, that alone is news. The last time that happened was more than four (!) years ago, in the 2013/2014 season. Several injuries followed. But now Reus shows again: If he is fit, then he belongs to the best players of the league. He scored against Leverkusen himself and prepared a goal. After eight compulsory games, he has eight goal participations (four goals, four templates) – remarkable numbers.

Dortmund number games: 24.8 – that’s how many minutes Jadon Sancho currently needs on average for a goal in the Bundesliga. In absolute numbers, that’s five assists in 124 minutes. 17 – that’s how many minutes Paco Alcácer currently needs on average for a goal in the Bundesliga, he scored three times in 51 minutes playing time. Against Leverkusen both came into play as Jokers and decided the game. Sancho convinced again with a lot of speed, Alcácer proved again why the BVB needs a striker like him. Check this Karamba review to know more about their bonuses and promotions.

Conclusion of the game: The victories against Nuremberg and Leverkusen were extremely different. And yet they both proved the quality of the BVB. First the rush to score against the rising star, now the impressive race to catch up against a clear candidate for the European Cup. The mentality is right. In the sense of tension, Bundesliga spectators can hope that Dortmund will keep the form of the second half – and that Marco Reus will stay fit. With a view to the strong first 45 minutes, Leverkusen shouldn’t worry too much either.

5 Oct

A paradise for the do-gooder

After a tough start to the season, the BVB has shown all the qualities it has been working on for months at the Leverkusen race to catch up. For coach Favre, however, there is still room for improvement.

When Heiko Herrlich realized what his revenge for this defeat of his Leverkusen team against Dortmund might look like, a smile appeared for a short moment on his tired face. “The rent will not be increased”, the coach decided without further ado and nodded sympathetically to Lucien Favre.

Not only is a very friendly coach wonderful, he is also a pleasant landlord for Favre, who lives in a house belonging to the Leverkusen coach who once played in Dortmund. The business relationship between the two should not be burdened by this soccer evening, at the end of which the Leverkusen team quarreled and euphoric Dortmund fans sang: “Who will become German Champion, BVB Borussia?

Borussia Dortmund is the table leader after the 4:2 in Leverkusen. “Very, very beautiful,” said Favre, who was really intoxicated by this enchanting soccer game. The Dortmund team had turned a 0:2 half-time deficit into a victory, now have the best storm in the league with 19 goals and are the only Bundesliga team still unbeaten. With a mixture of willpower, individual class and a clever football concept, the BVB has for the first time in its Bundesliga history turned a 0:2 half-time gap on the opponent’s place into a victory, statisticians reported after the final whistle.

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Only BVB boss is grumbling and silent

Only Hans-Joachim Watzke was somewhat disgruntled when he walked through the corridors of the stadium. The manager was asked if he could say a few words about this great game, but his grudge against the critics of the past weeks was still too deep. “Two weeks ago you wrote that we could do nothing,” Watzke explained, “because after less convincing performances and the first four games of the season, which were influenced by a lot of luck, doubts had been expressed about the project’s new beginning. So he will remain silent.

Even without Watzke’s analysis, this evening is a strong counter-argument. Everything that the Dortmunders wanted to develop after the change of coach and the fundamental redevelopment of the squad was at least visible in phases. Not in perfection, but overall the BVB was “simply better”, said Jacob Bruun Larsen. At least for the second half this was true.

Axel Witsel Honours

Club

Standard Liege

  • Belgian Pro League: 2007–08, 2008–09
  • Belgian Cup: 2010–11
  • Belgian Supercup: 2008, 2009

Benfica

  • Taça da Liga: 2011–12

Zenit

  • Russian Football Premier League: 2014–15
  • Russian Cup: 2015–16
  • Russian Super Cup: 2015

International

Belgium

  • FIFA World Cup third place: 2018

Individual

  • Belgian Young Footballer of the Year: 2007–08
  • Belgian Golden Shoe: 2008
  • O Jogo Team of the Year: 2012

New on the credit side: the winning mentality

After the intoxicating 7:0 against 1. FC Nuremberg, the Dortmunders have not only convinced playfully, the decisive factor became the winning mentality so often mentioned in previous years on the debit side. “The team really believed in itself, the greed is very big at the moment, the faith is immense,” said Sebastian Kehl, head of the licensed players department.

Marco Reus is growing better and better into the role of captain and leader, he prepared the 1:2 in Leverkusen with an artistic volley shot, Bruun Larsen dusted off. He scored the 2-2 after a great combination with Jandon Sancho himself. “When you come back so impressively, it’s strong,” said Reus, who also gets on very well with Sancho outside the court and seems to become a kind of mentor for the young Englishman.

It is these little stories of cohesion and individual progress that make the Dortmund Höhenflug seem quite stable. Dan-Axel Zagadou played his best game so far for BVB in central defence, Paco Alcácer was substituted at 0:2, the 3:2 he scored like a world-class striker after a perfectly timed run and a highly complicated finish, the 4:2 was already his third goal in just 51 Bundesliga minutes.

Axel Witsel became the strategic centre of the Dortmund game after the less good first half, right-back Achraf Hakimi was always well integrated into the combination game. And Roman Bürki has transformed himself in recent weeks from an insecure nervous bundle to a complete goalkeeper with impressive charisma.

Favre has the “biggest share” in all these developments, explained Sebastian Kehl. The coach has created a fertile breeding ground for individual progress and for the emergence of a harmonious collective. This is the foundation on which top teams can develop. The fact that this currently so convincing team still has clearly visible potential for improvement and has a coach in Favre who loves to work on subtleties now seems like an ideal combination. Matchbook bonus wanted to provide a superior experience to their players so that everyone will have a very enjoyable gaming experience.