Borussia Dortmund make it four wins in four. On Sunday, the Black ´n´ Yellows increased their lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-0 (1-0) victory at Eintracht Frankfurt to remain the only team in the league with a 100 percent winning record. Despite a fantastic first-half performance, BVB only managed one goal before the interval, but in the end two goals from Mkhitaryan proved enough to secure the win in a high-quality encounter.
Boris Rupert reporting from Frankfurt
A capacity crowd of 51,500 at Commerzbank-Arena saw a great match with a lot of pace, hard-fought tackles and many scoring opportunities. While BVB had the majority of chances in the first half (seven to Eintracht´s four), the two teams were locked at 1-1 at half-time after goals from Mkhitaryan (10 mins.) and Kadlec (36). BVB´s Armenian midfielder added a second in the 56th minute to give the visitors their fourth win of the season.
Borussia Dortmund entered the game having won their first five competitive matches of the season for the first time ever. Accordingly, the approximately 7,500 travelling BVB fans had high hopes for Sunday, especially since Frankfurt also rank top of the list of Bundesliga teams against whom Borussia have registered the most wins (37). However, BVB had only won one of their previous seven visits to Frankfurt, and Eintracht also went into the game having recovered from a poor start to the season after winning three competitive matches in a row
For the first time this season, Jürgen Klopp made only one change to the previous week´s line-up, with Bender playing in place of Kehl. The Black ´n´ Yellows were still without the injured Gündogan and Piszczek, while Frankfurt had Meier, Jung, Lakic, Kittel and Stendera not available for selection, with the two full-backs Oczipka and Celozzi starting on the bench.
When Borussia were in possession, Frankfurt put in two lines of defence, with only Rosenthal and Kadlec pressing up front and trying to stop Hummels from getting forward. When in possession, the home side switched to a 4-2-3-1, with Aigner and Inui drifting wide and pushing forward, as did their full-backs. BVB played with a 4-2-3-1 formation with emphasis on quick passing moves through the centre of midfield.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan turns to celebrate his debut BVB goal
The Game & Analysis:
The opening 15 minutes saw six chances as both sides started the match positively. Frankfurt, who went into the game having a losing record at home in 2013 (three wins, two draws, four losses) and having won only one of their last six home games against Dortmund, had the first of these opportunities when an Aigner cross found Inu at the left corner of the six-yard box, but Weidenfeller, the world´s best non-international goalkeeper, was on hand to keep out the effort (4 mins.).
A minute later it was the turn of Frankfurt´s goalkeeper Trapp to show his quality when Blaszczykowski, after good work from Reus, released a shot from 14 yards. BVB rarely opened their attacks through the wings, but when they did, they looked dangerous. For example in the ninth minute, when Grosskreutz cut the ball back to Reus waiting at the edge of the box but his shot when high over the bar.
Borussia were the better of two good sides which is why they took a deserved lead. After winning the ball in midfield, Blaszczykowski slotted a wonderful pass through two Frankfurt defenders to set up Mkhitaryan for a left-footed finish (9 mins.), his first goal in a BVB shirt. Lewandowski could have doubled the advantage five minutes later, but Trapp, after being rounded, eventually managed to swipe the ball from the BVB striker´s feet. At the other end, Schmelzer made a last-ditch tackle to stop Kadlec (13 mins.) before Weidenfeller produced another fine save to again deny Kadlec (20 mins.).
BVB played with greater cohesion and continued to threaten the Eintracht goal, causing their defence all sorts of headaches. It showed that Frankfurt´s back four had never played together, but BVB, who played in all yellow on Sunday, failed to make the most of it, for example in the 30th minute when Schmelzer failed to find Mkhitaryan with a squared pass when he should have shot himself. They were eventually made pay for their missed chances when an Aigner header from an Inui cross bounced off the post into the path of Kadlec who fired home from short range to make it 1-1 (36 mins.). In fairness, due to Frankfurt´s seven shots on goal at this stage (to BVB´s nine), it was not totally undeserved.
Hummels, who had received BVB´s first yellow card of the season shortly before the interval, was replaced by Sokratis at halftime. Being kept in the game by BVB´s poor finishing and an avoidable goal, Eintracht started the second half with the same eagerness. But just as their goal came out of the blue, it was this time BVB who scored out of nowhere. Fed by a pass from Bender on the right wing, Grosskreutz passed the ball on to Mkhitaryan who cut inside with speed before unleashing an unstoppable shot from 19 yards into the left corner to restore BVB´s lead (56 mins.).
The goal, however did not ease the nerves of the visitors, with Borussia´s defence looking shaky on more than one occasion, and they were lucky when Anderson only hit the post on 62 minutes. Only then did the pace of the game slow down a bit before the hosts gathered themselves for a final assault, but BVB held firm to claim another three points.
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A total of 16 BVB players will be away on international duty, with most of them only returning to Dortmund three days ahead of the home game against Hamburg SV on Saturday, 14 September (kick-off: 1830 CET)