Borussia Dortmund have lost for the first time this season, suffering an unnecessary 1-0 (0-0) defeat at newly-promoted Rasenballsport Leipzig, who scored a late winner shortly after André Schürrle had hit the crossbar for the visitors.
With 42,558 fans watching on in a sold-out Red Bull Arena, Borussia set the pace for long periods but missed a chance to take a first-half lead through Schürrle (30). After the break the hosts grew stronger, with chances falling to Werner (78) and Halstenberg (80), while Schürrle was denied by the bar (83). Then, in the 89th minute, substitutes Keita and Burke combined as goalscorer and provider to hand Leipzig the victory.
Felix Ulrich reporting
BVB's congested fixture schedule of seven matches in 21 days began in Leipzig. It was the first meeting between the two sides in the Bundesliga. Previously, only BVB II had faced the men from Saxony (3-3 and 0-1). Before the match Thomas Tuchel had expressed his respect for the opposition, speaking of a "well-stocked team suffused with structure". The 43-year-old subsequently added: "Leipzig want to excel and give their best performance on this stage. We are expecting a close, tight game, in which we will have to fight for the smallest of advantages."
Borussia Dortmund were without Shinji Kagawa (twisted ankle), who was replaced in the starting XI by Mario Götze. The latter had been unable to make his comeback against Trier or Mainz due to a minor muscle injury. Lukasz Piszczek and Julian Weigl also returned to the starting XI, with Felix Passlack and Ousmane Dembélé dropping to the bench. Other injury absentees in Leipzig included Marco Reus (rehab), Sven Bender (ankle injury), Mikel Merino (knee inflammation) and Neven Subotic. The hosts only made one change to the starting XI that picked up a 2-2 draw away to TSG Hoffenheim last time out: Olympic participant and BVB fan Lukas Klostermann came into the first XI at right-back, with team-mate Benno Schmitz dropping to the bench.
Borussia lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in which Castro, Götze and Schürrle started in attacking midfield. Initially the trio drifted largely to the left with Castro and Götze almost in central and centre-left positions respectively. The wingers generally cut inside when in possession to create space for full-backs Piszczek and Schmelzer as they came forward. Leipzig opted for a 4-4-2 formation in which right-winger Kaiser played a much more defensive role than left-winger Sabitzer.
The match & analysis
Both Rasenballsport Leipzig and BVB delivered a tactically astute performance in the first 45 minutes. The hosts pressed Borussia high up the pitch in bid to force their visitors to give the ball away and also created several (half) chances of their own, but Werner (20) and Sabitzer could not convert. On the whole, though, it was the visitors who set the tone in the former Central Stadium.
67 percent possession, five shots to RB's three and a pass completion rate of 83 percent were just three examples of BVB's dominance. But they were not ahead in terms of goals, even though they came close in the seventh minute when Schürrle's shot was deflected away for a corner by Orban.
A short while later (19) Aubameyang beat Compper to the ball but the Gabon international could not direct it goalbound. BVB's best chance again fell to Schürrle (30), who rounded off a wonderful move involving Schmelzer, Rode und Götze with a shot that sailed centimetres wide of the right post.
And it was precisely those players who were the standout figures in a good Dortmund side at the half-time interval. Mario Götze showed his ability on several occasions, always in space to receive the ball and looking for gaps to play the perfect pass, though there were no shots for the Germany international.
After the break there was a long spell without any incidents of note but the hosts showed more commitment. If BVB came forward it was down the left; nothing came down the right. What's more, the Black and Yellows didn't take any major risks, which is why they had no further shots until the 83rd minute. Rasenballsport and Borussia largely cancelled each other out and in view of the temperatures and the rather cautious style of play adopted, it seemed as if both teams were willing to accept the 0-0 draw.
Schürrle hits the woodwork
The game came alive again in the 71st minute, when Thomas Tuchel made his mark by bringing on Dembelé and Guerreiro for Castro and Götze in a double substitution, after which BVB posed a greater offensive threat down the right too. The first chance of the second half fell to Leipzig, though, with Bürki saving Werner's effort from a narrow angle (78). From the ensuing corner Halstenberg headed goalbound (80), only for Guerreiro to clear off the line.
Then, with seven minutes left on the clock, BVB had a huge chance to take all three points. However, the crossbar came to shot-stopper Gulacsi's rescue after Schürrle had hit an effort from 16 metres. Then, just when everyone had resigned themselves to a goalless draw, Leipzig's subs came up trumps. In the 89th minute substitute Burke set up fellow sub Keita, who made it 1-0. BVB threw everything forward in stoppage time but were unable to really make their pressure count.
BVB's next Bundesliga outing comes at home to SV Darmstadt 98 (kick-off 15:30 CET) on Saturday, while the Black and Yellows kick off their Champions League campaign on Wednesday (20:45 CET) with a trip away to Polish side Legia Warsaw.