Borussia Dortmund have been eliminated. BVB lost 2-0 (0-0) away to VfB Stuttgart in the DFB-Pokal round of 16.

Boris Rupert reporting from Stuttgart

Both teams battled with great commitment. Stuttgart dominated the first period but BVB were closer to opening the scoring, hitting the bar via Sabitzer. Guirassy converted his second major chance nine minutes after the restart and fired VfB 1-0 ahead. Bynoe-Gittens' goal six minutes later was ruled out for offside. Instead, Guirassy wrapped up the game with a goal in the 77th minute.

The scenario:   
Borussia had won seven of their previous 10 Bundesliga games in Stuttgart and had more away wins overall against VfB than against any other opponent (16) – but had suffered a highly deserved 2-1 loss only 25 days earlier. It was the sixth meeting in the cup (3-2 wins in Dortmund's favour).

Personnel matters:   
In addition to Sébastien Haller (knee problems), Felix Nmecha (hip injury) and Julien Duranville (fitness training), Niklas Süle and Giovanni Reyna missed out with illness. However, Salih Özcan was fit again and went straight into the team, which was changed in three positions compared to the 1-1 draw in Leverkusen: Özcan, Karim Adeyemi and Youssoufa Moukoko replaced Julian Brandt, Marco Reus and Niclas Füllkrug in what was the second-youngest BVB starting XI of the season with an average age of 25.9 years (the average age against Hoffenheim, also in the cup, was 25.4).


BVB lined up in a 3-4-3 formation with Hummels in the middle of a three-man backline, which was expanded into a back five (5-4-1) by Wolf and Ryerson when Stuttgart attacked. Stuttgart defended in a 4-4-2 formation but built the play in a 2-4-4, pressing with three players up top (and two more behind them) and looking to play long balls down the flanks, which were occupied by Millot (right) and Führich (left).

The match & analysis:
Stuttgart attacked very high, did not want to allow any controlled build-up and initially forced numerous losses of possession too. BVB did not find any gaps in midfield but gave away pretty much nothing defensively. Dortmund's attacking play grew more lively from the 20th minute onwards. After a foul on Adeyemi directly outside the penalty area went unpunished, BVB retained the ball and Bynoe-Gittens teed up Sabitzer, who fired the ball against the bar (22). VfB's first chance came shortly afterwards, Kobel turning Undav's header behind for a corner (24). Borussia then had to make their first change, with Füllkrug replacing Moukoko. Wolf also sustained an injury around the half-hour mark but returned to the pitch following a lengthy treatment break.


Neither Wolf nor Sabitzer re-emerged after the interval. They were replaced by Bensebaini and Brandt. Ryerson moved over to the right flank. A loss of possession by the Norwegian in the 51st minute led to a big chance for the home team. But Kobel made himself big and blocked Guirassy's shot (51). He was powerless to prevent the opener three minutes later, however. Millot had moved over to the left flank from the right and was completely open. His pass into the box towards Guirassy could not be cut out and the VfB forward fired a low shot into the net to make it 1-0.

Kobel made another huge save in the 58th minute – this time to deny Millot, who had been played clean through perfectly by Guirassy – and prevented Stuttgart from all-but sealing the win. At the other end, Bynoe-Gittens was initially denied by Nübel after receiving the ball from Füllkrug (59) and then slotted the ball over the line to make it 1-1 only a minute later. But VAR disallowed the goal: the scorer was deemed to have been narrowly offside when Füllkrug squared the ball.

Stuttgart switched to a back five with 20 minutes remaining. The action was now primarily taking place in the VfB half, but the home team soon took advantage of a chance on the counter: Millot to Mittelstädt and then into the path of Guirassy, who stayed ice-cool in a centre-left position in front of goal and made it 2-0 (77). Substitute Reus could have brought Borussia back into it with eight minutes to go but he could not beat Nübel after Hummels' long ball.

There are still four matches remaining this year, four matches in the space of 11 days: Leipzig are next up in the league on Saturday (18:30 CET), followed by PSG next Tuesday, a trip to Augsburg on Saturday and a home game against Mainz the Tuesday after next (19/12).

Teams & goals


DFB-Pokal Round of 16

VfB Suttgart: Nübel – Vagnoman (Stergiou, 81), Anton, Zagadou, Mittelstädt – Karazor, Millot (Jeong, 90+3) – Stiller, Führich (Silas, 71) – Undav (Rouault, 71), Guirassy (Leweling, 90+3)
Bor. Dortmund: Kobel – Can, Hummels, Schlotterbeck – Wolf (Bensebaini, 46), Özcan (Reus, 78), Sabitzer (Brandt, 46), Ryerson – Adeyemi, Moukoko (Füllkrug, 24), Bynoe-Gittens (Malen, 71)
Substitutes: Bredlow, Stenzel, Haraguchi, Kastanaras – Meyer, Meunier, Blank, Papadopoulos
Goals: 1-0 Guirassy (Millot, 54), 2-0 Guirassy (Mittelstädt, 77)  
Corners: 4-2 (2-1 at half-time), chance ratio: 6-3 (2-1)
Referee: Brand (Schwebheim), yellow cards: Anton – Bensebaini
Attendance: 54,200 (sold-out), weather: dry, 1 degree