Three friendly matches, three wins: after edging out Willem II Tillburg 3-2 (2-1) in the afternoon, Borussia Dortmund were also able to notch up a 2-1 (0-0) win against Feyenoord Rotterdam in their early-evening match. Maximillian Philipp and Raphael Guerreiro provided the goals.
Patrick Eckholt reporting
Everything is running smoothly for BVB as they look with intent towards their first match after the winter break (away to RB Leipzig, 19 January, 18:30 CET). Playing against the third-placed side in the Netherlands, the Bundesliga league leaders delivered another assured performance over the course of the 90 minutes. Frontman Maximilian Philipp was once more at the centre of things.
Warm-up for the 2019 opener
In the ''Estadio Municipal de Marbella'', head coach Lucien Favre and his assistants Manfred Steves and Edin Terzic sent the Black and Yellows out in their now tried-and-trusted 4-2-3-1 formation. Julian Weigl and Ömer Toprak lined up at the heart of defence, with Maximilian Philipp and Mario Götze interchanging in the forward position. The latter would be replaced by Sergio Gomez in the second-half.
Club captain Marco Reus was forced to sit out another game due to a stomach problem, with striker Paco Alcácer also rested. Those players who contested the midday encounter with Willem II were kept out of the squad for the meeting with Feyenoord. Among them were Jacob Bruun Larsen, Thomas Delaney, Abdou Diallo and Marius Wolf.
Philipp opens scoring, Guerreiro adds to advantage
Dortmund started the game on the front foot and saw plenty of the ball. The team from Rotterdam, playing without the 35-year-old Robin van Persie (102 international caps, 50 goals), set up to play on the counter-attack. In just the third minute, Mario Götze had two chances to give BVB the lead: his first chance came after being played in by Mahmoud Dahoud, with the second falling to him via a free header from a corner. Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side began to fashion themselves a few opportunities, but a black-and-yellow defender was always on hand to get in the way of things. Steven Berghuis (19), Tonny Vilhena (25) and Nicolai Jörgensen (40) were all foiled in their efforts, with goalkeeper Roman Bürki having an important part to play. Shortly before half-time, Phlipp had a sight at goal from close range, but he failed to get the connection he was looking for and fired the ball narrowly wide of the target (45).
Not long after the second-half kicked off, it was the ever-alert Philipp who pounced to give BVB a 1-0 lead (52). He was able to get the better of Sven van Beek before slotting the ball home past goalkeeper Justin Bijlow for his third goal in friendly matches this year. In the 58th minute, Berghuis was once again the opposition player causing problems for BVB, his dangerous effort flying just wide of the mark. Some more good work from Roman Bürki was enough to keep out Dylan Vente in the 66th minute. Shortly afterwards, Raphael Guerreiro wrapped things up when he masterfully outwitted the Dutch goalkeeper to fire BVB into a 2-0 lead (70). In the 75th minute, Bart Nieuwkoop pulled one back for Feynoord with a poacher's finish.
In the end, the team delivered a worthy performance against the reigning Dutch cup winners. The last meeting between the two clubs was back in the final of the UEFA cup in 2002, when the team from the Netherlands ran out 3-2 winners. Today, it was Borussia who came out on top.
Isak and Hakimi on target against Willem II
Earlier on today, BVB won 3-2 in their other friendly match against Dutch side Willem II Tillburg. After a brace from Alexander Isak, Achraf Hakimi grabbed the winning goal via a last-minute free-kick. The match was played behind closed doors.
Tomorrow, after nine days on the Costa del Sol, the Black and Yellows will bid farewell to their training camp and make the trip back to Dortmund.
Line-up against Rotterdam: Bürki – Piszczek, Weigl, Toprak, Schmelzer (84. Burnic) – Witsel, Dahoud – Pulisic, Philipp, Guerreiro (75. Toljan) – Götze (46. Gomez)
Goals: Philipp (52.), Guerreiro (70.), Nieuwkoop (75.)
Line-up against Willem II: Hitz - Wolf, Pieper, Diallo (46. Toljan), Hakimi - Rasche, Delaney (46. Burnic) - Sancho, Kagawa, Bruun Larsen (65. Gomez) – Isak
Goals: Isak (25., 85.), Hakimi (90.)