Borussia Dortmund have started their busy week with a win at home. On Matchday 3 of the Bundesliga, BVB were able to celebrate a hard-won 3-1 victory (1-0) over Eintracht Frankfurt, their second of the campaign. Abdou Diallo, Marius Wolf and Paco Alcácer scored the goals.
Boris Rupert reporting
Spectators numbering 81,000 in a not entirely sold-out Signal Iduna Park – some places had remained empty in the away end – were witness to what was a dogged match for a long period, during which the Black and Yellows refused to deviate from their game plan against a densely layered opposition. Rather than run (unnecessary) risks, the team attempted to break down the visitors' defences in a deliberate manner. Consequently, there was only one clear-cut chance on goal in the first passage of play, when Diallo bundled the ball over the line on the rebound after a corner kick for 1-0 (36'). Frankfurt equalised completely against the run of play thanks to Haller in the 68th minute, but Wolf was to regain the lead for the Black & Yellows a mere four minutes later. Alcácer put the result beyond doubt with a goal to take the scoreline to 3-1 in the 88th minute.
Borussia Dortmund had won all of their last seven home matches against Eintracht Frankfurt. While BVB were as yet unbeaten this season in competitive matches (two wins, one draw), SGE had departed the field of play as the loser in three of their four fixtures. In the Bundesliga, they had won one (in Freiburg) and lost one (a man down against Bremen).
BVB were missing the injured Pulisic, Toprak and Guerreiro. One change was made to the team that had drawn 0-0 in Hannover prior to the international break, with Axel Witsel initially dropping to the bench having racked up the most air-miles during the break and Bruun Larsen coming in to replace him. New signing Alcácer was also left on the sidelines for the beginning of the game. Eintracht were without Rebic, Chandler, Salcedo, Tawatha, Willems and Paciencia.
Both teams set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with their fullbacks standing high and one of their number sixes tucking in between the centre-backs during approach play. Both teams also collapsed into a 4-4-2 when without the ball. The visitors closed down Dortmund's passing channels well. As soon as the Borussia boys had played their way past the first pressing line in the form of Haller and Gacinovic, Frankfurt positioned themselves into two compact lines of four to make it extremely difficult for Dortmund to make their way up the pitch with the ball.
The match & analysis:
Borussia were clearly dominant in possession, enjoying a rate which stood at 61 percent after 30 minutes, but avoided taking any great risks against opposition who seemed to be waiting for mistakes which would allow them to counter. As a consequence, Dortmund looked the superior of the two during the first 45 minutes, but were lacking precision in their passing on the occasions when they had combined to make it to the opposition's 18-yard box.
It was then a set piece which brought them the lead. Piszczek allowed Bruun Larsen's corner ball to run through for Diallo, whose headed effort from directly in front of goal was initially denied by Trapp. However, he was then able to prod the rebound home for 1-0 (36').
Wolf scores just four minutes after the equaliser for 2-1
The match continued much in the same vein after the restart. Borussia searched in vain for a hole in Frankfurt's cover, but the Hessians refused to divert course, hoping rather to bag a lucky goal for themselves, something which duly came. Diallo accidentally fired the ball at Schmelzer during a passage of build-up play causing the ball to fall to da Costa on the right-hand side. Finding himself in space, he sent a cross into the middle which Haller then steered over the line for 1-1 (68th minute).
However, the Signal Iduna Park exploded once more just four minutes later after a wonderful attack. The newly introduced Alcácer played a perfect through ball to Sancho, who had also been substituted on. Sancho left two Frankfurt men for dead with a Cruyff turn in the 18-yard box before crossing the ball square to Wolf who made no mistake and fired the ball home into the back of the net for 2-1 (72'). The away fans were celebrating a second equaliser almost immediately after, but the goal was not to stand owing to two Frankfurt players being in an offside position.
The game was killed off in the 88th minute. Sancho had indeed been shorn off the ball after a short corner, but Alcacer latched onto it before curling into the top left-hand corner of goal from the right of the box.
The Frankfurt match was the first of seven fixtures within a 23-day period. Things will now proceed blow by blow: on Tuesday (21:00 CET), BVB take on Club Brugge to kick off their Champions League campaign, after which they travel to TSG Hoffenheim next Saturday (15:30 CET).