Borussia Dortmund drew a match for the first time this season on Bundesliga Matchday 10. Despite having been a goal down at the break, the injury-hit Black & Yellows came back to draw 1-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Boris Rupert reporting
Borussia Dortmund trailed Eintracht Frankfurt, who had taken the lead when Kamada slotted home Hinteregger's through-ball in the ninth minute, for 45 minutes. They made a flying start to the second period and levelled through Reyna on 56 minutes but could not convert their dominance into a winner.
Ninth-placed SGE had made an almost unbeaten start to the season, tasting defeat only once, while fourth-placed BVB had picked up six wins from their opening nine games. The Black & Yellows had not been beaten in any of their previous seven meetings with the Eagles (four home wins, three away draws).
Haaland (fibre tear), Guerreiro (muscular problems), Akanji (knee complaints), Delaney (back problems), Meunier (muscular injury), Reinier (self-isolation at home) and Schmelzer (rehab following knee operation) were all unavailable, though Can and Hummels overcame their respective injuries in time to start. Can was one of seven changes made to the team that faced Lazio on Wednesday. Following a long injury lay-off, Zagadou made his first appearance of the season and his first start in nine months. In addition, Witsel, Dahoud, Schulz, Sancho and Brandt returned to the starting XI in place of Piszczek, Bellingham, Reus and Hazard (all bench) and the injured trio of Delaney, Guerreiro and Akanji.
The hosts took to the field with a nominally more defensive line-up than usual, switching from a 3-4-1-2 formation to a 3-4-2-1 system and fielding an extra midfielder at the expense of a second striker. They pressed very high, with the trio of Kamada, Silva and Barkok forming a first line of defence that was reinforced by two or three more Frankfurt players in a bid to disrupt Borussia's build-up. BVB, who also played in a 3-4-2-1 formation, only rarely managed to beat the press in the first half, but found themselves in plenty of space once they did break through.
The match & analysis:
The first chance fell to Hummels, who was inches away from getting on the end of Sancho's free-kick in the second minute. Yet it was Frankfurt who opened the scoring. In the sixth minute, Schulz caught up with Durm, who had been played clean through by Rode, and made a brilliant intervention to thwart the danger. Only three minutes later, however, Hinteregger played a vertical through-ball from inside his own half to Kamada. No Dortmund players could get close enough to stop him and Frankfurt took the lead.
While BVB were the superior side, they only began to pose a threat from open play around the 20-minute mark. Sancho received Brandt's pass and cut in from the right level with the penalty area before striking a well-placed effort that landed on the roof of the net. Six minutes later, the Englishman dragged a low shot from the left of the six-yard box narrowly wide of the far post. Kostic then made a last-minute intervention to stop Sancho's cross from reaching Morey in a promising position in the 37th minute. At the other end, the men from Hesse repeatedly created opportunities of their own, the best of which was missed by Barkok on 34 minutes.
Moukoko came on as a half-time substitute for Dahoud and the Black & Yellows switched their formation to a 3-3-3-1 with Sancho, Brandt and Reyna forming the attacking midfield trio behind Moukoko, with Witsel flanked by full-backs Morey and Schulz in the next line of three. The system particularly suited Brandt – and Dortmund started to impose themselves on the game much, much more. Can's 54th-minute effort was saved by Trapp, but only seconds later Reyna rounded off a wonderful piece of individual play with a thumping shot into the top corner to make it 1-1. The assist came from Sancho.
Frankfurt regained control over the game in the following minutes and managed to free themselves from Dortmund's pressure. Borussia were playing for the win, however. Ndicka made a goal-line clearance to deny Reyna, who was offside anyway, in the 80th minute but beyond that there were no further chances on a boggy pitch that proved difficult to play on.
The games continue to come at three-day intervals, with Borussia Dortmund next in action on Tuesday (18:55 CET) when they travel to Zenit St. Petersburg for the final and decisive game of their UEFA Champions League group. They will then host VfB Stuttgart at Signal Iduna Park next Saturday (15:30 CET).