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Match report

BVB pick up point in 1-1 draw in Leverkusen

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Four days after their away victory in Milan, Borussia Dortmund have achieved a partial success: BVB held their own in Leverkusen on Matchday 13 of the Bundesliga season and took home a point from a 1-1 (1-0) draw at the BayArena.

Boris Rupert reporting from Leverkusen

BVB opened the scoring in the fifth minute through Julian Ryerson in front of 30,000 spectators at a sold-out BayArena and subsequently put their focus on defending. They did so passionately and held onto their narrow lead up until the 79th minute when Victor Boniface equalised at 1-1.

The scenario:   
There were 10 points between the clubs prior to kick-off: Leverkusen were in top spot, while Dortmund occupied fifth place after the Saturday games. Bayer were the only team yet to lose in any competition (19 games) and had historically only suffered more Bundesliga defeats against Bayern Munich (52) than against Borussia Dortmund (36). The Black & Yellows had won seven of their previous 15 away games in Leverkusen.

Personnel matters:   
In addition to Felix Nmecha (hip injury) and Julian Duranville (fitness training), Rami Bensebaini, Salih Özcan and Niklas Süle missed out through illness. Coach Edin Terzic made two changes to the line-up that faced Milan, with Marius Wolf and Julian Brandt starting in place of Bensebaini and Donyell Malen. Defender Antonios Papadopoulos was promoted to the squad from the U23s.

Leverkusen lined up in a highly flexible 3-4-3 formation and frequently attacked down the right flank via Frimpong and Kossounou, who pushed high up the pitch from the back three, while Hofmann mostly operated in a centre-right position around the penalty area. On the other side, Wirtz and central striker Boniface repeatedly overloaded the left flank. BVB lined up in a 4-2-3-1 system and managed to shore up the middle of the park, forcing Leverkusen's build-up play out wide.


The match & analysis:
BVB took the lead with their first attack. The Borussia players, who were decked out in all-yellow strips, linked up nicely going forward. The penultimate pass reached Füllkrug, who held off Tapsoba with his back to goal and laid the ball off to Ryerson, who poked it past Hradecky and into the back of the net from close range (5).

Leverkusen pushed the action deeper into the Dortmund half by the minute. Borussia gave the ball away too quickly after regaining possession and were too hectic and too imprecise. But it was not until the 21st minute that Bayer got their first dangerous glimpse of goal, Xhaka firing narrowly to the right of the goal. Kobel was first challenged by Grimaldo's free-kick on the half-hour mark.

The team defended as a unit, did not give away any major opportunities until stoppage time and ensured that Leverkusen were behind at the break for the first time this season – in part because VAR ruled that Wirtz's goal should not stand because pre-assister Boniface was offside in the build-up. Seven of Leverkusen's nine shots at goal came from outside the penalty area; the shot ratio from within the penalty area stood at 2-2.


Leverkusen made a forceful start after the break and were firing on all cylinders – but then had to defend against a dangerous counter. Brandt had kept his cool and threaded the ball through to the feet of Bynoe-Gittens, who initially got the better of Kossounou but was then stopped by the Leverkusen player six metres from goal (51). A gap opened up for Reus following a pass from Füllkrug seven minutes later, but Tah closed the space down.

Hummels thwarted Palacios on the edge of the six-yard box and Kobel saved Wirtz's well-placed follow-up to stop it from becoming 1-1 (63). Then Schlotterbeck had to go off (Padadopoulous came on) and Adeyemi replaced Bynoe-Gittens (64). The defence held until the 79th minute, when Kossounou drove the ball far forward in the centre-right channel and threaded it through to Schick, who had come on seconds earlier and played across goal for Boniface to tap home at the back post. Leverkusen wanted three points rather than just one. Meunier then replaced the exhausted Reus in a hectic final phase in which BVB almost celebrated a winner themselves, only for Füllkrug to head Meunier's cross over the bar.

BVB will take on VfB Stuttgart away from home for a place in the DFB-Pokal quarter-final on Wednesday evening (20:45 CET). Their next Bundesliga opponent will be table neighbours Leipzig on Saturday (18:30 CET).

Teams & goals


Bundesliga Matchday 13

Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky – Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba – Frimpong, Xhaka, Palacios (Schick, 79), Grimaldo – Hofmann (Adli, 64), Boniface, Wirtz
Bor. Dortmund: Kobel – Wolf, Hummels, Schlotterbeck (Papadopoulos, 64), Ryerson – Can, Sabitzer – Brandt, Reus (Meunier, 84), Bynoe-Gittens (Adeyemi, 64) – Füllkrug
Substitutes: Kovar, Stanisic, Hincapie, Andrich, Amiri, Tella, Hlozek – Meyer, Morey, Reyna, Haller, Moukoko, Malen
Goals: 0-1 Ryerson (Füllkrug, 5), 1-1 Boniface (Schick, 79)
Corners: 16-1 (5-0 at half-time), chance ratio: 7-2 (3-0)
Referee: Siebert (Berlin), yellow cards: Frimpong, Palacios, Kossounou – Hummels, Wolf
Attendance: 30,201 (sold-out), weather: initially dry, then snowfall (0 degrees)