Borussia Dortmund were held to a 2-2 (1-1) draw away to Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 5 of the Bundesliga season. The Black & Yellows, who had the vast majority of the chances but conceded late goals in both halves, now sit in third place in the table behind second-placed Bayern Munich and league leaders RB Leipzig.
Boris Rupert reporting from Frankfurt
The 51,500 fans at a sold-out Commerzbank-Arena witnessed a dominant opening-half from BVB, who took an 11th-minute lead through Axel Witsel. André Silva restored parity for the Eagles against the run of play on the stroke of half-time, but Jadon Sancho made it 2-1 to a visiting side decked out all in yellow on the hour mark. The lead did not last, however, as Thomas Delaney turned the ball into his own net with two minutes to go.
Borussia Dortmund had not lost any of their six most recent competitive games against the men from Hesse, winning four times – including the 2017 DFB Cup final – and drawing twice. However, they had not won in Frankfurt for more than six years, with their last victory away to the Eagles coming on 1 September 2013 thanks to a Henrikh Mkhitaryan brace in a 2-1 win. There have since been three defeats and two draws.
Coach Favre opted for the same starting XI that drew 0-0 with Barcelona on Tuesday. Schulz, Morey and Hitz remained sidelined, so Hupe started on the bench as the back-up shot-stopper. Piszczek, however, made the squad.
Dortmund identified and exploited the gap in Frankfurt's 3-5-2 formation. While former BVB man Durm, operating at right wing-back, dropped deep to help the back three when his team didn't have the ball, left wing-back Kostic left a gap that Sancho, Hazard and Hakimi repeatedly used to their advantage.
The match & analysis:
The men from Hesse struggled to get to grips with Dortmund's 4-2-3-1 system in the opening half. But despite dominating possession (64 percent) and boasting a 64 percent tackle win rate, the Black & Yellows found themselves drawing 1-1 at the break after failing to capitalise on their early goal and defending sloppily enough to allow Sow on the Frankfurt right enough space and time to tee up Silva, whose precise effort saw the home side restore parity at 1-1 on the 44-minute mark. The hosts had only registered one attempt on goal prior to that point, with Silva's header going seven metres wide of the mark in the 33rd minute.
The same could not be said of BVB, who played with purpose, moved the ball about well and took an early lead in the 11th minute. Sancho started the move by playing a one-two with Hakimi down the right flank. His shot was blocked by Trapp but Hazard pounced on the loose ball in the box, got his head up and delivered a precise ball into the path of the onrushing Witsel, who wrong-footed the goalkeeper from 14 metres to open the scoring.
Two minutes later, Touré made a last-ditch tackle to deny Hakimi and put the ball behind for a corner. The Moroccan was then denied by Trapp in the 28th minute. But all in all, BVB did not do enough to capitalise on their dominance and only had one more chance before the break. In the 36th minute, Reus intercepted the ball and played in Hakimi, whose cross was steered goalbound by Alcácer. Trapp was on hand to punch the ball clear, however.
The second period was more open. Frankfurt pressed higher and were bolder, though it was Dortmund who had the chances. The second half was only seconds old when Reus played Sancho clean through, but the Englishman could not carry the ball past Trapp (47). Alcácer missed from a promising distance (54) and could not get sufficient contact on Guerreiro's cross in the 63rd minute. Seconds earlier, Hummels had been forced off with an apparent back problem and was replaced by Zagadou.
What occurred next was a rather bizarre incident down the right flank. The men from Hesse had seemingly averted the danger when Touré hauled down Alcácer in the centre. Referee Schmidt spotted the incident and awarded a free-kick 20 metres from goal. It was not Alcácer or Reus who took it, but Guerreiro. Trapp did well to make the save but palmed it into the path of Witsel, who found Sancho at the back post and the 19-year-old Englishman fired home his third goal of the campaign to make it 2-1 (66).
Hazard, who fired wide following an assist from Reus (70), and Reus, who was twice denied after being played in by substitute Götze – the captain struck a defender on the first occasion and failed to generate enough power on the second effort – then spurned opportunities to make it 3-1. At the other end, meanwhile, Frankfurt twice came close to levelling through Kostic (72) and Silva (81).
As the pressure increased, the Black & Yellows struggled to keep the ball away from the danger zone and they were ultimately punished with two minutes remaining when Kamada's effort from the right of the penalty area was unavoidably turned into his own net by Delaney to make it 2-2.
For the first time in years, there will be no midweek fixtures in the last week of September. Lucien Favre will instead have six days to prepare his team for Saturday evening's clash with Werder Bremen. That match will be followed by trips to Prague and Freiburg in the first week of October.