The Black & Yellow U23s were able to secure their second big win of a packed week. Coach Enrico Maaßen's side put in an impressive performance as they secured a deserved 2-0 victory over a Preußen Münster side that was relegated from the 3. Liga last season. Alaa Bakir and Franz Pfanne were on target in the first half for BVB.
The scenario: Preußen Münster came into the match in third place, having picked up 20 points after 10 games. After enduring relegation last season, a rejuvenated Münster team have only lost to Essen and the 1. FC Cologne U23s thus far in the league. They made the trip to Dortmund on the back of successive wins against Wiedenbrück and Bonn. BVB, for their part, were still undefeated and had climbed up to first place in the table thanks to their victory away to Fortuna Cologne.
Personnel matters: BVB coach Enrico Maaßen made two changes to the starting line-up from Saturday's game. Marco Hober and Kolbeinn Finnsson came into the side to replace Tobi Raschl and Ansgar Knauff, who both made the trip to Belgium with the first team.
The match & analysis: The Black & Yellows once again got off to a perfect start in what proved to be an intense and high-quality match. Marco Hober played an intelligent ball in behind the Münster defence. Alaa Bakir timed his run to perfection and found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Schulze-Niehues. The BVB man kept his cool and deftly chipped the ball over the keeper's head and into the back of the net to give the home side the lead. Not long afterwards, Steffen Tigges had a chance to double the advantage, but his shot from 16 metres out was palmed away for a corner by Schulze-Niehues.
Münster's first notable goal-scoring opportunity came after 20 minutes. The visitors were able to pounce on a lapse in concentration on the part of the Dortmund rearguard, but goalkeeper Stefan Drljaca was on hand to deny Joel Grodowski from close range. Münster then hit the post from the resulting corner - a let off for BVB. Overall, the game was very disjointed at this stage. A build-up of small fouls led to several interruptions.
Although Münster managed to work their way into the game more midway through the first half, they still struggled to create good chances. Instead it was BVB who came closest to scoring. For example, in the 38th minute, Marco Hober teed up teammate Kolbeinn Finnsson, whose shot from five metres out was deflected wide for a corner. Then, just before the referee blew his whistle for half-time, Finnsson slipped a smart pass through to Bakir, who played it on to Franz Pfanne at the edge of the box. The defensive midfielder through caution to the wind and blasted the ball into the top-left corner - 2-0 for BVB!
The opening stages of the second half were also controlled by the home side. The Black & Yellows were first to just about every ball and posed more of a threat in possession, while the visitors struggled to string together any notable passages of play, instead relying primarily on set pieces. BVB coach Enrico Maaßen made two changes on the hour mark: off came Marco Hober - who had received a booking - and Richmond Tachie, on came Philipp Harlaß and Florian Krebs in their place. Five minutes later, Haymenn Bah-Traoré entered the field of play to replace the man who had opened the scoring, Alaa Bakir.
Münster now pushed men up the park in an attempt to get back in the game, but the BVB defence held firm and managed to keep the visitors at bay. Münster struggled to pose a genuine goal-scoring threat, and they grew visibly frustrated as time ticked away and the Black & Yellows were able to clear their lines again and again. Indeed, the first genuine chance came in the 89th minute, but the ball ended up sailing wide of Stefan Drljaca's goal. In the end, BVB's strong defensive performance was enough to secure a well-deserved home win.
Franz Pfanne: ''We knew that Münster have enormous quality and lots of experienced players. We prepared ourselves for an ugly battle and we took to it very well. Today we showed that we're not a normal U23 side; we're a real men's team. We took an early lead, didn't concede any chances and then, just before half-time, something happened that you don't see all too often - I put my laces through the ball to fire us into a 2-0 lead. The second half was similar to the first and in the end we deserved to win.''
Outlook: The BVB U23s are next in action on Sunday, when they travel to play their counterparts at Borussia Mönchengladbach (kick-off 14:00 CET).
Teams & goals
BVB U23: Drljaca, Maloney, Hippe, Hober (62, Krebs), Bakir (66, Bah-Traoré), Duman (82, Ercan), Tachie (62, Harlaß), Tigges, Finnsson, Pfanne, Dams
Goals: 1-0 Bakir (6), 2-0 Pfanne (45)