Press the reset button. Just two points separate first and ninth place in the Bundesliga. Runners-up Borussia Dortmund are back in business after beating leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach, level with Bayern and Leipzig, one point behind pole position in the table.
So, everything is okay now? "It was the first step in the direction we want to go," said Marco Reus on Saturday evening. He himself was a symbol for the victory, which came from a united team performance – a deserved win but also hard earned. Reus’s appearance was in doubt for a long time because of flu. But the captain toughed it out and stayed on for 99 minutes, including stoppage time, ran for almost twelve kilometres and scored the winning goal!
The Black and Yellows came prepared to fight for the three points and had to make do without key players through injury and illness. Striker Paco Alcácer is still struggling with muscle problems after recovering from a hamstring injury. Mario Götze fell ill and Marcel Schmelzer was out injured. Also, BVB were looking to end a run of three successive draws against a side who were in good form, especially away from home.
Borussia Dortmund approached the task with passion. "We played aggressively in the game," Reus said. The Black and Yellows found the necessary balance between attack and defence. From the 29th minute onwards, only allowing Gladbach a few notable scoring opportunities until the final stages. But first Roman Burki and then his injury replacement Marwin Hitz each had to make outstanding saves to keep the clean sheet. On the other side, the third Swiss goalkeeper of the evening, Gladbach's Yann Sommer, prevented another goal with an outstanding save from Mats Hummels' powerful header.
With 20:13 shots on goal and 11: 7 goalscoring chances in BVB’s favour, it was a deserved victory. "Overall, we had more chances than Gladbach, even though they put us under a lot of pressure at the end," said Lucien Favre. "It was very frantic at times. We should have made it 2-0 earlier." The chances were there and goals came as well, but in the lead-up to Hazard’s goal in the 33rd minute, Reus' heel was apparently offside, while Julien Brandt's successful finish on the counterattack for the supposed 2-0 in the 84th minute, was understandably disallowed by the referee, because Reus was offside and interfering with play.
The situation in the table is okay again – things turn around in football so quickly – we have a run of big games coming up, one after the other. Milan on Wednesday, the derby on Saturday, and then we meet Gladbach again in the DFB Pokal. "The next few weeks will be turbulent; we face many good teams in a short space of time," said Julian Brandt. Wolfsburg, Milan again, and finally the game in Munich completing a run of seven games within 21 days. Marco Reus: "That will show the direction in which we are heading."
The route to the top is open again.