The restart to the Bundesliga campaign has been almost perfect. Borussia Dortmund have taken 15 out of a possible 18 points in 2020, with the 4-3 loss in Leverkusen the only blot on their copybook. They sit second in the post-winter break table, with only Bayern having amassed more points.
The performance in Bremen was the way it needed to be to ensure success in the end and pick up the three points in an "English week" that had already featured a Champions League highlight. Controlled, focused and with two goals – scored by Dan-Axel Zagadou and Erling Haaland – that were cleverly executed. BVB won 60 percent of the challenges in the second period. That represented a significant change compared to the opening half; Werder had looked the more robust team, running three kilometres more than BVB and working hard to keep the Black & Yellows at arm's length.
A win that took 45 minutes to get going
"It's not always easy when you've just played in the Champions League," said the experienced Axel Witsel. In the first half "we didn't control the match. It was not until the second period that we played our usual way." Lucien Favre declared: "We kept our composure and didn't lose our nerve." That sentiment was shared by Witsel's midfield partner Emre Can. "It's very important to stay patient in games like that. It was a very mature performance from us today."
Borussia now have 45 points and remain hot on the heels of leading duo Bayern (49) and Leipzig (48). But they have played a game more than Gladbach, who have 43 points, meaning that third place is constantly changing hands at present.