An important win for Borussia Dortmund! The Black & Yellows came from a goal down on Matchday 13 of the Bundesliga season to beat VfL Wolfsburg 3-1 (1-1) away from home and climb to the top of the table – for three hours at least.

Boris Rupert reporting from Wolfsburg

Weghorst put the hosts in the lead with their first attack in the second minute. Can levelled from the spot on 35 minutes and Malen added another to put BVB, who had clearly dominated up to that point, ahead in front of 13,000 spectators in the 55th minute. The Wolves then seized control and came close to equalising several times before substitute Haaland struck to make it 3-1 and seal the victory (80).


The scenario:  
Sixth versus second. Borussia had come out on top in each of their six previous meetings with Wolfsburg – their longest ongoing winning run against any Bundesliga club. VfL had claimed victory in just one of their previous four league home games, BVB in only two of their previous five away matches.

Personnel matters:   
Bellingham (knock to the knee) joined an injury list already containing the names of Guerreiro, Hazard, Morey, Reyna and Schmelzer. Hummels and Wolf returned to the team following Champions League suspension and injury respectively (in place of Pongragic and Reinier), while Haaland was back in the squad and Moukoko was playing for the U23s. Dahoud and Can started in place of the injured Bellingham and Witsel (bench).

BVB lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Can and Dahoud the defensive midfield duo. Wolf played on the right of the attacking midfield three alongside Reus and Brandt. Wolfsburg defended in a 5-4-1 system and switched to a 3-4-3 when in possession of the ball, with Vranckx frequently pushing forward to support the front three.

The match & analysis:
Borussia Dortmund had kept clean sheets in their last nine meetings with VfL Wolfsburg, but that Bundesliga record went out of the window within 97 seconds. After a Dortmund attack had been thwarted at the other end – Reus had gone for goal from 17 metres out – Lukebakio carried the ball down the right and picked out the overlapping Baku, whose low cross was chested over the line from close range by Weghorst.

Brooks denied Malen an instant leveller as the fast-paced start continued (5). Dahoud then shot from distance, but a Wolfsburg defender managed to get a leg in the way and the ball was diverted narrowly wide of the upright (12).


With Wolfsburg retreating deep and waiting for opportunities to counter, the Black & Yellows struggled to get in behind. They had little to show for their dominance – until Reus drove in from the left and carried the ball into the box before being taken out by Lacroix. Penalty! After receiving prolonged treatment – that foul saw Lacroix become one of four Wolfsburg players to be booked in the first half – Reus got back on his feet and Can stepped up from the spot, firing comfortably into the net as he had done in Bielefeld (35).

Schulz's volley rebounded off the Wolfsburg post barely two minutes after the restart, before Hummels' attempt from a corner seconds later was cleared off the goal-line. The Black & Yellows kept up the pressure and eventually found the net on 55 minutes. Reus cut inside and fed Malen, who fired home from 19 metres to make it 2-1.

Wolfsburg responded by seizing the initiative. Brooks headed narrowly wide on 61 minutes and Kobel made a strong save six minutes later to save Lukebakio's strike from a tight angle, before Akanji blocked Waldschmidt's follow-up.

Haaland came on for Malen with 20 minutes remaining and had his first shot at goal within seconds, forcing Pervan into a save. But nothing initially changed in terms of the flow of the game. Wolfsburg pressed, found plenty of gaps and created more chances, with Kobel making a save to thwart a possible Lukebakio equaliser (79). But then Borussia struck on the counter to give themselves some breathing space. Reus, who played a decisive role in all three goals, played it to Brandt, whose precise cross from the left of the box was met by the outstretched leg of Haaland, who hooked in the 3-1 (80). Reus was denied then by Pervan in the final minutes (86).

BVB are next in Bundesliga action when they welcome Bayern Munich to SIGNAL IDUNA PARK next Saturday (18:30 CET).

Teams & goals