Borussia Dortmund have notched up back-to-back wins to start the season for the first time since 2019. Six days after their 1-0 opening-day win over Leverkusen, BVB triumphed 3-1 (0-1) away to Sport-Club Freiburg on Matchday 2 of the Bundesliga.
Boris Rupert reporting from Freiburg
34,700 fans filled the Europa Park Stadion for BVB's first ever appearance at the ground. The game was even early on, with Freiburg taking the lead through Gregoritsch in the 35th minute. BVB enjoyed a jubilant final quarter of an hour with goals from substitutes Bynoe-Gittens (77), Moukoko (84) and Wolf (88).
On Matchday 2, BVB were again set to face another side competing in Europe in what was a clash between last year's sixth-placed team (and cup runners-up) and the Bundesliga runners-up. There is no other club currently in the Bundesliga that Borussia have a better head-to-head record against than Freiburg. The Black & Yellows have won 28, drawn 11 and lost just five of the previous meetings between the two sides.
Aside from the unwell Sebastien Haller (testicular tumour), both Niklas Süle (muscle injury) and Karim Adeyemi (foot injury suffered in the match against Leverkusen) were unavailable. Giovanni Reyna and Mateu Morey were still out following long spells on the sidelines. New in the squad were Salih Özcan, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Anthony Modeste, who immediately slotted into the XI and replaced Youssoufa Moukoko, who moved to the bench. Thorgan Hazard replaced Adeyemi in the starting line-up.
Both teams were set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. When building up from the back, both sides deployed high-standing full-backs. Sport-Club tried to create overloads on the left side with Günter, Grifo and Sallai bunching up to within a few metres of each other. For BVB, Dahoud often dropped between the two centre-backs to receive the ball in possession. Reus was given freedom to roam and often received the ball well inside his own half of the pitch.
The match & analysis:
The first half-hour was characterised by lots of changes of possession. Neither side was able to create much and only managed to muster up two goalscoring opportunities between themselves. In the fourth minute, Malen was played into space by Reus, but his shot from just inside the box was too rushed and inaccurate to trouble Flekken. Down the other end, Eggestein's shot was easy enough for Kobel (10), then the BVB keeper had to have his wits about him to clear a low Günter cross to safety with his feet.
The first big chance of the game fell to Modeste, who played a one-two with Reus but couldn't get the better of Flekken from a centre-left position (22). Around the half-hour mark, Guerreiro intercepted a pass near the edge of the Freiburg area, and tried to deliver the ball to Modeste at the far-post, but his cross was hit with too much power and flew over the striker's head. Down the other end, Meunier abruptly brought a Freiburg attack to a halt with a cynical challenge on Gallai and was duly shown a yellow card. The resultant free-kick was within range for Grifo, but his effort was palmed away for a corner by Kobel (34). The BVB defence repelled the initial delivery, but they couldn't fully clear the ball to safety. Günter picked it up on the left and lofted a cross over to the leaping Ginter, who nodded the ball across the face of goal towards Gregoritsch, who sent an unstoppable header into the far-corner of the net (35). Not long afterwards, Dahoud played a through ball into the path of Modeste, but his effort on goal zipped past the right-hand post (38). Freiburg had the wind in their sails after taking the lead and almost managed to extend the advantage with a Sallai chance in the 42nd minute.
BVB came out of the half-time break with Wolf on for Meunier. The 5,000 Black & Yellow fans in attendance at Freiburg's new stadium briefly let out a cheer after Dahoud pulled the trigger from 18 metres out, but the ball just rippled the side netting (55). Even though BVB seemed to be on top, Freiburg were able to find an outlet time and time again. In the 65th minute, Kobel was required to make a strong save to deny Sallai. 18-year-old Bynoe-Gittens, 17-year-old Moukoko and Julian Brandt were brought on to inject some extra attacking impetus in the final 25 minutes. Terzic shifted his side into a 4-4-2, but Freiburg continued to close down the space effectively.
13 minutes before the end, Bynoe-Gittens exchanged passes with Moukoko and then tried his luck from long range. Flekken let his guard slip and the ball went through his hands to draw the two sides level. Six minutes later, the young Englishman missed a chance to bag a brace when he shot wide of the mark from the edge of the six-yard box. However, his response was to provide the spark for the winning goal. He picked the ball up on the left and drove into the middle before slipping a pass to Brandt, who duly teed up Moukoko for a first-time finish to bring the score to 2-1 (84). Four minutes later, Wolf received a pass from Moukoko and curled the ball perfectly into the corner of the net from the right-edge of the area to put the icing on the cake.
SV Werder Bremen will be the visitors at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK next Saturday. Kick-off is scheduled for 15:30 CET.