Borussia Dortmund remain on the right track in the Bundesliga. The Black & Yellows recorded a 6-1 (4-1) home victory against 1. FC Cologne on Matchday 25 and returned to the top of the table for one night at least.
Boris Rupert reporting
The 81,365 spectators at a sold-out SIGNAL IDUNA PARK saw BVB operate with brutal efficiency and convert their first four chances to score, with Guerreiro (15), Haller (17), Reus (32) and Malen (37) finding the net. Selke pulled one back for Cologne before the break (42), but Haller (69) and Reus (70) scored two goals in quick succession to complete their braces and increase the lead to 6-1.
Second versus 12th. Borussia had taken 25 out of a possible 27 points from their nine matches since the winter break, while Cologne had picked up only one point from their past four games. But BVB had managed to win just one of their last five meetings with Cologne – the home fixture last season.
Borussia Dortmund were still without Kobel (muscular problems), Adeyemi (fitness training following fibre tear), Brandt (torn fibres in thigh), Moukoko (partial tear of the syndesmosis ligament), Duranville and Morey (both fitness training), plus the suspended Can (fifth booking), Bynoe-Gittens (shoulder problems) and Özcan (stomach bug). There were three changes to the team that drew 2-2 in Schalke a week ago, with Süle, Dahoud and Reus replacing Hummels (bench), Can und Bynoe-Gittens in the starting line-up.
BVB played in their usual 4-1-4-1 formation with Dahoud in the central role between the two banks of four. The holding midfielder frequently dropped between the two central defenders during the build-up to lend width to the play. Guerreiro and Bellingham frequently switched sides in central midfield. In possession, Malen and Reus mostly played level with Haller. When they had the ball, Cologne at times played in a 4-4-2 with a midfield diamond but for the most part it was a 4-1-3-2 system with a defensive-minded trio in midfield.
The match & analysis:
The Black & Yellows dictated the play from the start in front of an extremely atmospheric crowd – the 73,000 Borussia supporters were joined by 8,000 Cologne fans in full voice – but initially did not find any gaps in the well and compactly set up FC defence. But then Malen opened up a gap with a strong dribbling run past Chabot down the right flank on the quarter-hour mark and centred the ball sharply to Guerreiro, who controlled it with great technique and fired into the far corner with the outside of his left boot from the right of the six-yard box. Within two minutes, BVB had made it 2-0. Cologne had intercepted an attack, but Süle won the ball back, Bellingham roamed inside from the right and then it all happened as quick as a flash: Reus received the ball and passed to Guerreiro on the edge of the box and he immediately fed Haller, who hammered the ball left-footed into the roof of the net.
The visitors remained unperturbed by the double setback and almost managed to pull a goal back quickly. Adamyan did not dilly-dally on the right side of the six-yard box and Meyer was fortunate that the ball he parried rebounded off the upright (21). Hector fired the ball at Dahoud from close range in the penalty area four minutes later, with it first striking his chest and then his hand. After consulting the VAR, referee Siebert decided on a corner kick. Borussia have already conceded penalties for significantly less clear-cut handball claims this season…
BVB impressed with their brutal efficiency. Bellingham teed Malen up brilliantly around the half-hour mark but he was denied by the stunning reactions of Schwäbe. However, the Cologne defence did not clear the corner. Guerreiro was the quickest to react and cut the ball back to the edge of the box, where Reus curled it perfectly into the top corner with his left foot (32). BVB’s fourth chance of the game also resulted in a goal. Süle played a long ball from defence towards Malen, who dribbled past Chabot, feinting to cut inside but instead going past him to the right and firing home powerfully. Schwäbe got to it but couldn’t keep the shot out (37). Cologne did manage to score a deserved but fortuitous goal on the stroke of half-time: Selke cut inside from the right flank and Meyer parried the powerful strike into the path of the FC forward, who reduced the deficit to 4-1 from a tight angle (42).
BVB continued to dominate the proceedings in the second period and repeatedly upped the tempo, but the visiting defence initially held firm. But then Hübers fouled Haller exactly 20 metres from his own goal. Everyone expected set-piece specialists Reus or Guerreiro to step up, but Dahoud took it – and fired against the crossbar, with Haller slotting the loose ball over the line (69)! Barely 60 seconds later, the second Black & Yellow brace was complete: Wolf played the ball inside from the right and Halen touched it onto Malen. He found Reus, who drilled past Schwäbe for 6-1 (70).
Watch all the match videos on BVB TV.
League action will now pause for the upcoming round of international fixtures next weekend and will continue with a trip away to FC Bayern Munich for the top match on 1 April.
Teams & goals
Bundesliga Matchday 25
BORUSSIA DORTMUND 6-1 (4-1) 1. FC COLOGNE
Bor. Dortmund: Meyer – Wolf, Süle, Schlotterbeck, Ryerson (Rothe, 79) – Dahoud (Hummels, 79) – Malen (Meunier, 72), Bellingham, Guerreiro, Reus (Reina, 72) – Haller (Modeste, 72)
1. FC Cologne: Schwäbe – Schmitz, Hübers, Chabot (Martel, 58), Hector – Skhiri – Ljubicic (Schindler, 83), Olesen, Kainz (Huseinbasic, 58) – Selke (Tigges, 69), Adamyan (Maina, 58)
Substitutes: Lotka, Passlack, Papadopoulos, Njinmah – Horn, Soldo, Lemperle, Downs
Goals: 1-0 Guerreiro (Malen, 15), 2-0 Haller (Guerreiro, 17), 3-0 Reus (Guerreiro, 32), 4-0 Malen (Süle, 37), 4-1 Selke (Schmitz, 42), 5-1 Haller (Dahoud, 69), 6-1 Reus (Malen, 70)
Corners: 1-7 (0-4 at half-time), chance ratio: 7-4 (4-2)
Referee: Siebert (Berlin), yellow cards: – Martel
Attendance: 81,365 (sold-out), weather: dry, 14 degrees