The clash of the Bundesliga giants did not disappoint as Borussia Dortmund overcame RB Leipzig with a 3-2 victory at home. The win meant that Dortmund are still in contention for the Champions League qualification next season. But more importantly, the loss for Leipzig has helped Bayern Munich win a record 9th consecutive Bundesliga title.
In a match that saw both teams pressing their opponents, it was Dortmund, who came out on top. The victory was sealed by an 87th-minute goal from Jadon Sancho. Dortmund are now 4th in the table, at least till tomorrow when Frankfurt take on Mainz.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND 3-1 RB LEIPZIG: TEAM NEWS
Dortmund made one change in their starting eleven from the team that started in the DFB Pokal semi-final. Jude Bellingham replaced by Mahmoud Dahoud. Bellingham missed the match due to the suspension he picked up in the previous Bundesliga match.
Nagelsmann on the other hand made multiple changes to the team that started for them in the DFB Pokal semifinal. Sorloth, Haidara, Mukiele, and Konate all move to the bench. Forsberg, Hwang, Henrichs and Klostermann have been promoted back to the starting eleven.
Most notable among the team news was the absence of the Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland. The 20-year-old did not make it to even the bench. Dortmund seems to take a cautious approach with Haaland, keeping in mind the upcoming Pokal final.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND 3-2 RB LEIPZIG: POST-MATCH ANALYSIS
Both the managers entered the match knowing how important it is in the grand scheme of things. Facing each other in the DFB Pokal final next Thursday affected their tactics. Leipzig in particular started slow and seemed to take a conservative approach.
Dortmund were quick to capitalize on this as they took the lead in the 7th minute. A beautifully crafted play was ended by an equally excellent finish from captain Marco Reus. The Black and Yellows, dominated the first half, pressing the Leipzig players relentlessly. The only other talking point in the first half was an injury suffered by Dortmund keeper Marwin Hitz who had to be replaced by Roman Burki when the second half began.
Dortmund extended the lead at the beginning of the second half through Sancho. A good move from the left flank by Guerreiro was finished off by some excellent footwork and skills by the English winger. However, the two-goal lead did not last. Klostermann headed in Leipzig’s first goal from a corner taken by Forsberg.
This breathed life into Leipzig’s game. The Die Roten Bullen started pressing the ball much higher up the field and upset Dortmunds rhythm. Tactics from Nagelsmann seemed to work when one of his substitute Haidara placed an amazing pass, which cut past the Dortmund defence to find Hwang. Hwang passed the ball to his right where Olmo easily finished the move to get the equaliser. The game tipped towards Leipzig as they started piling more pressure on Dortmund.
However, the final laugh was for the home team. Julian Brandt who came on as a substitute, took possession from the opposition and played a long pass to Sancho. Sancho worked the ball incredibly to Guerreiro who returned the favour and picked the Englishman. Dortmund took the lead and sealed their victory as Sancho tapped the ball in for his second goal of the game.
Jadon Sancho (8.5/10): Sancho was the pick of the bunch in today’s match. The English winger was amazing with his feet dribbling past players with ease. He grabbed 2 goals on the day and most importantly scored the 3rd goal for Dortmund which ensured that they get all three points.
Raphael Guerreiro (8/10): The Portuguese had a good game against Leipzig. His marauding runs on the left flank helped create space for Dortmund. The interplay between him and Sancho was vital, as both the goals scored by Sancho were assisted by Guerreiro.
The loss for Leipzig meant that Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga. Leipzig will be looking forward to their final of DFB Pokal with Dortmund on Thursday. Manager Nagelsmann will try to learn from their mistake today. While for Dortmund they are 4th now in the table for the moment and will be hoping to put on a similar performance in the final.