Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund hold off Hamburg | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 10.02.2018
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Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund hold off Hamburg

With a fan favorite returning to the starting XI, Borussia Dortmund hoped to stay in touch with the top three. In their way stood a relegation candidate with a new head coach.

Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Hamburg
(Batshuayi 49', Götze 90+2')

The home side made it hard for themselves against the relegation candidates from the north, but they did enough to get their second straight win.

After the excitement over Marco Reus' return to the starting line-up, Dortmund were flat for most of the first half and Hamburg might have snuck a goal were it not for some poor composure in the box. After the restart, Michy Batshuayi continued his fine form, tapping in at the back post after Christian Pulisic's low cross. It was the Belgian's third goal in two games.

Hamburg could and probably should have scored an equalizer as Dortmund returned to a slow and sluggish pace, during which they too missed a chance of their own. In added time, Schürrle's great run ended with substitute Mario Götze clipping in a second. The result pushes Dortmund into third and keeps the team unbeaten under Peter Stöger in the Bundesliga.

As it happened:

RESULT

Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Hamburg

Dortmund do just enough to get three points, but HSV deserved at least one for their efforts. The same problem that haunted them all season came back in Dortmund - the lack of a goalscorer. Dortmund's worries will have been eased by the win, but they still aren't sure how to play and not even Götze's fine goal at the end could mask that.

90+2' - GOAL! 2-0 Borussia Dortmund (Götze) What a goal that is! Dortmund break. Batshuayi finds Schürrle who weaves in and out of Hamburg's defense and then perfectly picks out an on-rushing Götze who clips the ball in. Fantastic goal to finish!

87' - Pulisic is off, Gonzalo Castro on. Dortmund are playing with fire here. Question is, are Hamburg going to take advantage of that and go home feeling warm or not?

80' - BVB need to up the tempo if they're to avoid late disappointment. Final 10 minutes are here...

76' - Not for the first time, Dortmund have missed the chance to score a second. Dahoud drives into the box and his pass/shot goes just wide of the far post with Pulisic closing in.

73' - Changes. Andre Hahn is on for Hamburg (Ekdal off) and Mario Götze comes on for best bud Marco Reus. Moments afterwards, the ball flashes across Bürki's six-yard box but no Hamburg boot is there. Chances are there for the visitors...

69' - Turning into a battle this one. Hamburg chucking everything into it too - which hasn't always been the case. Dortmund a little sloppy in the last few minutes. Decisive five, ten minutes coming up.

64' - CHANCE! Dortmund should be 2-0 up. Schürrle breaks and curls one. Christian Mathenia parries, but Dahoud messes up the rebound badly. There's still a chance for Pulisic to convert, but his off day continues as he misses even closer to goal.

63' - Not such great news for BVB fans. Shinji Kagawa comes off with a knock. He has been returning to good form of late too. Mahmoud Dahoud is on for him.

Bundesliga scores elsewhere:

Leverkusen 0-2 Hertha Berlin
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Cologne
Hannover 2-0 Freiburg
Hoffenheim 1-1 Mainz

60' - Hamburg have reacted to that goal by bringing on Sejad Salihovic and Fiete Arp (Bobby Wood and Aaron Hunt made way). Since then, Dortmund have been edging their way to a second, but it hangs in the balance somewhat. A chance to see what this HSV team under Bernd Hollerbach are all about.

49' - GOAL! 1-0 Borussia Dortmund (Batshuayi) Just what BVB and the game needed. Pulisic slips a low cross through the box, it evades everyone and the "Batsman" as he's known is on hand (and onside) to tap in at the back post. Two games, three goals, one assist. What a signing.

46' - Hamburg get us underway!

HALFTIME

Despite all the excitement about Marco Reus' return to the BVB starting line-up, this game has fizzled out quicker than a warm day in February. By the end of the half, HSV look more likely to open the scoring than BVB. The away fans were louder as the teams went in. Seems like Dortmund fans have had enough of seeing the same again.

45' - CHANCE! Kostic gets another shot off in the box but again it's blocked. Hamburg closer to scoring than the hosts...

42' - Gideon Jung takes a Batshuayi elbow to the face. Tough blow. The "Batsman" hasn't answered the call today (yet). Halftime approaching.

37' - Filip Kostic rumbles forward, Akanji muscles him off but Hamburg have a corner. In truth, the visitors can certainly feel good about their chances of taking something back with them come the final whistle. Plenty of time to decide whether it's more than just a point...

32' - Christian Pulisic hasn't looked the same of late. His dribbling on the edge of the box comes to nothing as another BVB attack comes to nothing. Story of the half, really.

28' - Just as Hamburg will have wanted it really. They've taken the initial impetus out of Dortmund and are now growing into the game. Hunt busies himself in and around the box... Falls to Wood! Blocked! Walace over the bar.

23' - Dortmund are keeping the ball, Hamburg are chasing. That early promise in front of goal via Reus and co appears to have faded somewhat from the home side.

13' - Aaron Hunt nearly breaks clean through, but Akanji does enough. The ball then falls to Walace, who has a go from range but it's well wide.

11' - Hamburg flirt with the edge of the box and a chance, but Dortmund clear. A steady yellow-and-black ship so far.

5' - Patient opening. Dortmund could be ahead, but Andre Schürrle is slow to take control of Reus' through-ball and the chance goes before it really arrives.

-- We are underway! Dortmund get the ball rolling.

-- The cheers for Reus are enormous in the Signal Iduna Park as his name is called out by stadium announcer, Nobby Dickel. Big moment for the fans, and likely for him too. Peter Stöger says his inclusion is not a risk as he has been training in full for three weeks now. Time to see if he's ready to make the kind of difference we know he can.

-- The big news of the afternoon is the return of Marco Reus! After eight months out with injury, the local favorite returns to the starting XI to play just behind Michy Batshuayi. Also worthy noting is that Manuel Akanji is making his starting debut for BVB in the heart of defense with Omer Toprak.

-- Hamburg have opted for US striker Bobby Wood up front in the hope he can rediscover his shooting boots. Wood is without a goal since August in the Bundesliga. HSV have the joint-fewest goals in the league (17) and so will be desperate for goals.

-- Good afternoon! Jonathan Harding here to bring you live updates from Borussia Dortmund's home clash against Hamburg. Dortmund haven't lost in four, but have three draws while Hamburg have just two points from their last four games and haven't won any of their last nine.

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