Struggling Schalke may just have had a huge say in the Bundesliga title race with a dramatic 4-2 derby win over nine-man Dortmund. Both Marco Reus and Marius Wolf were sent off for BVB as Schalke sealed a famous victory.
Borussia Dortmund 2-4 FC Schalke 04
(Götze 14', Witsel 84' - Caligiuri pen 18' 62', Sané 28', Embolo 86')
Marco Reus and Marius Wolf were sent off for Borussia Dortmund as struggling Schalke put a huge derby day dent in their local rival's title hopes with a dramatic win.
A Daniel Caligiuri penalty and a Salif Sané header turned the first half in Schalke's favor after Mario Götze had given Dortmund an early lead, before the game was ultimately decided in five second-half minutes in which Dortmund were reduced to nine men and Caligiuri increased Schalke's lead.
Dortmund captain Reus saw a straight red on the hour-mark for a studs-up tackle from behind on Suat Serdar. Five minutes later, full-back Wolf also saw a straight red for an identical challenge on the same player. In between, Caligiuri spectacularly converted the first freekick to give Schalke a two goal lead.
Axel Witsel gave the nine men a glimmer of hope with five minutes remaining when he stabbed home at the back post but Breel Embolo immediately restored Schalke's two-goal cushion with a low drive into the bottom corner to wrap up three vital points in the Royal Blues' battle for survival.
And yet it had all started so brightly for the title-chasing Black and Yellows, who enjoyed up to 82 percent possession in the first half and took the lead through Götze. The German World Cup-winner's run and header were perfectly timed but credit must go to Jadon Sancho, whose delightful chip set up the goal.
The English teenager was subsequently struck with an object thrown from the away end while celebrating the goal in front of the traveling Schalke support, and the game took on a physical nature on the pitch too as three Schalke players went into the book for robust tackles.
Caligiuri leveled from the spot for the Royal Blues after the video assistant referee spotted a handball by Julian Weigl, before Salif Sane headed them in front just moments after returning to the fray after receiving treatment.
Dortmund continued to dominate possession before and after half-time but they struggled to create real chances, Thomas Delaney reduced to long-range efforts by a stubborn Schalke defense. Two red cards and the third Schalke goal in the space of just five second-half minutes settled Schalke's first derby win in Dortmund since 2012 - and may just have settled the title race.
Bayern Munich have the chance to extend their lead to four points when they travel to second-bottom Nuremberg on Sunday evening.
FULL-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 2-4 FC Schalke 04 (Götze 14', Witsel 84' - Caligiuri pen 18' 62', Sané 28', Embolo 86')
86' GOAL! Dortmund 2-4 Schalke (Embolo)
No, they won't! Breel Embolo restores Schalke's two-goal cushion immediately with a low drive into the bottom corner. "Auf Wiedersehen!" sing the traveling fans in the direction of the rapidly departing Dortmund fans.
84' GOAL! Dortmund 2-3 Schalke (Witsel)
It's not over yet! Substitute Bruun-Larsen nods the ball across the face of the Schalke goal and Witsel stabs home at the back post. The nine men have five minutes plus injury time to find an equalizer. They couldn't, could they?
79' Schalke cut through the depleted Dortmund defense and the ball falls to Burgstaller who really should make it four but the Austrian fires over.
77' Substitution for Dortmund - Pulisic replaces Guerreiro
71' The Westfalenstadion is silent, apart from the 6,000 or so raucous Schalke fans in the corner. 3-1 up and with Dortmund down to nine, it's now logically Schalke who are starting to control possession. Weston McKennie becomes the latest Schalke player to be booked for a late tackle on Axel Witsel.
65' RED CARD - Marius Wolf (Dortmund)
Wolf repeats Reus' challenge on Serdar and he also sees red! Borussia Dortmund are down to nine! Incredible.
62' GOAL! Dortmund 1-3 Schalke (Caligiuri)
Two minutes from hell for Dortmund - two minutes in heaven for Schalke! Just moments after Marco Reus is sent off, Daniel Caligiuri curls the resulting free-kick into the top corner! Schalke are two goals and a man up - and have they just crushed Dortmund's title dreams?
60' RED CARD - Marco Reus (Dortmund)
The Dortmund captain sees red!!! Reus slides in on Serdar from behind, his foot is on the floor but his studs are showing and they make contact with the Schalke man's ankle - and the referee shows a straight red!
54' Guerreiro cuts inside from the right wing and shoots left-footed - but well over the bar. Paco Alcacer is warming up for Dortmund - could we see another super-sub appearance from the Spaniard?
53' At the other end, Burgstaller gets a shot away and is convinced it's deflected out for a corner, but the referee gives a goal-kick.
52' Already a Dortmund claim for a penalty in the second half with Diallo's cross seemingly cleared by Sané using his arm. But referee Zwayer shakes his head.
The second half is underway - no changes on either side.
HALF-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 1-2 FC Schalke 04 (Götze 14' - Caligiuri pen 18', Sané 28')
The table doesn't mean anything on derby day! Title-chasing Dortmund have enjoyed the majority of the play against struggling Schalke and took the lead through Mario Götze - assisted by a delightful set-up from Jadon Sancho. But Daniel Caligiuri equalized from the spot soon after before Salif Sané headed the Royal Blues in front. Three Schalke players have been booked in a physical first half in which Sancho was also struck by an object thrown from the away end.
45+3' Embolo becomes the third Schalke player to be cautioned after a challenge from behind on Weigl, inside the Dortmund half. Also a bit unnecessary.
45+2 Sané rises to clear Guerreiro's cross but misses the ball, which then bounces out of play off Delaney.
45+1' Free-kick for Dortmund on the edge of the box after Nastasic handles Sancho's flick ... what can they make of this?
44' Embolo wins another corner for Schalke, this time from the left. Nastasic gets up but the header drifts wide.
42' Sancho with a cheeky nutmeg on Caligiuri - quite a battle between those two over on the far side. And the Schalke player on a yellow card, of course.
38' Götze feeds Reus in the penalty area and the Dortmund captain is able to win a corner. Sancho takes but Nübel claims easily in the Schalke goal. Although Dortmund's goal came from a chip from a central position, I can't help but think they'd have more joy stretching Schalke down the left or right. The Royal Blues have managed to congest the center of the pitch quite well.
36' Now Suat Serdar sees yellow for a crunching tackle on Guerreiro right in front of the Dortmund bench who are collectively up in arms. It's heating up!
35' Sancho gets his revenge though, twisting and turning and dribbling past Caligiuri in the Schalke box and cutting the ball back. Eventually, Delaney shoots over for Dortmund.
34' Caliguiri goes into the referee's notebook after hacking down Sancho on the Dortmund left. That was a bit unnecessary, especially since the English international was heading in the wrong direction.
32' Akanji clears in the six-yard-box for Dortmund who, after enjoying as much as 79% possession at times in this first half, have allowed Schalke back into the game somewhat. Still Dortmund enjoying most of the ball though, probing from left to right and back again.
29' At the other end, Delaney nods Diallo's cross wide of the Schalke goal. We have a game on our hands here.
28' GOAL! Dortmund 1-2 Schalke (Sané)
And it's a good job he was ok because he's given Schalke the lead! The defender climbs above three Dortmund players in the box to head home the corner in front of the Südtribüne! Shock on the Yellow Wall - and carnage in the away end!
27' Sané is back on and Schalke have a corner on the right hand side ...
23' Sané and Akanji are both down in the Schalke box after challenging for the free-kick. Schalke's Sané seems to be in particular pain and is receiving treatment on his left knee. Whether he got a bad knock or landed badly is hard to say.
22' After that spell of drama, Dortmund have settled into their passing game and win a free-kick on the left wing when Caligiuri fouls Guerreiro.
18' GOAL! Dortmund 1-1 Schalke (Caliguiri - pen)
After the referee decides Julian Weigl handled the ball in the area, Daniel Caligiuri slides the spot-kick past Bürki and Schalke are level!
17' PENALTY TO SCHALKE!
After checking VAR, the referee points to the spot after a handball in the box. Out of nothing, Schalke have a chance to equalize ...
15' As the Dortmund players celebrated in front of the away end, Sancho appears to have been struck by a lighter thrown by a Schalke fan. Emotions run high on derby day but throwing things at opposition players really is not on.
14' GOAL! Dortmund 1-0 Schalke (Götze)
Jadon Sancho chips a perfectly-timed ball into the path of Mario Götze who heads past Nübel to give Dortmund the lead. What a set-up from the teenager, a delicious little chip.
11' The first shot of the game as Delaney takes aim for Dortmund, but the Dane's shot was always rising.
8' Sancho is crowded out on the right hand side and loses the ball but a foul from Weigl on Embolo stops the Schalke counter-attack.
6' Both sides losing possession easily in midfield, first as Serdar disposesses Sancho and then Akanji stops Embolo.
3' Dortmund creating all the play in the opening stages as a cloud of blue smoke from the away end drifts across the pitch. Whistles as Schalke have their first spell of possession.
Dortmund get us underway kicking from left to right in their yellow shirts and black shorts. Schalke in blue shirts and white shorts.
Schalke team news:
Huub Stevens only makes one change to the Schalke team which lost 5-2 to Hoffenheim, with Bastian Ozcipka returning in place of Jonas Carls.
Nübel - Caligiuri, Stambouli, Sané, Nastasic, Ozcipka - Mascarell, McKennie, Serdar - Embolo, Burgstaller
Dortmund team news:
Lucien Favre sticks with the same Dortmund XI which won 4-0 in Freiburg last weekend:
Bürki - Wolf, Weigl, Akanji, Diallo - Witsel, Delaney - Sancho, Reus, Guerreiro - Götze
The Dortmund goal machine
Captain Marco Reus and substitute Paco Alcacer have scored 16 and 17 goals respectively for Borussia Dortmund this season - more than Schalke's entire team (32).
A good omen for Schalke?
None of the Royal Blues' last five visits to the Westfalenstadion have ended in victory: 0-0, 0-3, 2-3, 0-0 and of course that unforgettable 4-4 draw. The last Schalke coach to win in Dortmund? Huub Stevens in October 2012.
The last time Schalke were in Dortmund ...
... it quickly looked like it could be a rout as BVB flew into a 4-0 lead. But a completely rejuvenated Schalke came out for the second half and scored four themselves to salvage a famous 4-4 draw which they celebrated like a victory.
Guten Tag! It's derby day in the Ruhr Valley!
Struggling Schalke make the short trip down the road to Dortmund hoping to salvage a little bit of pride from a disastrous season. For BVB, it's not just a derby. The Black and Yellows are in a title race and can put the pressure on Bayern Munich with a win over their local rivals.