Bundesliga: Bender and Bailey strike late to seal Dortmund collapse | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 08.02.2020
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Bundesliga: Bender and Bailey strike late to seal Dortmund collapse

Two goals in a minute turned a 3-2 win to a 4-3 loss for Borussia Dortmund against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. Lars Bender and Leon Bailey turned the game on its head after a stunning debut goal for Emre Can.

Bayer Leverkusen 4 - 3 Borussia Dortmund
(Volland 20', 43, Bailey 81', L Bender 82' - Hummels 22', Can 33, Guerreiro 65')

This Borussia Dortmund team rarely make their own lives easy and that was certainly the case on Saturday, as they threw away two leads and the chance to go top of the Bundesliga. 

With Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig set to face off on Sunday, a convincing win would have sent Lucien Favre's side joint-top. But they got off to a poor start when a lapse in defensive concentration allowed in-form Kevin Volland to get between the center halves and stroke past Roman Bürki for an opener that came against the run of play.

Dortmund were level within 90 seconds when Mats Hummels rose to power home Jadon Sancho's corner with head and register his first goal for the club since returning from Bayern Munich in the summer. 

There was another first just three minutes later when Emre Can, making his Bundesliga bow for BVB, fired in a brilliant dipping effort from 25 yards out after picking up a loose ball. Once again though, a defensive lapse would cost Dortmund, who switched off from a corner and allowed Volland the freedom of the penalty box to rifle home an equalizer.

The seond half endured a relative goal drought before Dortmund took control again after brilliant work from Erling Haaland, Sancho and Achraf Hakimi allowed Raphaël Guerreiro to fire home with his left foot.

But as Dortmund dropped deeper, and Can remained on despite a clear case of cramp, they eventually paid the ultimate price, with Bailey first lashing home after a desperate Can challenge before Lars Bender arrived to head home a left wing cross from Daley Sinkgraven.

Favre then finally made his changes but it was too little too late as Dortmund lost ground in the title race. Leverkusen, on the other hand, moved to within two points of fourth-place Borussia Mönchengladbach, who face local rivals Cologne on Sunday.

As it happened:

FULL TIME: That's it! What an incredible game.

90+5 - A 50/50 ball flies out behind the Leverkusen goal. Dortmund want a corner. They don't get it. Seconds remaining now.

90+4 - The ball is down the wrong end of the pitch for Dortmund and Bürki punts it long but Sancho and Götze can make nothing of it.

90+2 - The home side trying to kill it now. Dragovic, operating at the base of midfield, clips one out to Volland, who draws the foul. This is what Bosz will want to see.

90+1 - There'll be five minutes of injury time.

90' - Big chance!
Hummels heads down from a corner and it bounces to Witsel, who's free at the back post. He doesn't get over the header and floats it over. He was flagged offside but replays show he was on, so VAR may well have overruled.

89' - Götze hooks one forward to Haaland, who gets in to a battle of muscle with Tah. The Germany defender gets it out for a corner and Leverkusen replace midfielder Amiri with a big defender in the shape of Dragovic.

88' - Bailey, who has had a big imapct gets in to acres on the left but floats a poor cross in to Bürki's arms.

87' - Dortmund had been getting deeper and deeper before the qualizer and Can was clearly struggling. Favre may take a bit of stick for this.

85' - We're seeing replays of the third goal, Volland was very close to offside in the build up but just stayed on. Favre may be regretting not forcing Can off there and now make s adouble change: Hazard and Götze for Akanji and Can.

82' - GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 4 - 3 Borussia Dortmund (L Bender)
We had not reached peak Dortmund. Perhaps we never will. Sinkgraven lifts in a tempting cross from the left and Lars Bender flies forwards to power a headre past Bürki. From 3-2 up to 4-3 down in just over a minute. Staggering.

81' - GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 3 - 3 Borussia Dortmund
Have we reached peak Dortmund? Havertz plays a lovely ball between the center backs to Volland but Can gets back to make a brilliant slide tackle. But it falls to Bailey who slams home the leveller. Crazy.

80' - Favre wants to replace Can but the midfielder doesn't seem ready to end his league debut yet and stay on. Havertz almost gets a toe to a long pass. With Bürki rushing out, a touch might have been enough there.

79' - Akanji suddenly bursts forward out of nowhere and it takes an excellent challenge from debutant Tapsoba to stop him.

78' - Can has stayed on but he doesn't look especially mobile.

76' - Emre Can is down with cramp and signalling that he needs to come off. He'd played less than 300 minutes this season before today, so not surprising.

75' - Dortmund starting to take a grip now, keeping hold of the ball nicely. But you feel they always need a two goal cushion.

72' - Leverkusen have the ball in the net but it's offside. Everyone knew it was but the assistant referee can't put his flag up (because of VAR, presumably) and we have to check it. Volland was two yards off and squared eventually to Bailey. 

70' - Dortmund load up a freekick from deep but Diaby reads it well and plays it off Hakimi for a goal kick. But that's it for the Leverkusen man, he's replaced by Leon Bailey, who scored twice against Bayern Munich earlier this season.

67' - Volland is booked for dissent. What have Leverkusen got now. They went from a great chance to go 3-2 up to going 3-2 down within a minute or so.

65' - Bayer Leverkusen 2 - 3 Borussia Dortmund (Guerreiro)
This time it's Leverkusen who are punished for profligacy. Haaland does brilliantly to hold up a long ball and turn it inside to Hakimi. The wingback exchanges passes brilliantly with Sancho and slips in Guerreiro. The Portuguese slams it home with his left foot. What a game this is.

63' - Woodwork!
Oh Kai. Leverkusen build up nicely in midfield and Havertz spots a gap on the left side of Dortmund's defense. He drives through, gets it on his left and sends Bürki to ground in order to drag one in his near post. He then hits that post. And then....

59' - Almost chances at both ends as a loose ball nearly breaks for Amiri before Tah has to stretch his legs to get to a through ball ahead of Haaland. There's more goals coming here.

58' - Woodwork!
Sancho just keeps coming, Leverkusen can't get near him. He now wins a corner which is cleared behind. His second effort is punched away from a dangerous area by Hradecky and then he works an opening for Reyna, whose deflected effort hits the post then hits Hradecky and goes out for another corner. 

54' - No goal! Foul in the build up
A controversial one this. Lars Bender was fuming after the goal and the tape shows that Reyna pulled him back as he was trying (and failing) to catch Sancho in his initial run. He probably wasn't getting anywhere near the play and it was a silly foul. But its relevance is open to question.

53' - VAR review!
Hang on...

52' - Bayer Leverkusen 2 - 3 Borussia Dortmund (Sancho)
Unbelievably good from Sancho. The Englishman drives inside from the left, leaving Tah in his wake, and slips a ball out to Hakimi on the right. Sancho then holds his run and receives the ball back before blasting it home.

51' - Volland races on to a long ball from Tah but Hummels stepped up just in time to play him offside.

48' - Sancho dances around defenders in the Leverkusen box and lays it off for Guerreiro who rushes his shot, leans back and blazes it over.

46' - We're off again and Dortmund have bought on Gio Reynafor Julian Brandt, who I assume picked up a knock. Leverkusen have also made a change, bringing on Weiser for Bellarabi.

HALF TIME: That's the break. A relief for live bloggers but not for anyone else, that was thoroughly entertaining. Kevin Volland gave Leverkusen the lead with their first attack, Mats Hummels headed in his first goal of his second BVB spell 90 seconds later, Emre Can scored a Dortmund debut screamer and then Volland punished Dortmund slack defending again. This fixture has rarely failed to deliver in recent years and it certainly hasn't today.

45+1 - Dortmund probing again but the cross from the left is just over Brandt's head. Both sides are so open.

43'Bayer Leverkusen 2 - 2 Borussia Dortmund (Volland)
Once again, Dortmund are punished for a missed chance. This time Hummels gives away an unneccessary corner. Eventually the ball is worked in to the back post, Tah hooks it back in towards the center and Volland, in too much space, rifles an effort that takes a slight deflection and nestles in Bürki's net. This team are a parody of themselves.

42' - Decent chance for Axel Witsel there. Sancho plays an outrageous reverse pass, gets it back and then plays an outrageously good cross to the Belgian arriving at the back post. He has more time than he things and shanks it over.

39' - Another late challenge, another yellow. This time it's Guerreiro.

38' - A rare lull in the game. This has been absolutely frantic so far, with the ball barely going out of play. Dortmund have popped it about very well at times and given Leverkusen almost no time on the ball.

35' - Lars Bender is late in to a tackle with Akanji on the halfway line and receives the first booking of the game.

33' - GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 1 - 2 Borussia Dortmund (Can)
Wow. What a strike, what a debut. Emre Can, take a bow. A loose ball falls to the former Leverkusen man 25 yards out. he takes a touch to get it out of his feet then strikes an absolute pearler of an effort packed full of dip and swerve over the outstreched arms of Hradecky and in to the far left corner of his net. Welcome back.

32' - Haaland latches on to a return pass in the box but Hradecky is out well and shepherds him away from goal. He lays it back to Brandt but the Leverkusen keeper bought enough time for his defenders to get back in position and crowd him out. Then Diaby leaves a late challenge on Akanji and is lucky to escape yellow.

31' - Both teams are careless in position and suddenly Sancho is sprung. He drives 35 yards in to the box but Tah does well to keep pace and stick the leg in at the right moment.

30' - Lars Bender pokes the ball to Diaby on the edge of the box but his curler is tame and straight in to Bürki's arms.

27 - Can, who hasn't been involved much on his full debut, gets across well to dispossess Havertz. It's an intense pace for a man who hasn't played much football this season.

25' - Goal Disallowed!
It's all happening at the minute. Leverkusen have the ball in the net through Diaby, but he was offside when he struck the volley after some decent build up play. Breathless stuff.

22' - GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 1 - 1 Borussia Dortmund (Hummels)
We thought there would be goals and there are goals. Immediately after scoring, Leverkusen allow Brandt through. his shot is pushed round the post for a corner, which the former Levekusen allows Sancho to take. His corner is powered home by Hummels. He gets to it at the front post, unmarked, and send is flying to the back. Great header, shoddy defending, another assist for Sancho.

20'  - GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 1 - 0 Borussia Dortmund (Volland)
Dortmund pay the price! Havertz takes a brilliant touch to control a wayward Hradecky clearance and finds Amiri. He sees the run of Volland and it's all to easy to split the center backs and the German slips it home.

19' - Breaking news: Haaland is fallible. Dortmund press well in the Leverkusen half and Sancho flicks it round the corner to the striker. He powers an effort from a tight angle and Hradecky scrambles it around the post. That was a tough angle but we've come to expect so much....

17' - Havertz is growing in to the game now and wins the first corner of the match. Amiri's delivery is flicked away, I think by Haaland, at the front post.

13' - Guerreiro hits the deck after running in to Tah's arm. VAR had a quick check but there was nothing in it and the Portuguese wingback is up and running.

10' - Brandt and Hakimi combine swiftly down the right but Sinkgraven times his slide tackle well to hook the ball away from the Moroccan.

9' - Things settling down a touch now, with the hosts finally managing to keep the ball for a spell. There's a proper racket coming from the away end.

6' - Sancho and Haaland so close to combining again but should the Englishman have taken this on himself? He's in a great spot to strike first time after a driving run and a one two with Brandt in the box but tries to play in the Norwegian instead, sending it just behind him. 

4' - It seems that choreo our correspondent mentioned came together in the end. 

3' - A lot of noise, particularly from the away end, as the smoke from the flares settles. Brandt is on the deck after a cruncher from Lars Bender. Was lucky to escape a yellow there.

1' - We're off! And within 30 seconds Sancho is almost in from Haaland's layoff, but it's just snuffed out by Tah. Early warning shot from the visitors.

-- Curious choreo

Our man on the scene at the BayArena is Jonathan Harding. He's not overly impressed by the home crowd's efforts ahead of kick off.

-- Goals galore?

This fixture has provided plenty of entertainment in recent meetings, unless you're a fan of defending. There have been 15 goals in the last four fixtures, all off which have been won by Dortmund. In fact, you have to go back to October 2016 to find the Werkself's last league win over BVB, with Chicharito among the scorers that day.

-- The teams are in!

The headline here is that Emre Can makes his Bundesliga debut for Borussia Dortmund after the briefest of cameos in the German Cup in midweek. It looks like Lucien Favre is sticking to five at the back and Can sitting in midfield with Axel Witsel. Erling Haaland starts up front, looking to continue his prolific start to life in Germany.

The hosts also include a debutant in the shape of deadline day signing Edmond Tapsoba, a Burkina Faso international signed from the Portuguese league. Other than that, it's much as expected with Kevin Volland leading the line and Kai Havertz, who hasn't quite hit the heights he's capable of this term, providing the ammunition. 


-- Here we go!
Hello, and welcome to DW's coverage of Saturday's Topspiel. And it's a big one. Dortmund have won their last three league games, scoring five in each, but got knocked out of the cup in midweek by a Werder Bremen side who look in huge danger of relegation. Lucien Favre's men are without Marco Reus, out for a month, and have become increasingly reliant on 19-year-old pair Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland. They'll need former Leverkusen schemer Julian Brandt to step up.

The man in the Leverkusen dugout made the opposite journey, albeit with a period of unemployment on the way. Peter Bosz had a blistering start and an explosive end to his spell with the Yellow and Blacks and now has Leverkusen sat on the fringes of the Champions League places. Their striker, Kevin Volland, has hit a decent run of form of late and is likely to prove a threat.