Borussia Dortmund remain unbeaten 14 games into the Bundesliga season, toppling Schalke 2-1 in the Revierderby. The away win keeps BVB a comfortable nine points ahead of Bayern at the top of the table.
Schalke 1 - 2 Borussia Dortmund
Caligiuri 61' - Delaney 7', Sancho 74'
Borussia Dortmund earned the win in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday despite struggling to create chances against a side that trailed them by 19 points going into the contest. Schalke, who were missing several attacking options through injury, also rarely troubled the Dortmund defense.
Dortmund looked sharp early in the match, with Achraf Hakimi blasting a shot over the bar early on, before Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney headed in a Marco Reus free kick in the seventh minute to give the visitors the lead. After that, though, goal-scoring chances were scarce at both ends of the Veltins Arena. Schalke tried to attack at times, but were hampered by their lack of forwards, with Breel Embolo, Mark Uth and Franco Di Santo all unavailable. Domenico Tedesco's striking options were reduced to nil when Guido Burgstaller limped off in the 36th minute, to be replaced by defeder Hamza Mendyl, who nonetheless played high on the left for the rest of the match.
As the two teams went into the halftime break, Schalke will have been happy just to have kept within striking distance of earning a point, while you had to wonder why Dortmund had not been pushing harder for the cushion of a second goal.
Early in the second half, neither team really looked like scoring, but when Amine Harit got into a tangle with Reus and went down in the Dortmund area, Schalke's players demanded a penalty. Referee Daniel Siebert wasn't convinced, but after getting a signal in his ear from the video assistant referee (VAR) in Cologne, he watched the replay, returned to the pitch and pointed to the spot. Daniel Caligiuri stepped up and made no mistake to pull Schalke level just after the hour mark.
Following that setback, Lucien Favre's men pushed harder for the winner, but Schalke remained tough to break down. The breakthrough came in the 74th minute, when Dortmund's English teenager Jadon Sancho played a give-and-go with Raphael Guerreiro to put himself through alone on Fährmann, scoring what would turn out to be the winner.
Tedesco responded by bringing on the attacking Yevhen Konoplyanka for Bastian Oczipka, but it was to no avail. Schalke's last gasp chance came from a corner in injury time, which goalie and captain Ralf Fährmann had come up for, but Salif Sané was unable to direct his header on target.
Relive the action as it happened below:
Fulltime! Dortmund win in Gelsenkirchen!
90+3 Corner for Schalke, Fährmann goes up for it, but Dortmund clear the delivery.
90' - Yellow for Sebastian Rudy. Four minutes to be added on.
88' - Sancho's workday is done as he comes off. Christian Pulisic gets a few minutes of playing time.
85' - Guerreiro almost puts BVB ahead by two, but his effort comes back off the post.
79' - Reus with a close-range effort but Fährmann makes an excellent save to keep Schalke within one.
77' - Götze comes on for Alcacer for Dortmund.
76' - Tedesco reacts by sending in Konoplyanka for Oczipka.
74' - Goal for Dortmund! Jadon Sancho plays a give-and-go with Raphael Guerreiro, barges into the area and beats Fährmann to give BVB the lead. Could it be the winner?
73' Free kick for Dortmund from outside of the right top corner of the Schalke area, but a Schalke defender gets his head to it and clears the danger.
70' - With 20 minutes to play Dortmund are going to have to step it up a gear if the league leaders hope to leave Gelsenkirchen with all three points.
62' - After the restart, it's a yellow card for Hakimi after he pushed over Caligiuri in a gathering of the clans.
61' - Caligiuri steps up to the spot. Goal for Schalke! That's his first of the season.
57' - Serdar has a crack from outside the box but it fails to trouble Bürki. Harit goes down in the box, Tedesco and the rest of Gelsenkirchen want a penalty. VAR! Mr. Siebert goes to the monitor to view the replay. Penalty for Schalke! Meanwhile, Nastasic has been given a yellow for disturbing Siebert as he was trying to watch the video.
55' - Substitution for Schalke: Suat Serdar replaces Bentaleb
54' - Corner for Dortmund. Sancho plays it short to Reus, but BVB are unable to make anything of it.
47' - Almost the first opportunity of the half for BVB: Alcacer plays a through ball into the area for Reus, but the Dortmund captain was a step offside.
46' - Dortmund kick off to start the second half.
45+1 - Mr. Siebert blows the whistle to end the first half in the Veltins Arena. Schalke have rarely looked dangerous, and Tedesco and his men will be happy to still be in it with 45 minutes to go. Apart from Delaney's goal, Dortmund didn't exactly produce a lot of offensive fireworks either.
45' - Corner for Schalke, one minute of injury time to be played. The corner comes to nothing.
43 - Schalke are looking increasingly frustrated, repeatedly contesting the ref's calls. Dortmund have been sitting back for the past little while though.
36' - That's it for Burgstaller. He's come off and is replaced by Hamza Mendyl, who is actually a defender. Where are the goals going to come from for Schalke now?
33' - Schalke already have injury woes and Burgstaller is on the limp. It seems unlikely he will be able to finish the half, let alone the match.
31' - Another Schalke player goes into the book, this time it is Sané and the home supporters are not impressed.
28' - Corner for Schalke. Their first good chance of the match. Nastasic's header hits Burgstaller in the arm, he gets a shot off from close range, but Bürki comes out with a sharp reaction save!
26'- Dortmund back Schalke into their area, Sancho bobs and weaves but can't find an open man to take a crack. The Royal Blues survive another Black and Yellow attack.
22' - Oczipka goes into Mr. Siebert's book as well - for a late challenge on Sancho.
19' Alcacer with a shot from just outside of the Schalke box, but the Bundesliga's co-top goal scorer curls it past the post to the left of Fährmann.
16' - Harit goes down again, this time Witsel is the offender. Caligiuri's free kick poses no danger to Bürki in the Dortmund cage.
14' Piszczek gets the first yellow of the match for a reckless tackle on Harit.
11' - Schalke penetrate the Dortmund area, the Royal Blues want a penalty. VAR is being consulted. No penalty is given.
7' - Free kick for Dortmund, Reus takes it from about 30 meters out. Goal for Dortmund! Thomas Delaney gets onto the end of it and beats Ralf Fährmann to make it 1-0 for BVB. That's the Dane's first goal for the Black and Yellows!
3' - First chance of the game: Hakimi gets the ball just inside the Schalke area, but fires it way off target.
1' - Schalke kick off and we are underway in the Revierderby!
3:30 - Dortmund captain Marco Reus wins the toss and the two teams switch ends for the first half.
3:29 - Referee Daniel Siebert leads the two teams out onto the pitch in the Veltins Arena.
3:25 - The teams have completed their warmups, the Veltins Arena is full, just minutes to go now before kickoff for the first Revierderby of 2018-19! Here are the lineups:
2:45 p.m. CET - Matchday 14 will be one that fans of both Schalke and Borussia Dortmund have had circled on their calendars since the start of the season. In terms of the Bundesliga standings, BVB are the clear favorites, topping the table, seven points clear of second placed Borussia Mönchengladbach and a whopping 19 above Schalke. However, Dortmund haven't won any of the last five Reverderbies and ran out 2-0 winners in Gelsenkirchen last April.
As Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco put it in the prematch press conference: "In derby games, there is no underdog and no favourite." Certainly Tedesco's men will relish the opportunity to become the first team to beat Lucien Favre and his high-flying Dortmund in the Bundesliga this season.