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Dortmund choke in front of home crowd

April 2, 2022

Despite their fans returning to fill their famous stadium, Borussia Dortmund could not deliver on the field. Erling Haaland was blunted on his return from injury.

RB Leipzig's players celebrate a goal against Dortmund
RB Leipzig are looking like the second best team in the Bundesliga at the momentImage: Dennis Ewert/RHR-Foto/IMAGO

Borussia Dortmund 1-4 RB Leipzig, Westfalenstadion
(Malen 84' — Laimer 21',30', Nkunku 57', Olmo 86')

It was supposed to be a celebration for Borussia Dortmund as they welcomed back 81,365 fans to the Westfalenstadion on Saturday night. Instead, Marco Rose's side were dispatched by an RB Leipzig team that never looked back after racing into an early first-half lead.

"It was a really tough result to take and we're really, really disappointed because we really had other ideas, and we were so excited about playing in front of a packed crowd again," Marco Rose said afterwards. "Leipzig were really effective and both in and around the box they were more ruthless and uncompromising than us."

Whatever the returning home fans had hoped to bring to the party to ensure a victory was soon forgotten when Christopher Nkunku supplied Konrad Laimer for the opener. A deflection helped the Austrian midfielder score his second before the break as Leipzig made the most of their chances.

"From time to time I tease Konrad a bit, because when he shoots in training, he hits everything but not the goal," Leipzig head coach Domenico Tedesco said afterwards.

Leipzig confirmed their superiority in the second half, and even had the last word when Dani Olmo's outstanding goal rendered Donyell Malen's header nothing more than a consolation.

Fuflball: Bundesliga I Borussia Dortmund - RB Leipzig
Filled to capacity, the Wesftallenstadion was left disappointed by the resultImage: Martin Meissner/AP/picture alliance

The win, combined withFreiburg's loss to Bayern, strengthens RB Leipzig's hold on fourth and boosts the confidence of Domenico Tedesco's side ahead of a critical stage of the season in which RB are still trying to win both the German Cup and the Europa League.

Haaland's return brings no luck

For Dortmund, the season now looks set to end without any trophies.

"We know it wasn't good but we don't have to act like we lost 4-1 and were outplayed," Mats Hummels said afterwards.

Erling Haaland had not started a game at the Westfalenstadion since January 14 and an injury scare during the international break threatened to derail his return further, but he started against RB Leipzig.

His productivity for Dortmund has never been in doubt, having scored 16 goals in the Bundesliga before his two-month injury lay off, but on Saturday he did not offer much of a threat. Against Leipzig he hit an early first-half opportunity across the face of goal but was otherwise quiet as the the 21-year-old's future continues to be a talking point.

Fuflball: Bundesliga I Borussia Dortmund - RB Leipzig
Haaland managed just one shot throughout the gameImage: David Inderlied/Kirchner-Media/IMAGO

Young Jude Bellingham had never played in front of a full Yellow Wall and its 24,000 fans before today, but the 18-year-old was left shaking his head at the home fans after another disappointing Dortmund display.

Edited by Jonathan Harding