Borussia Dortmund were unable to leapfrog Ruhr valley rivals Schalke after playing Werder Bremen to a 1-1 draw. Thomas Delaney canceled out Marco Reus' early goal with a header just before halftime.
Werder Bremen 1-1 Borussia Dortmund
(Delaney 45' — Reus 19')
Borussia Dortmund were stopped in their tracks as they tried to move up to second place in the Bundesliga.
Despite eight shots in the last 15 minutes of the game, BVB were unable to find the winning goal and ultimately drew with Werder Bremen on Sunday. The draw keeps them two points behind Schalke, their regional rivals, despite the Royal Blues draw with Gladbach the day before.
Marco Reus gave Dortmund the early advantage with a strong effort from inside the box. Mario Götze crossed the ball to Lukasz Piszczek, and Piszczek headed the ball down for Reus. The experienced Dortmund forward collected the pass before firing past Bremen goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka — Reus' fourth goal in his last three games.
But Dortmund's defense could not hold the one-goal lead until halftime. Just before the break, Theodor Gebre Selassie headed down a cross from Ludwig Augustinsson from the left. Maximilian Eggestein, while fending off BVB's Omer Toprak, headed the ball towards goal, but Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Bürki came out to save it. However, with Bürki off his line, Thomas Delaney lobbed a header into the empty goal for the equalizer.
The power of Pavlenka
If there is one person to credit the halftime score line remaining the same throughout the second half, it is Pavlenka. The Bremen goalkeeper made several fantastic saves in the second half to deny Dortmund the winning goal.
Ten minutes from time, the Czech shot stopper batted away a shot from André Schürrle after Reus picked out the run from the Dortmund substitute. Fortunately for Pavlenka, Jadon Sancho hit the rebound off the bar.
He stopped Schürrle again six minutes later, deflecting the German forward's header over the bar. He then denied a volley attempt from Reus in second half stoppage time.
The stat sheet says Pavlenka had five saves, but all five were crucial to help the hosts earn the point.
As it happened...
90' — Fulltime!
90+3' — Marco Reus volleys a ball over the top from Jadon Sancho, but Jiri Pavlenka parries it before Milos Veljkovic heads it out of play. The ensuing Dortmund corner falls to Reus, but his half volley flies over the cross bar.
90+1' — Three minutes added on.
89' Bremen substitution — Marco Friedl replaces Jerome Gondorf, a tactical substitution from Florian Kohfeldt. Friedl lines up as a left wing back, with Ludwig Augustinsson moving centrally as part of a back three with Milos Veljkovic and Sebastian Langkamp.
86' — André Schürrle directs a pass from Jadon Sancho on goal with his head, but Jiri Pavlenka gets a hand to it to send the shot over the bar.
84' — Lukasz Piszczek hits a Max Kruse free kick from the right wing dangerously close to Dortmund's goal, but luckily it falls on the wrong (or for him, the right) side of the post.
80' — Marco Reus does well to pick out the run of André Schürrle. Schürrle's effort is saved by Jiri Pavlenka, and Jadon Sancho's attempt to head in the rebound sails over the crossbar.
79' Dortmund substitution — Andriy Yarmolenko replaces Maximilian Philipp, a straight substitution from Peter Stöger. Yarmolenko makes his first appearance in three months after returning from a foot injury.
79' — Maximilian Philipp fires a half volley from outside the penalty area, but his effort flies over the crossbar.
77' — Jerome Gondorf crosses a ball from the right side of the penalty area, but Marco Reus deflects it across the face of goal and out for a corner. Thomas Delaney fires a header from the ensuing corner, but Roman Bürki knocks it down for the save.
76' — Max Kruse tries to redirect a pass on goal, but his effort is saved over the bar by Roman Bürki.
70' Bremen substitution — Johannes Eggestein, brother of Maximilian Eggestein, replaces Milot Rashica, a tactical change from Florian Kohfeldt. Johannes Eggestein lines up next to Max Kruse as Jerome Gondorf slides from central mdfield to the wing.
69' — Manuel Akanji dribbles by Sebastian Langkamp and fires a shot from the right side of the penalty area, but Jiri Pavlenka saves the shot off the crossbar and out.
65' — Jadon Sancho picks out Marco Reus on the right side of the penalty area. Reus fires, but Ludwig Augustinsson blocks the shot and the deflection hits the post and stays out.
64' — André Schürrle lifts a ball over the Bremen defense to Marco Reus, who picks out a wide open Toprak in the middle for a strike. But Reus was ruled for offside, canceling out the goal.
61' Dortmund substitution — André Schürrle replaces Christian Pulisic, a tactical change from Peter Stöger. Schürrle becomes Dortmund's lone striker and Maximilian Philipp takes Pulisic's position on the right wing.
54' — Werder Bremen have out-shot Dortmund 16-6 to this point. Maximilian Eggestein has four shots in the game.
52' — Maximilian Eggestein finds himself free in midfield and unleashes an effort from distance, one Roman Bürki knocks down and collects.
51' — Milot Rashica plays in Maximilian Eggestein with a terrific back-heel, but Omer Toprak blocks Eggestein's ensuing effort.
50' — Marco Reus slow to get up after challenge with Maximilian Eggestein, but he seems to get up okay and continues playing.
46' — Second half kickoff!
45' — Halftime!
45' GOAL — Thomas Delaney scores a first-half equalizer! Theodor Gebre Selassie heads down a cross from Ludwig Augustinsson towards the feet of Maximilian Eggestein. Eggestein falls as he tries to fend off Toprak and heads the ball toward goal. Bürki comes off his line to save Eggestein's effort, and Delaney heads the ball over the Dortmund goalkeeper for the goal. Bremen 1, Dortmund 1
44' — Julian Weigl plays a terrific pass to Marco Reus to put the Dortmund forward one-on-one with Jiri Pavlenka, but his effort is saved out for a corner.
35' — Manuel Akanji fouls Milot Rashica, giving Werder Bremen another terrific free kick position, but Zlatzko Junuzovic's effort misses.
34' — Lukasz Piszczek picks up a yellow card for tackling Ludwig Augustinsson at the edge of the penalty area. Milot Rashica's ensuing free kick hits Dortmund's wall before being cleared away.
27' — Max Kruse is played in on the left side of the penalty area and tries to pick out the run of Jerome Gondorf, but Omer Toprak clears the ball away.
24' — Ludwig Augustinsson picks out the run of Zlatko Junuzovic at the near post, and Roman Bürki is forced to slap away the Austrian's ensuing shot. Junuzovic's ensuing corner is headed away by Marco Reus, but the ball eventually falls to a wide-open Max Kruse, who fires a shot wide.
19' GOAL — Marco Reus opens the scoring in Bremen. Mario Götze switches the play to Lukasz Piszczek, who headed the ball down to Reus in the box. Reus collects the ball and fires a right-footed shot past Jiri Pavlenka. Bremen 0, Dortmund 1
15' — Manuel Akanji makes a terrific run into the penalty area from the right flank and leaves it for Maximilian Philipp. The Dortmund striker collects and fires a right-footed shot from the top of the penalty area, but Jiri Pavlenka makes the save.
11' — Marco Reus combines with Lukasz Piszczek on the right flank and fires, but Jiri Pavlenka makes the save in Bremen's goal.
8' — Max Kruse unleashes two efforts after receiving a deflected cross from Ludwig Augustinsson. The first is blocked by Julian Weigl and the second slides wide right.
5' — Maximilian Eggestein is the first to test Roman Bürki in Dortmund's goal, but the goalkeeper makes the save.
1' — Kickoff
— Chinese forward Yuning Zhang is on the bench for Werder Bremen for the first time this season. He joined Bremen on loan from English side West Bromwich Albion before the season. DW spoke with him in September...
— A closer look at the top five in the Bundesliga standings before kickoff...
— Lineups for this evening's game between Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund:
Dortmund: Bürki - Piszczek, Sokratis, Toprak, Akanji - Weigl - Pulisic, Reus, Götze, Sancho - Philipp
Bremen: Pavlenka - Gebre Selassie, Langkamp, Velkovic, Augustinsson - Eggestein, Delaney, Gondorf — Rashica, Kruse, Junuzovic
— Welcome to DW's coverage of Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund, the final game of Matchday 32 in the Bundesliga. If Dortmund are able to pick up the away victory in Bremen, they will move into second place in the standings, ahead of Ruhr valley rival Schalke on goal difference.
The last time these two sides met in Dortmund, Bremen came away with the 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Max Eggestein and Theodor Gebre Selassie. It was the last game for Peter Bosz at Borussia Dortmund as he was fired days later and replaced by Peter Stöger.