Bundesliga: Dortmund go top after thrilling comeback in Leverkusen | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 29.09.2018
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Bundesliga: Dortmund go top after thrilling comeback in Leverkusen

Two goals down at half time, Borussia Dortmund had seemed to have blown their chance of going top of the Bundesliga. But a breathless second half performance saw them score four as they beat Bayer Leverkusen in style.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Borussia Dortmund, BayArena
(Weiser 9', Tah 39' — Bruun Larsen 65', Reus 69', Alcacer 85', 90'+4)

Lucien Favre's inspired substitutions were the difference for Dortmund as they overturned a 2-0 half-time deficit to beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 and go top of the Bundesliga.

Mitchell Weiser had given Leverkusen an early lead with a sweet long-distance strike as Leverkusen appeared comfortable in the early stages.

Read more: Schalke get first win, Bremen miss chance to go top

Their lead was doubled soon before the break when Jonathan Tah kept his head to drill a low shot past Roman Bürki and put the hosts in complete control.

Leverkusen spurned chances to put the game to bed, with Kevin Volland going closest to getting a third when he struck the inside of the post with a long range drive. Dortmund made them pay.

The comeback began with a close-range strike from Jacob Bruun Larsen, who followed up after Lukas Hradecky was unable to hold Marco Reus' fiercely struck volley.

Reus was the energy behind the comeback, driving forward and exchanging passes with Jadon Sancho, who had come off the bench a minute earlier, and firing in the second. That was the eighth goal Reus has had a hand in in his last eight games as he continues to be the key man under Favre.

The pendulum was only swinging one way at this point, and Dortmund got the crucial third through another man thrown into the action by Favre: Paco Alcacer. The Spaniard stuck out a leg to glance Achraf Hakimi's cross just inside the post.

With time running out and Leverkusen increasingly desperate, Dortmund scored a fourth on the break. With Hradecky committed upfield for a corner, Dortmund broke through Hakimi, whose long ball to Alcacer should have been cut out by Paulinho but wasn't. 

Alcacer collected the loose ball and rolled it into the empty net, completing an extraordinary turnaround and ensuring Dortmund go top.

 

As it happened:

FT Leverkusen 2-4 Dortmund — A thrilling second half comeback by Dortmund, who were inspired by Reus and Lucien Favre's second half substitutions. Alcacer and Sancho both played their part and Dortmund are worthy winners. More questions than answers for Leverkusen after that second 45 minutes.

90'+3 GOAL! Leverkusen 2-4 Dortmund — Alcacer makes it four and Dortmund are top of the Bundesliga! Hradecky goes up for a corner and Dortmund break up field with the keeper out of position. Hakimi's ball was not cut out by Paulinho and Alcacer raced on to it and strokes it into the empty net. Mission: complete. 

90' Tah heads just wide as Leverkusen look for a late leveler. Wendell lifted the ball back into the box, but the big center backs towering header was just off target.

87' What a second half display by Dortmund, who will go top of the Bundesliga if they can hang on for the win. For Leverkusen, it's been an epic collapse.

85' GOAL! Leverkusen 2-3 Dortmund — Alcacer completes the turnaround! Pulisic's cross from the right has pace on it and Alcacer sticks out a leg and glances it inside the far post. Stunning turnaround in Leverkusen!

80' Reus has been a real livewire tonight, and indeed all season. Favre, reunited with Reus, seems to know how to get the best out of his striker.

78' Leverkusen seem to have steadied the ship but Dortmund will feel that they're still there for the taking. 

75' It's all Dortmund now. Leverkusen seem consumed by anxiety, while Dortmund are liberated by the introduction of Alcacer and Sancho.

72' Paco Alcacer, another substitute, almost forces through a third for Dortmund. Leverkusen all over the place.

69' GOAL! Leverkusen 2-2 Dortmund — Reus levels! Scenes in Leverkusen as Dortmund draw level. Reus drives forward and Jadon Sancho, who just came off the bench, returns the ball to the German, who strikes it first-time past Hradecky. Lovely goal and we have a great final 20 minutes on our hands now.

68' Havertz, who has had a quiet game, heads straight at Bürki.

Bundesliga Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Dortmund | Tor Bruun Larsen (Getty Images/Bongarts/L. Baron)

Bruun Larsen forces the ball over the line from close range to half Dortmund's deficit.

65' GOAL! Leverkusen 2-1 Dortmund — Dortmund are back in it! Hakimi's cross from the right is met with a sweet left-foot volley from Reus, which Hradecky can't hang on to and Bruun Larsen taps in from a meter out.

63' That's really as close as Dortmund have got to scoring since that first half free-kick from Reus. Just unable to pierce through Leverkusen's back line. 

62' Chance for Dortmund but Bruun Larsen fires his shot straight at Hradecky from the edge of the box. 

59' Almost an hour gone and there's only one team in this at the moment. Leverkusen are calling the shots and look far more likely to add a third than Dortmund getting one back. 

55' Off the post! Volland so close to making it three for Leverkusen as he lets fly from outside the box, but the ball crashes back off the inside of the post.

53' Hakimi exceedingly lucky not to get even a yellow card. He wasn't given a free-kick after he felt he was fouled, and then crashed into Bender a couple of seconds later. 

51' Pulisic wins a corner at the other end. A pulsating start to the second half.

48' Huge save Bürki! Leverkusen looking to put Dortmund to bed with a third early in the second half and they almost get it through Brandt, who hammers a shot at goal that appears to fly over. In fact, Bürki made a crucial fingertip save.

46' SECOND HALF. We're back underway at BayArena.

HT Leverkusen 2-0 Dortmund — Weiser and Tah give Leverkusen the advantage at the break. Dortmund will have to produce a big second half performance if they hope to turn the tide here.

43' The hosts playing with a real swagger at the moment. Dortmund look desperate for half time. 

40' Leverkusen in complete control here now, and the home fans recognise that. Some big noise inside BayArena now.

Bundesliga Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Dortmund | Tor Tah (picture alliance/dpa/R. Vennenbernd)

Tah keeps his head to make it two for Leverkusen.

39' GOAL! Leverkusen 2-0 Dortmund — Tah makes it two! Dortmund fail to get the ball clear after a brief scramble in their box. It falls to Tah at the far post, and he takes a touch to get away from Hakimi and thrashes it low past Bürki. Tah kept his head really well there.

37' Shades of Trevor Sinclair as Philipp goes for a spectacular overhead kick. Sadly for him, he doesn't connect with it like Sinclair did all those years ago, and the flag was up anyway. Philipp looks a little winded actually.

34' Reus goes close! Wendell shoves Philipp in the back and Dortmund have a free-kick in Reus territory... And Reus bends it around the wall and Hradecky gets down really well to palm it, two-handed, to safety. That's as close as Dortmund have come.

30' Dortmund just a bit fraught in midfield at the moment. That could be because Leverkusen are pressing so effectively.

27' Leverkusen looking rather sprightly in attack when they get the chance to pour forward. By the same token, Dortmund look somewhat shaky in those situations.

24' Both coaches - Herrlich and Favre - are barking instructions from the very edge of their technical areas.

22' Leverkusen haven't really had a great deal of the ball or kept it particularly well since going ahead. 

20' Speaking of which, those two players exchange passes and Philipp goes down outside the box. He feels he should have been given a free-kick, but the referee wasn't interested.

17' Philipp and Reus combining well for Dortmund but Leverkusen stopping them in their tracks when they get close to the home side's goal.

15' Dortmund trying to make an impression on the game but Leverkusen are breaking at speed whenever they win it, and Dortmund are struggling to live with them.

12' Well it really would be typical Dortmund to fail to take advantage of Bayern's Friday night defeat and lose here. But Leverkusen have found their form this season and are starting to look like the side many expected them to be this season.

Bundesliga Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Dortmund | Jubel Weiser (picture-alliance/dpa/R. Vennenbernd)

Weiser's wonder strike gave Leverkusen an early lead.

10' GOAL! Leverkusen 1-0 Dortmund — What a strike by Weiser! A cross from the left evades everyone but falls perfectly for Weiser, who doesn't break strike as he drills a low shot beautifully into the bottom corner. A great strike and Leverkusen lead! 

5' A somewhat over zealous challenge from Delaney, who picks up an early yellow card.

3' Dortmund seeing plenty of the ball in the early exchanges. Dortmund have lost only once in their last 11 away games against Leverkusen.

1' KICK OFF. We're underway!

18:28 Scenes from our man in the stadium

18:25 Here's how Dortmund line up tonight:

18:20 Here's how Leverkusen line up tonight:

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