Marco Reus scored the only game of the game against his former club as Dortmund claimed the bragging rights against Gladbach in the Battle of the Borussias. The Foals remain top of the Bundesliga despite the result.
Borussia Dortmund returned to winning ways against Gladbach to get their title tilt in the 2019/20 campaign back on track, but the 1-0 scoreline did little justice to the full tale of the tape in Dortmund. Jadon Sancho's suspension was the main pre-match talking point, but the hot topic soon shifted to VAR as Thorgan Hazard had a goal ruled out for offside just past the half hour mark with replays showing that Marco Reus infringed by a fraction.
However, the two former Gladbach players combined to great effect in the 58th minute when Reus opened the scoring by poking Hazard's through ball beyond the onrushing Yann Sommer to move onto 121 goals in the Bundesliga. "The most important thing tonight is that we won," Reus told Sky Sports Germany after the game. "You could see that this game could quite easily have gone either way."
BVB's captain was again involved when VAR chalked off a second Dortmund goal late on after he was ajudged to blocked Sommer's line of sight when Brandt struck with a first-time effort. Gladbach mounted the pressure in the closing stages, but while they weren't able to punish their hosts for not putting the game beyond reach, they did retain top spot in the Bundesliga - for the time being at least.
"We put in a solid performance and created chances to go ahead," said Gladbach head coach Marco Rose. "But then there were phases when Dortmund had a grip on us. We fought back well, but couldn't reward ourselves."
+++++As it happened+++++
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
FULL TIME! Borussia Dortmund pick up their first Bundesliga win in over a month to close the gap on league leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach and move level on points with Bayern Munich. The hosts had two goals correctly chalked off for offside, but rode their luck in the closing stages as Reus' goal proves the difference against his former club.
95' - Hazard makes way for Piszczek. Dortmund taking as much time off the clock as possible.
93' - Gladbach head coach Marco Rose picks up a yellow card for remonstrating on the sidelines.
92' - Dortmund are suring things up as Zagadou replaces Brandt.
90' - SIX minutes of injury time are added on.
88' - WHAT A CHANCE! Dortmund are lviing very dangerously as Lainer's cross draws a hevay touch from Witsel inside his own area. Neuhaus is onto it in a flash in the six-yard box, but Hitz somehow gets a foot to the ball.
86' - SIDE NETTING! The angle was always against Zakaria.
83' - GOAL RULED OUT! For the second time this evening, Dortmund have a goal ruled out for offisde, again it was Reus and again it was the right call as he was blocking Sommer's view as Brandt's first-time effort buldged the net.
80' - CHANCE! Kramer fires wide from a carbon copy of his chance from a few minutes ago. Dortmund are inviting a lot of pressure as we enter the final 10 minutes of normal time.
78' - A lovely sight to see as Gladbach captain Lars Stindl comes off the bench for the time since fracturing his tibia back in April.
75' - CHANCE! Dortmund have taken their foot of the pedal and Gladbach are starting to carve out more chances as Kramer fires wide on the volley from the edge of the area. Kramer has a history of scoring in this fixture... for both sides.
73' - WHAT A CHANCE! Thuram breaks to the byline and picks out Herrmann with a square ball, but the shot goes wide under pressure from Hummels. Replays suggest Gladbach had a strong claim for a penalty.
71' - Marwin Hitz is took his merry old time to enter the fray, but four minutes after play was stopped, he's taken his place between the sticks.
69' - Bad news for Dortmund as Roman Bürki has picked up an injury after landing awkwardly in his attempts to clear a corner and can't continue. The Swiss keeper has been in great form tonight and is replaced by Marwin Hitz.
67' - A word of warning for Dortmund as they have taken the lead in their last three Bundesliga games and each of those encounters has ended in a 2-2 draw.
64' - Reus isn't the only former Foal shining tonight. Hazard has been incredible for Dortmund and of their 17 shots on goal, he's had a hand in 12 of them. The Belgian has had four shots on goal himself and set up a further eight chances including the one that led to the opener.
61' - Reus' ninth goal against his former side moves him onto 121 goals in the Bundesliga, level in 30th place on the all-time scorers list with Lothar Matthäus, Herbert Laumen and Miroslav Klose.
58' - GOAL! Dortmund 1-0 Gladbach (Reus)
No offside this time! Hazard finds space inside the Gladbach half with the visitors committed forward and slides a lovely pass through to Reus, who pokes the ball past the onrushing Sommer. It had been coming.
55' - FYI the goal wouldn't have stood because Reus was offside (again!) in the build-up.
54' - WHAT A TACKLE! Dortmund pass their way through Gladbach's backline, but just when Brandt was ready to pull the trigger, Zakaria makes a lunge that sends the effort into the side-netting.
52' - CHANCE! This time it's Hakimi's turn to produce a tame effort that is comfortably collected by Sommer.
50' - CHANCE! The ball falls kindly for Brandt inside the Gladbach box, but he skies his effort over the bar.
Snapshot from the Signal Iduna Park
48' - More chaos from a corner this time in the Dortmund box. Bürki's attempted punch was unconvincing and with the ball loose, there's a high foot from Akanji in a challenge with Jantschke. Referee Sascha Stegemann waves away the Gladbach protests.
SECOND HALF! No goals in the first half and no changes at half-time, but plenty of action to come. What will the Battle of the Borussias conjour up after the break?
HALF TIME VERDICT: A fascinating first half comes to the end and, while we don't have any goals to talk about, there will be plenty for Rose and Favre to analyse. Hazard's goal was correctly ruled out for offside and while it wasn't the only chance the hosts had to take the lead, they also had Bürki to thank for keeping the scores level.
45' - Brandt chances his arm from the edge of the box, but drags his effort wide.
45' - Dortmund almost catch Gladbach cold with a short corner which is played into Reus, whose first time effort is blocked. So too is Witsel's follow up effort.
41' - Bürki vs. Embolo is chaping up as quite a clash of the Swiss internationals. A risky backpass from Akanji plays Dortmund into the trouble, but when Embolo tries to take the ball around the BVB No. 1, his compatriot again sticks out a foot in the nick of time to clear the danger on the edge of his own box.
40' - The strikers are struggling in Dortmund. Only Mats Hummels has had more than one shot on goal this evening.
37' - With everyone recovering from the offside call, the game has hit a lull. Unsurprisingly, the decision didn't get a great reaction inside the Signal Iduna Park.
33' - GOAL RULED OUT! Dortmund thought they had taken the lead through after Hazard's deflected shot beats Sommer, but it turns out Reus was offside in the build-up. It was by an absolute hair, but the VAR has made the right decision.
32' - WHAT A SAVE! Hummels beats Elvedi in the air from a corner, but with the ball floating towards the top corner, Sommer some how manages to tip
29' - A lovely ball over the top breaks the offside trap for Gladbach as Embolo races clear. The Swiss striker tries to take it around Bürki who gets an important toe to the ball to prevent conceding a penalty.
27' -DW's Matt Ford is in Dortmund tonight...
26' - WHAT A CHANCE! Gladbach will be wondering how they didn't take the lead. A dangerous delivery from the left picks out an unmarked Lainer at the back post only for the right-back to be denied from close range by Bürki.
24' - Marco Reus has had a hand in 13 goals (8 scored, 5 assists) in 11 Bundesliga games against Gladbach since re-joining Dortmund, including a goal in each of the last four encounters. He's been kept relatively quiet so far though.
21' - Both sides have had three shots on goal each with only Brandt hitting the target so far. Dortmund are getting stuck in though, winning 61 per cent of challenges so far.
18' - Interestingly, it seems as though Brandt has been preferred as the lone striker being flanked by former Gladbach players Reus and Hazard. The last time Brandt played in that role was in April 2018 in Leverkusen's 4-1 win against Frankfurt.
15' -The most confusing thing about this game so far is that I cannot for the life of me work out what position Achraf Hakimi is playing.
12' - CHANCE! The hosts carve out a chance to hit Gladbach on the counter, but after a lovely reverse pass from Reus, Brandt can't beat Sommer with his effort across goal.
10' - After a pacey start to proceedings, the game has settled into a rhythm of Gladbach enjoying the lion's share of possession, while Dortmund are looking to break at speed when they win the ball back.
7' - From the corner, taken short, a cross finds Delaney, but his header into the ground loops up and over the bar.
6' - CHANCE! Down at the other end Reus, Brandt and Hazard combine well with the Belgian seeing his shot blocked behind for a corner. The openign exchanges suggest he's intent on scoring against his former side.
5' - CHANCE! Gladbach wreak havoc in the Dortmund box from a Benes corner and, when the ball is put back in the mix, Jantschke's header from six yards is blocked by Reus.
2' - Dortmund are definitely playing with a three-man backline with Weigl dropping in between Akanji and Hummels, who tangles legs with Thuram inside the area. No penalty given.
KICK OFF! - We're underway at the Signal Iduna Park. Who will claim bragging rights in the Battle of the Borussias?
As things stand...
...Gladbach will stay top of the table providing they don't lose by more than a three-goal margin at the Signal Iduna Park. Meanwhile, Dortmund could climb from 9th above Bayern in third, but to do so they'll have to beat tonight's visitors by at least four goals. A win for BVB though would open the door for arch-rivals Schalke to go top against Hoffenheim tomorrow!
Sporting director Michael Zorc on the decision to drop Jadon Sancho: "Jadon is a decent and good guy, but still very young. He's grown up real quick and is testing out the boundaries. We have to set them here. We didn't make this decision lightly, but we didn't feel there was an alternative."
Under pressure, dum, dum, dum, du-du-dum dum
Rose's counterpart Lucien Favre has got everyone guessing with his starting line-up this evening. 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 is the big debate with reports in Germany suggesting that the Swiss head coach went back to the drawing board during the international break. Favre was under pressure coming into tonight's game, but will his approach help alleviate it against Gladbach?
Marco Rose's pre-match thoughts
Gladbach head coach Marco Rose to Sky Sports Germany: "We want to create chances and not just have possession to make the stat sheets look better. Our aim is to play at goal and carve out opportunities to hurt our opponents. We're still smoothing out some of the edges. Before the international break, everything was moving quickly. We knew we weren't playing our best football, but we were getting results. Today we want to prove that we're an ambitious side."
Dortmund are without Sancho (suspended by the club), Alcacer (muscle problems) and Götze (flu). Lars Stindl returns to selection and is on the bench for Gladbach.
Dortmund XI: Bürki - Hummels, Weigl, Akanji - Schulz, Delaney, Witsel, Hakimi - Brandt, Reus, Hazard
Gladbach XI: Sommer - Wendt, Jantschke, Elvedi, Lainer - Kramer - Benes, Zakaria - Embolo - Plea, Thuram
'We have created a special atmosphere'
Patrick Herrmann is Gladbach's longest-serving player and has been talking to DW about his expectations coming into the 'Battle of the Borussias'.
"BVB are always hard to play against, especially in Dortmund. They are one of the best teams in Germany, and it will be extremely difficult. I can recall games that we narrowly won there, but we've also had our backsides handed to us. They have tremendous qualities, but of course, we will try to take something from that game."
'We're joking about it'
Few would have expected Gladbach to be sitting at the top of the table and even the players have been taken aback. "When we're being addressed as league leaders, we end up joking about it - anyone talking of us a title winners are crazy," Christoph Kramer told the Rheinische Post.
Dortmund's home comforts
BVB have won their last eight matches against Gladbach - their longest active winning streak against any club. At home, last year's runners-up have won 12 of the last 13 encounters, including each of the last five.
Gladbach's success story
Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl: "We've only played seven games so far, but nevertheless, we're happy to revel in the moment as we sit top of the table."
Possible team news
Here's how the teams could line-up...
Dortmund: Bürki – Hakimi, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro – Witsel, Delaney – Hazard, Reus (c), Brandt – Götze
Gladbach: Sommer – Jantschke, Elvedi, Bensebaini, Wendt – Benes, Kramer, Zakaria – Herrmann – Thuram, Plea
The big news out of Dortmund's camp is that head coach Lucien Favre has suspended Jadon Sancho after BVB's star winger made a late return from international duty with England and has been struck from the matchday squad for the Battle of the Borussias. It's not the first time the 19-year-old has been disciplined for tardiness by the club and Favre's words from his press conference now hold a little weight: "Jadon is a great player, no discussions, but he still has a lot to learn."
Battle of the Borussias!
Hello and welcome one and all to DW's live coverage of Saturday's Bundesliga Topspiel between last season's runners-up Borussia Dortmund and current league leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach. From Lucien Favre and Marco Reus facing their former side to Gladbach's desire to hold onto the Bundesliga's top spot, there are plenty of pre-match narratives to whet the appetite for today's curtain closer.