Bundesliga: Erling Haaland helps Borussia Dortmund to opening-day win | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 19.09.2020
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Bundesliga: Erling Haaland helps Borussia Dortmund to opening-day win

In a thrilling game, Dortmund eventually pulled clear after a strong second half from their star striker Erling Haaland. Gladbach were in the game, but could not stop Jadon Sancho and Dortmund's number nine.

Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Gladbach
(Reyna 35', Haaland pen. 54', 78')

In front of 9,300 fans in the Signal Iduna Park, Borussia Dortmund won a tight game after a strong second-half performance. Gio Reyna scored his first Bundesliga goal in an even first 45 minutes. In the second, Dortmund pulled away after Erling Haaland converted a penalty and then finished off a stunning counterattack.

Re-live the action in our live blog below:

Marco Rose also spoke afterwards and when asked about Dortmund's penalty decision he said that if contact was there then there was also contact on Marcus Thuram. A little frustrated but felt his side played on the same level for both halves, but lacked drive in the box and missed a bit of quality in a few decisive moments.

Mats Hummels was full of praise for this group afterwards but said it was just one matchday. On Haaland's second he said: "I have to say, the way Jadon Sancho played that last pass was on point. That is a huge quality of his."

90' FULL TIME

87' Dortmund are playing this out wisely. Gladbach know it's over. What a start from Dortmund here in what has been a fantastic game and perhaps a better advert for the Bundesliga than last night.

83' Not sure there's a way to comeback after that. A sensational piece of counterattacking football right there. Gladbach try to build off some possession in Dortmund's half but they're running out of time to be patient.

78' GOAL! 3-0 Dortmund (Haaland) From the corner, Sancho gets it and propels forward. Haaland goes even faster, overtakes him and Sancho applies the perfect touch on the pass for Haaland to power home. Haaland looked like Bolt there, what pace. Special goal. Sancho and Reyna come off, Reus and Brandt come on.

77' Can makes a crunching tackle on Herrmann. Corner to Gladbach. Rose wants his team to get on with it. They do, but then Dortmund break with Sancho...

72' Bensebaini fires in a low cross and those are the kind you have to get on the end of if you're going to get back into the game with less than 20 minutes left.

70' Marco Rose has a cunning plan and he has written it down. Patrick Herrmann reads it and then chucks it onto the grass as he replaces Oscar Wendt. Is this the start of a comeback? Herrmann gets to a cross but it's blocked enough for Bürki to collect easily.

67' Bellingham makes way to suitable applause. A very decent start. Thomas Delaney comes on.

65' There are 9,300 fans in the stadium today. Pretty remarkable that that is even possible. DW's Felix Tamsut recently wrote about how the decision is not without risk though. Worth the read. Gladbach trying to summon something here but Dortmund look comfortable now. Amazing what a two-goal lead can do.

61' Hummels doesn't get the ball but gets a light clip on Thuram. Brych has the VAR in his ear but no penalty given. Fairly swift decision. Seen them given...

61' Hummels making a crunching tackle on Thuram to remind him of the kind of game has entered. Gladbach desperate to take more risks, which means more space at the back. Game is wide open, again.

57' Rose makes his move, as he must. Stindl and Wolf off, Plea and Thuram on.

56' CHANCE! Reyna is slipped in for the third but it's saved and he's offside anyway. Game has really gone to another level - and it was already pretty good!

54' GOAL! 2-0 Dortmund (Haaland) Sancho wants the penalty, but Erling Haaland stands his ground and Sancho relents. The Norwegian converts, sending Sommer the wrong way.

52' PENALTY TO DORTMUND! On second viewing, it's the second leg of Bensebaini that proves decisive. Brych says penalty.

51' CHANCE! Dortmund break again. Reyna surges down the left, doesn't pass, drives into the box and looks to go for goal but Bensebaini slides in. Favre motions for the TV and not long after Brych gets the call. There is contact and he doesn't touch the ball but Reyna falls a little after it. Tricky one. I think he might give it. Brych goes over to take a look...

49' CHANCE! A lovely attack to start the second half. The tempo is high straight away. Can gets the ball on the overlap, drills the ball into the box, it's cleared before Haaland and co can bounce. Passlack gets to it but fires wide when a cross back in looked the better option. Set up nicely for a thrilling second half here.

46' Dortmund get us restarted. No changes.

Halftime

Who wanted halftime in this one? A thrilling game that started to heat up in the last 10 minutes of the first half. It probably deserves to be level, but Jude Bellingham and Gio Reyna combined for a glorious first goal and that's the difference.

43' CHANCES! Gladbach looking to get back into this one quickly. Lainer lets rip from outside the box after finding a bit of space but Bürki palms it over. Dortmund just about deal with the following corner and break but Hummels gets the cross all wrong with Haaland begging for it at the back post.

40' CHANCE! Can curls a beauty of a cross into the box and the on-rushing Sancho flicks a header goalwards. It hits the top of the corner of the goal frame. What a header that would have been.

39' Tension mounting in this one. Bellingham tackle on Bensebaini sees Dr. Felix Brych blow the foul against the Englishman. He claims he didn't hear the whistle. Favre explodes on the sideline, as does Rose. All happening. A minute later, Stindl gets booked for a late tackle on Witsel.

35' GOAL! 1-0 Dortmund (Reyna) What do you need to break the deadlock? A pair of 17 year olds! Reyna surges into the box, his pass is deflected into Bellingham's path who keeps his head and his feet to spot Reyna running through and with the angle closing the American slides it into the far corner. His first Bundesliga goal and the first of the game.

35' Just been told Gladbach are winning 72 percent of their challenges. Looks like it too. Why didn't this game open the season?

30' CHANCE! Gladbach suddenly enjoying a decent spell of possession and Dortmund are defending deep and quite frankly, look a little under pressure. Gladbach staying patient and are nearly rewarded too but Bürki makes a good double save to keep out Hofmann and then Neuhaus. Intense, smart, nicely poised - this is a good game.

26' Dortmund working hard to win the ball high up the pitch. Hasn't worked that much so far, and when it doesn't the clever foul is needed. Witsel stops Neuhaus in the latest example. Gladbach are doing something similar but with equally limited results. Still sparring these two.

22' CHANCE! Haaland bullies Elvedi off the ball with sheer strength but his shot is deflected wide.

21' Bensebaini is fortunate to escape a booking after a late tackle on Reyna. Sancho floats the ball in but Haaland's header is easy for Sommer.

20' Passlack does come on, but first Gladbach try to make the most of the one-man advantage and press high and hard but with no luck. When Gladbach do get into a dangerous spot, Passlack makes the block. That'll feel good. Straight into the game and a positive piece of play under the belt.

15' Break in the play. Thorgan Hazard just pulled up. He will have to come off. The Belgian was just defending inside his own box and grabbed his right hamstring. Surely too early for Marco Reus. Felix Passlack, once a highly touted wingback, is the most likely option.

13' Bellingham is dropping quite deep to collect the ball. He's desperate to get involved and given that he's making his Bundesliga debut that's not really a surprise. Akanji is booked. Right call. Was late on Stindl. That's 67 minutes to be careful now for the Swiss.

10' Sancho involved again, but this time Gladbach defend well. The more you watch him the more apparent it becomes that it would be huge for Dortmund if he stays. Meunier drills a cross and is this Bellingham's moment? No. His first touch lets him down but there are shouts for a handball. Play goes on. Think the moment for VAR has passed.

8' Dortmund get it going down the left. Sancho feeds Reyna but his cross is wayward. Haaland was waiting to pounce there.

6' The sound of chants and applause are back in this magnificent stadium. Heard before the game that Dortmund's stadium announcer Nobby Dickel asked the 10,000 fans in attendance to make enough noise for the 80,000 that are normally there. So far, so good you know. Dortmund try to get Haaland involved with a long ball early but it's just beyond him. Akanji shuts down a Gladbach attack with a strong sliding tackle. Good early probing from both sides.

1' Gladbach, in toothpaste green, get us started.

Reus obviously on the bench

Lucien Favre said before the game that it is no surprise that Marco Reus isn't starting because he hasn't played in six months. "Totally normal, but we won't forget him," Favre said with a smile.

The new new normal

Fans are back in the Signal Iduna Park.

Zorc stays calm

"Bayern Munich are the best team in Europe and therefore in the world which makes it difficult to finish above them in the table. That doesn't mean we're not ambitious," Zorc tells Sky beforehand.

He's not wrong, is he?

Rose and the ox

Marco Rose has been speaking to Sky before the game tonight. Doesn't want to talk about where they'll finish. 

"We want to frustrate the big teams, maybe be a bit bigger ourselves at some point, maybe even be bigger than we actually are sometimes," Rose said beforehand. He added he wants to get something from a game against Dortmund but he knows to do that they need to be as strong as an ox. Quite strong that.

Return of the fans

The new new normal is here. Around 10,000 fans will be present in Dortmund this afternoon - the most in all stadiums in Germany this afternoon.

Team news

No Marco Reus for Dortmund, he's on the bench. Lukasz Piszczek misses out due to back problems. It's the same team that beat Duisburg in the German Cup.

Gladbach start Hannes Wolf, on loan from RB Leipzig. Thuram and Plea are on the bench.

Borussia Dortmund XI: Bürki - Can, Hummels, Akanji - Reyna, Bellingham, Witsel, Meunier - Hazard, Haaland, Sancho

Gladbach XI: Sommer - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini - Kramer, Neuhaus - Wendt, Wolf, Hofmann - Stindl

Teams!

Borussia Dortmund have arrived for this evening's game. Team news expected shortly.

Read more: How can Borussia Dortmund win the Bundesliga

Fun fact

Dortmund have won their last ten Bundesliga matches against the other Borussia, which is BVB's longest current winning run against any opponent. It began on Matchday 1 of 2015/16 with a 4-0 home victory.

Pre-match spotlight: Jadon Sancho

Having rebuffed the advances of Manchester United throughout the summer, Dortmiund have retained Jadon Sancho's services for the 2020-21 campaign. Sancho had a hand in 34 Bundesliga goals last season (17 goals, 17 assists) – something the likes of Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang never achieved.

Fun fact:

Scoring at a clip of a goal every 82 minutes in Germany's top flight, Erling Haaland looks set to give Robert Lewandowski a run for his money to be Bundesliga top scorer in 2020-21. He did, however, draw a blank against Gladbach when these sides met in March.

Pre-match spotlight: Marcus Thuram

Gladbach's frontline has been hard hit by injury coming into the new season and, with Alassane Plea and Breel Embolo out injured, Thuram is Gladbach's last hope. The Frenchman, who netted 10 goals in his debut season, made his return from an ankle operation in the German Cup 1st Round.

Fun fact

While Lucien Favre boasts the best points-per-game record of any Dortmund head coach with 145 points from his 68 games in charge, his counterpart Marco Rose has the best win rate in Gladbach history after his debut season saw the Foals win 59 per cent of league games.

From the coaches' mouth: Lucien Favre

"Everyone is looking forward to the return of the fans. We want to give our best and have a very, very good season. We can play several different systems and will continue training to make sure we have two or three solutions to every situation. "

From the coaches' mouth: Marco Rose

"We're excited to see 10,000 fans in the stands on Saturday. We go to Dortmund full of confidence and want to get a result. Personnel-wise, we're not in the best position, but the team already showed at the back end of last season that we're capable of dealing with that."

Fun fact

Do Dortmund have that winning gene? In the 2019/20 campaign BVB dropped points against Union Berlin, Mainz and relegated Paderborn. The season before that it was results against Düsseldorf, Augsburg and the relegated duo of Hannover 96 and Nürnberg, which proved costly.

Possible line-up: Borussia Dortmund

Bürki - Can, Hummels, Akanji - Meunier, Bellingham, Witsel, Hazard - Sancho, Reyna - Haaland

Possible line-up: Borussia Mönchengladbach

Sommer - Lainer, Elvedi, Ginter, Wendt - Kramer, Neuhaus - Wolf, Hofmann, Thuram - Stindl