Dortmund were staring at a German Cup exit and third straight game without a goal. But Julian Brandt chose the ideal moment to announce himself in black and yellow, rescuing his team, and possibly coach, in the process.
Borussia Dortmund 2 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach, Westfalenstadion
(Thuram 71' - Brandt 77', 80')
Borussia Mönchengladbach will be wondering how this one got away. Having kept a depleted Dortmund at bay for 71 minutes, Marcus Thuram’s thumping header had put the Foals on course for a big scalp in the German Cup. But they let it slip through their fingers. Lucien Favre could breathe a huge sigh of relief at full-time — but he had Julian Brandt to thank.
Gladbach‘s 1-0 defeat on the same patch of grass 11 days earlier had offered them hope in defeat ahead of their second bout. And given Dortmund’s rocky form, there was extra belief among Marco Rose’s group that the Bundesliga leaders could learn from their only defeat of the season and exact revenge in the cup.
While Dortmund’s defense wobbled, Gladbach looked the more composed in a game that offered up few clear cut chances. Eventually Gladbach got their noses in front courtesy of their in-form French striker Thuram, who escaped the attention of Dan-Axel Zagadou to power his header past Martin Hitz.
It wasn’t just in defense where Dortmund, who were without the sick Mats Hummels, endured a tough night. Edging closer to 300 minutes without a goal and Paco Alcacer still wrapped up on the bench, Dortmund looked low on confidence and short on invention.
One player who has epitomized that mood around the Westfalenstadion of late is Brandt. Since his eye-catching move from Bayer Leverkusen this year, the young Germany forward has struggled, looking increasingly like a misfit in a Dortmund side for whom victories haven’t come easy and who have offered performances a long way off the high standards set last season. In Alcacer and Marco Reus' absence, Brandt has been employed as a center forward of late, when Mario Götze is surely a better fit.
This could be the night Brandt’s Dortmund career took off. Finding space on the edge of the box, he quickly shifted the ball on to his left foot and saw a deflected shot deceive Yann Sommer in the Gladbach goal. Three minutes later, he’d turned the game on its head, leaping high to nod home a cross from Thorgan Hazard, another new recruit looking to make his mark, in front of the Südtribüne.
Favre jumped for joy as the goal went in but his celebrations were cut short when he pulled a hamstring. That left the Swiss coach grimacing throughout the final moments of the game, but Brandt’s belated arrival as a Dortmund player will surely make him smile. It couldn't have come at a more important time for Favre.
As it happened
FULL TIME: There was time for one last Thuram effort to be saved by Hitz but Dortmund are through.
90+3 - Hitz is out quickly to gather up a through ball. Seconds left now.
90+2 - Sancho should put this to bed as he drives in to the box largely unopposed, but he blasts it over. There soon follows some pushing and shoving between the two sides after Neuhaus treis to drag an 'injured' Zagadou off the pitch. Neuhaus is booked.
90+1 - Rose is sent off!
The Gladbach coach is shown the red card after protesting the award of a corner which, in his defense, quite clearly came off Brandt.
89' - Late chance for Gladbach!
Dortmund are still vulnerable. Makridis floats one over the top to Stindl. It's looping slowly to the veteran in space but his connection is poor. It looked like he thought he was offside but the flag stayed down.
87' - Götze slaloms in to the area and it briefly looks like it's opening up for him but he can't quite ride the last tackle. Gladbach bring on Makridis for Hofmann in a last throw of the dice.
85' - Dortmund counter rapidly through Brandt. He finds Sancho too his left and the teenager returns the favor but Brandt's touch is a little heavy and the chance is lost.
84' - Zakaria goes in to the book for a tactical foul on Hazard on the halfway line. Gladbach look a little shellshocked, as well they might. Can they find something here?
80' - GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 2 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
The substitute is involved as Dortmund turn it round in three short minutes. Götze receives the ball by the penalty spot and finds Hazard on his right. He stands up Wendt and floats one to the back post where Brandt hangs in the air before heading it home. Huge for BVB.
79' - Götze is now on for Schulz and will become the third man to play the lone striker role for BVB tonight.
77' - GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 1 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach (Brandt)
Sommer gets down to make a smart save from Sancho but Dortmund recycle possession on the right and Piszczek plays in Brandt. The forward cuts inside and hits it with his left foot. It's not a great connection but it takes two deflections and creeps inside Sommer's front post.
76' - Another Dortmund attack breaks down on the edge of the box. Still no substitution. BVB edging close to 300 minutes without a goal.
73' - Brandt dances through midfield and finds Hakimi. The substitute tries his luck from the edge of the box but it flies wide. Götze is taking off his tracksuit top but is it too little too late from Favre?
71' - GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 0 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach (Thuram)
Wendt has a little space on the left, looks up and whips in a lovely ball to the edge of the six yard box. Thuram is in miles of space in the most dangerous area of the pitch as the ball sails over Zagadou's head and the in form striker powers a header past Hitz.
69' - That corner is cleared behind by the first man, as is the second and the third is headed out. Some poor deliveries today. Then Schulz becomes the first name in the book for a late little nibble.
67' - Thuram bustles in between Dortmun's center backs but can't find the right ball. He had Wendt bursting free on his left but tried to find Lainer on the opposite side and pushed his teammate too far. But Gladbach win the corner.
63' - Bruun Larsen is replaced but it's by Hakimi, not Alcacer. Hakimi looks to be playing left wing and Hazard has moved up top.
62' - Hazard thinks he's got a chance just outside the box but Zakaria is there to snuff out the danger. He's been excellent again tonight.
60' - A little spell from Gladbach now. First Thuram slips Lainer down the right but his cross is deflected to safety. But Witsel loses possession instantly and the right back has another chance to cross, but this time hits Hitz. Seconds later they're off down the left and Thuram is inches away from connecting with a cross.
58' - Is it time for Favre to call on Alcacer. Dortmund have looked dangerous but lacking the killer touch, not just tonight but in their last couple of games. Bruun Larsen has hardly been in the game.
55' - Witsel finds space just outside the 'D' and lets flies. But he pulls it just wide.
54' - A foul from Stindl on Sancho gives Dortmund a freekick level with the edge of the box on the left hand side. Hazard curls it to the front post, Brandt sticks out a leg but can't quite reach it and it bounces through to Sommer.
52' - A Gladbach attack breaks down and Dortmund snap in to a counterattack led by Hazard through the middle. The Belgian shifts it left to Sancho but causes the winger to check his run slightly. He's still got time to get a curler off but it's easy enough for Sommer to cathc.
49' - Dortmund penning the Foals in a bit early on, as they did for stretches of the first half.
46' - Brandt skips away down the left, leaving his man for dead and drilling a cross back from the byline. It's head height for Weigl but a good 15 yards out and it's a simple enough save for Sommer. A good start from the hosts.
46' - Here we go again! Massive half coming up.
HALF TIME: A slow end to a fast half in which both sides had their moments. Hazard striking the bar for Dortmund and Gladbach's Thuram just failing to adjust to a big chance six yards out were the closest we've come but this doesn't feel like it'll finish goalless.
44' - The atmosphere in Dortmund is as good as you'd expect but it may not be the loudest stadium in Germany tonight...
41' - This is a very open contest now with both sides attacking with some pace and verve, but that Thuram chance was probably the best of the half.
38' - Big save!
You could argue it was a big miss from Thuram too. Gladbach burn down the right in their first attack and the ball is hammered across goal by Lainer. It's at a very awkward height, Akanji misses it and Thuram can only knock it too close to Hitz with his thigh and allow the Dortmund keeper to make a save.
34' - Sancho dances in from the left and tries to curl one in the far post but it's deflected behind. The first corner is cleared for another on the left and Sancho and Hazard work the second one short, but not very well. Gladbach under the pump a bit now.
30' - Hitz gets away with one
Dortmund have been threatening this. Weigl passes back to Hitz and the Dortmund keeper's touch is heavier than a fleet of lorries. Neuhaus is on to it and tries to turn it goalwards but Hitz just about makes up the ground to tip round the post while charging back towards goal. Before they take the corner, Gladbach are forced to remove the unforunate Bensebaini for Wendt.
29' - Hazard jinks around the edge of the box, falls over, regains his balance and pings one from 20 yards. It just clips the bar but Sommer looked to have it covered.
26' - Bensebaini is down briefly and holding his hamstring, doesn't look great for him. He's started the game really well, too.
24' - Hazard floats in from the right and assesses the options before pinging one across the pitch to Sancho. It's a tough angle for the Englishman and he screws it wide. Much better from Dortmund in the last 10 though, in an attacking sense anyway.
22' - Lovely stuff from Bensebaini down Gladbach's left. He lifts the ball form the ground over the head of Piszczek and whips a teasing low ball across goal. But there's not a white shirt close enough and Schulz hacks clear.
19' - A brilliant first time ball from Brandt finds Hazard's run behind the defense. This time it's Beyer that produces a goal saving tackle, sliding round to get a foot in. Dortmund turning up the heat.
17' - Schulz fins some space on the left and whips an absolute beauty low in the corridor between keeper and defenders. It looks to be heading for a Brandt tap in but Zakaria is there again to hook clear off a Dortmund head.
15' - Dortmund look shaky on the ball at the back and they get themselves in trouble again. Gladbach pounce but Stindl can't quite gather the through ball.
13' - Sancho, on the left now, exchanges passes with Hazard but Zakaria goes to ground and times his tackle brilliantly. Hazard's corner is cleared easily enough.
12' - Dortmund are having a lot of the ball but it's in their own half. Akanji and Zagadou are struggling to use it positively at the moment.
9' - The visitors seem to have dropped Zakaria back to form a back three and allow their dangerous wingbacks a bit more license to bomb on.
7' - Gladbach are pressing Dortmund very high and very fast, they sense there's a mistake in this backline. Favre talked about his side playing quick enough to beat the press and this is a big test of their ability to do that.
4' - Early chances
Sancho drives inside and slips a smart little ball to Bruun Larsen. The striker is through ten yards out on the right but shanks it high and wide. He's flagged offside but replays show he isn't. There's no VAR today either way. Then immediately, at the other end, Bensebaini whips a low cross all the way across the six yard box, Thuram is inches away from connecting.
2' - Gladbach not allowing their hosts any time on the ball at the back early on. They'll think if they start well, the crowd may turn nervy.
1' - We're off! The atmosphere is crackling and Bruun Larsen gets us going.
Werder Bremen, RB Leipzig book last 16 spots
Two more top flight sides are through and both in some style. RB Leipzig raced to a 6-1 win away at Wolfsburg with an own goal from Pervan and strikes from Sabitzer, Forsberg, Laimer and a Werner brace. The Wolves conceded more tonight thatn they have in the the enitre Bundesliga season so far. Bremen were also comfortable in a 4-1 win over Heidenheim, Rashica, Bittencourt, Klaasen and Friedl doing the damage there. The other two matches have gone to extra time.
Teams announced, no Reus or Hummels
That rumor about Hummels having a virus looks to have been true, with the center back nowhere to be seen, Bürki also doesn't appear to have recovered. As a result, Hitz is in nets again while Akanji and Zagadou look to be the central defensive pairing and Bruun Larsen may well be the latest man to have a run up top for Dortmund. Alcacer is fit enough for the bench though, as is Götze. But the big news is that there's no Marco Reus, not even among the substitutes. Dortmund say he has a "muscular strain".
For Gladbach, Stindl gets a start since April after recovering from a broken leg, but it seems unlikely he'll stay the course. Ginter is fit enough only for the bench and will take his place there alongside Herrmann, which is something of a surprise.
Goals galore in early kickoffs
Each of the four games that kicked off at 18:30 CEST have seen at least one goal. Werder Bremen look as good as through while RB Leipzig lead through a comedy own goal but have seen skipper Willi Orban limp off injured.
Hummels to miss out?
There are rumors that Dortmund center back Mats Hummels is suffering from a virus that's been doing the rounds in the BVB camp and won't be able to play tonight.That'd be a big loss for an already fragile defense if it's true.
Revenge on the cards?
These two met very recently in the league, with Dortmund winning 1-0 in a game where Gladbach felt they could easily have taken a point or more. BVB have kindly provided a recap for anyone who missed it. Can the visitors put one away tonight?
Who will lead the line for Dortmund?
That is the question for Lucien Favre. Paco Alcacer is back in training but not fit enough to play just yet, Mario Götze has a broken arm in his bone but should be fit to play some part and Julian Brandt, Marco Reus and Thorgan Hazard look various shades of uncomfortable as the attacking pivot. We'll find out when the teams are announced about 19:45 German time.
Wolves host Bulls in early games
Of course there are seven other fixtures tonight, with four of them due to kick off any minute. The pick of the early bunch sees Wolfsburg welcome RB Leipzig in a clash of the fourth and sixth-placed teams in the Bundesliga. Later on, there should be a spectacular atmosphere in the capital with a more than 30,000 Dynamo Dresden fans travelling to see their side take on Hertha. Why? Find out here.
Thuram the dangerman for Foals
Gladbach are missing plenty of players tonight, particularly in attacking areas, where they're without Alassane Plea, Raffael and Breel Embolo. But in Marcus Thuram, son of French World Cup winner Lilian, they have a man in red hot form. With Lars Stindl only fit enough for cameos though, the question of whether he'll have enough support remains.
Eberl: 'I want to get my hands on silverware'
"We want to put on another display, like we did two weeks ago - just with the difference that we score a goal this time," Gladbach Sporting Director Max Eberl told Sportbuzzer. "Statistically speaking, we can pose a greater threat to BVB in a single game than over the course of a season - the same goes for Bayern, Leipzig or Leverkusen. I have always said that I want to get my hands on silverware here. Of course the German Cup is the simplest way to do that. We're well aware that we're capable of beating Dortmund on a perfect night."
Reus' record vs. Gladbach
Tonight's visitors will be desperate to keep Reus quiet, but the former Gladbach star has a knack for coming up big against his old club having registered nine goals and five assists in 12 games against his former club. The 30-year-old has scored a goal in each of his last four German Cup appearances and could become the first BVB player to score in five straight since Henrikh Mkhitaryan in 2015/16.
The match-winning moment!
Relive Marco Reus' winner in the first 'Battle fo the Borussias' of 2019/20.
'I wouldn't rule out a title'
Former Borussia Mönchengladbach Bernd Krauss, who guided the club to their most recent piece of silverware with a German Cup win in 1995, believes a title is not out of reach for the Foals this season. "Given the team unity and the calm surrounding the club, I wouldn't rule it out," Krauss told Funke Mediengruppe. "If by the end of the season no one else has shown that they want to become German champions, no one is going to turn down the opportunity at Gladbach."
Record-breaking night in Dortmund?
With 81,365 tickets sold, tonight's 'Battle of the Borussias' is set to break the German Cup record for the highest attendance at a second-round fixture. The previous record was held by BVB when they hosted then Bundesliga 2 side Union Berlin at the same stage of Germany's sole cup competition back in October 2016.
1st Round recap: Dortmund
Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer scored either side of half-time in a comfortable 2-0 win for Bourussia Dortmund over KFC Uerdingen 05, following up on their win over Bayern in the Supercup. You have to go back to the 2010/11 campaign for the last time BVB were knocked out in the second round after a penalty shootout loss against Kickers Offenbach.
1st Round recap: Gladbach
Borussia Mönchengladbach edged out third-tier Sandhuasen in the opening round of the German Cup with summer signing Marcus Thuram scoring the only goal of the game in his competitive debut for the club. The Foals have been knocked out by Bundesliga opposition in each of their last five cup runs, including last season's 5-0 loss to Leverkusen in the second round.
Goal scoring issues for BVB
Two former Gladbach players combined to down the Foals with Thorgan Hazard playing in Marco Reus to score the only goal of the game between the two teams on Matchday 8. However, goals have been hard come by in the absence of star Spaniard Paco Alcacer and head coach Lucien Favre "needs others to find their range as the Foals come to town again", according to DW's Matt Pearson. Click here to read the full report.
Pre-match press conference: Lucien Favre
"We suffered as a result of Schalke's pressing, that says a lot. Lots of team like to press very aggressively, very high up the pitch. We've got to move the ball faster to avoid the opponent's press. We've got to start playing with one touch. That's not always possible, but that's where we've got to make progress."
Pre-match press conference: Marco Rose
"I don't like to talk about who the favourites are. In football, anything can happen. We are going to Dortmund to win the game and to progress into the next round of the German Cup. Of course, the Bundesliga game against them has helped in our preparation for the match. We lost 1-0 but we didn't play badly. In the match tomorrow we need to believe that we can win right up until the final whistle."
Dortmund: Hitz – Piszczek, Weigl, Hummels, Schulz – Witsel, Delaney – Sancho, Reus, Hazard – Brandt
Gladbach: Sommer (c) – Lainer, Beyer, Elvedi, Wendt – Kramer, Zakaria – Herrmann, Benes, Neuhaus – Thuram
'Battle of the Borussias'
Hello and welcome one and all to DW's live blog for the German Cup second round clash between Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach. The first rendition of the 'Battle of the Bourssias' in the 2019/20 campaign saw BVB clinch a narrow 1-0 win over their namesakes just 11 days ago. Tonight though, they're compete for a spot in Round of 16 and not three points.