In the first of three games on the final day of Matchday 27, Borussia Dortmund narrowly edged out Hannover thanks to more brilliance from Michy Batshuayi. Dortmund end a disappointing week on a high.
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Hannover 96
Michy Batshuayi's sixth goal in his seventh Bundesliga game was enough for Borussia Dortmund to get a win that keeps them within one point of second-placed Schalke. Hannover fell to their fouth consecutive loss.
In a tight and tense affair that Dortmund should have decided earlier, Hannover will have felt two points were dropped.
After Batshuayi hit the post inside the opening minute, the striker on loan from Chelsea scored a special goal at the near post from an Andre Schürrle corner. Beating the Hannover defense, Batshuayi flicked the ball into the net with the outside of his boot to the delight of the home crowd.
Roman Bürki made a handful of decent saves to keep Hannover's attempts at bay, and after the impressive Mahmoud Dahoud fired wide, Batshuayi missed the chance to add a second. Hannover had a goal disallowed for offside, Maximilian Philipp hit the post and the game was over.
As it happened:
Despite Tschauner coming up for a couple of late Hannover free-kicks Andre Breitenreiter's team can't find a late equalizer - which probably wouldn't have been undeserved on the balance of play. But as it is, the team from Lower Saxony have now lost four games in a row and drop to 13th ... only seven points clear of the relegation zone.
90' Götze cuts back and Tschauner spills it! Batshuayi is quickly on the scene but the Hannover keeper does well to recover and block the shot. Dortmund have had a couple of huge chances to make it two or three in the last few minutes but it looks like they'll settle for a 1-0 ...
89' POST! Batshuayi brings down a long ball and plays in the overlapping Maximilian Philipp whose shot across goal comes back off the post!
85' Dortmund relieve the pressure somewhat as Batshuayi heads Schürrle's cross straight at Tschauner.
81' Disallowed goal for Hannover! The resulting free-kick is cleared and the follow-up finds Jonathas who nods down to Korb but his finish is cancelled out because Jonathan was offside. Correct decision - but the longer Dortmund fail to build on their lead, the more they are vulnerable at the other end.
79' Akanji prevents a Hannover breakaway with a late challenge on Sarenren Bazee - yellow card.
79' Second change for Hannover. Breitenreiter brings on Fossum for Sorg.
77' Good combination play from Götze and Weigl on the right wing but the latter's cross finds nobody in the middle!
76' Dahoud sends another long-range shot at goal but this one flies well over. But once again, the former Gladbach man has been one of Dortmund's most creative players.
74' The new man Sarenren Bazee is involved straight away as Klaus finds him in space in the Dortmund box, but he can't bring the ball under control.
72' First change for Hannover as Sarenren Bazee replaces Füllkrug.
70' Close for Dortmund! Götze controls the ball in the box, Batshuayi takes over and lays off to Dahoud who shoots just wide from the edge of the box. Tschauner wouldn't have got to that!
67' Schürrle and Batshuayi attempt a one-two but the Belgian's back-heel ends up slightly behind Schürrle who ends up fouling his marker and Hannover are awarded a free-kick. That was the first time BVB had got out of their own half in a while ...
65' Another Ostrzolek cross finds Bakalorz in space near the penalty spot but the midfielder directs his volley straight at Bürki. It was a difficult one to control.
64' After a series of Ostrzolek crosses are cleared, Korb shoots over for Hannover. The visitors are quicker to the second balls at the moment. Julian Weigl has replaced Gonzalo Castro as Peter Stöger makes his second change of the game.
59' Klaus accelerates into the Dortmund box leaving two defenders in his wake, but his cut-back is cleared for a Hannover corner. The guests sense an opportunity here, especially while it remains only 1-0 ...
56' An almost identical situation for Hannover as Jonathas heads Krob's cross wide - but the Brazilian was just offside.
55' Christian Pulisic crosses from the right wing and Batshuayi glances his header wide.
49' Positive start to the second half from Dortmund. Dahoud's shot is deflected wide for a corner - although it looked like it came off a BVB player ... either way, Schürrle's corner is poor.
46' SECOND HALF
We're back underway in the second half. Omer Toprak can't continue for Dortmund after all and is replaced by Sokratis. Hannover remain unchanged.
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Hannover 96
Michy Batshuayi beats Matthias Ostrzolek to the ball. Dortmund lead at the break thanks to his clever front-post flick.
43' Omer Toprak has pulled up with an injury after playing an innocuous-looking pass. He's treated on the sidelines and is fit to continue.
40' What a save from Roman Bürki! After Füllkrug's driving run through the middle, Ostrzolek crosses to Schwegler but Bürki saves his well-struck volely with his legs. The Swiss stopper kept BVB in the game in Salzburg in the week and has continued his good form here.
35' - Should be two! Great work by Schürrle, Castro's shot comes to Batshuayi who diverts it goalwards but it's easy for Tschauner. The rebound comes back to the Belgian but his header is tame. Fancied him, of all people, to score there.
30' - Schürrle nearly gets to a long ball to add a second, but it's just beyond him. Dortmund in control. Can they kill off the contest now though? Another question that has haunted them this campaign.
24' - GOAL! 1-0 Borussia Dortmund (Batshuayi) What a finish from the Belgian. He attacks the next corner at the near post and guides it home with the outside of his boot. Wow. Amazing technique. Deserved goal for the hosts.
23' - Pulisic flicks the ball through a Hannover defender's legs, a cross is whipped in to the back post and Hannover clear for a corner. Schürrle nearly scores directly from it too! Blimey. Tschauner claws it out.
19' - It feels like Dortmund are winning, but how many times have we said that this season? Things have settled down a bit since that early excitement. Both sides wrestling to get control. At least the sun is still shining eh?
14' - Good game this one. Götze playing well, and nearly creates another Dortmund chance. Hannover then flirt with the edge of the box at the other end. You might say it's end-to-end.
10' - Schürrle's turn to fire over in the box. Then Jonathas heads wide at the other end as Hannover try to make the most of a counterattack. Think that will be their plan in this one.
7' - Hannover are under pressure here. Mario Götze dances in the box, sets up Gonzalo Castro for the drive. Deflected out for a corner. Dealt with.
1' - Dortmund mean business. A neat ball from Andre Schürrle slips in Michy Batshuayi, who curls a low shot first time around the keeper but it hits the post and is cleared. So nearly a goal after just 43 seconds - what a start that would have been!
1' - We are underway in the Dortmund sunshine.
-- Lots of talk pre game about Peter Stöger's future. BVB's sporting director Michael Zorc says the club don't have to be unsettled by what has happened of late. The key is to finish the season successfully. A very important summer for the club lies ahead.
-- Quite the week for Borussia Dortmund. Knocked out of Europe, pressure to perform and now a Sunday game at 13:30 CET. Perhaps concerningly, Marco Reus misses out due to muscle problems. Mario Götze stays in the team. Hannover opt for two strikers, in perhaps a bold move away at Dortmund. Kick off is fast approaching.
BVB XI: Bürki - Schmelzer, Akanji, Toprak, Piszczek - Dahoud, Castro - Schürrle, Götze, Pulisic - Batshuayi
Hannover 96: Tschauner - Ostrzolek, Sane, Anton, Korb - Bakalorz, Schwegler - Klaus, Sorg - Füllkrug, Jonathas