Dortmund beats Monchengladbach 5-2: Key takeaways as Bundesliga title race intensifies

    Borussia Dortmund picked up another important Bundesliga win on Saturday at Signal Iduna Park as they aim to win their first Bundesliga title since 2012. This time Borussia Mönchengladba were on the winning side and the match ended 5-2.

    Donyell Malen was on hand to score the rebound from a Sebastian Haller shot in the fifth minute. Jude Bellingham added a second from a point in 18th after Florian Neuhaus was found guilty of causing Haller to fall in the box. Haller himself then took the lead and scored twice, both superb goals, on the 20th and 32nd. Rami Bensebini played the away ball from the 75th spot as referee Daniel Schlager decided Giovani Reina had knocked Gladbach’s left back. Lars Stindl scored a great goal for Gladbach from outside the box in the 85th, but the last goal of the game was scored by Reina in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Team USA took advantage of Gladbach goalkeeper Jakob Olszowski converting Rafael Guerreiro’s free kick from close range.

    Game of two halves

    It may be a trite expression, but this game definitely had two completely different halves. In the first one, only one team played.

    Spurred on by the traditionally noisy Westphalian atmosphere and driven by Haller’s brilliance, Dortmund utterly annihilated her guests, breaking through their ranks with unforgivable ease. Gladbach simply didn’t have an answer for anything, and with what may have been a quarter of the match, head coach Daniel Farke probably wanted the referee to blow the final whistle on the spot to spare his team any further embarrassment. Haller’s second goal and Dortmund’s fourth goal only increased the sense of desperation in the visitors’ dugout.

    It would be unfair not to mention how well some of the other black and yellow players played, namely Julian Brandt, Bellingham, Emre Can and Karim Adeyemi. It was a great collective performance that Gladbach couldn’t stop.

    But after the break, everything was expected differently. Farke added another defender by sending Kou Itakura in place of winger Hannes Wolf, and it proved to be the right move. The team immediately looked much more stable at the back, which finally limited the danger Olszowski had constantly faced before.

    Stindl’s appearance off the bench with 15 minutes left was another moment that helped make Gladbach look much better and the 34-year-old immediately created a great chance for fellow substitute Luka Netz before scoring a fantastic goal in less than 10. minutes later.

    If Netz had managed to miss this chance, the competition would probably have been incredibly exciting in the remaining time. But it turned out that everything was too late, and Gladbach’s efforts weakened in the last minutes.

    Farke’s failed experiment

    A manager should never experiment when facing a strong side, and Farke is likely to come under fire for his decision to start with Nathan Ngumou, a winger by profession, as the furthest forward in attack. Whether his plan was to bet on counter-attacks and use a player whose main quality is speed, or simply to surprise Borussia Dortmund boss Edin Terzic, one thing is for sure – it didn’t work.

    Gladbach almost did not see the opponent’s penalty area either in the first half or in the next 30 minutes. It might have worked if Stindl had started, but with Neuhaus increasingly frustrated and Wolf completely sidelined, there was no one to make useful passes to Ngumou and it was too easy for Dortmund to focus on his own attacking plans. and repeatedly create problems to protect guests. Ngumu was completely unable to play against the likes of Mats Hummels and Niklas Sule.

    The former Norwich City manager will likely think twice before trying to do something like this again.

    The race is on

    Bayern Munich had beaten Schalke 6-0 earlier in a win that put Dortmund back one point behind the defending champions. Goal difference is definitely on Bayern’s side, so Dortmund should hope their great rivals miss one of their remaining two matches and they win both of theirs.

    The game in which this could happen will be next for Bayern: Leipzig will come to the Allianz Arena next week, and on the last match day, Thomas Tuchel’s team will travel to 10th-placed Cologne.

    Meanwhile, Dortmund first play Augsburg away and then the last game at home against Mainz.

    At the current state of affairs, Bayern remain favorites, but Borussia need to make sure they keep the pressure on just in case.

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