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Match Report: BVB take back third place from Hoffenheim

With a little help from the referee

Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Second Leg Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund took on TSG Hoffenheim in the battle for third place and to avoid a playoff round for the Champions League. It was close but Reus & Co. were able to get the win and climb back to third.

A very bad referee

The Champions League participation was on the line today and you could see it from the very first minute. It was a nervous start that was made worse by an insecure referee, throughout the first half the game was marred by fouls every few seconds and therefore lacked fluidity and did not allow two of the best teams in the Bundesliga to show their actual footballing skills.

Nevertheless Dortmund got the early lead when "Mr. 1-0" did it again and scored the crucial opener. The goal however should not have counted, Marco Reus was offside when he got the ball from Gonzalo Castro. Hoffenheim's players protested vehemently and Dr. Felix Brych deliberated with his assisted for a few seconds but it was to no avail, Dortmund had the lead.

That lead should've been doubled in the 14th minute when the black and yellows were awarded a rather questionable penalty. Reus touched the ball with his arm to control the ball on the left side which was not called by the referee and just seconds later Reus' cross was deflected by Kaderabek's arm which led to penalty for Dortmund. Instead of Marco Reus, who converted a penalty against Gladbach a few weeks ago, it was Aubameyang who took the responsibility and failed. PEA missed the goal entirely and has now missed 3 of his last 4. Dortmund could've decided the game then and there.

A narrow lead

Instead of a comfortable lead, BVB had to fight in the second half to keep the three points in Dortmund. Hoffenheim had possession for most of the second half while Dortmunf tried to hit them on the counter with the pacy trio of Reus, Auba and Dembélé. Neither tactic really worked, Hoffenheim found no way through the Dortmund defense and Tuchel's men lacked the needed precision on their counter attacks.

The game appeared to be over when one of those BVB-counters ended with the 2-0. Lukasz Piszczek had acres of space on the right flank and played a great cross into the box, Guerreiro hit the post but the ball was deflected to Aubameyang who didn't have to do much to get his 28th goal of the season. The Gabon international is now tied with Lewndowski for the Torjägerkanone.

If you listened closely you could hear the huge sigh of relief from everyone in the stadium but sadly that didn't last long. In the 86th minute Dr. Felix Brych awarded Hoffenheim a penalty of their own when Ginter fouled Wagner. Kramaric did a better job than Aubameyang and cut the lead to one goal.

Thankfully Hoffenheim was not able to get close to an equalizer in the waning minutes of the game. Dortmund got three crucial points at home which gives them a two-point lead in the table. With two games to go Dortmund are now in a good position to finish in the top three and avoid the Champions League playoffs.