Borussia Dortmund looked like they were going to leave this one with all three points, but instead come away with a disappointing 2-2 draw against Hertha Berlin.
Dortmund had the lead for most of the second half and looked like the better team throughout, but they were punished by poor finishing and a resurgent Hertha Berlin who refused to be awed by the attacking presence of their opponents. At least one or two of the misses by Rapha, Hakimi, or Bruun Larsen would’ve put this game to bed, but now our lead over Bayern Munich is only two points with tough matches against Union Berlin, Wolfsburg, Atletico, and Bayern on the horizon.
Jadon Sancho continues to have a stellar first half of the season, bagging two goals (would’ve been three had Reus not been offside by the slimmest margins to wipe out a saucy Sancho backheel goal). Sancho’s first goal happened in the 27th minute, not long after that backheel goal was disallowed, thanks to a great throughball by Dahoud to Götze unlock the defense. The German, who I thought played very well today, passed the ball into a great position for Sancho, and the best Englishman in Germany slotted it home for the opening goal.
Dortmund’s lead wouldn’t last as a poor pass by Dahoud in the 41st minute was stolen by Berlin that eventually led to a goal by Salomon Kalou (remember that name). It was a poor giveaway by Dahoud, and it was poor of the defense to let Kalou get onto the ball like that and slot it just low enough to get under Bürki and equalize right before halftime.
Dortmund came out of the break and looked like a much more dangerous team. They maintained the majority of possession and had more than enough chances on net. The breakthrough would finally happen in the 61st minute when Dahoud laid off a nice pass into the box for Reus. Reus either missed a flick onto the goal or let it through his legs for an open Sancho, and the Englishman buried it for his second goal.
This is where it gets ugly. Dortmund had chance after chance after chance to put this game away with another goal, but for one reason or another they couldn’t find the net. The misses that stand out to me are from Guerreiro with a one-on-one opportunity that should’ve been scored on, and then again later when JBL had a great look on target after a low cross from Reus, but the young Dane inexplicably blasted it wide. That one hurt the most, and the failure to score on that opportunity would come back to haunt BVB.
Berlin stepped up their attack late, having a number of chances that were either dispelled by the defense, saved by Bürki, or saved by Diallo’s face. It looked like Dortmund would weather the storm and escape with a win until Zagadou (who had a great game until this point) dragged down David Selke inside the box after losing possession and his positioning. Kalou stepped up and sent Bürki the wrong way in the 89th minute to make it 2-2. Dortmund had their chances towards the end, but they couldn’t get a look and came away with just one point.
This one really sucks. Dortmund were the better team for most of the match but failed to put away their chances and were rightfully punished. They’ll need to regroup before they host Union Berlin, who currently sit fifth in the 2. Bundesliga, in the DFB-Pokal.