For the first time since 2016, Borussia Dortmund have beaten Freiburg in the Bundesliga. It was a clinical victory in which BVB were a bit un-clinical, but finished enough chances to collect three points. Freiburg ultimately couldn’t muster much against BVB, who collected their fifth clean sheet of the season, and are now unbeaten in 13 Bundesliga matches. The three points BVB collected keep BVB seven points ahead of Borussia Mönchengladbach, who will face RB Leipzig in a critical showdown at 9:30 AM eastern time tomorrow.
Freiburg played as they always have: compact and defensivein a 5-4-1, hesitant to open up and allow the opposition to create space. Lucien Favre fielded a relatively strong side, with a CB pairing of Dan-Axel Zagadou and Abdou Diallo playing behind Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney in midfield. Mario Götze started up top, playing between Jacob Bruun Larsen and Jadon Sancho on the wings.
Borussia Dortmund started well, applying heavy pressure and keeping Freiburg pinned into their own half. Axel Witsel, a bit unusually, pressed high up the pitch and was a force to be reckoned with, constantly winning the ball back in Freiburg’s half. During the first 30 minutes, Dortmund moved the ball extremely well, and cut into high-danger areas numerous times.
While BVB’s players frequently lacked that crucial final touch that allowed them to get a shot off, they still did a good job getting into key areas. Jacob Bruun Larsen had an impressive moment when he obliterated Dominique Heintz, freezing him with a fake shot and dribbling right by him and hitting Mario Götze with a pass. Unfortunately, Götze’s shot was blocked, but it was still a beautiful play from Bruun Larsen.
Eventually, though, Dortmund broke through. Dominique Heintz, who had a poor game by any standard, chopped at Jadon Sancho while the young Englishman carried the ball into the box. Heintz missed the ball, but clipped Sancho’s foot. Sancho sold it a little bit, but the contact was there and it was still a penalty. Marco Reus stepped up to the spot, and smashed a penalty down the center.
A bit surprisingly, Freiburg chose not to try to chase the game by opening up. Freiburg did come close to scoring once, when Jérôme Gondorf struck the crossbar on a beautiful direct free kick. Other than that one chance, Freiburg couldn’t create much. BVB kept up their pressure, and nearly struck again when Lukasz Piszczek blasted a rocket off the post.
Paco Alcacer came on after 70 minutes for Mario Götze. It took twenty minutes for him to make his mark on the game, but make his mark he did, with a tap-in that finished off a beautiful team goal. After winning the ball in his own half, Maximilian Philipp drove down the left wing, drawing in several Freiburg defenders before picking out Jadon Sancho, who laid down a perfect pass to Lukasz Piszczek, who found himself in on goal. Even though Lukasz had a chance to bury his second goal in as many matches, but instead to chose feed Paco Alcacer, who easily buried the shot and put Dortmund up by two.
The match ended minutes later, and BVB reinforced their spot at the top of the table. Borussia Dortmund are now in a good position to travel to Gelsenkirchen next week. Schalke have been poor to start the season, but as we all know, anything can happen in the Revierderby.