It was the return of one great player highlighting today’s match, but it was once again our newest member making the difference for the team in Borussia Dortmund’s 1-0 win over Hamburg.
Marco Reus, the oft-injured winger for BVB, started and was named the captain in his first competitive match since tearing a ligament in the 2017 DFB-Pokal Final. He went 70 minutes before being relieved for Mario Götze, and he looked lively for someone who hasn’t played since May last season. If he can get back into match shape and contribute to the squad in ways we all know he can, that should help with Dortmund’s aim of keeping in the Top 4.
Dortmund started off the match sharp and attacking, but it quickly turned to sloppy play with nervy moments from the back-line and disorganization on the attack. Filip Kostic was the most dangerous attacker for Hamburg, constantly going at the Dortmund defense and causing havoc for Bürki and that backline.
Dortmund came out with no changes to the lineup and went after Hamburg. Their passing looked crisper and the defensive headaches looked to go away as Dortmund reasserted themselves over their opponents. The hosts broke finally through with a sliding tap-in by fan-favorite Michy Batshuayi off a slick low cross by Christian Pulisic and it was quickly 1-0 barely five minutes into the second half.
The Black and Yellows kept up the offensive pressure, and had a few more chances to add to their lead, with Schürrle blasting a pass from Reus right at the keeper and Pulisic failing to capitalize on a brilliant pass from Mahmoud Dahoud across the face of the goal. With Hamburg pressing for the equalizer and Dortmund on their back foot, the dagger came off a counter attack with Schürrle turning back the clock and doing things with the ball at his foot before laying off a brilliant pass to Götze, and the second-half sub calmly chipped the Hamburg keeper for the second and final goal.
Dortmund’s win, their 500th at home in the Bundesliga, moves them up to third in the table and one point behind RB Leipzig for second place. They’ll need every point they can get as they keep fighting for that all-important Champions League spot.