Dortmund lined up with what is considered possibly as its strongest lineup at the current time, with Götze up top in that false nine role. Weigl was still plugged in by Favre at center back, despite Toprak being fit, which perhaps speaks volumes for Weigl’s ability to be a makeshift defender. Reus rejoined the squad for his first game since the winter break, after picking up a small knock before the Leipzig match.
The first half was played very loose form both sides. It took Dortmund a few minutes to wake up but once hey did they started to dominate possession for the whole half. Once BVB did fine their groove, they still let up 7 or 8 Hannover breaks that lead to shots. Tanks to some heroics from Weigl and Sancho, as well as Burki being Burki, we didn’t give up a goal in the first half. While Hannover had a good press, they did consistently allow us to get into their box right through the middle of the field. The Hakimi goal came in the 24th minute after Achraf Hakimi made a run and laid the ball off to Reus, who then immediately passed back to Hakimi for a beautiful shot past the keeper. Hakimi has been so good for BVB this year, its nice to see him get a career highlight reel-esq goal during his time here.
In the second half Hannover started to get even more sloppy. After some back and forth play, a errant pass in the box from Hannover served the ball up Hakimi who returned the favor to Reus for a wonderful Reus goal. After that Dortmund smelt blood in the water. 2 minutes later Jadon Sancho strolled through the middle of the field and served the ball to Mario Gotze who scored the 3rd goal. Great to see Götze happy there, and totally deserved given his current form. Then 5 minutes after the third goal Reus served the ball to Raph for a fourth. After the 3 goals in 7 minutes, the game started to get a a lot more quiet from both sides. Both teams were playing slowly and the score probably would have ended 4-0 if not for some sloppy play from BVB. A deflection led to Hadzic putting it past Burki for Hannover’s lone goal of the game. That goal put a fire under BVB and Witsel scored for his second game in a row to put the game away 5-1.
Reus was unlucky - maybe even wasteful - on the day, only scoring one goal from four quality chances to put the ball into the net. That said, it was a pretty clinical performance from die Schwarzgelben and a more challenging opponent would have called for a more complete performance - especially in the latter stages of the match.
Some interesting facts:
A testament to Favre’s success during his first season at the club. The side is currently on pace to beat Tuchel’s historic first season with the side.
Another cool tidbit that that shows the chemistry of this side, and Götze’s fight to not only come back from all the adversity he has faced in his career with his metabolic disorder, but to continue working hard to slowly gain Favre’s favor on the team sheet over the course of the first half of the season. It was awesome to see how ecstatic how happy Reus was for Götze after his 37th goal for the club, making his total one higher than the number of goals he has scored for Bayern (36).
What are your thoughts on the match? Should Weigl be considered as a central defender in the future?