Dortmund drew with Frankfurt 1-1 this morning in what turned out to be a hard fought end to the season series. With Bayern’s 3-1 loss to Leverkusen, BVB increased their lead at the top of the table to seven, while Frankfurt sits five points back of Leipzig for the coveted fourth position.
The first half was a game of back and forth. Frankfurt attacking and Dortmund counter attacking. Jadon Sancho had several opportunities up the right side early on but was perhaps trying to do too much and hold onto it too long, and he could not find an opportunity on goal. A good counterattack from Marco Reus and Sancho did however result in a corner and subsequent header on goal by Paco Alcacer that ended up directly in the keeper’s hands. Great play from Raphael Guerreiro and Sancho led to Alcacer with the ball in front of the net, but again Dortmund came up empty.
A little later Lukasz Piszczek broke away up the right side and had the perfect opportunity to lay it off to Alcacer but held onto it too long and ran out of space. At this point it was Reus’ turn to impact the game. An incredible effort from Guerreiro dribbling through two defenders on the left side of the box in what seemed like the first legitimate chance on that side of the field ended in a pass to Reus in the center who slotted in an easy goal to take the lead 22 minutes into the game. Reus then had the opportunity to put the game away with two great chances but missed both. One shot wide and one just over the bar. At least one of these should have been put in by Reus, they were perfect opportunities. It was really a story of missed opportunities for Dortmund in the first half.
Frankfurt would make them pay for these missed opportunities with a goal of their own in the 36th minute. Ante Rebic hit the crossbar on a header from the corner kick. The ball was partially cleared but recovered by Danny Da Costa and crossed immediately. Luka Jovic got his foot on it at the other end and knotted the game up at 1-1.
The half ended with Achraf Hakimi taking a big blow to the head, but incredibly he managed to complete the game. Speaking of Hakimi, the defense was sloppy at times today but had a respectable outing considering Piszczek nearly didn’t play and Weigl’s lack of experience. Weigl is really stepping up for Dortmund, and Burki had several key saves.
The second half was less eventful and was really defined by Dortmund’s apparent lack of urgency. All of the incredible build up play from the first half was hardly existent in the second, and Frankfurt was the team that looked more desperate for the three points up for grabs. A long distance strike just over the bar from Hakimi and a freekick from Alcacer with the same result were a couple of the sparse opportunities in the second half. Pulisic, Bruun Larsen, and Gotze came on for Sancho, Guerreiro, and Alcacer at different points but none could provide any significant impact and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Credit should be given to Frankfurt for turning this game around after the first Dortmund goal.
Dortmund’s next game is on Tuesday against Werder Bremen in a cup match kicking off at 2:45 ET. They take on Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga next Saturday. For Frankfurt, they play Leipzig on Saturday in an intriguing match between two teams directly battling each other for a Champions League position next year.