Three VAR deployments and BVB turned up the heat in the second half: Borussia Dortmund deservedly beat 1. FC Union Berlin after trailing in the Bundesliga.
Dortmund had the upper hand on Saturday (October 7, 2023) with a score of 4:2 (1:2). Niklas Volkrug put Borussia Dortmund ahead against Union Berlin (7th), but Robin Goossens (9th) and Leonardo Bonucci (31st, penalty) had the right answers ready. Borussia Dortmund’s strong second half resulted in goals from Nico Schlotterbeck (49), Julian Brandt (54) and Julian Ryerson (71).
Two corners and two early goals
The beginning of the game didn’t have any highlights. The entire first half was not a football-inspired fireworks display, but instead crucial scenes played out based on standard situations.
Folkrug was left alone during a corner kick by Marco Reus, and Bonucci collided with central defender Diogo Leite in the middle of the crowd. He could no longer follow the German national striker and Volkrug was exhausted. Al-Ittihad goalkeeper Frederic Renaud headed the save, but the follow-up shot was spot on.
However, Dortmund also revealed coordination problems when it came to high balls, and neither defensive line looked particularly confident. And so the visitors also scored after an early corner kick: Goossens’s header after a cross from Christopher Tremmel was decisively headed home by Volkrug, who had just been celebrated as a top scorer. The goal was awarded to Goossens.
VAR interventions dominate the first half
There was no flow to the game after that. This was due to three VAR deployments. Initially, Dortmund were troubled by the supposed second goal scored from a set-piece: Alex Kral headed home a Tremel free-kick (18th minute). But after a minute’s VAR review, the goal was ruled out for offside. Double bitterness for the federation: Kral had to leave the field injured while waiting for the decision. He was replaced by Lucas Torsart (20th place).
Shortly afterwards there was a reverse scene at the other end: a Reus free-kick, a Volkrug header, a supposed Dortmund lead. But this was also booed because the scorer was offside, and the decision was also confirmed by a VAR check (minute 29).
A third VAR situation in the first half frustrated Dortmund once again. Mats Hummels stepped on Sheraldo Becker’s foot in the penalty area as he shot on goal. After reviewing the video assistant referee, referee Patrick Etrich decided to award a yellow card to Hummels and a penalty kick for Leon, then Bonucci scored his first goal in the German League from a penalty kick.
Schlotterbeck’s hammer drives BVB madness
So Dortmund walked out of the dressing room with a fair amount of anger in their bellies. BVB immediately pressed, and Berlin had little to offer against Dortmund in terms of play throughout the second half. The equalizer went to Schlotterbeek, who could no longer be prevented by Al-Ittihad goalkeeper Renault from hitting the target with his fingertips.
Then Borussia played themselves into a frenzy. Reus set up Joker Brandt perfectly with his second assist. He replaced Jimmy Pineau Gittens in the second half (46). Shortly before the start of the final quarter of an hour, after another ferocious attack, Ryerson’s shot ended up in the net because Gosens missed it so that Renault had to reach behind him again.
BVB welcomes Werder, and Union meets Stuttgart
After the international break, Dortmund open Matchday 8 under floodlights against Bremen (Friday 20 October 2023, 8:30pm). Union Berlin hosts Stuttgart at home (Saturday, 3:30 p.m.).
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