Jude Bellingham clenched both fists and cried out his joy, coach Edin Terzic burst into cheers in front of the bench and then hugged his players individually on the field.
His BVB took advantage of the moment and is breathing down the neck of series champion FC Bayern Munich again: With the 2-0 (1-0) win at Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund celebrated their third win in the third game of the Bundesliga in 2023 and moved up to three counters to Munich. Since Bayern have only drawn 1-1 so far this year, Borussia made up for six points on their long-term rivals in an English week and is currently fourth.
BVB took the lead with the very first Bundesliga goal from national player Karim Adeyemi (33rd) - Sébastien Haller had let the ball through nicely in his starting eleven debut after suffering from testicular cancer. An own goal by Edmond Tapsoba (53rd) then secured Dortmund's victory in the duel, which coach Edin Terzic had previously called unusually clear as groundbreaking. Bayer's race to catch up was stopped after five wins in a row. Due to the first home defeat under coach Xabi Alonso, a safe place in the European Cup is now eight points away.
Reus back on the pitch after almost three months
"This threesome is incredibly important," commented BVB sports director Sebastian Kehl on DAZN. "It took us a bit to get into the game." Bayer professional Jonathan Tah said: "We also had chances."
At BVB, Haller replaced the weak Youssoufa Moukoko in his first competitive game in 240 days from the start - back then for the national team of Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Zambia (3-1). Marco Reus sat on the bench until the 85th before making his comeback after almost three months. Mo Dahoud and Thorgan Hazard, who according to a report by "WAZ" is about to move to PSV Eindhoven, did not make it into the squad. "I can't say what will happen in the next few days," Kehl commented.
In the Bayer midfield Alonso built an additional security in the Argentine world champion Exequiel Palacios. But as so often in a direct duel, both teams started offensively, with Bayer initially setting more accents.
Leverkusen misses several big chances
In the 5th minute, a few Leverkusen fans celebrated a little prematurely, but Nadiem Amiri's shot after a strong ball win against Emre Can only touched the side netting. Although BVB got stronger after that, the hosts also had the next big chance, but Gregor Kobel parried a shot from Moussa Diaby well after a nice assist from Florian Wirtz (16').
Although Julian Ryerson made some breakthroughs via Bayer's strong right side with Jeremie Frimpong and Diaby, BVB Haller was not used for a long time. But even without touching the ball, the Ivorian then played an important role in the lead when a cross from ex-Leverkusen player Julian Brandt gave Adeyemi a pass.
A lot was repeated after the change: First Diaby failed again at Kobel (48th), then Dortmund scored again after a cross from the right. This time all Dortmunders missed, but Tapsoba bounced the ball against the shin - and from there it flew into the goal unstoppable for Lukas Hradecky. Curious: BVB led 2-0, although the statistics only recorded one shot on goal.
After an hour, Haller left the field, but it wasn't Moukoko who came, but Anthony Modeste. In the 70th minute, Frimpong prevented a second Tapsoba own goal when he knocked the ball off the line.