Borussia Dortmund forward Michy Batshuayi was the hero once again as he scored two goals from the bench in a thrilling 3-2 victory at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
The visitors had thought they’d earnt a share of the points after Danny Blum’s 90th-minute equaliser, but there was still enough time for Batshuayi to score his second goal of the game in the 94th-minute and still all three points.
Christian Pulisic, came back into Dortmund’s starting lineup after being one of the few to impress in the side’s 2-1 Europa League defeat at home to Red Bull Salzburg, showed his worth from the start, whipping in a wicked cross that Andre Schurrle headed just wide.
Two minutes later, the United States wide-man did it again, crossing for Marco Reus at the far post only for another Marco, (retreating Frankfurt defender Marco Russ) to turn it into his own net in an attempt to clear the ball away.
Reus, who signed a new Dortmund contract on Friday, surely would have scored either way but Russ was on hand to finish for him instead.
Dortmund controlled the remainder of the first half but Frankfurt held on and showed a different side to them in the second half.
Ghanaian Kevin-Prince Boateng brought a smart save out of Dortmund’s Roman Burki after the break and the visitors continued to press for that all-important equaliser.
They would get just that as late on in the second half after Serbian forward Luka Jovic nodded in Jonathan de Guzman’s cross to equalise on the 75th-minute mark.
But just two minutes later, Batshuayi regained Dortmund’s lead back smashing in his first of the game after a one-two with the ever-involved Pulisic.
Dortmund finished strongly with Reus drawing a good save from Lukas Hradecky, who could be joining Dortmund next season. The Frankfurt goalkeeper’s contract expires at the end of the season and has been linked as a replacement for the retiring Roman Weidenfeller for a while.
Then Blum incredibly thought he’d saved a draw with his stoppage-time effort, but Belgian Batshuayi had the final word, controlling the ball with his right foot and swivelling to smash home with his weaker left foot with just seconds left on the clock.
After the game, match-winner Batshuayi spoke on Stoger’s decision to leave him on the bench for this fixture with the forward praising his manager’s choice, he told Goal.com:
“I’m very relieved because I have not scored in recent games and have been able to help my team in the Champions League fight.”
“It was a very important victory against a team that had taken as many points as we had.
“For my goal to win the game I thought at first, ‘I am offside’, was briefly irritated, then I just shot, and it went in.
“I was not disappointed that I did not play from the beginning. The coach decides.
“I was tired after the last games, so I came into the game fresh”.
This result meant Dortmund moved three points clear of Frankfurt with just eight games left as the fight for Champions League football next season continues.
They’ll now look to their next game which is the second leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie with Red Bull Salzburg which Dortmund currently trail 2-1 after the first game and will be eager to turn things around just as this did against Frankfurt.
The away side meanwhile dropped to fifth, two points behind rivals Bayer Leverkusen, who currently occupy the last Champions League qualification spot and will be looking to better their chances with a good result in their next game against Mainz on Saturday.