Dortmund seal huge win over Hertha as Adeyemi strikes again
Borussia Dortmund earned an eighth successive win today, after a solid display and some individual brilliance saw them beat Hertha BSC 4-1 at Signal Iduna Park.
Karim Adeyemi opened the scoring and was forced off through injury after setting up Donyell Malen for a second in the first half, which had Dortmund two goals to the good at the break.
A Lucas Tousart goal for Hertha early in the second half gave the visitors hope, only for some Marco Reus magic from a free-kick and a late Julian Brandt goal to seal a big win for BVB, which sees them level on points with the Bundesliga leaders.
Playing the game on a Sunday gave Borussia Dortmund the additional pressure of having to respond to the results of their Bundesliga title rivals from earlier in the weekend.
Yesterday Bayern Munich felt the all too familiar feeling of defeat at Borussia Mönchengladbach, meaning Dortmund had the chance to go level on points with their ‘Der Klassiker’ rivals.
Union Berlin had the chance to go top by two points with a win over rock bottom Schalke today. But a 0-0 draw leaves them level with Bayern at the top.
All BVB had to do was beat a struggling Hertha side at home to be level on points with the top two.
With seven wins from seven to start 2023, both form and history were in the favour of Edin Terzic’s side for this one; Hertha hadn’t won at Signal Iduna Park in almost a decade, with their last win here coming in late 2013.
Meanwhile Dortmund had lost to the side from the capital just twice in their past 18 meetings, winning 11 of those.
1. Gregor Kobel
26. Julian Ryerson
4. Nico Schlotterbeck
15. Mats Hummels
17. Marius Wolf
27. Karim Adeyemi
11. Marco Reus
23. Emre Can
6. Salih Özcan
19. Julian Brandt
21. Donyell Malen
1. Oliver Christensen
5. Filip Uremovic
20. Marc-Oliver Kempf
31. Marton Dardai
23. Marco Richter
29. Lucas Tousart
6. Tolga Cigerci
8. Suat Serdar
21. Marvin Plattenhardt
24. Jessic Ngankam
7. Florian Niederlechner
Despite needing another win here, Terzic took what could be seen as a risky decision, in dropping some of his key players to the bench.
To the side that beat Chelsea 1-0 on Wednesday, the manager made four changes.
Niklas Süle and Raphael Guerreiro made way for Mats Hummels and Julian Ryerson. Hummels lined up in the club’s latest blackout kit, which was released yesterday, to make his 454th appearance for the club, the second most of any player in Borussia Dortmund history.
Meanwhile, the most controversial change saw Jude Bellingham dropped for captain Marco Reus. He lined up alongside Wednesday’s match-winner Karim Adeyemi to support Donyell Malen up front, who made his first start since November.
The Dutchman hadn’t started in a striker role since March last year.
In fitting with the debut of Dortmund’s new blackout kit, nothing could be seen on the pitch after just a minute, when smoke bombs greatly reduced visibility, causing an early delay in play.
To start with, that didn’t phase the focus of the hosts, who dominated possession.
However, they were struggling to find any joy against Hertha’s defence. Growing frustrated, BVB lost possession on occasion and conceded chances early on.
A Jessic Ngankam chance that was sent just over the crossbar and a Gregor Kobel double save to deny Florian Niederlechner and Marco Richter were the wakeup call Dortmund needed.
Soon after, Marco Reus had his side’s biggest chance of the game up to that point, when he headed a perfect Julian Brandt cross wide of the post.
But in the 27th minute, he would have another chance when he drove towards goal after receiving the ball from Brandt. Reus looked to go for goal but his dragged shot went into the path of Karim Adeyemi, who improvised brilliantly to flick the ball in from close range with his heel.
Karim Adeyemi’s last four games for BVB:
vs Bayer Leverkusen ⚽️
vs Freiburg ⚽️
vs Chelsea ⚽️
vs Hertha ⚽️🅰️
And he got injured. Cruel. Hope it’s nothing serious… pic.twitter.com/mxrMEYXjvN
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) February 19, 2023
The wonderkid’s goal to put BVB in front was his fourth goal in as many games.
Donyell Malen then cut inside from the left before firing a shot into the side netting, but on the 31st minute mark, he would get another chance and Adeyemi would turn provider.
He turned on the accelerators after a pass from Brandt before putting the ball on a plate at the back post where Malen was waiting to tap home.
That came at a cost, however, as Adeyemi was forced off with a suspected hamstring problem sustained in the process.
Hertha saw a couple of half chances to end the half to show that they wouldn’t go down without a fight.
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 19, 2023
Just moments into the second half, Sandro Schwarz’s side would halve the deficit, when Marius Wolf lost possession, leading to a well-worked move between Ngankam and Suat Serdar, who laid the ball off for Lucas Tousart just inside the box.
The Frenchman did the rest, lashing the ball in off the bar to get his side back into it.
Dortmund then started to show signs of nerves, as the side from the Olympiastadion came close again soon after.
But they were quick to relieve those, as substitute Jamie Bynoe-Gittens was denied by Oliver Christensen in goal for the visitors.
With 76 minutes played, BVB had a chance to add a third from a free-kick. Captain Marco Reus stepped up and delivered duly with a magnificent effort sent up and over the wall, moving the legend three goals away from 150 for the club.
From that point on, the hosts effectively saw the win out with assured defending and ball retention.
However, with the title race so tight, goal difference could be a key factor and Dortmund looked to add to theirs and did so in the final minute of regular time.
Bynoe-Gittens went on a mazy run towards goal before playing an intricate incisive through ball to Brandt beyond the backline, who completed the rout with a simple finish, meaning the all-important three points were theirs.
Gregor Kobel – 7.5
Julian Ryerson – 7
Nico Schlotterbeck – 6.5
Mats Hummels – 7
Marius Wolf – 6
Karim Adeyemi – 7.5
Marco Reus – 7.5
Emre Can – 6.5
Salih Özcan – 6
Julian Brandt – 7.5
Donyell Malen – 7
50 – Jude #Bellingham celebrated his 50th Bundesliga win today at the age of 19 years and 235 days – he is the youngest player in the division's history to reach this mark. Winner. #BVBBSC pic.twitter.com/lLEi2AKDkE
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) February 19, 2023
Jamie Bynoe-Gittens – 7
Jude Bellingham – 6
Sebastien Haller – N/A
Niklas Süle – N/A
What it means
Borussia Dortmund are now level on points at the top of the Bundesliga, sitting in second place between Bayern Munich and Union Berlin, both of whom are also on 43 points.
Matches against the sides at the bottom of the league can often prove the trickiest, but Dortmund passed the test and earned a massive win, greatly improving their goal difference in the process.
The scoreline is arguably quite harsh on Hertha, who had several chances and didn’t lie down; Gregor Kobel was called into action on several occasions.
Even when they got back into the game early in the second half and BVB just slightly started to show their nerves, they soon settled those and regained control of the match, a very positive sign of mentality.
3 – In FC Bayern, Borussia Dortmund and Union Berlin, three teams are tied on points at the top after matchday 21 of the #Bundesliga – the first time this has happened at such a late stage of the season since the introduction of 3-points per win. Exciting.
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) February 19, 2023
This win was also a testament to Edin Terzic’s team selection and the squad depth and competition for places currently at the club.
The defence was very solid again, the midfield did enough in Bellingham’s absence, while the attackers all contributed.
Karim Adeyemi’s red hot form patch continued; the Signal Iduna Park faithful will be hoping that injury is nothing too serious.
Donyell Malen seized his opportunity leading the line, Marco Reus showed his class, while Julian Brandt delivered another excellent performance and capped it off with a goal.
Jamie Bynoe-Gittens was also very threatening towards the end of the game off the bench. His role in Brandt’s goal was fantastic.
Those individual performances will send a message to the likes of Giovanni Reyna and Sebastian Haller, and they’ll also tell the manager that they can be relied upon at a time in the season where there’s a lot at stake.
- Bayern Munich – 43 points (+40 GD)
- Borussia Dortmund – 43 points (+17 GD)
- Union Berlin – 43 points (+11 GD)
- Freiburg – 40 points (+3 GD)
- RB Leipzig – 39 points (+17 GD)
- Eintracht Frankfurt – 38 points (+13 GD)