Dortmund take big step towards Champions League after Batshuayi’s last-gasp heroics

Bundesliga Roundup

A top-four finish is very much within Borussia Dortmund’s reach after their dramatic 3-2 win at home to Frankfurt-who also have Champions League hopes yesterday evening.

Michy Batshuayi grabbed the headlines for his side after scoring the winner in the 94th minute, the last kick of the game. This was an immediate response to Frankfurt’s 91st-minute equaliser from Danny Blum.

The Belgian forward’s winner put Dortmund ahead for the third time in the game, after he had earlier fired Peter Stoger’s side 2-1 up in the 77th minute after coming off the bench. On loan from Chelsea, the two goals were vital for Dortmund, and means he now has scored seven goals in nine games since moving to Germany in January.

Crucially, the win moves Dortmund three points ahead of Frankfurt who are in fifth place. If The Yellow and Blacks had lost yesterday, then Champions League qualification would no longer have been in their hands as their opponents would have leapfrogged them in the table to occupy one of the four places.

Only six points separate Schalke in second and RB Leipzig in sixth. While this is very close to call, leaders Bayern Munich are guaranteed Champions League football, as they continued their colossal form with a 6-0 thrashing of struggling Hamburg. This proved to be another nail in the coffin for Bernd Hollerbach’s team, who are seven points off safety.

As for Munich, they can secure the Bundesliga title as early as next week if they were to beat Leipzig and other results went in their favour. Robert Lewandowski’s hat-trick brought up a century of Bundesliga goals for the Polish striker from 120 appearances, an astonishing return. Schalke remain second-one place and one point above Dortmund-after a 1-0 win away to 16th place Mainz on Friday evening.

Bayer Leverkusen occupy the other top four position, winning 2-0 at home to Borussia Monchengladbach, who only have one win in their last five, and who look confined to mid-table obscurity.

Augsburg also have just one win in five, but an upturn in fortunes occurred for the Fuggerstadter on Saturday as they won 3-1 at Hannover to stop their recent rut.

After four successive wins in a row, Stuttgart picked up a decent point at home to sixth place Leipzig, who have now not won in four games, picking up just two points in the process.

Meanwhile, Batshuayi’s late winner has ensured Dortmund are in the driving seat to secure Champions League football next season, which seemed unlikely earlier in the season before Stoger arrived.

With 12th place Hannover at home on Sunday, Dortmund will be highly confident of further cementing this finish. After all, Hannover have lost their last three Bundesliga games and appear to have little to play for given their position.

A 94th-minute winner is also a massive confidence boost for the squad going into that game. Such late drama lifts morale within the squad, and makes the training ground during the week that much more convivial.

About the Author

Ben Hardy
Journalism Masters Student at The University of Sheffield