FC Schalke 04 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
The players and the fans of the Revierderby understand just how important of a fixture this is in the Bundesliga season. Not only does this six-pointer can affect Dortmund’s stint at the summit of the German top flight, but the winners of this game also have the rights to call themselves the best in the Ruhr region.
At some point in the game, it seemed like the game would end in a draw, but a fresh face brought many a Schalke fan to their knees. Jadon Sancho’s superb goal in the second half ensured that the BVB get the important three points and the bragging rights as Revierderby winners.
Highlights of the game
Both sides knew coming in that they aren’t only laying claim to the title of Ruhr’s best: Schalke have a lot to gain if they beat the league leaders as they are currently struggling to keep themselves in the top half of the table. Their most recent Bundesliga 2018 results have been a mixed bag, and they can use a huge victory against the league leaders to jumpstart a positive run.
Unfortunately for the hosts, Dortmund managed to strike first. Alessandro Schopf made a poor foul in a dangerous area, and Marco Reus took the free kick to the box. The captain’s kick went straight to Thomas Delaney, and the Danish midfielder headed the ball past Ralf Fahrmann and into the goal.
Delaney stressed how important this game was for them, and his go-ahead goal in the seventh minute set them up for a good game against their bitter rivals. Pre-game Schalke vs Dortmund odds are quite tight as both teams step up to the occasion, so having every bit of advantage was nice for Lucien Favre’s lads.
It seemed for a bit that Schalke were about to get equal after Axel Witsel appeared to have handled the ball in the 11th minute. However, hopes were dashed when the referee didn’t point to the spot after checking with the VAR.
The game raged on as the hosts were adamant in getting back into the game. The supporters of Die Knappen were always cheering their team and howled at the BVB whenever the guests had the football. The VELTINS-Arena was almost silenced once more when Paco Alcacer almost scored in the 19th minute, though.
Guido Burgstaller gave the fans enough reason to cheer when he found enough space to have a crack at goal, but Roman Burki managed to stop his efforts. That would turn out to be his last notable effort for the game as he was subbed out in the 36th minute. The half also ended without much happening in the half.
Domenico Tedesco demanded more from his players, and the players did everything they can to respond in kind. They upped the pressure and made sure to make life a lot more difficult for the league leaders. Their pressure worked as the BVB struggled to get things going in the reset.
Things looked up for Schalke when Marco Reus took down Amine Harit inside the box. The referee first let the game continue, but persistent protests from Tedesco’s side convinced Daniel Siebert to check with the VAR.
He awarded the penalty after checking with the VAR, and Daniel Caligiuri stepped up to the plate. He outwitted Burki in the spot-kick as he sent the ball to the bottom right.
It looked for a while like Dortmund would have to make do with another draw. However, things eventually stabilised for the BVB and they played fantastic football. The growing tempo eventually ended in delight as prized wonderkid Jadon Sancho flew in to save the day.
He engaged in a one-two with Raphael Guerreiro and got free for a one-on-one with the keeper. He managed to beat Fahrmann and send the ball to the bottom-right corner for the winner.
Marco Reus and Raphael Guerreiro tried to secure the game with a third goal, but they were unfortunately denied their goals. Fortunately for them, Sancho’s winner took out the wind out of Schalke as they played with less effort. While their win here isn’t as clean as their dominant triumph against Freiburg, it’s clear that this is a win they can be proud of.
Both keepers weren’t exceptionally busy through 90 minutes as both teams didn’t make the most out of their chances. Borussia Dortmund had 53% possession and 10 goal attempts, but Fahrmann only had to make one save. Meanwhile, Burki had to pull off one more save.
Jadon Sancho is making a case for himself as a key cog in Borussia Dortmund. He is the sixth-highest rated player at 7.25, just behind the incredible Paco Alcacer. He also has five goals and six assists to his name. Dortmund will have a rough time fighting off suitors for his services in the coming summer.
The us Bundesliga market is continuing to get exciting: Bayern Munich are now looming closer, but the BVB have established a dominant nine-point lead over the rest of the league. If they keep on winning their games against Bremen and Dusseldorf, they should have no problem clinging at first place. However, they have to beat Monaco in the Champions League first.
Meanwhile, Schalke have a three-game winless streak that they have to break. They can start by beating Lokomotiv Moskva at home in the Champions League. They can then focus on beating Augsburg and Bayer Leverkusen to get back on the top half of the table.
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