Sunday was a glorious day for Borussia Dortmund as they smashed Borussia Monchengladbach to pieces at the Signal Iduna Park in the 23rd round of the Bundesliga campaign. The scoreboard read 6-0 at the end, with Marco Reus (twice), Donyell Malen, Marius Wolf, Youssoufa Moukoko and Emre Can (penalty) all on target.
Any conversation about this match simply cannot start with any subject other than Marco Reus. The Dortmund captain not only scored twice, but he also assisted all of the remaining three open-play goals for his team.
In the 26th minute, he was the quickest to react to Gladbach goalkeeper Yan Sommer saving Malen’s effort by calmly slotting into the back of the net to open the scoring. Six minutes later, his brilliant vision and a fantastically chipped pass got Malen free to take Sommer on one on one, and the striker made no mistake. In the 70th minute, substitute Wolf benefitted from Reus’s selflessness to add the third, as did Moukoko just four minutes later. With just under 10 minutes remaining, Reus capped off his stellar performance with his second goal as for once he found himself on the receiving end of a lovely pass, the work of Mats Hummels.
His selflessness came to light once more after the 90 minutes were up when he didn’t take the late penalty himself, passing up on the opportunity to bag a hat-trick of goals after bagging a hat-trick of assists.
Reus joined Dortmund from Gladbach back in 2012. In the almost full decade that has passed since, he’s scored 153 goals and produced 108 assists in 348 games in all competitions, and though he didn’t have much luck with injuries in the course of his spell at the Signal Iduna Park, he has firmly established himself among the legends of the great club, not least due to reportedly rejecting interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona to keep wearing the black-and-yellow shirt. That’s something that sets him apart (and above) the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze and Hummels in the club folklore forever.
Of course, all of that only makes this result more difficult to bear for the Gladbach supporters – their former player haunting them so ruthlessly even 10 years after leaving their ranks.
At the age of 32, the versatile attacker is about to enter the final 12 months of contract, but it would be a huge surprise if he leaves the club within the next three or four years. Whatever happens, one thing is certain; Borussia Dortmund and their supporters have been blessed to have had such a player in their ranks.
Harsh on Gladbach?
It’s probably ridiculous to say that the team that conceded six goals didn’t deserve to lose, and that’s certainly not the case here, but it should be said that the whole contest could’ve easily gone in a quite different direction. The visitors had a number of clear-cut chances to score, some of them at 0-0, and despite the fact that the home side got away with a clean sheet in the end, their defence is far from the level required for the title to be won in one of Europe’s top five leagues.
Be that as it may, Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel saved his team from plenty of trouble in the first half, saving point-blank shots first from Kouadio Kone, and then from Jonas Hofmann. Mathias Ginter should’ve done better with at least one of his headers inside the opposition box, and Alassane Plea took a shot from a promising situation which failed to hit the target.
All in all, it was a much more exciting match, at least until Wolf scored Dortmund’s third goal in the 70th minute, than the final scoreline suggests. Gladbach completely fell apart at the back after that.
Status quo in the title race
With Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both emerging victorious from their respective encounters with Greuther Furth and Gladbach, it’s “as you were” regarding the title race in the Bundesliga. Bayern lead the way with 55 points after 23 rounds, and Dortmund follow with a six-point gap between them.
Realistically speaking, it’s hard to imagine the Bavarians faltering, given that they’ve been sitting on the throne for nine years now. Dortmund were almost always the team closest to usurping the role, but not since 2012 and the days of Jurgen Klopp have they been able to actually get there. Nonetheless, it would be faithless from their supporters to give up hope now. After all, there is still 11 rounds to go and Bayern’s recent record is far from perfect.
But for the time being, Dortmund’s attention will have turned to the Europa League play-offs and their encounter with Rangers, who left Germany after a 2-4 victory at the Signal Iduna Park last Thursday. The comprehensive triumph over Gladbach will have given Dortmund hope that they may yet turn the tie around when they meet Rangers in Glasgow, and they might even have Erling Haaland available by then.
After that, it’s Bundesliga business as usual for Marco Rose’s team, as they travel to face relegation battlers Augsburg.
As for Gladbach, they’ll be looking to get over the Dortmund trauma by beating Wolfsburg at the Borussia-Park in five-days’ time.
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