The late kick off this past Saturday delivered on its promise of being an entertaining matchup. It gave us plenty of goals, a great deal of drama and a contest fought out between two high-pressing aggressive teams.
But the main talking point was not the two penalties, the two red cards or even the five goals. It was the sudden end to Dortmund’s sensational forty-one game unbeaten run at the Westfalenstadion in the Bundesliga. Earlier in the evening, it appeared inevitable that this streak would continue when Aubameyang fired BVB ahead after just four minutes. For a moment, it seemed that another spanking in front of the Südtribüne was on the cards.
Of all the opponents to be party poopers, it had to be RB Leipzig.
Some sloppy defending saw Leipzig draw level, before an electrifying run by Bruma allowed Yussuf Poulsen to slot his team into the lead. The second half had barely started when a controversial red card for Sokratis and a penalty made it three for RBL.
Signal Iduna Park was left in shock. A run that had lasted two years, five months and twenty-six days came to a crashing halt. In that time, Die Schwarzgelben had won thirty-four games, drawn seven, scored one-hundred-and-thirteen goals and conceded a mere twenty-nine.
Peter Bosz was outraged with his defence following the defeat, but nothing can be taken away from BVB’s incredible achievement. Here are a couple of gems to look back on…
Dortmund 3-0 Paderborn
18th April 2015
The 2014/15 Bundesliga is one that most Dortmund fans would probably like to forget. A dire Hinrunde left BVB at the bottom of the table, with just four victories in the first half of the season. A turn around after the winter break saw Dortmund eventually finish a lukewarm 7th.
In the days leading up to this match, Jürgen Klopp had announced his plans to leave at the end of the season. Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa saw BVB glide to their first victory of this run, bringing them to within a point of Europa League football. Paderborn finished rock bottom. They now ply their trade in 3 Liga.
Dortmund 3-2 Schalke
8th November 2015
The tenth match of the run saw Dortmund score three points over their Revierderby rivals. Young Matthias Ginter stole the headlines, providing an assist for Kagawa’s opener, before getting on the score sheet himself. Aubameyang added a third, which proved too much for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s brace.
The win solidified BVB’s 2nd place spot, where they stayed for the rest of the season.
Dortmund 2-2 Real Madrid
27th September 2016
Okay, so it’s not part of Bundesliga winning run, but how can you not give honourable mentions to this. Sue me.
Dortmund were twenty-four games into their streak when arguably the greatest team in club football came to town. A Ronaldo strike was cancelled out shortly before the half by Aubameyang. Raphaël Varane notched another for Los Blancos before a late André Schürrle equaliser sent The Strobelallee into a state of euphoria.
The eventual run-away winners of the 2016/17 Champions League were held to a draw at the Westfalenstadion. Dortmund glided past Benfica in the Round of 16, before an ill-fated fortnight with Monaco ended BVB’s European dreams for another year.
Dortmund 1-0 Munich
19th November 2016
Perhaps the sweetest of all the matches in this run was number twenty-seven. BVB had not won in Der Klassiker matchup domestically since April 2014. A single goal for Aubameyang was enough to see them past their biggest thorn.
The loss saw Leipzig briefly leapfrog Munich into first place. FC Hollywood eventually cruised to their fifth consecutive Bundesliga title. With Leipzig cemented in 2nd, Dortmund would duel with surprise package Hoffenheim for 3rd, which conveniently leads us to…
Dortmund 2-1 Hoffenheim
6th May 2017
For weeks, BVB and TSG had been battling each other for the final guaranteed spot in next season’s Champions League. With three games remaining, it was crunch time for both sides. The match also marked my first visit to the Signal Iduna Park; the big game atmosphere was prevalent in the ground on that scorching afternoon.
An early (and debatably offside) goal from Marco Reus put Dortmund in the driving seat. Aubameyang added a second towards the end of a dramatic contest. A late Andrej Kramarić penalty was not enough to stop Dortmund jostling past Hoffenheim into 3rd position, and in the process extending their unbeaten run at home to thirty-seven.
Borussia headed to the Champions League group stages, whilst Hoffenheim were thrashed in the play-offs by Klopp’s Liverpool.
Dortmund 6-1 Mönchengladbach
23rd September 2017
Dortmund’s impressive start to the 2017/18 season continued when Mönchengladbach visited last month. In what would be the forty-first and final game of the run, Die Fohlen were flagged as being BVB’s first big ‘challenge’. This was resoundingly not the case.
A brace from Maximilian Philipp and a goal from Aubameyang meant that BVB were 3-0 up at the break. Aubameyang completed his hat trick in the second half and a brilliant strike from Julian Weigl made it six. Lars Stindl’s consolation marked Dortmund’s first conceded goal of the season.
The win saw Dortmund extend their lead at the top of the table and equal their best ever start to a Bundesliga campaign. Their free-flowing game made them seem invincible…
Alas, all good things must come to an end. Dortmund will want to pick themselves up as soon as possible when they visit Frankfurt at the weekend.
It seems poetic that their next domestic home game will be Der Klassiker. Could this be the start of another incredible unbeaten run? Or will the loss against Leipzig be more than just a blip? Either way, with Munich now appearing to string some form together, it seems we can settle in for what should be a cracking Bundesliga title race.
Tom Scarborough | @tomscarb_REF