Dortmund 2-2 Hertha Berlin
(Sancho 27', 61' - Kalou 41', 90+2' pen.)
Borussia Dortmund are still undefeated after nine games, but their draw must have felt like a loss after conceding an injury-time penalty. The result, combined with Bayern's win against Mainz, has seen Dortmund's lead at the top of the table reduced to two points.
Having been denied a goal by VAR ruling Marco Reus offside in the build-up, Jadon Sancho did eventually get on the scoresheet nine minutes later when he finished off a great team move. Mario Götze's pass was perfectly weighted and Sancho's near-post finish was equally precise.
Before the half though, Salomon Kalou scored Hertha's only real chance of the first 45 minutes, sneaking on to a long ball to poke past Roman Bürki. In the second half there was no let up to an entertaining game in which Dortmund could and perhaps should have scored more.
Hertha missed a brace of chances, and then Sancho cheekily added a second by tapping in Reus's shot just before it crossed the line. The lead was deserved, but it looked like Dortmund thought it would be enough.
After Bürki saved to deny Davie Selke, it looked like it really would be but then Dan-Axel Zagadou got tangled up with Selke and Hertha had a penalty. Kalou sent Bürki the wrong way and Hertha went back to the capital with a point.
As it happened:
FULL TIME! Hertha snatch a draw late, wich perhaps they deserve given their enormous effort and how they matched Dortmund for long periods. Another great game though.
90+3' CHANCE! Dortmund get a low cross into the box, and with the goal gaping, Hertha clear it just in time. Thought that was going to be more late drama for Dortmund there!
90+1' GOAL! 2-2 Hertha (Kalou pen.) Selke does brilliantly down the left (that side, honestly) and Zagadou gets in a tangle with him, leaving the referee no option. Kalou sends Bürki the wrong way and we are level. What drama!
90' PENALTY TO HERTHA!
89' CHANCES! Two chances for Hertha nearly changes the complexion of this one. Selke's back-post header is parried by Bürki, and then Bürki spills a long ball only, leaving Kalou the chance to blast home but Diallo's face (no joke) gets in the way. The French defender laughs it off. What a let off.
85' Reus blazes over from distance when the pass was perhaps the better option. At the other end, Hertha just can't get on the end of a cross. Hertha are going for it, and leave themselves exposed at the back. Reus breaks down the right, crosses for Bruun Larsen but he mis-hits and it goes wide. Tricky one, but fancy him to hit the target.
79' CHANCE! Should be 3-1 Dortmund. That high line comes back to bite Hertha, Guerreiro breaks free but Jarstein makes a strong save with his shoulder to deny him. Had perhaps too much time. Jacob Bruun Larsen comes on for him a minute later.
76' Hertha come forward, but Dortmund deal with the situation perfectly. Moments later, Lazaro whips in a great cross, but Bürki comes out to punch strongly. Solid.
71' Sancho makes way. What a display from the teenager today. Third and fourth goals of the season today from him, and he has scored in each of the last three games. Christian Pulisic comes on. It has been a while since Dortmund could make subs like that. Oh, and the Süd sang Sancho's name as he went off. A special day.
66' Have Hertha got another goal in them? Dortmund suddenly seem to have found another gear again. The question is whether Dortmund will turn this surge into another goal. Hakimi's deep cross evades everyone. Hertha will pose a threat on the break, but they only have 20 minutes to do something about that.
61' GOAL! 2-1 Dortmund (Sancho) A superb ball by Hakimi puts in Reus, who does enough to somehow get the ball past Jarstein. It's dribbling in but Sancho makes sure by tapping home. Not sure Reus will love him for it, but they all count. A stolen goal if you like.
58' CHANCE! Dortmund nearly go back ahead. A quick break sees Witsel just poke the ball through in time for the on-rushing Hakimi, but his shot hits the side netting rather than the back of the net. Some of the crowd thought it was in. This game could go either way (Davie Selke is now on for Ibisevic by the way).
55' Reus spins on the turn and is fouled. The referee thinks it's a penalty, but checks with VAR and it's a free kick. A good example of how the technology can work there. Quick and simple. Reus goes for goal, but too much whip and not enough dip on that one.
51' Piszczek heads strongly towards goal but it's easy for Jarstein. Dortmund could with a chance or two of their own to feel like they're still in this.
50' CHANCE! Hertha again! Hakimi gets fooled by Lazaro, who slips in Darida. The sub leans back when he hits it, leaving his shot from the angle with no chance of going in. Chances here...
48' CHANCE! Neat interplay down the left (what is it about that side in this game) sees a cross find Kalou at the back post but his ambitious attempt to take the ball first time ends with a volley well over the bar. What a goal that would have been...
46' Dortmund get us started. Darida replaces Skjelbred, who has a foot issue it seems. BIG second half coming up.
HALFTIME Dortmund could have been up by more after a strong start, but are level after Hertha took their only real chance of the game. A brilliant second half lies in ahead!
Mainz 0-1 Bayern (Goretzka 39')
Düsseldorf 0-1 Wolfsburg (Weghorst pen. 41')
Hannover 0-1 Augsburg (Khedira 8')
45' Another decent cross from Mittelstädt from the left is nearly met by Ibisevic at the near post, but Dortmund clear. Just as Dardai's charges start to come into their own, it's halftime.
41' GOAL! 1-1 Hertha Berlin (Kalou) And just like, it's all square! Maxi Mittelstädt nips in to cut out a Dahoud pass and then delivers a long diagonal pass for Salomon Kalou to run on to. He takes it down (with a leaning arm) and bravely pokes home as Dortmund's defense and Bürki descend on him. It crawls over the line and the Champions League winner lies on the ground with a big smile on his face. What a game this is!
39' Hertha have the ball a bit now and are looking to slow it down a bit. A few exchanges of possession here and there, but for the first time the game has gone down a tempo. It had to really, given the furious start we enjoyed. Duda curls just wide as Hertha enjoy a rare roam forward. Don't think Bürki would have got there...
35' Hakimi shields off Ibisevic, but clatters Bürki in the process. The keeper drops the ball as a result and Ibisevic goes sniffing around for a rebound, but Bürki gets on it again. A few shakes of the head later and we're back underway again.
33' Dortmund haven't calmed since the goal, which is probably a good thing (remember the Augsburg game?). Hertha still very much in the game, though. A fascinating encounter. Next goal feels, all cliches aside, crucial to deciding the outcome of this game.
27' GOAL! 1-0 Dortmund (Sancho) Nine minutes after being denied by an offside flag, Jadon Sancho does score! Dortmund break into a 3-on-1 as Hertha try to defend high up the pitch. Mario Götze drives forward and looks to have held onto it too long, but his pass is perfectly placed to split Hertha's defender and Jarstein, leaving Sancho a chance to sneak it in at the near corner. He does. 1-0 Dortmund and you have to say it's deserved.
25' CHANCE! Reus gets down the left again and again Hertha can't handle it. He looks to find Sancho at the back post, but Hertha clear it only for the clearance to deflect off Hakimi and over the open goal. All a bit frantic. Hertha have got to find a way to stop their right side from being exposed.
23' The sound in the Westfalen feels off, like a hang sense of anticipation without knowing what of. Ibisevic is booked for a late tackle on Witsel. The game is still very entertaining, but the current mood feels a little strange.
18' NO GOAL! Well. That is a shame. Jadon Sancho scores a brilliant flicked goal at the near post, but it seems that Marco Reus was offside in the build-up and so VAR has pulled this one back. Took a while, but we're back at 0-0.
16' A bit of a weird feeling in the stadium right about now. Seems like everyone is watching the away block, and the football is just happening on the side. Then Hakimi (who else in this game) curls a brilliant effort just past the post. Jarstein must have got a touch, but the corner comes to nothing.
12' This is as high tempo as expected, but Hertha Berlin have kept themselves well positioned. Apparently, police have had to step in near the away block where some scuffles have broken out. Not sure if the referee is going to stop play.
9' Hakimi gets booked as he stops Ondrej Duda from breaking away. Clear that is how Hertha will look to play it. Moments later, Hakimi loses the ball near the box, Ibisevic wins a corner which leads to a Hertha header that Bürki saves. So far a perfect example of the down side of Hakimi's defensive play.
5' CHANCE! Once again Dortmund come down the left and Reus finds Sancho after pulling Jarstein out of position but the English teenager is denied by a sliding Karim Rekik. A lot of joy down the left so far for BVB.
3' A slight delay to kick off because of some pyrotechnics from the Hertha fans, but when we do get underway Dortmund find a way through the smoke. Achraf Hakimi gets to the end of the move in familiar fashion on the left, but stumbles (maybe because of the smoke?) and fires over.
1' Dortmund get us underway in a sold out Westfalenstadion. They've won the last four in a row and scored 18 goals in that time. More of the same today? Let's find out.
- Just to let you know what's happening elsewhere in the Bundesliga today:
Mainz vs. Bayern Munich
Hannover vs. Augsburg
Düsseldorf vs. Wolfsburg
Hoffenheim vs. Stuttgart (late game)
Plenty of action to enjoy if Dortmund isn't your bag, especially Bayern who are keen to get as far away from fourth as quickly as possible.
- Lucien Favre says to Sky Sports Hertha's choice to play a back five will make life difficult for his side, but that he is not surprised by the decision. When asked whether this is the best Marco Reus of all time, Favre simply replies: "He was always good, Reus." Never change Lucien, never change.
- Pal Dardai is in a good mood ahead of the game. He tells Sky Sports that his side have been working on the back five system and that it should help them defend higher up the pitch better. Dardai also said he wants to win and wants his lads to play the football that has made them so successful this season. Up for it then.
- Teams are in! Jadon Sancho returns to the starting XI today, as do Raphael Guerreiro and Mo Dahoud. Hertha's team looks like a solid bank of five and two holding midfielders. Clear to see what Pal Dardai is hoping for.
Dortmund XI: Bürki – Piszczek, Zagadou, Diallo, Hakimi – Witsel, Dahoud – Sancho, Reus, Guerreiro – Götze
Hertha Berlin XI: Jarstein - Mittelstädt, Rekik, Lustenberger, Stark, Lazaro - Maier, Skjelbred - Duda, Ibisevic, Kalou
- Good afternoon! After that breathless performance against Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund return to domestic action against a side that beat Bayern Munich earlier in the season. Can Hertha Berlin upset the odds again and beat the only undefeated side in the Bundesliga?