Borussia Dortmund haven’t tasted victory in their last four game’s in all competition’s, the positive is that three of them were draw’s, however the huge disappointment was the heavy loss to Bayern Munich as tonight’s visior’s would’ve wanted to make more of an impression on the league leader’s. After the international peiod the league starts up again and Dortmund will look to get back to winning way’s as they travel to Mainz, a special occasion for their head coach Thomas Tuchel who return’s to his former club for the first time since joining Dortmund.
Mainz have started well this season and find themselves in eighth place as they host Dortmund. Their last outing saw them involved in a highly entertaining 3-2 victory over nearby Darmstadt. That result put an end to their run of consecutive defeat’s and they’ll be looking to make it two win’s in a row. Mainz will need to improve on is their consistency, they either win or lose as they are yet to draw this season so another win tonight could be a giant step in doing so.
The atmosphere in Mainz is always great and it was tremendous as the team’s came out, Tuchel’s return obviously having a effect on the home supporter’s. The stage was set for a tremendous game of football.
The host’s started the game well and the first chance of the game fell in their favour, the ball was slipped in to Pierre Bengtsson and the Swede whipped in a great cross to pick out Yoshinori Mutō and the Japanese striker was excellently denied by Roman Bürki.
Dortmund struck back immediately as both team’s started at a fantastic pace. Ilkay Gündogan played a long ball forward to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his pass into Henrikh Mkhitaryan forced him to have a heavy touch and allow a defender to make a well timed tackle.
Mkhitaryan once again found himself in the action, this time at the other end as he brought down Jairo Samperio just outside the area and picking up the first booking of the game. Another chance for Mainz, however Bengtsson fired just wide from the freekick.
Marco Reus has scored more goal’s against Mainz than any other Bundesliga team and after eighteen minutes he scored his ninth goal against Mainz to put Dortmund ahead. Niko Bungert produced a very poor pass which was picked off by Mkhitaryan, he quickly found Aubameyang and rather than shooting he picked out Reus all on his own and he fired calmly past Loris Karius.
Mainz came close to responding in brilliant fashion, however it wasn’t to be. Yunus Malli broke free in the area and his shot from an angle saw he drag the effort wide and out of the reach from a team mate.
The home side were struggling with possession at the back and after gifting the ball to Dortmund once more they luckily weren’t punished as Mkhitaryan fired a shot from range just over.
Mainz composed themselves once more as the game ticked past the half hour mark and they were given a freekick in a great position just outside the area. Jairo stepped up this time and he produced the good’s lifting the ball over the wall and it was heading in, however Bürki managed to pull off an outstanding save to flick the freekick over the bar.
The host’s deserved to be level at the break with their possession and how poorly Dortmund were passing the ball around. However they switched off gifted their guests a chance and as all great team’s do they took that chance.
The host’s made the worse possible start to the second half, inside the first minute they gave away a penalty, the foul if you can call it that was outside the area, however the referee decided to award a penalty. Expectation’s were Mainz would go further behind, however they managed to stay one goal behind as Karius stepped up for his club to make a great save and deny Reus from twelve yards.
The second half didn’t start as well as the first half but it regained some life when Mainz came close to an equaliser. Malli found Mutō just outside the area and the striker used his strength well to keep possession, unfortunately for the home side Bürki was out like a flash to save.
Both team’s were creating opportunities Dortmund more so than Mainz and it was the visitor’s that should’ve grabbed the next goal. Shinji Kagawa was played through and after ignoring options to his left he dragged his effort wide much to his frustration.
Dortmund finally doubled their lead and sealed the win in the eighty-second minute. Once again a poor pass lead to Dortmund punishing Mainz, this time Daniel Brosinski’s pass was intercepted by Aubameyang and the forward raced clear before laying the ball on to a plate for Mkhitaryan, who went round Karius and tapped into the empty net.
It almost got better for Dortmund as former Mainz man Joo-Ho Park arrived on the scene late on and at the far post he was deny by another great Karius save.
With the deserved victory Dortmund remain in second place and put the pressure on leaders Bayern as they close the gap to four points. Dortmund will look to win once again next week as they host Augsburg, as for Mainz next week they’ll be up against Bayern’s opponents tomorrow Werder Bremen. The loss tonight mean’s Mainz at least drop down to ninth, however depending on results they may drop a couple of places lower.
Article for VAVEL Bundesliga.