Bundesliga: Dortmund beats Stuttgart thanks to a brace from substitute Julian Brandt

Substitute Julian Brandt scored both goals as Borussia Dortmund won 2-0 against VfB Stuttgart on Friday, cutting Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga lead. However, three players were injured.

Midfielders Giovanni Reyna and Mahmoud Dahoud were injured in the first half, while defender Mats Hummels did not return for the second.

Reyna was wounded after just 54 seconds, but he was quickly replaced. Brandt put Dortmund ahead after 12 minutes, then added a second after the interval.

Brandt set a Bundesliga record by scoring the league’s first goal as a replacement.

“Winning games is the greatest response you can offer,” Brandt said after Dortmund recovered from last weekend’s 4-1 thrashing at home by RB Leipzig.

“The most significant thing was that we were able to remain steady despite several changes due to injury.”

“In the end, a little luck was involved, but the key thing is that we won.”

Dortmund’s away victory reduces Bayern’s advantage to six points.

However, in Saturday’s Bavarian derby against Augsburg, the league leaders may restore the deficit and move closer to a tenth consecutive league triumph.

With five games remaining, Stuttgart is barely a point above the bottom three.

The match in rain-soaked Stuttgart had scarcely begun when Reyna gripped his right hamstring and limped off, wiping away tears.

It is the latest blow for the US international in an injury-plagued season in which he has made just 10 league appearances.

After Erling Haaland freed up the Stuttgart defense, his successor Brandt capitalized with the first goal.

Omar Marmoush chipped over Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel, but his effort went over the crossbar, giving the visitors a big let-off.

Dortmund’s injury woes did not improve.

Dahoud was taken off after holding his shoulder after a challenge, while Hummels had to be replaced at halftime due to a knee injury.

Brandt scored his second goal with 19 minutes remaining, sending a fierce drive just beyond Stuttgart goalkeeper Florian Mueller’s grasp.

Kobel made a spectacular late save to deflect an effort by Stuttgart defender Borna Sosa, who subsequently struck the crossbar as the hosts pressed for a score, while Haaland had a late goal called offside.

This is Haaland’s sixth consecutive league game without a goal, his longest drought for Dortmund, amid talk that he may depart at the conclusion of the season.

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