Reus goal enough to seal tight Dortmund win against Leverkusen
Borrusia Dortmund began their season with a 1-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen, another team hoping to challenge at the top of the table. Marco Reus was the game’s hero, scoring the game’s only goal in the first half as Dortmund looks to give Bayern Munich something to think about this season.
Borussia Dortmund won thanks to Marco Reus’ early tap-in, but if Patrick Schick had been in form, Bayer Leverkusen could have earned at least a point.
Karim Adeyemi turned Youssoufa Moukoko’s cross towards goal at the back post, and though Lukas Hradecky managed to keep the ball from crossing the line, the Dortmund captain was there to open the scoring.
Schick had a chance to equalize in the first half when he shot just wide of the top corner from the edge of the box, but Gregor Kobel denied him at point-blank range twice in the second half.
He met Moussa Diaby’s low inswinging cross at the six-yard box in the 64th minute, but his effort flew straight into Kobel’s midriff.
Sardar Azmoun’s clever touch set Schick up for an equalizer five minutes later, but Kobel raced out to deny him with his legs.
In injury time, Leverkusen goalkeeper Hradecky was sent off for catching the ball just outside the area in front of Reus.
Dortmund will struggle to score goals – Erling Haaland’s departure was always going to leave a gaping hole for Der BVB to fill, but with the sad news that summer signing Sebastian Haller has a testicular tumor, the task has become much more difficult. With his goal, Marco Reus demonstrated that he still has predatory instincts, but he is far from the 20-goal-per-season player he was in the first half of his career when fit.
Youssoufa Moukoko, 17, is already a handful for defenders and good at creating chances for teammates, but he doesn’t appear ready to replicate his incredible goalscoring record with the first team at the age of 17. They will celebrate the narrow victory, but their hopes of closing the gap on Bayern Munich without Robert Lewandowski appear bleak.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Dortmund’s Gregor Kobel – The Swiss goalkeeper took over for countryman Roman Burki last season and performed admirably despite some poor defending in front of him. He looks set to take a bigger step this season at the age of 24, when keepers begin to approach their peak. Schick can be blamed for failing to convert his chances, but Kobel’s positioning and instincts made it that much more difficult for the Czech striker.
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