The Wolves largely contained the free-scoring league leaders at the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday afternoon, but Reus’ 27th-minute header was enough for the Black and Yellows to take all three points. VfL probed for an equaliser in the second period but couldn’t find a way through, although they can certainly take positives into Friday’s match at Hannover 96 (kick-off 20:30 CET).
One enforced change
Head coach Bruno Labbadia made just one change to his line-up following Tuesday’s 2-0 win at Hannover in the DFB Cup. Admir Mehmedi picked up an injury in that game and was replaced in attack by Josip Brekalo, with youngster John Yeboah being included on the bench.
Visitors edge first half
Dortmund started the game on the front foot, forcing three corners in the opening six minutes, but despite dominating possession they struggled to create clear-cut chances. The Wolves grew into the match, giving away little at the back while fashioning a few half-chances of their own.
However, they were punished for letting their guard down in the 27th minute when the visitors took the lead. Jadon Sancho’s left-wing cross was headed back across goal by Thomas Delaney, finding an unmarked Reus who had the simple task of heading in from close range. VfL had a decent spell towards the end of the first half but were restricted to long-range shots, meaning they went in at half-time a goal down.
Dortmund see it out
The Wolves made a bright start to the second half but it was a similar story to the first, with neither goalkeeper being troubled much. Maximilian Arnold went close with a long-range shot in the 58th minute, but Dortmund always looked comfortable enough despite their slender advantage.
The Wolves began to push forward more in the final 15 minutes, creating a more open encounter in the closing stages. Their best two chances came from free-kicks: substitute Renato Steffen’s volley was fumbled by BVB keeper Roman Bürki, and a few minutes later Arnold’s set-piece narrowly missed the head of Marcel Tisserand, allowing Dortmund to survive and hold on for the win.
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels - William, Tisserand, Brooks, Roussillon – Rexhbecaj (Steffen 69’), Arnold, Gerhardt (Malli 81’) - Ginczek, Brekalo (Yeboah 81’) - Weghorst
Borussia Dortmund: Bürki - Hakimi, Akanji, Zagadou, Guerreiro - Witsel, Delaney – Sancho (Pulisic 78’), Reus, Bruun Larsen (Toprak 90’) - Paco Alcacer (Philipp 78’)
Goals: Reus (27’)
Yellow cards: - / Zagadou, Delaney
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Berlin)