Benjamin Bella showed exactly why Dortmund paid Aachen £800,000 for the 15 year-old striker, by hitting a 23-minute hat-trick in a 4-1 win at Paderborn after coming on as a substitute at the break with the score 1-1. Josef Odenthal had put BVB in front before Rade Pavlovic equalised from the spot.
With Hamburg held to a 1-1 draw at home to St Pauli, the result lifts Dortmund’s youngsters to third in Group 3 after a league-high record of 12 games without defeat. Though with 10 games left, Schalke’s 10-point lead at the top may prove too much to overhaul.
U23 / Reserves manager David Wagner was given the green light to take a number of first team players who didn’t play yesterday, as well as those players needing match fitness – and he responded by playing what was arguably the strongest line-up Dortmund II have named this season.
Gray Surman will be baffled how and why Wagner decided to line-up in a dull and flat 4-4-2, which saw Dortmund’s superstars slump to a 0-2 defeat at Heidenheim II, thanks to first-half goals from Marco Sailer. His first came against the run of play when Marc Hornschuh lost his man, and the second from the spot after Hornschuh tripped him.
It’s the first time since July (a 0-1 defeat by Chelsea Reserves) that Dortmund II have tasted defeat, and there will be some questions asked as to why Wagner won’t play the same system as the first team.
The transfer window hasn’t closed in Russia, and champions Spartak Moscow have made good by spending £20,000,000 for Cagliari’s 23 year-old Colombian striker Víctor Ibarbo.