Dortmund’s 19-match Bundesliga unbeaten run has finally come to a halt with a lacklustre defeat to a Hannover side, fighting for their life inside the bottom two. Kim Ojo’s bundled goal at a corner with ten minutes to go won the game, but in truth BVB never looked like penetrating the tight back three of Hannover.
The game will be overshadowed by a serious injury to Ivan Perisic who landed heavily on his arm after being fouled in an aerial challenge. Initial diagnosis shows that he’s broken his right arm and will face about 6 weeks on the sidelines. The international break comes at a good time for Surman and Dortmund – they’ve been looking jaded and misfiring of late.
PREVIEW: Chance for Dortmund to extend their lead atop the Bundesliga to eight points, with no other side in the top six playing this weekend, away to a struggling Hannover side who have slumped into the bottom two after failing to win in almost four months.
Surman made four changes from the side that beat Kaiserslautern in midweek to book a cup semi-final place, bringing Roman Weidenfeller back in goal, with Viktor Fischer, Taye Taiwo and Ilkay Gündogan also restored to the starting XI.
HANNOVER 1-0 BORUSSIA DORTMUND Ojo 80 Att: 36,860 Bundesliga, HDI-Arena. Breezy, Sleet 0°C. Ref: G.Winkmann
HANNOVER BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1. Ron-Robert Zieler 7.4 | 1. R.Weidenfeller (c) 7.0 20. Felipe [Y] 7.0 | 2. Andreas Beck 6.8 6. Debatik Curri 7.1² | 4. Neven Subotic 6.9 3. Karim Haggui 7.7 | 15. Felipe Santana [Y] 6.9 28. Lars Stindl 6.9 | 14. Taye Taiwo 6.9 15. César Arzo 7.4 | 6. Sven Bender 7.1 7. Sérgio Pinto (c) 7.2 | 8. Ilkay Gündogan 6.8¹ 8. Oskar Hiljemark 6.8³ | 11. Marco Reus 6.6 10. Szabolcs Huszti 7.0 | 24. Ivan Perisic 6.9² 29. Kim Ojo [*] 7.8 | 23. Julian Schieber 6.8 18. Deniz Kadah 7.0¹ | 7. Viktor Fischer 6.9³ ------------------------------ | ----------------------------- 14. Markus Miller . | 20. Mitchell Langerak . 4. Hiroki Sakai 7.0¹ | 3. Marcel Schmelzer . 11. Anthony Vanden Borre . | 9. Robert Lewandowski 6.4³ 16. Sebastian Tyrala . | 17. Marc Hornschuh . 17. Baris Ozbek . | 26. Dennis Praet . 33. Manuel Schmiedebach 7.0³ | 28. Kostas Katsouranis 6.6¹ 34. Konstantin Rausch 7.0² | 30. Jakub Blaszczykowski 6.3²
Match report by @realtimeFM:
 The visitors and league leaders get us underway. Playing two up-top. Surman clearly impressed by Viktor Fischer’s performance in midweek. Three other changes. Joachim Low is here in the stands today, clearly keeping an eye on Reus, Schieber, and Gündogan.
 Immediately from the off, Dortmund work the ball wide and Marco Reus picks out Fischer in the middle. His shot is blocked on the line and BVB have a corner.
 Ivan Perisic wins a second corner shortly afterwards. It’s sent to the far post where Sven Bender heads it at the ‘keeper, before Andreas Beck pokes it wide from close range.
 Perisic gets on the end of Beck’s cross and draws a smart save from Zieler before Fischer smashes home the rebound. Perisic flagged offside though, looks the correct call. Sigh of relief for the home fans.
 Deniz Kadah is tripped by Felipe Santana a yard or so outside the box. Great chance for Hannover to get the ball into the six-yard box. Sven bender heads it away and Dortmund counter immediately. Taiwo’s cross finds Reus but he’s penalised for a foul.
 Kim Ojo beats the offside trap and strikes it low towards goal, but he’s a yard wide. That was a great chance.
 Fischer wins Dortmund a third corner when he gets onto the end of Perisic’s chipped cross. Hannover were starting to put some pressure on them, Ojo looks a handful today.
 Nope, Referee disagrees. Goal kick. ‘Keeper clearly saved that.
 Ivan Perisic is cautioned for diving. Twice in two matches.
 Deniz Kadah curls a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.
 Scrappiness creeping in, both sides giving away cheap free kicks.
 Kim Ojo thinks he’s scored a fine header for Hanniover, but the back four were out quickly and now both sides have had a goal chalked-off for ofside. Also a correct call.
 Viktor Fischer chases a lost cause and keeps the ball in somehow. His cross wins Dortmund a corner. Fantastic play. It’s cleared away though.
 Perisic is inside the back for and cuts inside. His close-range shot is saved well.
 Stindl gets past Taiwo and gets the ball into the Dortmund area. It’s cleared away, but a shot from Pinto is fired back in, blocked by Bender.
 Kadah gets the best of Santana again, and he’s fouled by the Dortmund man. Yellow card.
 Dortmund make a change after Gündogan (6.8) has taken a knock. Kostas Katsouranis on.
 Last ten minutes rather uninspiring, neither side getting much luck working the ball into the final third.
 Hiljemark clears a Reus header off his own line and over the top for a corner. If he meant that, that’s skill of the year!
 Dortmund’s corner delivery today hasn’t been great.
 Two additional minutes, as BVB win another corner.
HALF-TIME: Hannover 0-0 Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga)
[HT] No changes at the break.
 Weidenfeller truly tested for the first time, he pushes a Stindle shot over the top.
 Schieber stings Zieler’s palms at the other end. Dortmund given a bit of a kick up the rear.
 Schieber plays totally the wrong ball as Dortmund go 3-on-2 going forwards. He tries to play in Perisic when Fischer was wide open instead.
 Overhit balls at one end, matched at the other. No great display of attacking on this televised game. Dortmund look like they’re going to make a change shortly.
 This might change things as Ivan Perisic is clattered by Stindl. He can’t continue. No yellow card for the Hannover man, which hasn’t pleased the Dortmund bench. Double change in fact. Robert Lewandowski and jakub Blaszczykowski come on for Fischer (6.9) and the injured Perisic (6.9).
 Hannover have made their first change, too. Hiroki Sakai is on for Deniz Kadah (7.0).
 Dortmund have all the ball but just can’t get a touch in the box. Strong defending from Hannover. Feel that Dortmund may be vulnerable to a ball over the top.
 Second change for the hosts: Konstantin Rausch replaces Curri (7.1).
 Final change today: Manuel Schmiedebach is on for Hiljemark (6.8). Fifteen minutes for one side to snatch a winner that’ll change things at either end of the table.
 A fantastic effort from Huszti curls over Weidenfeller but smacks back off the corner of post and bar. Weidenfeller well beaten. Kim Ojo fouls Santana with the ball dropping loose in the box. He’s cautioned and that’ll be a one-match ban for him next weekend.
 Subotic is first to a dangerous cross in towards Ojo. Had to get a touch, or he surely would have scored. Corner.
 1-0 HANNOVER! Kim Ojo meets the ball at the near post and hits the bar with his header, but he’s on hand to bundle home the rebound. Dortmund really have to find something in this, they’ve looked out of ideas.
 Dortmund haven’t created anything with the ball today, but Karim Haggui has marshalled the Hannover defense superbly. First to everything inside the box.
 Home side have resorted to eating up time and cynically breaking up Dortmund attacks however they can. After some benefit of the doubt is excercised for Stindl and Schmiedebach, Felipe fouls Reus and is booked.
 Dortmund have four minutes to keep their unbeaten run going, but it doesn’t look likely. Hannover comfortable at the back all afternoon and Dortmund ran out of ideas early on. International break has come at a good time for them. Sloppy of late.
 Blaszczykowski wastes a good chance to slip a striker through with a curler from 25 yards that’s not troubling anyone.
 Minute to go, Hannover keeping the ball in the corner.
FULL-TIME: Hannover 1-0 Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga)
The spark went out of Dortmund when they lost Gündogan after half an hour, with manager Surman possibly making the wrong call in partnering two defensive midfielders together when he brought on Katsouranis instead of Praet. The loss of Perisic also made a huge difference as Reus and Blaszczykowski failed to sparkle on the flanks following the latter’s introduction.
Dortmund need to get back to basics and develop a Plan B for when crosses into the box aren’t working. They stay top, and have the opportunity to extend the lead to eight points when they play again on Friday night, but crucially the gap can be closed to just two points if Schalke win their games in hand.