Joachim Löw was amongst the sell-out crowd who sat through the dullest hour of football in recent memory, before Dortmund hit a four-minute, two-goal salvo to knock the wind out of Leverkusen’s sails and come away from the BayArena with all three points.
Surman stuck with the 4-4-2 diamond formation that started against Valencia in midweek, with just two changes. Julian Schieber made his first league start of the season, with Mario Götze getting the nod ahead of Ivan Perisic behind the front two.
Stevan Jovetic looked to have put BVB in front after quarter of an hour, but the flag was correctly up on the near side as he headed home Andreas Beck’s long-ball into the box past Bernd Leno who like his counterpart had very little to do before the break.
Half-time mercifully arrived half-hour later and BVB made two changes, introducing André Schürrle against his former club on the left, and Marco Reus on the right. It took until the hour mark for the familiar 4-2-3-1 system to kick into action, but Reus’s introduction turned the game. He chased down and robbed Bayer captain Philipp Wollscheid before slotting home from the edge of the box.
Three minutes later and he was involved as Sven Bender won a corner. Dennis Praet notched up his fourth assist of the season with the perfect delivery being headed home from ten yards out by Neven Subotic. The hosts were stunned, and offered little to get back into the game until the closing stages, when it was too little too late.
Dortmund climb to sixth with a game in hand over the top four, and are back in action on Wednesday hosting Nürnberg who beat Hoffenheim 2-0 yesterday.
Welcome to BayArena where Leverkusen host Dortmund. Ben Ayres from World Soccer Magazine can “see Leverkusen edging this game. It’ll be tough and Dortmund won’t roll over but the home side get my vote. Lewandowski and Hummels are big misses for BVB.”
Bayer will go top with a point ahead of the evening matches, while BVB will be looking to climb back into the top six. Gladbach-Hamburg and Schalke-Hertha are tonight’s matches.
Two changes for Dortmund from the draw with Valencia. Julian Schieber replaces Lewandowski, and Mario Götze is in for Persic. Lars Bender starts, while André Schürrle is on the bench for Dortmund against their former club. Marcel Schmelzer makes his 200th league start for Dortmund.
For Bayer, Moritz Leitner and Daniel Ginczek are on the bench but ‘keeper Mitch Langerak misses out with a knock. Ryo Miyachi will make his debut if he comes on.
 Bayer kick-off!
 Renato Augusto gets away down the right afetr picking the ball up in the middle of the park. He beats his man for pace and swings in a cross towards Junior Fernandes, but Neven Subotic heads away before Marcel Schmelzer clears.
 Safe hands from Roman Weidenfeller as he claims the ball at the feet of Junior Fernandes. Fast start from both sides, Bayer just having the more of it in the midfield.
 Dennis Praet controls on the edge of the box and tries to slip in Schmelzer. Rolfes makes a challenge, but Julian Schieber whips a cross in towards the far post before Sven Bender is penalised in the air. Bright from the visitors.
 Jantscher is in acres of space on the left and receives a great cross-field ball from Junior Fernandes. Sven Bender barges him off the ball, but Dortmund survive from the setpiece.
 Caution for Simon Rolfes as he trips Dennis Praet on the right wing. The free-kick is played in, cleared away before Andreas Back clips it back into the box for Stevan Jovetic who beats Bernd Leno with a header, but the flag’s up correctly.
 Leno punches a deep Beck cross but doesn’t get any distance on it. Omer Toprak manages to get a toe to it to take it away from Praet before he can slot the loose ball home.
 We’re midway through the first half and neither side has had a shot yet. Bayer just shaving the overall possession stats with 52%, but have had the ball in the final third 18% to Dortmund’s 7%.
 A 0-0 draw would put Bayer top, and Dortmund 11th. Let’s hope that jinxes it, this is truly not a game for the neutral.
 A shot! Götze makes a meal of a pass from Praet, and Bayer break up the left. Jantscher lifts a cross into the box for Junior Fernandes but he can’t get any power in his header which is straight at Weidenfeller.
 Moment of life from Dortmund as the Bender twins bring the ball forwards, it eventually goes right to Andreas Beck on the overlap but his delivery into the box is gathered by Leno.
 Renato Augusto has a low drive from 20 yards but it skims a yard wide of Weidenfeller’s left post. Highlight of the last ten minutes, unfortunately.
 Praet finds Schieber who lays it off for Götze but he has his 25-yard drive blocked by Wollscheid just inside the area, who clears when he finds his feet.
 A further sixty seconds to sit through. Not sure why, haven’t had any stoppages. Fourth Official might just be into this kind of thing.
HALF-TIME: Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga).
[HT] Two changes at the break for the visitors. André Schürrle replaces Schieber (6.2), and Marco Reus is on for Götze (6.8). They’ve switched to their familiar 4-2-3-1. Bayer unchanged.
 Junior Fernandes has the first effort of the second-half, bending a daisy-cutter well wide from 20 yards.
 Dortmund win the first corner of the game through Michal Kadlec. He appears to try and safely nod Felipe Santana’s long-ball back towards his ‘keeper but ends up putting it behind. Praet puts the ball into the box, but Bayer clear.
 Marcel Schmelzer narrowly offside puts an end to a very promising Dortmund move. They look far more comfortable in their familiar formation.
 Leverkusen 0-1 Dortmund: Out of nothing, with their first shot on target Dortmund take the lead through Marco Reus. Twice he’s closed down Philipp Wollscheid in the last minute, but this time he nicks the ball off him, runs unopposed twenty yards towards goal before slotting past Leno.
 André Schürrle is booked right in front of the benches as he catches Izunna late. Cheers from the home crowd.
 Corner for Dortmund. Sven Bender has his cross deflected behind.
 Leverkusen 0-2 Dortmund: Two goals in less than four minutes has stunned the BayArena! Dennis Praet’s corner from the right is met by Neven Subotic who heads past Leno for his second of the season.
 Bayer’s response is to bring on Moritz Leitner for Izunna (6.9).
 Into the final twenty minutes here and the hosts are still reeling from that double blow. Reus and Schürrle are offering Dortmund the width they so badly lacked in the first half. Not sure that’s the last we’ve seen of the narrow system though.
 Lars Bender has a sight of a goal he’ll be familiar with, but has his 25-yard drive well held by Leno.
 Substitution for Dortmund: Ivan Perisic comes on for Praet (7.6), who once again has been impressive in the midfield for the visitors. Change for Bayer: Tomas Kalas replaces Jantscher (6.9).
 Beck cross deep to the back post for Schürrle who stretches to keep it in, before pulling back for Sven Bender whose 20-yarder is pushed away by Leno before Omer Toprak clears away from the feet of Marco Reus. A dull opening hour quickly being forgotten by these last fifteen minutes of Dortmund attacking prowess.
 Marco Reus looks like he’s bundled over in the box, but the ball falls perfectly to Lars Bender who smashes a shot from close ranges against the outside of the net. The away fans thought that was in.
 Third and final change for the hosts: Daniel Ginczek is on against his former club, replacing Wollscheid (7.0).
 Caution for Neven Subotic as he’s late on Leitner seconds after a full-blooded challenge from Reinartz on Reus.
 Attendance announced as a sell-out crowd of 30,210.
 Corner for Dortmund as Kadlec puts behind a ball for Reus. Subotic is on the end of this one from Praet, but Leno has it covered. So easily could have been three.
 Junior Fernandes has the best chance for Bayer so far as he runs on to Simon Rolfes’s fine through-ball, sidesteps Subotic but has his shot saved at close range by Weidenfeller. Corner, their first of the game. Perisic heads away Schwaab’s delivery.
 Five to go here, and the hosts haven’t had a lot to show for themselves this half, but a goal soon would put the cat amongst the pigeons.
 Schürrle breaks up an attack and goes forward with pace for the visitors. Schwaab gets back and concedes a corner. They’ve had a great battle since the break. Rolfes heads Perisic’s delivery away
 Home fans starting to head out as Kadlec loses out to Reus who launches an attack for Dortmund. Beck and Jovetic are involved before Reus has a thunderous shot from 15 yards excellently tipped behind by Leno. That was rocketing towards the top corner. Fabulous save. Two additional minutes.
[90+1] Corner played short and squared to Sven Bender who drives from 20 yards, pushed round the post by Leno. Same move, but this time the shot is drilled wide. Bayer have 90 seconds or so to get something from the game.
[90+2] Ivan Perisic is clean through after an unfortunate miscontrol from Omer Topkak, but Rolfes chases him down just as he’s about to round Leno, and the hosts avoid conceding a third at the death.
FULL-TIME: Bayer Leverkusen 0-2 Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga). [PKM]
A great win for Dortmund today, and one that really didn’t look like it was on the cards after an utterly uninspiring opening half from both sides. The change of system changed the game for the visitors, Marco Reus looking sharp and clever on the right, with André Schürrle adding much-needed width on the left.
Neven Subotic was superb at both ends for Dortmund. Dominant in the air in both boxes, and his goal was a killer blow for the visitors, with Bayer looking shell-shocked after the two-goal salvo. BVB lift themselves to fifth with the win, and a morale-boosting clean sheet too. Leverkusen slip to seventh, but we have two games to go today. Every club is back in action in midweek, with Dortmund hosting Nürnberg on Wednesday night.
- 24.09: Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund v. FC Nürnberg (Signal Iduna Park)
- 27.09: Bundesliga Hannover 96 v. Borussia Dortmund (HDI-Arena)
- 30.09: UEFA Champions League Standard Liège v. Dortmund (Maurice Dufrasne)
- 04.10: Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund v. VfB Stuttgart (Signal Iduna Park)