Dortmund have gone fourth after leapfrogging today’s opponents following an impressive 3-0 home win over Hamburg. With competitive football back in the city for the first time in five weeks, it was the hosts who burst out the blocks finding themselves two-up inside twelve minutes.
André Schürrle drilled home from inside the box after a Hamburg clearance a a corner fell to him just outside the penalty arc, with time and space to take a couple of touches before opening the scoring. Mario Götze, back in the side after a facial injury, curled home a superb free-kick five minutes later to double the lead, after Schürrle was fouled 25 yards out..
Götze was one of two changes made by BVB for the starting XI, with Jos Verniers making his début after signing at the weekend. Dennis Praet and Lars Bender missed out after picking-up knocks on Saturday. Verniers was denied a maiden goal by the post in the last minute of the first-half.
Hamburg briefly threatened after the break, with Lindner called into action twice inside thirty seconds, but substitute Robert Lewandowski scored inside the final ten minutes after a Schürrle shot was only parried by the visiting ‘keeper to seal a deserved win.
Fifth meets fourth in today’s match at Signal Iduna Park, the first competitive game here in over five weeks. Two changes for Dortmund who will be looking for revenge for the 1-2 defeat at their opponents in October. Dennis Praet and Lars Bender both sit out after taking knocks at the weekend, in come Mario Götze and débutant Jos Verniers.
Danny Shelley from World Soccer Magazine is going for home win: “Hamburg are missing too many big name players – van der Vaart, Adler, Bellarabi – and the hosts should have the stronger squad.”
There’s three other matches taking place tonight: Freiburg host leaders Wolfsburg, Hertha Berlin are at home to Stuttgart, and Mainz entertain Leverkusen.
 Referee Knut Kircher checks his watches and off we go with the visitors kicking-off.
 Subotic barges Rudnevs off the ball giving Ilicevic the first opportunity to whip a ball into the Dortmund box, but Jovetic heads away.
 Jos Verniers makes his first touch in a Dortmund shirt, with a fantastic sliding challenge on Ilicevic.
 Alper Uludag has put Hertha in front against Stuttgart.
 Verniers and Götze combine to play in Reus who wins a corner off Rajkovic.
 DORTMUND 1-0 HAMBURG: Götze’s delivery was deep and cleared away, but it only fell as far as André Schürrle 25 yards out who takes two touches to come a yard inside the box before lashing a shot past Fährmann. Great strike!
 Van Eijden is late on Schürrle ten yards outside the box, and gives away a free-kick in a dangerous position.
 DORTMUND 2-0 HAMBURG: Mario Götze marks his return to the first team with a fantastic free-kick right into the top corner. Perfect placement, Fährmann had no chance after it beat the three-man wall.
 Götze, Verniers and Reus are teaming up really well, piling the pressure on the Hamburg defence, who are scrambling to clear the ball away. They survive the attack through number of bodies.
 Andreas Beck crosses from the right for Stevan Jovetic but a Hamburg defender gets a faint touch to it and Fährmann is able to gather ahead of the Dortmund striker.
 Some great tackles flying in today, credit to the officials for letting play continue.
 Hamburg win a corner when Rajkovic’s attempted cross from the left comes off and behind from the boot of Subotic. Schmelzer and Verniers combine to clear.
 Hamburg have a second corner here as Subotic tracks the run of Ilicveic and challenges him cleanly in the area. Visitors starting to come into the game more, but Dortmund defending confidently.
 Subotic heads the delivery behind and Hamburg go 3-1 up in the corner count. Bender clears the next one away, before Schmelzer hammers it upfield.
 Heinz Lindner comes out the box to clear a through ball towards Ilicevic. No danger, but a confidence building first touch for the Dortmund ‘keeper.
 Diekmeier works the ball into the Dortmund box, Verniers makes a challenge but is unlucky as the ball squirms away into the path of Rudnevs but Bender gets there first and clears.
 Lindner gathers a cross from Ilicevis ahead of Kacar. Hamburg breaking forwards on the counter more and more. As I type, Marcel Schmelzer breaks forwards for Dortmund and goes down easily under an Ilicevic challenge. Free-kick given, nothing more.
 Dennis Diekmeier has gone down like he’s been shot following a collision with Sven Bender. The officials may have seen more then us as Kircher is calling Bender over to him. Just a talking-to though.
 Dortmund clear the resulting free-kick and as the ball breaks to Jovetic to mount a counter attack, he’s held back by Ilo Ilicevic. Time for the referee to remind the players who’s in charge and Ilicevic is cautioned.
 Woodwork! The post denies Jos Verniers a début goal in front of the Yellow Wall as he ghosts away from his marker and half-volleys a deep Reus free-kick crossed to the far post, but it comes back off the woodwork.
 One minute of additional time indicated as Hamburg win their fourth corner when a Rudnevs square ball is put behind by Hummels. Subotic heads the corner away.
[45+1] André Schürrle has a go from 25 yards but it’s straight at the Hamburg ‘keeper.
HALF-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Hamburger SV (Bundesliga).
[HT] Dortmund good for their lead at the break, with Schürrle causing problems down the left, and the Reus-Beck partnership on the right frequently getting the ball into the final third. Jos Verniers was inches away from marking his début with a goal, and he’s teaming up nicely with Bender and Götze in the middle.
[HT] Scores from elsewhere: Freiburg 0-0 Wolfsburg, Hertha Berlin 1-0 Stuttgart, and Mainz 0-0 Leverkusen.
 No changes, and we’re back under way!
 Artjoms Rudnevs has Hamburg’s first shot of the game, a wildly off-target effort from 25 yards.
 Which is promptly followed by their second as Dortmund concede possession in the middle, with Gojko Kacar getting on a through-ball and forcing Lindner into a great save to push a shot wide from ten yards out.
 Verniers smashes a shot towards goal on the half-volley after Reus nods a long-ball down to him on the edge of the box. Smart reflex save denies him and the loose ball squirms away from Jovetic who would have had a tap-in.
 Hamburg have another corner, with Schmelzer winning the ball away from Rudnevs. It’s Rudnevs who gets on the end of Diekmeier’s delivery at the far post but he nods wide.
 Hamburg have made the first change: On comes Maximilian Beister who scored two on Saturday for Reijnen (6.0). In Berlin, Martin Harnik has equalised for Stuttgart against Hertha.
 Schürrle clips the top of the bar when he cuts inside and lets fly from 20 yards. Fährmann well beaten. Dortmund make their first change: On comes Julian Koch for Beck (7.0).
 Schürrle forces Fährmann into a save as he repeats the move, with Dortmund winning their second corner as Reus shepherds the ball behind.
 The ball falls perfectly for Julian Koch but he doesn’t take the shot first time and the opportunity goes begging, but Dortmund keep the ball alive and force another corner.
 Subotic has a header cleared off the line by Jiracek and Jovetic lashes a follow-up wide from a tight angle.
 Brilliant save by Lindner to fingertip a Rudnevs shot round the post. In Mainz, Junior Fernandes has broken the deadlock putting Leverkusen ahead. Both sides here in Dortmund hoping for Mainz to do them a favour.
 Jiracek brings down Götze off the ball in a similar position to where he scored the free-kick from. He’ll surely have a go from here… he does but bends it a foot wide.
 Foul count really mounting for the visitors as they grow ever-frustrated trying to get back into the match. They’ve been penalised ten more than Dortmund so far. Double change for Dortmund: On come Kevin Großkreutz and Robert Lewandowski for Bender (7.0) and Jovetic (7.0).
 Corner for Dortmund as Rajkovic is committed in the challenge on Götze in the box. Westermann heads away and Hamburg clear into touch.
 Stefan Kießling has doubled Leverkusen’s lead at Mainz, meaning they’ll go top tonight Wolfsburg can’t score at Freiburg. Meanwhile, Ibisevic has put Stuttgart in front at Hertha.
 Martin Harnik has a second for Stuttgart who now lead 3-1 at Hertha Berlin.
 Ilicevic wins and takes a corner for Hamburg but the Dortmund defence hammer it clear. Lewandowski picks it up in the centre circle and is brought down by Dennis Diekmeier who joins team-mate Ivo Ilicevic in the book.
 Marco Reus fires a low cross right across the face of goal but neither Götze nor Lewandowski can get a touch. André Schürrle eventually drills the ball at goal from 15 yards and Fährmann saves well.
 Gojko Kacar (7.0) pulls up after a chase with Jos Verniers and it’s immediately clear that he can’t continue. On comes Jacopo Sala for Hamburg’s second change.
 Into the final ten minutes and if things stay the same tonight then Leverkusen will go top above Wolfsburg on goal difference, with Dortmund joining Schalke on 37 points in fourth, two behind Wolfsburg and Leverkusen. Freiburg will climb to 7th, Stuttgart will move up to 10th, and Hertha will drop to 15th below Augsburg on goal difference.
 DORTMUND 3-0 HAMBURG: Game over here at Signal Iduna Park, with Robert Lewandowski knocking home a rebound from ten yards out after Fährmann can’t hold onto a low drive from Schürrle who has had a hand in all three goals tonight.
 Emphasis on keeping a clean sheet now, as the Dortmund management remind their players to focus. Schürrle’s cross for Reus is headed behind for a corner, and Hamburg get the go ahead to make their final change. On comes Michael Mancienne, replacing Ilicevic (6.9).
 Diekmeier tries to bend one into the top corner from 20 yards out but gets it wrong, to the jeers of the home fans behind Lindner’s goal. Dortmund looking good for a third clean sheet in a row.
 Hamburg win a corner through Beister who has a cross deflected behing, but the set piece comes to nothing.
 Hamburg are pushing for a goal, but look wide open to a counter attack. Verniers nearly finds Schürrle as the host break following a Hummels clearance but the visitors escape further damage.
 Inside the final twenty seconds of normal time and we’re awaiting the fourth official’s board… up it goes with… two minutes to be added on.
[90+2] Schürrle tries to add a fourth but his tame effort bends wide from 15 yards.
FULL-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Hamburger SV (Bundesliga). [PKM]
There’s the final whistle and I must say that’s the most composed I’ve seen Dortmund play in quite some time, with impressive performances across the park including Jos Verniers who was a whisker away from a début goal tonight.
The win lifts Dortmund into fourth above Hamburg and keeps the pressure on Schalke and Wolfsburg above them, who’ll be looking up at new leaders Leverkusen tonight. No injury news tonight, so BVB will travel to Mönchengladbach on Sunday with Praet and Lars Bender back in the squad.
- 25.01: Bundesliga #20 Borussia Mönchengladbach v. BVB (Borussia-Park)
- 30.01: Bundesliga #21 BVB v. Bayer Leverkusen (Signal Iduna Park)
- 07.02: Bundesliga #22 FC Nürnberg v. BVB (Frankenstadion)
- 14.02: Bundesliga #23 BVB v. Hannover 96 (Signal Iduna Park)
- 19.02: Europa League 1KR(1) RSC Anderlecht v. BVB (Constant Vanden Stock)