BVB knock, knock, knocked on Hannover’s door but were unable to find a way past Ron-Robert Zieler and take all three points today at home to the division’s bottom side, but a draw and the clean sheet saw them go top.
Surman had to make a change, bringing in Dennis Praet for the injured Mario Götze, but it was his midfield partner Lars Bender who twice came close to opening the scoring inside the opening quarter of an hour.
Frank Lampard gave the home fans a scare when his lob dropped inches over the top from a long ball forwards, but as Dortmund turned the screw, they came up against a ten-man defence and a ‘keeper in top form.
Just two changes for Dortmund today as Dennis Praet replaces the injured Mario Götze in the starting eleven, with his place on the bench being taken by Julian Schieber. The hosts can go top with a point after Schalke lost at Bayern last night.
Andreas Holtz from Dortmund Daily is here: “I’m surprised the bookies are even taking bets on this one. Hannover cant get a win for love nor money at the moment and Dortmund should have this game won by half-time.”
Sven Bender is making his 225th Bundesliga appearance today.
 Dortmund kick-off knowing a point will send them top tonight.
 First decision that referee Tobias Welz makes is a harsh call on Schmiedebach who slides in hard on Praet but makes no contact at all. Free-kick to Dortmund.
 Jovetic has landed awkwardly after taking a knock in the air from Haggui’s challenge. The visitors knock the ball out so he can get treatment.
 Jovetic is back on and looks fit enough to carry on.
 Beck has had chance to whip crosses in from the right, with Schulz and Schmiedebach clearing.
 Another Beck cross flies across the face of goal with Schürrle or Jovetic not able to get enough of a touch to divert it goalwards inside the six-yard box.
 Sven Bender is the first player to see yellow after his late challenge on Haggui.
 Lars Bender is the first player to shoot… but his long-range effort flies past the post.
 It’s Lars Bender with a great chance as Jovetic knocks a ball down to him twelve yards out from Beck’s cross, but he blazes his half-volley over the top.
 Corner for Dortmund as Schürrle bursts into the box but is challenged by Johansson. Subotic gets on Praet’s delivery but can’t direct it towards goal.
 Schürrle clips the outside of the bottom of Zieler’s right-hand post with a low drive.
 Hannover go totally route one, and the ball ends up with Lampard who attempts a chip over the on-rushing Lindner, but sees his effort drop on to the roof of the net. Wake up call for Dortmund who need to start hitting the target.
 Schürrle does just that, having his drive pushed away by Zieler before Johannson puts it behind for a corner. Schulz heads away the set-piece.
 Reus is played into the box by Beck and he has the ball put behind for another corner. Praet’s delivery doesn’t beat the first man though.
 Pinball in the Hannover box but the ball is hammered away. Dortmund keep getting crosses in but not a man on the end.
 Arzo is on hand at the post to clear a header off the line as Schürrle sends a Praet cross towards goal past Zieler.
 Lars Bender drills a shot into a packed penalty box which takes a deflection and nearly wrong-foots Zieler but he gets something on it and turns it round the post.
 It’s another corner cleared by Haggui.
 Zieler is at full-stretch to hold onto a Schürrle header that looked like it was looping in.
 Zieler saves another header, this time from Jovetic.
 One additional minute.
[45+1] Right in front of the referee, Schmiedebach clatters Reus, earns no punishment, then “sportingly” puts the ball out of play as the Dortmund man needs treatment. Unbelievable decision, or lack of.
HALF-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Hannover (Bundesliga).
[HT] Two changes for Dortmund at the break. Reus (5.9) and Schürrle (6.4) are replaced by Jos Verniers and Robert Lewandowski. Hannover have made a change too: On comes Konstantin Rausch for Huszti (6.2).
 Corner for Dortmund after Arzo heads a Röcker cross behind. Ojo makes it a second corner when he beats Subotic to the delivery. And then a third…
 Hummels is adjudged to have climbed on Ojo and the free-kick goes Hannover’s way in their own six-yard box.
 Praet stays onside and is in behind the defence from a Subotic ball over the top, he plays the ball into the path of Jovetic but Zieler is off his line first to gather.
 Zieler saves a Jovetic shot down low. He’s answering everything Dortmund are testing him with so far.
 Schmiedebach (7.0) commits three fouls inside five minutes and his punishment isn’t a yellow card, but he’s replaced by Felipe. Dortmund can get a cross into the box from the free-kick here.
 The home side make a hash of it and Hummels is caught in possession and out of position. Artur Sobiech has half the field to run but he drags his shot well wide when he’s one-on-one with Lindner.
 Kim Ojo holds back Subotic and is booked.
 Verniers is close to his first goal for Dortmund when he gets on the end of a long Praet free-kick into the box. His header loops over Zieler but Schulz nods it off the line.
 Ojo wins a race with Hummels and pokes the ball past Lindner as the ‘keeper advances, but the shot hits the outside of the post and goes wide. Viktor Fischer replaces Praet (7.0) in Dortmund’s third roll of the dice.
 Sobiech hits a half-volley well-wide from 15 yards.
 Röcker looks in distress after a Johansson challenge. He receives treatment but comes back on, moving gingerly. Hannover make their final change with Oskar Hiljemark replacing Arzo (7.4).
 Dortmund are virtually camped in the Hannover box and their persistance in testing the ‘keeper Zieler wins them another corner when a Hummels header is tipped wide.
 Sobiech heads high and wide from a free-kick played into the box. Not sure if there’s a winner in this. Tired legs and a bored crowd… and it’s started to chuck it down with rain.
 Zieler makes a routine save from a Lars bender header twelve yards out.
 Three long additional minutes await us. If you stare too long into the abyss, the fourth official stares back with his shiny board.
FULL-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Hannover (Bundesliga).
Hannover came with a gameplan of packing ten men behind the ball and that’s exactly what they did, twice going within inches of opening the scoring on a break. Dortmund peppered Zieler’s goal but no one had the killer instinct. Arguably Lars Bender blew the best chance early on.
Still, BVB keep a clean sheet and go top of the table with the same number of games played as title-rivals Schalke for the first time this season. Game needs to be upped for Thursday’s trip to Brussels.
- 19.02: Europa League 1KR(1) RSC Anderlecht v. BVB (Constant Vanden Stock)
- 22.02: Exhibition Match Chicago Fire v. BVB (Toyota Park)
- 26.02: Europa League 1KR(2) BVB v. RSC Anderlecht (Signal Iduna Park)
- 04.03: DFB-Pokal QF Bayer Leverkusen v. BVB (BayArena)
- 07.03: Bundesliga #24 Schalk v. BVB (Veltins-Arena)