Sven Bender Set To Miss Schalke Final Clash

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Sven Bender will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken collarbone in Saturday’s title-clinching win over Mainz on Saurday. The midfielder scored his first of the season to open the scoring, and was awarded the man-of-the-match before he was stretchered off in the final minute.

Bender, 26, was playing in his 150th 1.Bundesliga match for Borussia Dortmund and was highly-praised by his boss for his performances for the season, but will now be out of action for up top two months missing the final league game at Hoffenheim, and the DFB-Pokal Final against Schalke on 23 May.

Julian Koch is also doubtful for those two games after he picked-up a thigh strain in Saturday’s match. He’ll miss the Hoffenheim trip, and was likely to anyway as manager Surman promised rotation, but will battle for fitness ahead of the match in Berlin against Schalke.

Club coach Bernd Dreher is celebrating being awarded his UEFA ‘A’ Licence this week. He was noted for his professionalism during the course, and can now proceed to take his Pro Licence which would allow a permanent top-flight managerial role in Europe.

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Dortmund 2-0 Mainz (Bundesliga Match #33)

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Champions! Dortmund have retained their Bundesliga title after a dominant home win over mid-table Mainz this afternoon, despite finishing the game with nine men as Julian Koch and goalscorer and man-of-the-match Sven Bender were both carried off late-on.

Gray Surman made just one change in a match where a win would seal the title regardless of results elsewhere, as Marco Reus came into the starting XI to take the place of Perisic who started on the bench.

After Stevan Jovetic hit the post early on, it was Sven Bender who opened the scoring on his 150th Bundesliga appearance at BVB with his first of the campaign when he squared for Julian Koch whose shot was blocked on the line but Bender was on hand to drill home the loose ball from close range.

Bender was involved in the second as he clipped a lovely ball forwards for Mario Götze who turned and curled home past Männel for his eighth goal of the season to deservedly double the lead.

Dennis Praet replaced Reus at the break, and was able to whip in a number of corners which came close to BVB grabbing a third goal to put the result beyond doubt, with Marcel Schmelzer being denied on the line seconds before Mats Hummels headed against the bar.

BVB saw the game out, enjoying 74% possession, and lifted the trophy for the fourth time in five seasons.

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It’s a breezy, wet afternoon here in Dortmund where the hosts can lift the Bundesliga trophy with a win against a Mainz side sitting tenth and looking for a top-half finish.

Just the one change for BVB today as Marco Reus returns to the starting line-up, he replaces Ivan Perisic who drops to the bench, with Viktor Fischer missing out on the matchday squad.

Sven Bender is making his 150th Bundesliga appearance for Dortmund today, while Anthony Ujah marks his 50th for Mainz. Jürgen Berger is on the bench for Mainz, he’ll make his debut if he comes on and will break the club’s youngest player record.

Everyone kicks-off at the same time today, we’ll have the latest news from the other eight games as it happens!


[00] Referee Günter Perl gets us under way to a massive roar from around the Westfalenstadion as Dortmund kick-off!

[02] André Schürrle is the first to test a ‘keeper when he fires low at Martin Männel from 20 yards, but it’s an easy save.

[05] All the possession is with Dortmund so far, who’ve got into the box twice but haven’t managed to make the final pass.

[06] Woodwork! Stevan Jovetic is persistant and his strength takes him into the area past Stefan Bell. His shot beats Männel, but comes back off the post before it’s cleared away.

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[07] First goal of the day is in Hamburg where Artjoms Rudnevs has put the hosts in front against Bayern Munich. As I type, Salihovic has put Hoffenheim in front against Werder Bremen. A third goal has flown in too, Hemlein putting Stuttgart one-up against Düsseldorf.

[09] Marco Reus turns Junior Díaz inside-out before curling a cross in towards Jovetic on the penalty spot whose header grazes the bar.

[10] Díaz heads behind a Götze cross and Dortmund win the game’s first corner. Soto heads away the delivery from Götze.

[12] Ádám Szalai hits a shot high and well-wide from 20 yards.

[13] Götze’s low drive is pushed away by Männel.

[14] DORTMUND 1-0 MAINZ: The stadium erupts as Dortmund take the lead on what could be the day they retain the title! Sven Bender does brilliantly to beat his man, then ride a challenge in the area, pulling back for Julian Koch. Koch’s shot is cleared off the line by Bell but Bender slams home his first goal of the season.

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[15] Mainz are making a change! Anthony Ujah (7.0) is replaced by Yunus Malli. They’re going 4-5-1, leacing Szalai alone up-top.

[17] Marco Reus drills a 25-yard free-kick wide after Elkin Soto is penalised for a trip on Götze.

[19] DORTMUND 2-0 MAINZ: The hosts have one hand on the trophy now as Sven Bender plays the ball into Mario Götze on the edge of the penalty arc. He turns and hits one first time that loops up and over the wrong-footed ‘keeper.

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[23] We’re a quarter of the way through the match and already the home fans are cheering every pass. Brief intake of breath as Reus floats a cross in for Jovetic, but his header is held by Männel.

[24] Reus skims the top of the bar with a drive from just outside the box.

[26] Didavi has doubled Stuttgart’s lead at home to Düsseldorf.

[26] Schürrle drills a long-range shot way over the top.

[28] Yunnus Malli clatters Götze in front ofthe benches and gets a lecture from the referee. Götze causing problems when he drifts out to the left wing.

[29] Jovetic is tripped right inside the penalty arc. Reus will have another go from here. Díaz lucky to escape a caution. Reus hits the free-kick into the wall before drilling wide.

[30] Leverkusen are in front at home to Hertha Berlin, Quiring the scorer.

[36] Mike Hanke has scored for Gladbach at home to Augsburg, while Sebastian Freis has put Freiburg in front at Nürnberg. Ivan Pranjic has also scored, with Stuttgart now 3-0 up at home to Düsseldorf.

[38] Andreas Ivanschitz is the first player in the book when he up-ends Koch. Nothing too bad about that challenge, but the foul count is mounting up for the visitors. Ivanschitz will be suspended for their final match of the season.

[40] Díaz heads behind for a corner to Dortmund. Soto heads it away. Deliveries from set-pieces not great for BVB so far today.

[45] Götze and Jovetic combine well to come forwards on a counter, but Reus ends the move by scooping a first-time shot over the bar from the edge of the box. We’ll have two additional minutes.

[45+2] Reus cuts inside from the right and smashes a shot towards goal, but it slams into Soto who clears at the second attempt before holding his chest grimacing.

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HALF-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 2-0 FSV Mainz (Bundesliga).

[HT] Dortmund utterly in control and cruising towards the title today. Weidenfeller untested, and the host s have enjoyed three-quarters of the possession so far. Dortmund are making a change at the break: On comes Dennis Praet to replace Reus (6.3).

[HT] Scores from elsewhere: Gladbach 1-0 Augsburg, Hamburg 1-0 Bayern Munich, Hannover 0-0 Frankfurt, Hoffenheim 1-0 Werder Bremen, Leverkusen 1-0 Hertha Berlin, Nürnberg 0-1 Freiburg, Stuttgart 3-0 Düsseldorf, Wolfsburg 0-0 Schalke.

[HT] As it stands, Dortmund are champions, Hamburg and Leverkusen seal Champions League football, Schalke will miss out  on the top three, Hannover are down, and Hertha and Augsburg will fight for 16th.

[46] Mainz kick-off the second-half!

[50] Dortmund string together a wonderful 30-pass move before Schmelzer whips a cross in fron the left, but Bell clears ahead of Jovetic.

[51] Mainz win their first corner of the game when Schmelzer puts behind a ball played through towards Herrmann. Lars Bender heads away.

[54] Götze is receiving treatment behind the goal line after he crashed into the advertising hoardings when he loses his feet chasing a ball into the box. BVB look like they’re preparing a change.

[55] Ivan Perisic replaces Götze (7.5) for Dortmund’s second change.

[59] Szalai drills one right at Weidenfeller from 22 yards out.

[59] Praet’s positive run into the box wins Dortmund a corner.

[60] Goals to report on from elsewhere: Gladbach are now 2-0 up against an Augsburg side down to ten men; Chibuike has levelled for Werder Bremen at Hoffenheim;Adem Hlousek has equalised for Nürnberg against Freiburg; and a Simon Rolfes penalty has doubled Leverkusen’s lead against Hertha Berlin.

[60] Niklas Füllkrug has scored from the spot to put Werder Bremen in front at Hoffenheim. Six minutes ago they were trailing 1-0!

[60] Praet’s corner is headed back to him by Bell, and the second ball is fizzed across the six-yard box, but Jovetic or Perisic can’t get a touch.

[65] Third change for Dortmund: Robert Lewandowski is on for Jovetic (7.0). Mainz make their second sub: On comes Nicolai Müller to replace Yunus Malli (6.9).

[67] Schürrle hits a cross-slash-shot which neither tests Männel nor drops for Lewandowski at the far post.

[70] Ivanschitz goes for goal but it bends well-wide from the edge of the box.

[71] Praet chases what looks like a ball running out of play, keeps it in, pulling it back for Sven Bender who hits a dipping half-volley inches wide.

[72] Firmino has levelled for Hoffenheim against Werder Bremen.

[72] Koch wins a corner off Díaz. A third goal will wrap this up.

[72] Somehow it stays out! Praet’s corner is headed away by Bell, it lands at the feet of Schürrle who drills it at goal from 25 yards out. Männel makes the save and it falls right to Schmelzer inside the six-yard box but Papp throws himself in front of the ball and deflects it behind.

[73] Woodwork! Dennis Praet curls the corner in from the other side. Hummels gets up highest but sees his header clip the bar and go over.

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[74] Deadlock finally broken in Wolfsburg as Viera has put Schalke in front.

[76] Quiring has his second of the game to put Leverkusen 3-0 up against Hertha, while Schahin has pulled a goal back for Düsseldorf who now trail 1-3 at Stuttgart.

[79] Müller has a go from 30 yards when a free-kick is hit into the Dortund wall, but he blazes high over the bar.

[80] Schürrle hits a daisycutter wide from 20 yards. Dortmund ten minutes from becoming champions.

[83] Sebastian Freis has restore Freiburg’s lead at Nürnberg.

[84] Julian Koch has stayed down holding his leg after turning awkwardly when he slips crossing a ball into the box. He’s receiving treatment off the pitch, but BVB manager Gray Surman seems to be indicating that they’ll continue with ten men.

[85] Kevin Volland might have won it for Hoffenheim as he puts them back in front at home to Werder Bremen.

[85] Naldo has equalised for Wolfsburg against Schalke.

[87] Sami Khedira has put Stuttgart 4-1 up against Düsseldorf.

[88] Christopher Quiring has his hat-trick as Leverkusen now lead Hertha 4-0.

[88] Männel saves at the feet of Lewandowski after Praet plays him through.

[90] Dortmund are going to finish the game with nine men as Sven Bender lands heavily and can’t continue. He looks in a lot of pain as he’s stretchered off.

[90] Three additional minutes. The crowd are cheering every pass.

[90+3] Mainz’s only real chance of the game has come with just ten seconds left. Oliver Sorg has time and space down the right to hit the goalline and cross for Ádám Szalai who beats Hummels to the ball but heads agonisingly over the bar. That’ll probably be it at the goal-kick…

[90+4] It’s all over! Borussia Dortmund are champions for the fourth time in five seasons!

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FULL-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 2-0 FSV Mainz (Bundesliga). [PKM]

Signal Iduna Park is all yellow and black as fireworks and flares are let off around the ground. BVB were rallied by their captain in midweek after the brilliant win at Bayern last time out, and dominated today to lift the trophy in front of their own fans. This new asymmetric system looks superb going forwards, with the central midfield covering the back four.

A fantastic send-off for goalkeeper, vice-captain and long-time servant Roman Weidenfeller who kept a clean sheet today and waved goodbye to the Dortmund supporters ahead of a likely free transfer in the summer.

Surman will undoubtedly make lots of changes for the final match at Hoffenheim next weekend, ahead of the DFB-Pokal Final against Schalke, who have missed out on a top three spot after being held at Wolfsburg today, in a fortnight.

Julian Koch may be touch-and-go after his late slip that left him holding his thigh in some discomfort, while the Sven Bender injury looks more serious with potential collar bone or shoulder damage in the dying seconds. He needed oxygen as he was stretchered off.

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    • 16.05: Bundesliga Last Day TSG Hoffenheim v. BVB (WRN-Arena)
    • 23.05: DFB-Pokal Final Schalke v.  BVB (Olympiastadion, Berlin)

BVB 2-2 Freiburg (Bundesliga Match #29)

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Jan Rosenthal scored a late, superb 25-yarder into the top corner to snatch a point for Freiburg after a thrilling match at Signal Iduna Park this afternoon. Freiburg were restricted to just two shots on target, though scored with them both.

Dortmund made six changes from the midweek defeat by Wolfsburg, bringing in Felipe Santana and Julian Koch in the back four, with Jos Verniers, André Schürrle and Ivan Perisic in midfield, with Julian Schieber starting upfront for the first time in ten matches.

After a one-way first-half where BVB knocked on the door several times but just couldn’t find a way past Oliver Baumann,  it was substitute Jan Rosenthal who fired Freiburg in front just 18 seconds from the restart.

It looked like Baumann was heading for a clean sheet until the final twenty minutes when a Felipe Santana headed crashed down off the crossbar from a Götze corner and came down behind the line to level. Eleven minutes later and Götze pulled back for Stevan Jovetic to drill BVB in front with just nine minutes to go.

Inside the final five minutes, Rosenthal cracked a superb effort into the top corner from fully 25 yards as Freiburg grabbed a point. The gap at the top is cut to four points tonight after late wins for both Hamburg and Wolfsburg.

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Welcome to Signal Iduna Park on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon where leaders Dortmund host 7th-place Freiburg. Regardless of result here or elsewhere in the Bundesliga, these two sides will end the weekend where they started it.

Surman has made six changes from the Dortmund side who were beaten here by Wolfsburg in midweek, which saw the victors move level on points with Hamburg and Leverkusen six points behind Dortmund.

BVB have won 11 of their 14 home games this campaign, while Freiburg rank third on away performances, collecting 20 points out of 42 available so far.

Four other games kicking off at the same time, and we’ll bring you the latest updates from the matches in Hamburg, Hannover, Hoffenheim, and Nürnberg. Bayern beat Werder Bremen 3-0 last night.


[00] Dortmund kick-off.

[02] Daniel Caligiuri has the first effort of the game, firing over the top from 25 yards.

[06] Kim Ojo has the first Bundesliga goal of the day, firing Hannover in front at home to Stuttgart.

[08] Dortmund are getting the ball forwards, but failing to get a sho away with Freiburg getting men behind the ball. In Hoffenheim, Troncoso has put the visitors Hertha Berlin in front.

[09] André Schürrle has a go from 20 yards but Oliver Baumann holds on. Pinto then brings down Verniers two yards outside the box.

[09] Great save from Baumann to push away Ivan Perisic’s free-kick dipping free-kick. Felipe Santana puts the ball back into the six-yard box but Vegar Eggen Hedenstad clears away.

[10] Freiburg break forwards and win a corner through Massimo Bruno. Sven Bender puts the ball behind for a second, which Santana heads away.

[13] Jos Verniers bends one towards the top corner from the edge of the D, and Baumann is at full-stretch to tip it away. Mario Götze keeps it in and squares, but Baumann is quick to his feet to snatch it in midair.

[13] Schindler has put Frankfurt ahead in Hamburg.

[15] Götze bends an effort wide from outside the box.

[20] Schürrle has a go from the edge of the area but it clips the outside of the post and goes wide. Freiburg gift Dortmund possession from the goal kick and Schürrle fires wide.

[22] Salihovic levels for Hoffenheim at home to Hertha.

[27] Ivo Ilicevic has equalised for Hamburg against Frankfurt.

[29] Brilliant save from Baumann from Götze who gets on the end of a fine Schürrle through-ball, but sees his first-time shot from 12 yards out be kept out by the ‘keeper’s legs.

[31] Julian Schieber drills wide.

[34] Dortmund look totally in control but just can’t find the opener. Julian Koch gets on the end of a great cross-field ball from Perisic but sees his cross hacked off the line by Matthias Ginter.

[34] Perisic has his 15-yard low drive pushed away by Baumann. One way traffic, BVB piling on the pressure.

[35] BVB win their first corner when Höhn heads behind a deep Schürrle cross. Götze sends it to the back post where Ginter puts it behind. The second delivery is hacked away and Freiburg break forward with Freis.

[36] Anton Putsila bundles over Verniers in the box and Dortmund win the free-kick to end the Freiburg counter.

[39] Alper Uludag has put Hertha back in front at Hoffenheim.

[42] Fausto Pinto holds back Götze 25 yards out and is lucky to escape a booking even if the Dortmund man went to ground easily. Perisic bends the free-kick well wide.

[45] One additional minute, Freiburg have weathered this first-half storm.

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HALF-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 0-0 SC Freiburg (Bundesliga).

[HT] One-way traffic in the first half but for all their efforts, Baumann wasn’t going to be beaten. Dortmund need to work the ball through the centre-backs more.

[HT] Other Scores: Hamburg 1-1 Frankfurt, Hannover 1-0 Stuttgart, Hoffenheim 1-2 Hertha Berlin, Nürnberg 0-0 Wolfsburg.

[HT] Freiburg have made a change at the break, replacing Bruno (7.0) with Jan Rosenthal.

[46] The visitors kick-off the second-half.

[46] DORTMUND 0-1 FREIBURG: What an impact! The visitors go ahead just 18 seconds after the break, before the hosts have touched the ball this half. Putsila and Freis bring the ball forwards before the former slots through to half-time sub Jan Rosenthal who lashes a low show past Roman Weidenfeller.

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[47] Koch wins a corner when his cross is put behind. Baumann pushes Santana’s header over the top.

[49] Dennis Praet replaces Perisic (6.9) in Dortmund’s first change.

[53] Jos Verniers smacks a dipping half-volley a yard wide through a crowded box from a yard outside the area.

[60] Bayuman saves from Schürrle. Praet and Bender have got in each other’s way and neither looks comfortable. Dortmund’s bench is all warming-up.

[62] Double change for Dortmund who replace Schürrle (6.9) and the injured Praet (n/a) with Viktor Fischer and Stevan Jovetic. Two up-top for the hosts as they chase the game.

[63] Bauman saves from Schieber twelve yards out before Ginter brings down Götze outside the box. He clips the free-kick in and Putsila heads off his own line as Subotic flicks it towards goal.

[64] Ibisevic has levelled for Stuttgart at Hannover.

[67] Baumann is on hand to deny Jovetic from close-range now. He doesn’t look like he’s going to be beaten this afternoon.

[69] Jovetic’s shot is turned behind off a Putsila deflection.

[70] DORTMUND 1-1 FREIBURG: It’s taken them 19 shots at goal but the hosts finally beat Oliver Baumann and draw level. Götze’s corner is met at the near post by Felipe Santana whose header crashes down off the bar and over the line.

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[70] Second change for Freiburg who bring on Mensur Mujdza for Caligiuri (7.0).

[71] Sebastian Freis picks up the game’s first yellow card as he clatters into Schieber after giving away possession straight from the restart.

[73] Corner for Freiburg after Mujdza wins a debatable free-kick, with the set-piece being headed behind by a Dortmund defender.

[80] Artjoms Rudnevs has turned it around for Hamburg who now lead Frankfurt 2-1.

[81] DORTMUND 2-1 FREIBURG: He’s been constantly at the defenders since his introduction, and finally Stevan Jovetic has his first goal in six matches to put Dortmund in front. Verniers picks out Jovetic on the edge of the box, he plays the one-two with Götze before finding the bottom corner from twelve yards out.

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[81] Final change for Freiburg who bring on Garra Dembélé for Eggen Hedenstad (5.9).

[83] Dembélé fires an effort over the top from 25 yards with his first touch.

[85] DORTMUND 2-2 FREIBURG: The visitors have had just two shots on target all afternoon and they’ve scored with them both. It’s a long ball over the top that’s headed down by Freis and Jan Rosenthal bags his second with a superb hit from 25 yards into the top corner. Best goal of the day by far.

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[85] Fausto Pinto is cautioned after he holds back Fischer.

[86] Freis goes down like he’s been shot under a challenge from Sven Bender, and the Dortmund man gets booked. He’ll miss the trip to Berlin next week now after his tenth yellow of the season.

[90] Ibisevic has won it for Stuttgart at Hannover with his second of the game. Hannover are rock bottom and just can’t hold on to a lead. They’ll be 13 points adrift tonight, with just 15 points to play for.

[90] Four additional minutes here. Dortmund won’t be happy with a point, while Freiburg celebrated the equaliser like they’d won the league.

[90+3] Baumann somehow gets his fingers to a low Schieber drive from the edge of the box that is tipped round the post. That was quite the save! Last chance from this corner, you’d imagine.

[90+3] Götze’s in-swinger is headed away but only as far as Jovetic who whips it back to the near post. Santana flicks it on and Schieber can only head straight at Baumann from six yards out.

[90+4] Sebastian Polter has scored a late, late goal for Wolfsburg to surely win it at Nürnberg.

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FULL-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 2-2 SC Freiburg (Bundesliga). [PKM]

An enthralling match, but Dortmund will have to look at this as two points dropped today. Jan Rosenthal stunned the Yellow Wall twice with his two efforts, and the equaliser was certainly worthy of winning a point.

Dortmund had to make changes from last week as the sheer number of fixtures starts to take its toll on the squad, but those players who came in did well. Oliver Baumann had a good game in goal for the visitors, and he kept Freiburg in it as Dortmund knocked on the door time after time.

Sven Bender will be suspended for the trip to Hertha Berlin next weekend after picking-up his tenth booking of the Bundesliga campaign. Today’s point does confirm European football for BVB next season, though that will offer no consolation should the title slip from their grasp.

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    • 18.04: Bundesliga #30 Hertha Berlin v. BVB (Olympiastadion)
    • 25.04: Bundesliga #31 BVB v. FC Augsburg (Signal Iduna Park)
    • 02.05: Bundesliga #32 Bayern Munich v. BVB (Allianz-Arena)
    • 09.05: Bundesliga #33 BVB v. FSV Mainz (Signal Iduna Park)
    • 16.05: Bundesliga Last Day TSG Hoffenheim v. BVB (WRN-Arena)
    • 23.05: DFB-Pokal Final Schalke v.  BVB (Olympiastadion, Berlin)

Schalke 1-3 BVB (Bundesliga #24)

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A Robert Lewandowski hat-trick fired Dortmund level on points with leaders Schalke after a 3-1 victory on their own ground, leaving BVB perfectly poised to pull away from their rivals having two games in hand.

Four changes were made from the side that won after extra-time at Leverkusen on Wednesday night, with Lewandowski one of those. In also came Ivan Perisic for his first start of 2015 after a dislocated shoulder, while both full-backs were changed with Marcel Schmelzer back from suspension, and Andreas Beck starting too.

Lewandowski headed Dortmund in front with just six minutes played when the hosts didn’t clear a corner allowing Perisic to bend the ball back into the box where Lewandowski flicked on past David Ospina. Jefferson Farfán levelled about ten minutes later in route one style, and after Dortmund weathered a slight storm, went back in front in similar fashion when Lewandowski chipped home from a Marcel Schmelzer long-ball.

Ninety seconds later, the lead was doubled as a quick free-kick caught Schalke out down the right, and Marco Reus put the ball into the six-yard box where Lewandowski grabbed a hat-trick by slamming home at the near post.

The sides traded blows after the break, with both goalkeepers having easy saves to make when efforts were hit straight at them, but Dortmund stood strong and claim a huge three points.

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One of the fiercest rivalries in German football is due to get going. A Dortmund win would put them level on points with leaders Schalke, with two games in hand. Schalke need all three points today to keep the advantage in the title race.


[00] Schalke kick-off!

[05] Chance for top-scorer Huntelaar as he sends a half-volley towards goal from twelve yards out from a lovely ball from Farfán, but it’s straight at Weidenfeller who pushes it away.

[07] Reus wins the first corner of the game when his run into the box is ended by a good Contento challenge. Perisic sends in an out-swinger which Schalke can only clear behind their own goal for a second.

[07] SCHALKE 0-1 DORTMUND: First blood goes to the holders as Schalke don’t clear the second corner as Sven Bender plays it back wide to Ivan Perisic who curls back into the box where Robert Lewandowski heads home.

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[12] Jefferson Farfán looks dangerous down the right. Schmelzer backs off and backs off, and Farfán cuts inside the box but bends an effort narrowly wide.

[15] Dortmund looking strong to clear away crosses into their box.

[16] Sven Bender stays down after a challenge from Contento. Gingerly gets back to his feet, holds his knee, but looks like he’ll continue.

[17] Huntelaar has given away four fouls already against Hummels and Subotic. He’s penalised for a push on the Dortmund skipper.

[18] SCHALKE 1-1 DORTMUND: The lead lasts just over ten minutes as Reus is challenged in the centre circle by Zaccardo who picks out Holtby. He plays a ball over the top for Jefferson Farfán to chase onto and beat Weidenfeller.

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[27] André Schürrle pops an effort wide from 20 yards. It’s been an interesting game so far, but the backlines of both sides holding firm since the early exchange of goals.

[30] Lars Bender’s error gives Huntelaar possession 20 yards out, he takes two touches to drive into the box before being denied by a fine Weidenfeller save. Höwedes rises highest at the corner but his header sails wide.

[31] Another corner for the hosts as Huntelaar is charged down by Hummels. Schürrle clears frm Draxler’s delivery.

[34] Schalke pushing hard to go in front before the break. Subotic is a lucky man as his trip on Draxler is inches outside the box.

[34] Holtby gets on the end of a Matip cross but he heads straight at Weidenfeller from eight yards out. Golden chance to take the lead.

[36] Höwedes and Matip combine to take the ball away from Lewandowski in the box, and the officials award Dortmund a corner but the visiting players think they should have had much more.

[36] Lewandowski has an effort charged down on the edge of the box from a neat short corner routine.

[37] SCHALKE 1-2 DORTMUND: A clearance is picked up in the middle third by Sven Bender who knocks it left for Schmelzer who looks up and launches a long ball forwards similar to the Schalke equaliser. Robert Lewandowski beats Matip for pace and lifts the ball over Ospina to put BVB back in front with his tenth of the season.

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[38] SCHALKE 1-3 DORTMUND: Body-blow for Schalke as Dortmund score twice in 97 seconds, and Robert Lewandowski has a hat-trick. Draxlers fouls Beck from the kick-off, and it’s played down the right to Reus who squares for Lewandowski to slam home at the near post.

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[40] Dortmund can smell blood, but Lars Bender grazes the top of the bar from 18 yards.

[43] Draxler wins a corner off Schmelzer. Subotic heads clear before Dortmund wina free-kick in their box.

HALF-TIME: FC Schalke 1-3 Borussia Dortmund.

[HT] No changes at the break for either side, but Dortmund have a big lead in what could become a title decider.

[46] Dortmund get the second-half under way.

[47] Draxler floats another corner in after Zaccardo has a shot deflected wide, but the delivery can’t beat the first man again.

[52] Farfán hits a pacey ball across the six-yard box but Huntelaar hasn’t made a run.

[57] Beck heads behind a Zaccardo cross, but Draxler’s corner is woeful and sails out for a throw.

[59] Schalke piling on the pressure but the Dortmund defencers are equal to everything thus far. A pair of corners are cleared behind, then away.

[61] Draxler gives Beck the slip but has his cross headed away by Hummels.

[63] Neven Subotic is cautioned after he brings down Höger as Schalke attack over halfway.

[67] Schürrle spots Ospina off his line but his chip drops wide.

[69] Change for Schalke: Kaan Ayhan replaces Neustädter (5.7).

[70] Reus curls a 25-yard free-kick towards goal but Ospina gets over the push it away.

[72] Subotic sees his header skim the bar as Dortmund work a cross back into the box when Perisic’s corner isn’t cleared far enough.

[74] Ivan Perisic lets fly with an audcaious half-volley which drops agonisingly wide from thirty yards.

[74] Double change for Schalke: On come Teemo Pukki and Sergio Escudero to replace Draxler (6.8) and Huntelaar (5.7).

[77] Hummels makes a last-ditch challenge on Pukkki when Höger’s through-ball almost bisects the Dortmund centre-backs.

[82] Sergio Contento loses possession to Reus then goes through the back of the Dortmund man and is cautioned. He picks up a one match ban.

[84] Great ball from Lars Bender to pick out Reus who wins Dortmund a corner. Schalke can’t clear away but the visitors fluff a shot at goal.

[89] Two additional minutes.

[90+3] A Reus header is tipped over by Ospina. Dortmund in no rush to take the corner, and the whistle goes as it’s eventually hammered clear.

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FULL-TIME: FC Schalke 1-3 Borussia Dortmund. [PKM]

An absolutely huge win for Dortmund, with a stunning performance from Robert Lewandowski on his return to the starting XI. Ivan Perisic also put in a great shift, and manager Surman has a lovely dilemma ahead of the visit of Ajax on Thursday.

Sven Bender may miss out tough as a post-match scan shows a knock to the knee that he played through today, but he may need a fortnight’s rest.

Leverkusen lost late at bottom-club Hannover, and the advantage is now firmly with Dortmund in the title race. They move second, level on 50 points with Schalke but with an eight-goal-worse goal difference, but… BUT… Dortmund have two games in hand. Wolfsburg are third tonight, a point back, with a game in hand on Schalke.

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    • 12.03: Europa League 2.1 BVB v. Ajax (Signal Iduna Park)
    • 15.03: Bundesliga #26 BVB v. Fortuna Düsseldorf (Signal Iduna Park)
    • 19.03: Europa League 2.2 Ajax v. BVB (Amsterdam ArenA)
    • 24.03: DFB-Pokal SF FC Nürnberg v. BVB (Frankenstadion)
    • 01.04: Bundesliga #27 VFB Stuttgart v. BVB (Mercedes Benz Arena)

Valencia 1-1 Dortmund (UCL Group G Match 5)

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BVB ensured that their Champions League destiny is in their own hands with a hard-fought point at the imposing Mestalla with a 1-1 draw against a Valencia side who finished the game with ten men.

Changing to a diamond in midfield behind two strikers to combat the Spaniards’ flat 4-4-2 formation, Surman made three changes in bringing in Andreas Beck and Robert Lewandowski, with Dennis Praet replacing the suspended Lars Bender.

The initial game-plan was thrown into disarray early-on when Sven Bender was injured inside the opening five minutes, having his knee turned sharply by a strong challenge, needing to be replaced by Kevin Großkreutz in only his second appearance of the season.

Save for a spell of three cautions in as many minutes from the French referee midway through the half, the first period was passing without much incident until Neven Subotic was harshly adjudged to have tripped Victor Ruiz at a Valencia corner. Up stepped Andreas Granqvist, to be denied by Roman Weidenfeller from the spot.

Parity at the break lasted at twenty seconds after it when Andrés Guardado, on as a substitute at the interval, turned home at the far post from a Pereira cross. Valencia’s ill-discipline kicked back-in afterwards as Dortmund counter-attacks were stopped by any means necessary. Mohamed Sissoko paid the ultimate price for it, picking up two cautions in quick succession.

Within five minutes of the dismissal, Großkreutz squared a ball from the right after a great run into the box. Any one of three Dortmund men could have tucked it home, but it was top-scorer Stevan Jovetic who got the touch at the far post to stroke it past Diego Alves.

Dennis Praet came close with a pair of free-kicks, and with Mats Hummels in brilliant form at the other end, the points were shared. In Liège, Standard beat Legia 3-0 which means that Valencia have all but wrapped-up top spot. A draw in Dortmund next week between BVB and Standard will see the holders through, with Standard going through instead with an away win.

 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: GROUP STAGE (5/6)
     E               Arsenal  4-0  Twente
     E        Young Boys BSC  1-1  Olympiakos
     F     Manchester United  5-2  Sporting Clube
     F   Paris Saint-Germain  5-0  Shamrock Rovers
     G        Standard Liege  3-0  Legia Warsaw
     G              Valencia  1-1  Borussia Dortmund
     H             Barcelona  5-0  Monaco
     H              Juventus  6-0  Rubin Kazan

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Welcome to the magnificent Mestalla Stadium in eastern Spain, where the top two sides in Group G meet again after their 1-1 draw back in Dortmund ten weeks ago.

Three changes for the visitors who have gone for a diamond in midfield behind two strikers. In comes Andreas Beck at right-back, with Dennis Praet replacing the suspended Lars Bender in the centre of the park, and Robert Lewandowski joins Jovetic up front.

[00] Dortmund get us underway!

[02] Timo Costa bundles Dennis Praet off the ball 25 yards from goal, dead central. Praet will take the free-kick himself. He whips it up and over the wall, Diego Alves is rooted to the spot but it drops a yard wide.

[03] Sergio Canales has flown into a challenge on Sven Bender, and the Dortmund man has stayed down in agony. Physios rush on as the ball is knocked out of play.

[04] Enforced change for the visitors: Kevin Großkreutz replaces Bender, who’s clutching his knee in some distress.

[08] Dortmund win the first corner as Victor Ruiz heads behind a ball aimed towards Jovetic. Praet has two attempts to whip a cross in, but Mathieu clears both with a strong header and then a strong challenge. The hosts not holding back in the tackle today.

[13] Marcel Schmelzer gets a talking to from the French referee after he clatters through Feghouli.

[17] Corner for Valencia as a Dortmund attack is countered. Costa does the legwork, but Hummels gets back to make a challenge and deflect it behind. Hummels clears the header befoer Großkreutz blocks Canales’ follow-up.

[17] BVB break with Großkreutz and win a corner at the other end, but it comes to nothing.

[21] Timo Costa heads over the top from 15 yards out.

[21] End-to-end stuff here! Diego Alves comes to meet Jovetic in a one-on-one, managing to tip the ball away from goal, and Robert Lewandowski stretches to poke the loose ball towards goal but Granqvist is on hand to hack it off the line.

[22] Dennis Praet skims the bar with a 22-yard free-kick after another foul from Costa.

[25] First caution of the match is for Jérémy Mathieu as he holds back Andreas Beck after the Dortmund defender wins the ball from him.

[26] Tino Costa promptly joins him in the book as he barges Praet off the ball, not for the first time tonight.

[29] Third yellow card in four minutes, this one is for Andreas Beck who is strong in a challenge on Kadlec.

[30] Réginal Goreux has put Standard in front at home to Legia. Here in Spain, Dortmund win a corner on a counter attack as Lewandowski crosses. Alves claims from Praet’s delivery before a wild effort from Jovetic sails wide.

[34] Brilliant near post save from Roman Weidenfeller as Roberto Soldado ghosts in between the Dortmund centre-backs and collects Pereira’s ball into the box before unleashing a half-volley at goal.

[40] Another corner for Valencia as Schmelzer challenges Pereira. Game just starting to calm down a little. There have been a couple of long distance effort from both sides, but nothing to report on.

[41] PENALTY! The French referee has pointed to the spot as Costa sends the corner deep to the back post. Neven Subotic and Victor Ruiz come together and the Dortmund defender is adjudged to have tripped his man. That seems harsh.

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[42] SAVED! Andreas Granqvist steps up but Roman Weidenfeller guesses left, and guesses right, pushing it away right by the post.

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[43] Soldado is behind the back four and smashes an effort underneath the diving Weidenfeller that clips the outside of the woodwork, but the flag’s up.

[45] Two additional minutes.

HALF-TIME: Valencia CF 1-1 Borussia Dortmund (UCL Group G)

[HT] Change at the break for Valencia as Andrés Guardado replaces Sergio Canales.

[46] VALENCIA 1-0 DORTMUND: There’s just twenty seconds between Valencia kicking-off the second half and substitute Andrés Guardado turning home Pereira’s cross at the far post. Kadlec had a delivery blocked by Hummels but Pereira’s ball back in is slotted home.

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[50] Corner to the hosts who have come out flying. A long through into the box is put behinjd by Hummels. Elsewhere in the group, Standard have doubled their lead against Legia Warsaw through Mikhail Sivakov.

[52] Schmelzer intercepts a Sissoko ball and BVB are on the counter. Lewandowski finds Götze who slips it behind the back four for Jovetic, but he takes a shot early going for the top corner but it drops over the top.

[53] Corner for Dortmund as Alves denies Jovetic from distance.

[58] Andreas Granqvist is booked after a cynical trip on Großkreutz with Dortmund on the counter. Valencia get the go-ahead to make their second change, and it’s Granqvist (6.9) who is replaced with Adil Rami.

[61] Feghouli wins a corner off Schmelzer, but Dortmund clear it away and try the break, but Sissoko stops Lewandowski in his tracks.

[63] Yellow card for Mohamed Sissoko after two challenges fly in on Götze by Pereira before Sissoko leaves Praet on the deck. Alves saves from Praet’s free-kick.

[64] Sissoko could be in big trouble here as he has a tug at Lewandowski’s shirt with the striker breaking over halfway. Stéphane Lennoy reaches for his pocket and shows a second yellow card to Mohamed Sissoko and Valencia are reduced to ten men.

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[65] Lewandowski tries to lob Alves from 30 yards but gets it all wrong. Alves way off his line as he came to intercept a through-ball for Jovetic.

[68] VALENCIA 1-1 DORTMUND: The visitors make the man advantage count within five minutes of the sending-off. Andreas Beck plays it up the right for Kevin Großkreutz who beats his man before sending a perfect ball across goal for Stevan Jovetic to slot home from eight yards out.

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[68] Final change for Valencia as Matias Schelotto comes on for Feghouli (6.9).

[71] Rami has gone into the book after a hard challenge on Jovetic, earning Valencia a UEFA fine for having five players cautioned in the same match.

[72] Standard have wrapped-up the win at gome to the Polish champions with Danie Opare scoring their third goal against Legia Warsaw. Standard will move to seven points. Dortmund currently in line to finish the evening with eight meaning a draw next week against Standard will see them through.

[81] Mats Hummels makes what could be a match-saving challenge on Soldado inside the six-yard box. Great work down the right by Pereira to get the ball across goal, which Weidenfeller lets slip through his grasp before Hummels robs SOldado of a tap-in.

[85] Efforts at both ends, with Costa, Soldado, Lewandowski, Jovetic all firing wide from outside the area in the last five minutes.

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FULL-TIME: Valencia CF 1-1 Borussia Dortmund (UCL Group G) [PKM]

Hard-fought and well-won point at the group leaders keeps Dortmund’s destiny in their own hands. By avoiding defeat at home to Standard next Wednesday, they’ll be safely through to the last sixteen though it will take a collapse by Valencia in Poland to turn around the goal difference to progress as Group G winners.

Next up for the treble-winners is the visit of Bayern Munich on Saturday, the second of six matches in seventeen days. Sven Bender looks unlikely to be available for the rest of the calendar year, with initial scans showing ligament damage to his knee after the strong challenge early-on tonight. BVB’s medical staff estimate he’ll be sidelined for 6-7 weeks. Andreas Beck is also a doubt for the weekend after suffering a dead leg late-on.

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    • 29.11: Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund v. Bayern Munich (Signal Iduna Park)
    • 03.12: Champions League #6 Dortmund v. Standard Liège (Signal Iduna Park)
    • 06. 12: Bundesliga FSV Mainz v. Borussia Dortmund (Coface Arena)
    • 10.12: Bundesliga Augsburg v. Borussia Dortmund (SGL Arena) 
    • 11.12: DFB-Pokal R3 Borussia Dortmund v. Eintracht Frankfurt (Signal Iduna Park)

24 Call-Ups: Début Senior Cap for Praet

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Two dozen BVB players have been selected by their countries for next week’s midweek international friendlies. Nine of those have been chosen by Joachim Löw for Germany’s visit of Colombia in Hamburg on Wednesday 19th.

bvb2015_70_praetSeven other players have received senior call-ups, including a début senior cap for Dennis Praet (left) for Belgium’s trip to Turkey. Eight youth players  are also set to be in action next week including a first call-up for Jeremy Dudziak for Tunisia U20 after representing Germany at U19 level.

Samy Bourard and Bernd Kandziora have also received their first nods at any international level having been included in the Belgium U19 and Austria U19 (formerly managed by Gray Surman) set-ups respectively.

While the international midweek is regarded by most club managers as an unnecessary distraction at this time of year, Dortmund management have not requested any restrictions on playing time for any of their players, as per Surman’s player policy.

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Germany v. Colombia (Friendly) Hamburg, 19 November
 * Andreas BECK      * Lars BENDER        * Sven BENDER
 * Mario GÖTZE       * Mats HUMMELS       * Marco REUS
 * Julian SCHIEBER   * Marcel SCHMELZER   * André SCHÜRRLE

internationals-header-nov2014

 TUE 18 NOVEMBER, INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES (YOUTH)

  * Mustafa AMINI        Australia U21  A v Liechtenstein
  * Benjamin BELLA       Germany U19    H v Wales
  * Leo BITTENCOURT      Germany U21    H v Iran
  * Samy BOURARD         Belgium U19    H v New Zealand
  * Emiliano MANCINELLI  Italy U21      H v South Korea
  * Hervé MATTHYS        Belgium U19    H v New Zealand
  * Jeremy DUDZIAK       Tunisia U20    A v Colombia
  * Bernd KANDZIORA      Austria U19    H v Bosnia

 WED 19 NOVEMBER, INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES (SENIOR)
 
  * Andreas BECK         Germany        H v Colombia
  * Lars BENDER          Germany        H v Colombia
  * Sven BENDER          Germany        H v Colombia
  * Viktor FISCHER       Denmark        A v Slovakia
  * Mario GÖTZE          Germany        H v Colombia
  * Mats HUMMELS         Germany        H v Colombia
  * Stevan JOVETIC       Montenegro     H v Andorra
  * Robert LEWANDOWSKI   Poland         H v Greece
  * Heinz LINDNER        Austria        H v Peru
  * Ivan PERISIC         Croatia        H v Argentina
  * Dennis PRAET         Belgium        A v Turkey
  * Marco REUS           Germany        H v Colombia
  * Julian SCHIEBER      Germany        H v Colombia
  * Marcel SCHMELZER     Germany        H v Colombia
  * André SCHÜRRLE       Germany        H v Colombia
  * Neven SUBOTIC        Serbia         H v Egypt