Borussia Dortmund maintained their 100% start to the Bundesliga season as Robert Lewandowski fired them to a 1-0 win over Werder Bremen at Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund dominated the game but were frustrated time and time again by a rearguard Bremen defence with Aaron Hunt clearing off the line twice for the visitors.
Lewandowski did manage to score in the 55th minute and the win means Jurgen Klopp’s side have made it three wins out three in the league this season.
There was an electric atmosphere as per usual inside the stadium and the home side should have been in front inside five minutes, but a big chance was wasted by a new signing. Henrikh Mkhitaryan signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer and managed to get on the end of Marcel Schmelzer’s deep cross, but the Armenian international sent his volley wide from ten yards when he should have hit the target at least. Just after, Dortmund’s new number ten sent a left-footed shot well over after playing a nice one-two with Lewandowski on the edge of the box as Dortmund took control of the game.
Marco Reus is expected to step up and fill the gap left by Mario Gotze’s departure to Bayern Munich and the winger was close to opening the scoring in the 32nd minute. Club captain Sebastian Kehl spread the ball wide which allowed to Reus work the ball inside onto his right foot and drill in a low shot but it flashed wide from the edge of the box.
Bremen were clinging on and were thankful for the frame of their goal to keep it level. The away defence backed off of Jakub Blaszczykowski which meanst the Polish winger could rifle a shot at goal from 25 yards, but the ball pinged back off of the crossbar with Sebastian Mielitz helpless in between the posts.
The Bremen goalkeeper did have to make an important save just before half-time to make sure it was goalless at the break. Nuri Sahin headed it on for Lewandowski who turned and delivered a snap shot from the edge of the box, but Mielitz got down well to tip the ball around the post. From the resulting corner, Mats Hummels headed at goal from the near post but Hunt was waiting to clear off the line to keep it level at half-time.
Dortmund’s goal did come ten minutes into the second half and it could be perhaps the easiest strike of Lewandowski’s career. Blaszczykowski nicked it on for Reus on the right wing and the German international squared the ball across the six-yard box with a perfect cross meaning Lewandowski had the simple task of tapping in from three yards. It was a well-worked goal and gave the home side the lead they deserved.
Sahin could have produced a contender for goal of the season to double Dortmund’s lead, but he couldn’t quite get his acrobatic volley on target from Schmelzer’s cross. Klopp through on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in an effort to consolidate the lead, but he was denied by a good save from the goalkeeper after using his pace to sprint through.
Hunt was proving to be more of a defensive leader than an attacking threat when he cleared off the line for the second time. Reus’ cross was flicked on at the near post by Hummels and Lewandowski was there to turn the ball goalwards but Hunt managed to hack clear with six minutes to go.
The win means Dortmund are keeping pace with Bayern at this early stage of the season and highlighted Klopp’s options from the bench. For Bremen, they will not be disappointed by the performance and will take heart from their defensive showing.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)