DORT

Match Report: Dortmund vs Leverkusen, Erling Haaland's brace seals a 3rd place finish for Dortmund on an emotional evening

sealed a 3rd placed finish and the champions league qualification is style. The Rhine giants won 3-1 comfortably against who have finished in Europa League spots themselves. The game ended on an emotional note as Lukasz Piszczek of Dortmund and Bender brothers of Leverkusen played their final match for their respective clubs.

 

 

Erling Haaland scored early in the game to give Dortmund the lead. Dortmund fended off a determined Leverkusen attack to end the half 1-0. Marco Reus buried a free-kick early after kickoff to double Dortmund’s lead. Haaland scored one more goal to seal the victory before Emre Can conceded a late penalty to Leverkusen. Lars Bender was brought off the bench to score the penalty and end his career on a high.

The game ends a topsy-turvy season for Dortmund. A title challenge was never mounted and at one stage, Europa league qualification was in jeopardy. They recovered well as interim coach Edin Terzic rallied his troops to the Champions League and a DFB Pokal triumph. Leverkusen similarly has Hannes Wolf to thank as he drove them to Europa League qualification. This gives them some hope to look forward to in the next season.

 

40+ AT 20

Erling Haaland has been sensational this season. He added one more spectacular performance to his name to end the season in a winning way. The Norwegian goal machine received the ball on the left side of the box and rifled a left-footed finish into the far corner past Lukas Hradecky.

His second goal of the game showcased his composure on the ball. Haaland latched onto a through ball and took it past an onrushing Hradecky with a brilliant first touch. He took two more touches to set him up and slotted it past a defender guarding the empty net.

 

 

The brace took Haaland’s tally to 41 for the season. Haaland scored 40 goals for the first time in his career. He has matched Kylian Mbappe and joined him in the 40 goal club. This season has raised Haaland’s stock and his emergence as the most lethal finisher in the world.

 

FAST FIVE

Dortmund came out all guns blazing in both halves as they scored in the first 5 minutes of each half. The first goal was down to a team press in the opposition half. Leverkusen played themselves into trouble as Dortmund stole the ball in the left channel and Reinier Jesus played it through to Haaland. The boy wonder did no mistake with his left-footed swipe at goal. The lead was well protected by Dortmund into the half-time.

The second goal was scored in the 5th minute of the second half by Marco Reus curled in a brilliant free-kick from the edge of the box. The angle was tough but Reus backed himself and gave it a shot. His curling free-kick beat everyone and went past a bemused Hradecky. Leverkusen appealed for offside as Mats Hummels was blocking the keeper’s view from an offside position. It was confirmed later that the goal stood as Hummels ducked out of the ball’s way and wasn’t interfering with it.

 

 

Haaland’s second goal late in the game ended any chance for a comeback. The late penalty scored by Lars Bender was nothing but a consolation.

AN EMOTIONAL END

The game was ended on an emotional note. Both sides had a combined 3 players retiring and they would’ve wanted a happy send-off. Dortmund ensured that Lukasz Piszczek left with silverware in his final season as they dedicated the DFB Pokal cup victory to him. He started as a right-back in the match and enjoyed a victory for one final time before retiring.

 

 

The famed Bender brothers announced earlier in the year that they were retiring. Having started their careers at 1860 Munchen, Sven Bender went to Dortmund initially before reuniting with Lars who was at Leverkusen for the entirety of his career. The twins were separated in the game as Sven started at centre-back as Lars was benched. A dream end with a clean sheet wasn’t granted to Sven as Haaland scored early in the game. Leverkusen gave a nice touch as they brought on Lars Bender to take a 90th-minute penalty and sign off with a goal.

 

Image Credits: Twitter/Bayer Leverkusen

 

This game might also mark the end of the road for many players on either side. Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho who came off the bench in the 63rd minute is a transfer interest for Europe’s elite. This might have been his final game for Dortmund. Erling Haaland also faces a huge transfer call this summer. Their interim manager Edin Terzic who has managed the squad brilliantly may be moved on if a permanent manager is found. Leverkusen also face a tough fight to keep their stars like Florian Wirtz, Jonathan Tah.

The season is finally over. The teams have to take positives and negatives from this season and move forward positively in the next one.

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