Bellingham bags two in dominant Dortmund win

Borussia Dortmund came into Sunday’s game sitting in second position, still readily involved in the hunt for their first league title in over a decade. Meanwhile, Wolfsburg remain hot on the heels of Bayer Leverkusen, who situate the final European football qualification position after their 3-0 win over Mainz – with all three of their goals coming within the opening half an hour.

After witnessing his side’s 1-1 draw with relegation-threatened Bochum last Friday, Dortmund manager Edin Terzić decided to keep the faith, as Marius Wolf replaced Raphaël Guerreiro in the only change to his side. Micky van de Ven, who scored the opening goal in November’s 2-0 reverse win, replaced the injury-struck Maxence Lacroix in Wolfsburg’s only alteration from their victory over Mainz.

BVB: Kobel; Ryerson, Süle, Hummels, Wolf; Bellingham, Can, Brandt; Haller, Malen, Adeyemi

WOB: Casteels; Bornauw, Guilavogui, Van de Ven; Baku, Nmecha, Arnold, Kamiński; Svanberg, Wimmer, Wind 

On their longest winning run in front of their supporters across all competitions since 1994, stretching nine matches back to October, Dortmund flew out of the traps at a deafening Signal Iduna Park as Jude Bellingham headed a gilt-edged chance over Koen Casteels’ crossbar in the 8th minute. However, it took Dortmund only seven minutes after Bellingham’s missed opportunity to net the game’s opening goal as Karim Adeyemi majestically rose above Joshua Guilavogui in the penalty area to head Julian Ryerson’s deflected cross into the top corner.

Nonetheless, Wolfsburg’s heads did not drop, and were almost level immediately from the restart, but BVB goalkeeper Gregor Kobel stood tall to emerge victorious from his one-on-one battle against Patrick Wimmer. With one eye on finally bringing a conclusion to Bayern’s 10-year-long dominance of the Bundesliga title sphere, Dortmund elevated themselves further into the ascendancy on the stroke of the half-hour mark, as goalscorer Adeyemi expertly crossed for Sébastien Haller to fire past Casteels from close range. 

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In a breathtaking, highly-entertaining display of end-to-end football from both sides, it was then Wolfsburg’s turn to try and find a way back into the game, but Jakub Kamiński frustratingly saw his sweetly-struck strike well-saved by BVB ‘keeper Kobel. With half-time approaching, Terzić side’s unrelenting display of attacking football resulted in a third goal in the 37th minute, as Julian Brandt unselfishly put it on a plate for the in-form Donyell Malen to tap into an empty net for his seventh goal in as many matches.

Despite Wolfsburg boss Niko Kovač introducing Kilian Fischer and birthday boy Kevin Paredes into the fray for the second half, it was Dortmund who again threatened to extend their advantage. Visibly feeling the effects of a problematic injury that appeared to be his knee, Bellingham atoned for his miss earlier in the game with a contender for goal of the season, as the England international channelled his inner Lionel Messi with an awe-inspiring mazy run that culminated with a stunning long-range strike that hit the crossbar before creeping over the line.

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With damage limitation now on their minds, Sebastian Bornauw compounded Wolfsburg’s misery even further, as the Belgian defender’s defensive howler allowed Haller to provide strike-partner Adeyemi with the easy task of slotting into an unexposed net to put Dortmund 5-0 ahead. However, with the prospect of a maiden hat-trick in his Bundesliga career on the horizon, the 21-year-old could only disappointingly direct his penalty-kick high into the stands after Fischer had clumsily brought down Bellingham in the 65th minute.

Casteels denied substitutes Marco Reus and Youssoufa Moukoko as the game wound down, with the Wolfsburg shot-stopper keen to keep the scoreline from turning into a cricket score. However, he was helpless to prevent Bellingham from scoring his second of the game with four minutes left of regular time, as the target for a plethora of Premier League clubs this summer calmly chested down Brandt’s header before firing into the bottom corner past a beleaguered-looking Casteels.

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Dortmund’s comprehensive win consolidated their seat in the UEFA Champions League qualification position, and subsequently registered a 10th consecutive victory for BVB at Signal Iduna Park. Meanwhile, Wolfsburg suffered a blow in their attempts to participate in a second UEFA competition in the last three years after failing to again register an away victory this season against a side above them in the Bundesliga standings.