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Thursday, May 26, 2022

BVB beat Bielefeld: Bayern in sight – sport

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Erling Haaland had tied his blonde hair into a ponytail this time. This made it possible to rotate through the opposite half without a problem. However, anyone who had the opera glasses in the stadium or had the sight of a recognized bird of prey from the stands: Wait a minute, that wasn’t Haaland at all, it was Marius Wolf, who played Borussia’s solo cheerleader Dortmund against Armenia. Bielefeld, so to speak. He was watched appreciatively by the real Haaland, who was back in the squad for the first time after a 50-day break due to injury, but was only substituted in the 62nd minute.

Marius Wolf doesn’t usually belong in the front row, but on Sunday BVB were missing ten players against Bielefeld, so the starting eleven was mixed. Never before has a defense of four been seen here with Felix Passlack, Emre Can, Marian Pongracic and Nico Schulz. Wolf as 10th behind storm duo Thorgan Hazard/Donyell Malen also seemed unusual. But Wolf lived up to his name. He panted through the opposite half with remarkable engagement. So it was no accident that he scored the goal of the day after Jude Bellingham’s initiation and Hazard’s assist in the 21st minute.

In the end, Dortmund won precisely with this goal 1-0 (1-0) and on Wednesday night in the recovery game at FSV Mainz 05 they have the opportunity to put up to four points behind the leader Bayern Munich. In the Ruhr area, some are now starting to count again. On the penultimate weekend of April, Dortmund is invited to Munich, on the penultimate matchday. Maybe there is still a bit of tension?

“Hope dies last,” Can tried an old saying after the win when asked about the long-distance duel with Bayern. “We look from game to game and not at Bayern,” he said, but also admitted: “Our goal is always to be there for as long as possible.” Unfortunately, that didn’t work out in the cup and European cup this season. In the championship, on the other hand, BVB may still have a chance to keep an eye out until the end.

Perhaps not least because striker Haaland is back in the Dortmund squad almost two months after his last assignment at the end of January. Because he was only strong enough for half an hour, he initially sat on the bench on Sunday. When he came into play, he was wearing a ponytail like Wolf. However, Wolf backed off a bit and left the offense to Haaland. In the 70th minute Wolf had to be substituted due to a neck problem.

Dortmund win: Back in the game: Erling Haaland, here shortly before his substitution.

Back in the game: Erling Haaland, here shortly before his substitution.

(Photo: Martin Meissner/AP)

Around 33,000 spectators were in the huge BVB stadium this time and enjoyed every minute with Haaland. Rumors are growing that the Norwegian will leave BVB in the summer. Manchester City is now the hottest candidate, ahead of Real Madrid.

Bielefeld, led by assistant Ilia Gruev in the absence of corona-isolated coach Frank Kramer, had to do without eight players on Sunday, six of them also corona-infected. Regardless of this, the Bielefeld team did not shy away from repeatedly disturbing the Dortmund defense. Especially at the beginning of the first and second half, the East Westphalians did not seem reluctant to score a goal, they just lacked the necessary effectiveness.

However, Dortmund did not play as such. In the 59th minute, Malen shot the ball under the crossbar of Bielefeld’s goal, but it bounced off the goal line and thus denied Dortmund the second goal he needed to calm down against a latently dangerous Bielefeld goal. Not wanting to score a second goal that night, including Haaland, they had to worry a bit until the end. It wasn’t until the final whistle that there was a relieved celebration.

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