Borussia Dortmund hold on to beat Schalke 04 in sensational Revierderby

The Revierderby is billed as one of the biggest derbies in Europe. Today’s edition of the famous rivalry lived up to that billing. A packed Signal Iduna Park provided plenty of atmosphere for the day’s events. It was the home fans that went home happy as Borussia Dortmund held on to beat local rivals Schalke 04, and it was every bit as enthralling as the 3:2 score line suggests.

The match started slowly, as both teams went through a feeling out process. However, it didn’t take long for the chances to come. Dortmund had the better of the play early on. The hosts were able to get in between the lines of the Schalke defense early and often. Eventually they were rewarded.

Dortmund started the scoring after 29 minutes. Matias Ginter, Dortmund’s best player in the first half, played a perfect cross that found the head of Shinji Kagawa. Not known for scoring with his head, it was Kagawa’s second league goal for Dortmund. Schalke midfielder Max Meyer was caught ball watching as he failed to track the run of Ginter, who had the time to deliver a great cross.

It wasn’t a lead that Dortmund would hold onto very long, however. Schalke leveled the score minutes later, after a lazy pass from Mats Hummels sent the Royal Blues on a quick counter. Leroy Sane used his pace to get behind the Dortmund back line and centered the ball for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, only his fourth Bundesliga goal.

From then on, the first half slowed down with neither side wanting to be too open. Dortmund had the majority of possession in the first half and it ended up benefiting them. Ginter managed to grab a goal to go along with his earlier assist. After winning a corner, Henrik Mkhitaryan whipped the ball into the middle where Ginter just glanced the ball into the net.

Schalke were down 2:1 at half time, but they had to feel that they had an opportunity to come back stronger in the second half. Unfortunately for them the opposite happened. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it 3:1 shortly after the restart. Schalke looked lost as the home side passed the ball through the midfield. Gonzalo Castro found Aubameyang in acres of space. The Gabon international easily finished past Ralf Fährmann. It was Aubameyang’s 14th league goal, he’s now level with Robert Lewandowski at the top of the goal scoring chart.

It was all Dortmund after this. Schalke had trouble dealing with the overlapping runs of Ginter and Marcel Schmelzer. Dortmund were unable to extend their lead though. The best chance came from Mkhitaryan who had time and space to score, but Fährmann came up with the big stop. Fährmann’s save did swing the momentum for a little while.

Schalke managed to pull one back on another counter attack with 20 minutes to play. Huntelaar scored again after Sokratis failed to clear a cross. The ball landed right at the feet of the Dutchman who finished with a brilliant chip. The goal made it 3:2 and it looked like Schalke could make a dramatic comeback. Schalke’s best chance to level came from Pierre Højbjerg who had a shot saved by Roman Burki minutes later.

Schalke were never able to generate anything more. The best chance towards the end of the game fell to Dortmund after some lovely build up play, but Fährmann came up big. The match ended 3:2, and the Dortmund players celebrated with gusto.

Schalke fails to jump into the top four and Dortmund keep the gap at the top reasonably close. But for 90 minutes it was more than a league match. It was a final, and Dortmund were the winners. Schalke will get a chance for revenge in April back in Gelsenkirchen.

 

About Harrison Prolic

Northern Illinois graduate with a degree in Journalism. Full-time page designer in Madison, Wisconsin. Part time follower of all things German soccer. I tweet about the Bundesliga and plenty of other sports @hprolic.

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