Werder Bremen 1 Borussia Dortmund 1: Reus on target but Stoger's men settle for draw

By Rob Lancaster 30 April 2018 287
Werder Bremen 1 Borussia Dortmund 1: Reus on target but Stoger's men settle for draw

Borussia Dortmund missed the chance to move up to second place in the Bundesliga table as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Werder Bremen.

Marco Reus' sixth goal in nine Bundesliga games gave Dortmund a 19th-minute lead at the Weser-Stadion, as he reacted quickly inside the penalty area to lash a loose ball into the net.

Yet crucially the in-form attacker - who had also scored twice in his side's 4-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen last weekend - failed to take a one-on-one opportunity in the closing minutes of the first half.

Bremen made Reus pay for his profligacy, grabbing an equaliser when Thomas Delaney looped a header over goalkeeper Roman Burki, who was out of position after making a close-range save to deny Maximilian Eggestein.

Dortmund dominated after the break but hit the woodwork three times, while defender Omer Toprak also correctly had a goal disallowed for offside.

The away team's misfortune meant they had to settle for a point on the road, leaving them two points behind second-placed Ruhr rivals Schalke in the standings with two games to play.

Visiting coach Peter Stoger, who took charge after Dortmund lost the reverse fixture 2-1 last December, unsurprisingly named the same XI that started the 4-0 thrashing of Leverkusen, though captain Marcel Schmelzer, as well as fit-again playmaker Shinji Kagawa, both returned to the bench.

Reus was one of the star performers in that home win, despite missing a penalty, and the Germany international continued to impress with his side's opener in Bremen.

Able to adjust his body after Maximilian Philipp's initial shot was blocked, the forward capitalised on the rebound dropping into his path with a first-time drive that flashed beyond Jiri Pavlenka.

Bremen's goalkeeper did stop the same player doubling Dortmund's lead just before the interval, however, turning aside Reus' left-footed effort after Mario Gotze had put his team-mate in the clear.

The missed opportunity turned out to be costly, too. Having narrowly avoided going 2-0 down, the hosts equalised when Burki's stop to keep out Eggestein's header only allowed Delaney to nod the rebound over the stranded goalkeeper and into the net.

Dortmund did have the ball in the net for a second time when Reus seized on substitute Andre Schurrle's scuffed shot to tee up a tap-in for Toprak, only for the defender's finish to be ruled out by a raised flag.

After being spared from conceding by the referee's assistant, Bremen were grateful to the woodwork for keeping the visitors at bay.

Reus saw a drive from Jadon Sancho's pass crash out off a post, while Manuel Akanji was denied his first goal for the club by a combination of Pavlenka's fingertips and the crossbar.

Sancho completed an unwanted treble by nodding against the opposite post to Reus, while Schurrle saw Pavlenka acrobatically keep out his close-range header as the 100th league meeting between the teams finished even.

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Rob Lancaster

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