Last minute Haaland goal sinks Dusseldorf but Bayern bite back
Bayern Munich will have to wait to confirm their Bundesliga title as Borussia Dortmund’s 95th-minute winner leaves Fortuna looking over their shoulder.
Erling Haaland was only fit enough to play half an hour after recently recovering from a knee injury but Borussia Dortmund’s golden boy was again the difference with a brilliant header in the dying seconds against Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Dortmund knew that defeat against relegation-threatened Düsseldorf would give Bayern Munich the chance to secure an eighth consecutive Bundesliga title on Saturday evening but they struggled to assert themselves at the Merkur Spiel-Arena. BVB dominated possession throughout the first half but made precious little of it and went into the break all square.
Dusseldorf seemed to gain belief from their clean sheet and Valon Berisha nearly pounced on a short back-pass within the opening minutes of the second half. The hosts had a couple of chances from set-pieces but thought they had gone behind shortly after the hour mark when Kevin Guerreiro fired home an emphatic volley from the penalty spot. Dortmund celebrated, but after a prolonged VAR review the ball was adjudged to have glanced off Guerrerio’s arm in the build-up.
With some of their relegation rivals in winning positions Düsseldorf may have felt that it was a day for the underdog and substitute Steven Skrzybski twice went within inches of putting them in front. The first, a low shot from the edge of the 18-yard box, struck the inside of the post and narrowly avoided being deflected back into the net by the sprawling Dortmund goalkeeper. The second was a looping volley hit on the run from outside the penalty area, Skrzybski again being denied by the upright.
Düsseldorf repelled a spell of Dortmund pressure and the game seemed to be heading for a goalless draw until the fifth and final minute of stoppage time when Manuel Akanji lofted a delicate cross into the box. The ball found the head of Haaland, until then fairly anonymous in his brief appearance, who glanced it into the far corner with the final meaningful touch of the match.
Dortmund Scrape the Win
It was not the free-flowing Dortmund that we have come to expect but they will be glad to have delayed Bayern’s title celebrations for a few more days despite the Bavarians carving out a 2-1 win against Mönchengladbach. Dortmund stay four points clear of RB Leipzig who beat Hoffenheim on Friday night.
The result leaves them on the brink of securing one of Germany’s four Champions League spots and could have it confirmed on Sunday if Bayer Leverkusen lose to Schalke.
Relegation Race Heating Up For Düsseldorf
It was so nearly a day to remember for Düsseldorf but Haaland’s last-minute winner leaves them firmly embroiled in the relegation battle with teams around them picking up victories. Werder Bremen’s resounding 5-1 victory over Paderborn leaves them level with Dusseldorf in the final automatic relegation place.
Union Berlin also secured three points win a 2-1 win over FC Koln and they will feel they have now done enough to survive in their first season back in the Bundesliga. Union are seven points clear of the drop-zone with just three games left to play.
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