Bundesliga leaders Dortmund flourishing without Manchester City striker Erling Haaland
Dortmund’s victory over RB Leipzig moved them ahead of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga, which they never won with Haaland.
For the first time in what feels like forever, there could be a shake-up at the top of the Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund, who sold Erling Haaland to Manchester City last summer, are the new league leaders in Germany, admittedly having played a game more than everyone else. The dominance of Bayern Munich, which has spanned the last decade, is under serious threat. Rarely has a team been in a position to seriously challenge the Bavarians at this stage of the season and Edin Terzic’s men are going from strength to strength.
Dortmund’s superb run in 2023
Dortmund have won all 12 of the games they have played in 2023, including the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie against Chelsea and a DFB Pokal game against Bochum, which has seen them leapfrog Bayern to the top of the Bundesliga and progress to the quarter-finals of the domestic cup. And it’s a feat that is made all the more remarkable by the fact that they began the season without the services of Haaland, one of their brighest stars in recent years who moved to Premier League champions City in the biggest move of last summer’s transfer window.
How many goals did Haaland score for Borussia Dortmund?
In the two-and-a-half seasons that Haaland spent in North Rhine-Westphalia, he scored 13, 27 and 22 league goals respectively, along with plenty more in other competitions (86 in 89 matches overall). His relentlessness in front of goal made him one of world soccer’s most feared and sought-after strikers, yet his heroics were still not enough to dethrone Bayern. In Haaland’s time at the club, Dortmund finished second twice and third once, with the league title heading to Munich on each occasion.
Haller’s recovery from illness, Bellingham comes to the fore
Dortmund’s rise to the top of the Bundesliga has also come in spite of Sébastian Haller’s absence due to illness. The Ivory Coast international was signed as a direct replacement for Haaland but was forced to miss several months of action due to his testicular cancer diagnosis. Veteran Frenchman Anthony Modeste was drafted in as an an emergency signing in attack.
Now that Haller has thankfully recovered, the Dortmund attack has begun fully firing, despite the fact that the ex-Ajax attacker has scored just once and youngsters Karim Adeyemi and Youssoufa Moukoko have suffered injuries. Others such as Jude Bellingham, who has scored 10 goals from midfield this season, have taken huge strides forward and helped turn Terzic’s side into serious contenders. Even more so than when Haaland was firing goals in left, right and centre.