Defending champion RB Leipzig has dominantly underpinned its ambitions in the DFB Cup and destroyed Borussia Dortmund’s hopes of the coveted trophy.
Four days after the bitter league defeat against FSV Mainz 05, coach Marco Rose’s team made it into the semi-finals with a 2-0 (1-0) win against the surprisingly weak BVB – for Dortmund it was the next after falling from the top of the table neck blow.
“They ate us up in the first half,” said captain Marco Reus on “ZDF” with frustration. “Then it got better, but of course what we showed is far too little.”
National striker Timo Werner (22nd) and Willi Orban (90th + 8) shot the Saxons into the next round and, after three competitive defeats including the Champions League exit, ensured a sense of achievement again. It was only on Saturday that Leipzig lost 3-0 in the Bundesliga against Mainz in the race for the premier class places.
After the painful 4-2 defeat at Bayern Munich, Dortmund had to deal with the next setback in the title hunt, BVB had their only serious scoring chances through Donyell Malen in the 90th minute and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens in added time.
With a view to the form crisis, Rose had perceived the cup duel as an opportunity “to do things better and turn the mood around”. The RB coach was missing the top performers Christopher Nkunku and Xaver Schlager due to injury.
BVB keeper Gregor Kobel in focus
After the defeat at Bayern, BVB coach Edin Terzic saw “no reason at all” to “take a negative or pessimistic approach to the upcoming tasks”. In Leipzig he had to do without the injured Nico Schlotterbeck and the red-suspended Karim Adeyemi. The ailing Sebastien Haller was not in the squad either, and Jude Bellingham was on the bench for a long time to manage his workload.
In front of 47,069 spectators in the sold-out Red Bull Arena, however, Leipzig seemed to have recovered more quickly from the recent setback. The hosts exerted constant pressure in a wild early phase. BVB keeper Gregor Kobel, who had caused bankruptcy in Munich on Saturday due to his serious mistake, was challenged several times in the first few minutes.
Again and again, RB pushed forward with speed and constricted the guests in their half. Things got tense for BVB after Mohamed Simakan had won the ball in midfield, but Dani Olmo was saved from a tight angle by Kobel (12′). Leipzig’s offensive efforts were rewarded a little later by Werner, who pushed in after a pass from Simakan.
Hard to see BVB offensively
After that, RB kept coming dangerously towards the penalty area, but initially did not use the many opportunities. Josko Gvardiol headed wide of the target (33′), Olmo’s shot was parried by Kobel (34′).
The goalkeeper then had to be treated on the pitch, but after a short break, the Swiss continued.
Even after the break, RB was mostly the game-determining team, Olmo tried again from afar (58th), but the shot went wide.
From Dortmund, where Bellingham, among other things, should provide a breath of fresh air in the course of the second half, there was initially little to be seen offensively.