Captain Marco Reus scored again in a 2-1 win over Leipzig that lifted Borussia Dortmund three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga on Friday and preserved its winning start to 2023. (More Football News)
Reus converted a penalty in the 21st minute and Emre Can got the second goal in the 39th for Dortmund’s 10th win from 10 games across all competitions this year. It’s the best record for any team across Europe’s top five leagues in 2023.
Bayern Munich, which was leading on goal difference from Dortmund, can reclaim top spot on Saturday with a win at relegation-threatened Stuttgart.
Reus’ 159th goal for Dortmund altogether matched Michael Zorc’s record for the club. Only Adi Preißler, who scored 177 for Dortmund in two stints from 1946 to 1959, has more.
But Dortmund needed reserve goalkeeper Alexander Meyer to preserve Friday’s win with a stoppage-time save from Emil Forsberg, just after Nico Schlotterbeck denied Timo Werner an equalizer with his shoulder.
“In the end, naturally, I’d rather win than play well and lose,” Reus said, referring to the Dortmund of previous seasons.
Dortmund coach Edin Terzić was forced into a late change to his lineup when goalkeeper Gregor Kobel complained of a muscular problem. Meyer made his fifth league appearance of the season.
The in-form Julian Brandt thought he opened the scoring with a fine finish in the 13th, but the goal was ruled out through VAR after the ball brushed his arm. Brandt had scored in his previous four games.
Reus took his chance from the penalty spot after he was brought down by Leipzig goalkeeper Janis Blaswich.
Can then had the aid of a deflection as he rewarded Dortmund’s dominance with the second goal.
Leipzig forced Dortmund back after the break and the visitor’s pressure finally paid off in the 74th when Forsberg slid in to convert David Raum’s cross at the far post. Meyer and Schlotterbeck prevented any more.
“We played a really good game in the first half and defended with all we’ve got in the second,” Terzić said. “It’s annoying that it got close at the end but we took it on.”