BERLIN: A brilliant first-half strike saw Marco Reus grab his first Bundesliga goal since May to secure a 1-0 win for Borussia Dortmund at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday in a match played on an atrocious pitch.
The two teams were forced to play on a highly uneven surface in Moenchengladbach after recent poor weather had badly-affected the pitch at Borussia-Park.
There were chances for both Lars Stindl and Raul Bobadilla early on, but the pitch remained the focus of attention, as Andre Schuerrle appeared to slip and hurt himself.
Schuerrle recovered to set up Reus as Dortmund took the lead against the run of play on 32 minutes.
Picking up a pinpoint long pass from Mario Goetze, Schuerrle squared the ball to Reus, whose dipping shot glanced off the crossbar on its way in.
“I actually wanted to hit it further to the left,” Reus told Sky. “But the main thing is that the ball went in. We had to scrap today, and we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Reus has missed most of the current campaign with a cruciate ligament tear, and had not been on the scoresheet for Dortmund since scoring a brace on the final day of last season.
Jannik Vestergaard found the net for Gladbach just before half-time, but was judged to be offside by the video assistant referee.
Thorgan Hazard should have equalised moments later, darting into the box from the left wing before slicing the ball wide.
Gladbach continued to push forward after the break, chances falling to both Denis Zakaria and Matthias Ginter before Sokratis denied Bobadilla with a goal-line clearance on 55 minutes.
As the second half wore on, Roman Buerki was forced into a string of saves, denying Stindl, Bobadilla and Nico Elvedi to keep Dortmund ahead.
At the other end, Reus saw his fizzing half-volley beaten away by Yann Sommer.
Earlier in the day, Mario Gomez’s goal was enough to secure a first away win of the season for Stuttgart, and inflict a first home defeat since October on Augsburg.
The veteran striker gave Stuttgart the lead just before the half-hour mark. After Erik Thommy’s free-kick was blocked by the defensive wall, Gomez pounced on the loose ball and swept it into the bottom corner.
Michael Gregoritsch appeared to equalise for Augsburg ten minutes later, but he too was correctly ruled offside after a two-minute long consultation with the video assistant referee.
Only a superb save from Marwin Hitz stopped Stuttgart from doubling the lead on 65 minutes, the Augsburg goalkeeper denying Gomez from point blank range.
“We should really have won by three or four goals today,” Gomez told Sky. “But we showed amazing character, and we’re going in the right direction.”
The win lifts Stuttgart four points clear of the bottom three, while Dortmund move into second ahead of RB Leipzig’s visit to Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday.