The hosts led twice during the match, but both their leads were cancelled out by the efficiency of Dortmund, and the influence of teenage sensation, Ousmane Dembélé, was a large factor as to why Dortmund were thankful to end tonight with a point.
The hosts hit early
The highly anticipated match promised fireworks, and fireworks it provided, as Mark Uth gave Hoffenheim the lead just two minutes into the game.
Benjamin Hübner played a long ball over the top of the Borussia Dortmund defence, allowing Uth to break the offside trap and run clean through on goal. The German striker calmly rounded Roman Weidenfeller, and squeezed the ball into the back of the net, to give the hosts an early lead.
Despite the early goal, the possession all belonged to Dortmund. Mario Götze and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both came close to an equaliser just five minutes after Uth’s early blow for the Ruhr side, however both their efforts flew wide of the post.
The pressure was too much for Hoffenheim, as Götze levelled the game on the 11th minute mark. Dembélé charged through the Hoffenheim defence, bringing the defenders out of position, allowing Götze to creep in, and a smart pass from the 19-year-old Frenchman gave Götze the opportunity to curl the ball past Oliver Baumann, to make it 1-1 with 11 minutes gone.
Hoffenheim fight back
Die Kraichgauer were pinned up against the wall, but Dortmund’s pressure meant that Hoffenheim were able to exploit the Black and Yellow’s defensive frailties, and the hosts made their visitors pay in the 20th minute, when Sandro Wagner restored Hoffenheim’s lead.
After a Kerem Demirbay chance was sheepishly punched away for a corner, the incoming set-piece fell to the head of Hübner, who flicked the ball towards Wagner, and the former Darmstadt striker got the slightest of touches to divert the ball past Weidenfeller, and into the back of the net.
The tempo of the game shifted from fast pace football, to physical, aggressive football, as the tackles were flying from both teams. Three players were booked for crunching challenges, and there could have been more had the referee been stricter in his approach.
Dortmund’s woes continued in the 40th minute, when their vice-captain Marco Reus, was sent off for a second bookable offence after a silly challenge on Nadiem Amiri saw Dortmund’s star winger dismissed with five minutes until the halftime whistle.
An electric second half
The second half started just as hectic as the first half. Wagner should have made it 3-1 to Hoffenheim after the striker was picked out by a great pass from down the right wing, but his effort slammed off the post and back into play, from there Dortmund countered.
Dembélé again went on an incredible run, shoving off players in a mad dash to the other end of the pitch, the former Rennes playmaker played Aubameyang through on goal, and 27-year-old striker brilliantly chipped the ball over Baumann, to level the game up yet again for the Black and Yellows.
Aubameyang could had a second goal in the span of 90 seconds, when the Gabon international again sprinted through the Hoffenheim defence, and found himself one-on-one with Baumann, but the Hoffenheim number one stood firm, and blocked Aubameyang tame shot.
Dortmund could have had a third goal again, however this time it would have come from the misfortune of Hübner, after Dembélé floated in an awkward cross into the penalty area, and the Hoffenheim defender got a late touch on the ball, almost sending it into his own net, however the ball rolled inches wide of the far post.
Dembélé had been Dortmund’s man of the night after single handily creating both the away sides goals, however the number seven ended the match coming off on a stretcher after the French international pulled up with an injury 67 minutes in.
Opportunities to win it late
The referee was at the centre of attention again in the 84th minute, when Jeremy Toljan was played through into the penalty box, and was fouled by both Sven Bender, and then by Weidenfeller after the fullback regained his balance and continued his run, but the referee waived off both fouls.
Andrej Kramaric should had won the game for Hoffenheim with a minute to go, when the former Leicester City striker found himself in the perfect position from a Kaderabek cross, however the Croatian’s well-timed volley was caught by Weidenfeller.
Hoffenheim remain unbeaten in the Bundesliga, and one of two teams in Europe’s top five leagues to not lose a game in their respective league campaign, the other side being Real Madrid.