Two late goals for Borussia Dortmund helped them overcome an indifferent performance to beat Eintracht Frankfurt for the second Bundesliga win of the season.
Abdou Diallo’s scrappy first-half goal, his first for the club, gave the hosts the lead at the break, but they failed to build on that as Sébastien Haller pulled Frankfurt level with 20 minutes to go.
That brought Dortmund to life though, with Marius Wolf haunting his former side to restore his new side’s lead, before Paco Alcácer marked his first appearance, from the bench, with the third goal.
Scrappy Diallo goal gives Dortmund lead
After an insipid goalless draw at Hannover 96 two weeks ago, Lucien Favre responded by making a surprisingly change, replacing Axel Witsel with Jacob Brunn Larsen, rewarding him for his four goals in a friendly against VfL Osnabrück during the international break. After a late defeat to Werder Bremen, Adi Hütter made three changes to Frankfurt’s line-up, including bringing back Marco Fabián who had been set to leave before the transfer window shut. Simon Falette and Evan N'Dicka also started.
Dortmund unsurprisingly took the initiative, but there was little reward early on. They used the wings well, with Marco Reus and Lukasz Piszczek combined on the right before the Pole’s cross was met by Maximilian Philipp, continuing in the striker’s role with Paco Alcácer only on the bench, putting the effort over the bar.
Frankfurt sat back and absorbed the Dortmund pressure, but created very little. Their best chance of the first half came even earlier than the opportunity from Philipp. Piszczek had been at fault, allowing a diagonal ball past to find Filip Kostić, however Roman Bürki was able to keep the shot out from the man who’s joined on loan from Hamburger SV. He was perhaps a little fortunate to only see a yellow card though for a studs-in challenge on Diallo later in the half.
Brunn Larsen had struggled to get into the game for Dortmund, but looked good when on the ball. He would set up the opening goal, taking a corner from the left in the front of the Yellow Wall. Falette was guilty of letting the ball go as it founds Diallo. Kevin Trapp scrambled to save two efforts from the defender, but a third finally went in, Mijat Gaćinović failing to respond on the line for die Adler.
Hütter’s side showed more positivity in the closing stages of the half, with Dortmund dealing with a couple of promising crosses from Danny da Costa, but the home side took their narrow advantage with them into the break.
Equaliser sparks Dortmund back into life
The goal from Diallo didn’t give the early stages of the second half the injection of life it might have, but Frankfurt remained interested. As for Dortmund, Brunn Larsen’s first Bundesliga start for them ended with a niggle seeing him replaced by Jadon Sancho. He gave them a fresh energy, but a Frankfurt substitute had a chance at the other, Jonathan de Guzmán blasting over after a mistake from Wolf.
Soon after that, Frankfurt would make Dortmund pay for a relaxed approach since the half-time interval. A number of sloppy moments defensively, most notable an attempted clearance form Diallo that came off Marcel Schmelzer. Da Costa picked up the ball, and Haller connected with his cross to bring the game back to all square.
Parity did not last for long though. Sancho was the creator after Reus quickly moved on a ball from Piszczek. Teasing a couple of defenders, the young Englishman crossed the ball in, finding Wolf on the far side of the box. He had had a very quiet game against the club he left in the summer, but now he pounced to restore Dortmund’s lead, celebrating his low strike with respectful minimalism.
Luka Jović, who had scored in this fixture last season, rightfully had a goal disallowed soon after for offside, before a Kostić crossed was blocked by Piszczek. The roles were soon reversed, with Kostić doing enough to deny Piszczek a clean header when he found himself in the box trying to meet a cross from Sancho.
A couple of corners followed from Sancho, the second played short as he shared a one-two with Alcácer, who had come on for his debut just before the Frankfurt goal. Sancho’s attempted cross was then blocked, but the ball fell back to Alcácar, who hit the ball well but it was a deflection off Haller that helped it to beat Trapp and seal a win for die Schwarzgelben.