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August 13, 2011
• Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena, Sinsheim
Referee: D. Aytekin
• Attendance: 30150
S. Salihović 9'
ALL OVER!!!!!!!! HOFFENHEIM DO IT AGAIN! They defeat Dortmund for a second consecutive year at home and Stanislawski can barely hide his joy. The game was decided in the first-half through a wonderful free-kick from Salihovic. Dortmund huffed and puffed but lacked a cutting edge upfront today, which cost them. Thanks for joining us. Do read our report and ratings, which should be up soon. Until next time, Auf Wiedersehen.
90' + 3'
Deep into stoppage time...Lowe's free-kick is headed clear at the near post. The second ball is aimed towards Santana but ends up in the arms of Tom Starke and the chance has gone.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Peniel Kokou Mlapa
90' + 1'
Obasi is down with cramp and as he goes to get treatment from Beck, walks off the pitch. The referee had called the medical staff on but they will not be needed. Dortmund have a free-kick on the right. Almost everyone forward.
Normal time is up and there will be a minimum of two minutes stoppage time. Babel looks for Mlapa but Bender is ideally stationed to cut the ball out.
The game is becoming ever more open and stretched. Kuba persists down the right-hand side but Obasi does not give up either and Hoffenheim have a goal-kick. Not long left now for the champions.
And Dortmund open up Hoffenheim but fail to make it count. Beck was caught out of position by Zidan who worked his way past two defenders before squaring it to Kuba. Kuba dropped the shoulder, makes space for the shot but then fires disappointingly over the bar.
Momentary panic in the Hoffenheim box as they fail to clear Piszczek's cross after Lewandowski's failed header down but they eventually scramble the ball away for a corner through Vorsah. Dortmund looking to apply the pressure now...and Grosskreutz lashes a shot wide on the turn. Had little time to think about it, was pure instinct.
Lewandowski's flick on looks to be a lost cause though Perisic does his best to chase it and keep the ball in but to no avail. The home fans are in good voice but Dortmund only need one lapse of concentration to pounce and punish the hosts.
Kuba lets fly from 25 yards and his shot takes a touch on the way through. Zidan looks to beat Starke to the loose ball but the Egyptian was originally offside when the ball was struck. Relief for Hoffenheim.
And Kaiser almost sealed it for Hoffenheim!!!! Dortmund fail to deal with the throw-in and Kaiser runs across Zidan before striking the ball low and first-time not far wide of Weidenfeller's far post! What an impact that would have been.
Mlapa burns through the gears as he marauds down the right but Hummels tracks him all the way and takes advantage of a touch of hesitancy from the Hoffe attacker to make the block.
Brilliant ball over the top from Rudy towards Schipplock in the inside left channel. Schipplock looked to square the ball to the unmarshalled Babel in the centre but Santana cut the ball out. Schipplock's second attempt was a weak shot, which dribbled through to Weidenfeller. Big chance for the hosts to put this game to bed!
A final substitution for the home side. Fabian Johnson, who has worked tirelessly for his side today, makes way for the young Dominik Kaiser for the last ten minutes.
Yellow Card Andreas Beck
Beck wrestles Perisic to the ground and concedes the free-kick ; he is rightly booked though it was the only way he could have stopped the Croatian once he had cut inside.
Now Babel peels off to the right and makes a mug of Hummels when no space seemingly existed, however, as often with the former Ajax man, his decision making lets him down and his final ball is poor and predictable towards the near post.
Obasi does Piszczek for pace and cuts the ball back to Babel at the near post. The Dutchman's first touch is poor and sensing the chance, Santana sticks out a boot and clears the ball in desperation upfield. Stanislawski is looking very pleased with his charges on the touchline.
Schipplock's cross from deep takes a deflection off Lowe and limps through to Weidenfeller. The game has become rather scrappy in the last few minutes, which will suit the home side who are sitting on a lead. Dortmund need to rediscover the intensity they brought out onto the pitch after the break.
Kagawa picks out Kuba down the right with a powerful pass to feet but Braafheid uses all his strength and pace to hold off the Polish winger and shepherd the ball behind for a goal kick. And that is the last we see of Kagawa, who makes way for Zidan.
Schipplock cuts inside the challenge of Lowe but then finds himself on a completely different wavelength to Mlapa as he slides the ball through the defence into no man's land. Zidan is ready to come on for Dortmund.
Dortmund almost find themselves in major trouble after Mlapa wins the ball back. Lowe's success in winning the ball back from Mlapa is short lived as the substitute recovers and rolls it back to Schipplock, whose shot is blocked by a desperate lunge from Felipe Santana.
Holger Stanislawski brings on more fresh blood in the shape of Sven Schipplock, who replaces Roberto Firmino. The midfielder struck the bar early on but has not contributed a great deal thereafter.
Mlapa looks to drive Hoffenheim down the right but he fails to look up at full speed and finds Bender in the midfield though he wins a throw. Schipplock ready to come on upfront for Hoffenheim and add some aerial ability.
Babel looks ominous as he cuts inside off the left touchline but as he goes for the subtle through ball instead of the shot, Felipe Santana reads his intentions to perfection and makes a timely interception.
Sounds like the Ivan Perisic show but he is heavily involved at the moment. He latches onto the ball across from Kagawa and shoots for goal but Beck is well positioned and block the effort with his body.
Perisic looks very annoyed with himself and as well he might. Good work from Kuba down the right to cut the ball back to Perisic, who skies the shot well over the crossbar on his right peg, when unmarked inside the Hoffenheim penalty box. That said, he has made a difference for BVB since coming on.
BAR!!!! Lowe's corner was headed against the bar by Ivan Perisic, who leapt like a salmon at the near post. Felipe Santana reacted first to the rebound but did not know enough about it and the ball trickled off his shin through to a grateful Starke.
Peniel Kokou Mlapa
Goalscorer Salihovic makes way after an hour for Peniel Mlapa, who will add some pace and energy to this Hoffenheim side.
Excellent take from Tom Starke who lives up to his name, as he hangs on to Kuba's cross from the right. Hoffenheim need to tighten up their left flank and support Braafheid a little better as Piszczek loves to bomb forward. Meanwhile, Rudy tracks the dynamic run of Perisic into the penalty area and gets the block in just as the former Club Brugge man wants to pull the trigger.
PERISIC WIDE! Piszczek did well to keep the ball in play and he rolls it back to Kuba. The winger picks out Perisic at the far post but the Croatian midfielder finds it very difficult with the angle and shoots well wide of the goal.
Salihovic does well to get across and intercept the cross-field pass looking for Kuba though Dortmund win the throw. They've enjoyed much more possession in the second half.
Kagawa lays the ball off to Piszczek who attempts to dink the ball over the top for Lewandowski but he puts too much purchase on the pass. Can't help feeling that Barrios is a big miss for the champions.
Vorsah has gone down clutching his left shin in his own box and is receiving treatment. Meanwhile, Ilkay Gundogan makes way for Ivan Perisic, who was Belgium's leading scorer last season for Club Brugge.
After an eventful week for the teenager, Mario Gotze makes way for Jakub Blaszczykowski or Kuba from here on in down Dortmund's right-hand side. Probably a wise decision to take Gotze out of the firing line for the time being although he was looking lively in and around the box.
A clever ball from Salihovic over the top into space releases Firmino who races in behind the defence. Although the angle is against him, he still gets the shot away and forces Weidenfeller to dive to his left to parry the ball behind for a corner. Kuba is about to come on...
Grosskreutz and Gotze combine well on the left-hand side of the box. Gotze tries to fool Salihovic and Beck with a stepover and turn on a sixpence but between them, the Hoffenheim defenders snuff out the little genius.
Sven Bender did very well at the far post to win the aerial duel with Vorsah before Gotze commits a foul. Under duress from Firmino, Hummels clears behind his own goal for a Hoffenheim corner. Vorsah again is the target at the far post and he balloons his header over.
Braafheid improvises to win the ball off Gotze while almost on the ground and help launch a Hoffenheim counter. Babel tries an optimistc shot from just outside the right-hand corner of the penalty box and he wins a corner, which Salihovic will take short.
Beck is forced to come across and nick the ball away from Gotze as Kagawa looked for the killer ball. The greater intensity may not be a problem physically for Hoffenheim who are a fit side but they could struggle with the sheer skill and quick thinking of Dortmund's stars if they get it right.
Dortmund are looking to up the ante in the second-half. Beck almost stumbles over Kagawa who had drifted to the left but he did just enough to win the ball back fairly. Dortmund's tempo has notably increased already since the resumption, as has their pressing.
We're back underway in Sinsheim as Hoffenheim kick us off for the second half. Both sides are unchanged.
And after barely any stoppage time, the half-time whistle blows. Hoffenheim have produced a very disciplined performance thus far and on balance, just about deserve to lead at the break thanks to a Salihovic free-kick par excellence. Dortmund have been a good deal below their best but as the half wore on, showed signs of being able to trouble the Hoffenheim defence. Join us in 15 minutes for the second period.
An audacious effort from Firmino from a good 40 yards as he tries to catch Weidenfeller napping but the Dortmund captain for the day is not half asleep and he makes a comfortable catch.
OHHHHHHHHHHHH Almost wonderful play from Gotze. He got to the by-line, left Beck for dead before then cutting the ball back across goal without much hint of a backlift. Despite three or four shirts approaching the ball, they somehow all failed to make contact and Hoffenheim breathe again.
A heartstopping moment for Hoffenheim!!! Vorsah lost possession inside his own penalty box and Kagawa took the ball on before seemingly being hauled down from behind. Dortmund wanted a penalty but it was an excellent recovery challenge from the Ghana defender, who took the ball first.
A rare indiscretion from Vorsah in this first half as he clumsily leans into Lewandowski with his left elbow, giving Dortmund a free-kick on the edge of the centre circle. Gundogan finds Hummels who is well held up by Beck and then Firmino.
Bender looks to thread the ball out to the right for Piszczek but he gets his angles wrong and underhits the pass. The right-back then fouls Braafheid from behind as the Dutchman looks to begin the attack for his team.
Yellow Card Mario Götze
Gotze is booked much to the disapproval of Jurgen Klopp for taking the legs from underneath Salihovic from behind. Braafheid finds himself down the left flank in a rare foray forward but he loses his balance and Dortmund can recover.
A lovely run by Gotze who found a rare pocket of space but the lay-off from Lewandowski (who was under pressure) was too strong to allow Gotze to be able to latch onto the return pass. However, it is obvious that Dortmund are increasingly looking to the number 11 to inspire a turnaround in this encounter.
Again the young Chris Lowe does well under pressure from Firmino who had drifted over to the left, holding the midfielder off and coolly passing the ball back to Weidenfeller. He has proved to be a more than able deputy for Marcel Schmelzer thus far.
Dortmund's best chance to date. Grosskreutz came across to deliver the inswinging corner with his left and he found Santana at the back stick, unmarked. The Brazilian's downward header is straight at Starke, who looks relieved to have been able to make a relatively straightforward save, given the magnitude of the opportunity.
Ryan Babel goes down inside the box after brushing against Felipe Santana but Aytekin tells the Dutchman to get to his feet. Der BVB respond by going up the other end. Bender holds off two men, slides it in to Gotze, who is foiled by Vorsah but wins a corner.
It had to be Gotze to produce something special and when he gets to the by-line, he holds off Rudy before picking out Grosskreutz, who is again in space and again he tests Starke with a fiercely struck shot, which is parried away to safety.
A careless pass from Braafheid gifts Dortmund possession. Kagawa finds Grosskreutz in space just outside the box and the left-sided player fires his shot away ; it's on target and forces Starke to beat the ball away with both fists, fortunately for him to one of his own defenders.
Vorsah outwits Lewandowski by feigning to spin left before moving towards the centre of the pitch as he beats the Polish striker to another long punt forward. It's hardly the greatest service on which to dine if you're a lone striker. He needs more support from the midfield trio in behind him.
Obasi holds the ball then waits for Salihovic to come down the left on the overlap. However, the cross is harmless as it takes a significant deflection off Piszczek and spins through to Weidenfeller at the near post.
Felipe Santana plays himself into trouble by taking too long and being robbed by Obasi. Dortmund get enough bodies back to limit the danger and then Babel is forced to apologise as his wild cross from the right passes harmlessly along the turf and behind for a goal-kick.
Obasi looks to the sky in frustration after his cross into the box is blocked by Hummels. That was a smart attack by Hoffenheim involving Babel, which threatened to cut the Dortmund defence open with quick combination play. However, Hummels read the danger in the nick of time for the away side.
Piszczek bursts down the right and breaks into the box. Salihovic gives up the ghost rather too easily but Compper tracks the full-back and blocks his cross. Lewandowski is then guilty of a foul from the corner, which relieves the pressure on Hoffenheim after they had failed to clear their lines in the first instance.
...and Piszczek breaks down the right, crossing the ball low into the box with pace, where Vorsah clears for a throw. Vorsah is on hand again to head away the resulting long-throw from the ex-Hertha Berlin man.
Excellent screening work from Bender to outmuscle Firmino and win the ball back but he then lumps it long towards Lewandowski and Hoffenheim win possession back at a stroke. A little more composure needed at times for the visitors. Much better now with the short passing in midfield before spreading it to the right...
Bender plays the ball forward to Lewandowski, who looks to use his pace but Vorsah is across. Babel works up a head of steam down the right and finds Beck on the overlap, however, young Chris Lowe is not to be outsmarted and he wins the challenge, resulting in a throw to Hoffenheim.
Kagawa falls to the floor just outside the box but no free-kick is given. Hoffenheim look for the direct ball forward to Babel, however, Hummels goes to ground and executes a perfect sliding tackle to win the ball back for his side.
Again excellent triangles from Dortmund down the inside right channel but Compper did well to read the ball into Lewandowski and dispossess the Polish striker. Dortmund then win a corner, which Gotze takes, aiming for Santana but Hoffe head it clear.
Almost a chink of light for the visitors. Grosskreutz worked an opening close to the by-line and cut the ball back. While his pass evaded Lewandowski at the near post, Kagawa was arriving late into the box but the Japanese defender was just about beaten to the ball by Compper.
Hoffenheim are doing a good job of closing down the space and not giving Dortmund the opportunities to attack them with their packed midfield and aggressive defending. Dortmund need to settle down and control the tempo of proceedings.
Lewandowski goes down just outside the box, however, it was a fair challenge from Compper and Hoffenheim make light work of that Dortmund attack. It will be fascinating to see how Dortmund respond to falling behind, especially as this Hoffe side will not lack in effort being coached by Stanislawski.
Goal Sejad Salihovic
TORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR HOFFENHEIM!!!!! A magnificent strike from Sejad Salihovic - the free-kick taker extraordinaire. This time he did go for the shot and with his exquisite left-foot, he curled the ball beyond a despairing Weidenfeller into the back of the net to give the hosts a priceless lead. Can they do it again against the champions?
Hoffenheim win a free-kick after Salihovic is the victim of a late challenge 35 yards from goal. It's taken too quickly for Aytekin's liking and Salihovic will perhaps this time go for goal rather than rolling it short to Andreas Beck. Right angle for his left peg...
FIRMINO HITS THE BAR!!!! A stunning strike from the attacking midfielder who hit it first time and made a fantastic connection with the ball on his right peg. Weidenfeller was nowhere near it and the ball struck the frame of the goal before bouncing out to safety. Never a question it crossed the line as Firmino briefly tried to suggest.
More good work from Santana who shrugs off the attention of Obasi to clear a mammoth Starke goal-kick behind his own goal for a Hoffenheim corner. Dortmund had wasted the initial free-kick and Hoffe make no real use of their set-piece chance.
Yellow Card Sejad Salihovic
No nonsense from Felipe Santana who gets rid of the bal as soon as possible. Hoffenheim take the throw-in quickly and Johnson looks to cut inside and shoot but he finds his path bloked. Dortmund come forward and are stopped when Kagawa is scythed down by Salihovic who came in with a scissor tackle front-on.
All eyes will be on Mario Gotze, to see whether the midfield superstar dubbed Gotzinho can replicate his heroics not only of the last game but of midweek, when he scored his first international goal in style against Brazil of all teams.
Excellent combination play from Dortmund until Gundogan's heavy touch lets him down and Rudy wins the ball back in the middle of the park. Hoffenheim then win a throw in, which Braafheid takes before Gundogan is guilty of a foul on Firmino. Free-kick to the hosts.
Dortmund aim their first attack down the left and when the cross comes in from Grosskreutz, Vorsah is perfectly positioned at the near post to thump it clear.
Our referee Deniz Aytekin has completed the pre-match formalities with captains Weidenfeller and Beck. The players are ready and the whistle is sounded. We're away and it's Dortmund who get us underway in front of German national team coach Joachim Low.
Despite Dortmund conquering almost all before them last season, Hoffenheim were something of a bogey outfit for Jurgen Klopp's men. It took a controversial stoppage time free-kick from Antonio da Silva to earn der BVB a point at home, while Hoffenheim won the return game last March 1-0 courtesy of an Ibisevic winner.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller ; Piszczek, Felipe Santana, Hummels, Lowe ; Gundogan, Sven Bender ; Gotze, Kagawa, Grosskreutz ; Lewandowski. Subs: Langerak, Leitner, Perisic, Kehl, Kuba, Schmelzer, Zidan.
Hoffenheim: Starke ; Beck, Vorsah, Compper, Braafheid ; Rudy, Salihovic ; Obasi, Firmino, Johnson ; Babel. Subs: Haas, Ibertsberger, Kaiser, Schipplock, Tagoe, Mlapa, Vestergaard
Guten Tag und Willkommen to Goal.com's live coverage of this enticing and intriguing Bundesliga clash between Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena. Before the international break, champions Dortmund opened the season in style with a convincing 3-1 win over Hamburg. Hoffenheim, who are under new management in the shape of ex-St Pauli Boss Holger Staislawski were beaten 2-1 away to last season's surprise package Hannover.
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