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March 29, 2014
• Mercedes-Benz-Arena, Stuttgart
Referee: M. Weiner
• Attendance: 59500
C. Gentner 9'
M. Harnik 19'
M. Reus 30', 68', 83'
That's all that we have time for from the Mercedes-Benz-Arena, as Dortmund picked up a 3-2 away Bundesliga win against Stuttgart, thanks to the brilliant Marco Reus. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time.
Spirited performance from Stuttgart, but it just wasn't good enough, with Dortmund taking their chances to replace Schalke in second place. The home side remain in the relegation zone, as their hosting record remains at merely three home wins all season.
FULL TIME! That's it, as the replacement referee calls time on a Dortmund comeback, with the visitors earning an impressive 3-2 away victory. Stuttgart had a two goal lead, through Gentner and Harnik, but couldn't hold on. Niedermeier's red card and a hat-trick for Marco Reus gave Klopp the perfect result to end his 300th Bundesliga game.
90' + 6'
Yellow Card Kevin Großkreutz
90' + 6'
Grosskreutz earns himself a yellow card for tugging back Boka as the substitute looked to break and that's about as cynical as it gets. That should be that for Dormund!
90' + 4'
Die Schwarzgelben are happy to stroke the ball around the back four, with Aubameyang even taking the ball to the corner in a bid to waste some seconds. Rudiger earns himself a stern telling off, after mouthing off at the new referee.
90' + 2'
Dortmund are happy to retain the ball, with the home fans whistling and urging their tired team to press. Stuttgart have worked incredibly hard this afternoon, with Stevens presumably seeing plenty of positives, but to let a two goal lead slip is unforgivable in a relegation battle.
There are six minutes of time added on at the end of the second half, with the patched-up referee holding up the electronic board in his new role of fourth official.
Dortmund continue to drive forward despite being ahead! Grosskreutz races down the right hand side, before he feeds Reus. The Dortmund goalscorer bursts into the box, but takes too heavy of a touch, allowing for Ulreich to race out and smother the ball.
Only a few minutes remain of normal time, but there will be plenty of time added on for the referee's injury. Stuttgart still have time to find an equaliser, signalling their intent by bringing on Cacau from the bench.
WHAT A MISS FROM HARNIK! Stevens can't believe it! The Austrian works his way into the area, with only Weidenfeller to beat, but Harnik curls the ball wide of the far post from close range! What a golden chance!
Ten minutes remain in this game, with Stuttgart now needing to press forward in an attempt to earn a share of the spoils. Dortmund have deserved to win this game, especially since Niedermeier's dismissal, but to concede a deflected goal is cruel on Stevens' men.
Assist Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Goal Marco Reus
GOOOOOOOOAL! A DEFLECTED REUS EFFORT GIVES DORTMUND THE 3-2 LEAD! It's cruel on Stuttgart, but the ball nestles in the bottom corner after Reus' effort clips off Schwaab and into the net! Ulreich was getting nowhere near that.
Sakai hoofs away a Sahin corner delivery, with several Dortmund players lurking at the near post. The loose ball is controlled and whipped back in, but the referee penalises Sokratis for a supposed push on Ulreich while the hosts' goalkeeper was trying to claim the cross.
GREAT SAVE FROM ULREICH! Reus curls a dipping free-kick towards the top right corner, but Ulreich is at his athletic best to turn the effort over the bar! The corner is played short and whipped in, but Lewandowski couldn't keep his header down from eight yards out!
Finally, we're back underway, but there will be plenty of added time at the end of the second half! Dortmund restart the game well, with Hofmann providing a good cross, but Rudiger hooks it away. The Stuttgart defender has been excellent today.
It's a lengthy break in play, as the fourth official strips off and gets ready to take to the field. Klopp has time to slip in a little joke, but it looks like a serious problem for the referee. He looked to overstretch after taking an abnormally long stride to avoid the ball.
The referee has pulled a muscle in his leg and won't be able to continue! It looks like a severe problem for the official, with the break in play allowing for Stevens to call his players into the bench for further instructions. Can Stuttgart hold on?
Rudiger makes an excellent tackle to dispossess Hofmann, much to the delight of the home support, as the crunching challenge echoes around the stadium. The central defender makes his way up to Dortmund's penalty area to meet a free-kick delivery, but can only nod the ball the wrong side of the upright.
It's time to shore up for Stuttgart, as Stevens chooses to throw Sakai on in place of Traore. There goes the hosts' main outlet, as the home side look to hold onto what could prove to be a very valuable point. Dortmund are in the ascendancy!
Penalty Goal Marco Reus
GOOOOOOOAL! REUS EQUALISES WITH A COOL PENALTY! The Germany international sends Ulreich the wrong way, slotting the ball into the bottom left corner and getting Dortmund back level! Stuttgart would be very happy to take a point now!
Red Card Georg Niedermeier
PENALTY! RED CARD! Lewandowski gets beyond Niedermeier and into the box, but the central defender brings down his man, giving away a penalty and seeing a straight red card as a result! This could be the game's turning point!
HOFMANN! Fantastic through ball from Sahin, who lofts a pass over the Stuttgart defence for the youngster to chase. He manages to get a touch, but can only turn it into Ulreich's grasp.
Poor ball from Ibisevic! The Bosnian striker drives down the right flank after picking up a loose ball, but can only turn his cross into the path of Hummels, rather than Gentner who is in acres of space at the far post. That was Stuttgart's chance to, in all likelihood, seal the victory.
Less than half an hour remaining and Dortmund are looking the more likely to find the game's fourth goal. Klopp has played almost all of his cards, but Stevens' resilient system continues to hold firm. The home support urge their side towards what would be a fantastic three points.
Yellow Card Georg Niedermeier
Predictably, Kirch and Mkhitaryan were the two players yanked off for Dortmund, as neither have managed to have any real telling contribution on proceedings, minus Kirch's gift of a first goal to Stuttgart. Mkhitaryan just didn't burst into life, with Hofmann staking more of a claim to Die Schwarzgelben's number ten position.
Alexandru Iulian Maxim
Three changes from a manager apiece, as Sahin, Aubameyang and Maxim take to the field. Didavi leaves the field to a standing ovation from the home support, to commemorate the fact that the midfielder has just managed to play an hour on his comeback to the first-team after injury.
What a mistake by Traore! The winger takes his eye off the ball, swinging his leg to clear a cross, but entirely misses it! Thankfully for Stuttgart, there aren't any yellow shirts lurking to take advantage of the error!
Stuttgart are getting deeper and deeper, but Traore remains a real threat on the counter. Durm is frightened to death of the winger, whose pace is just too much for him to handle. Kirch commits yet another foul and given his yellow card status, Klopp might be looking to substitute the midfielder soon.
CROSSBAR! WHAT A STRIKE! Stuttgart are saved by the upright, with Ulreich completely beaten! The hosts' keeper was getting nowhere near that, with Lewandowski's piledriver flying past him at some speed. The home side break, with Ibisevic found on the edge of the box, but the Bosnia international fires high and wide.
Klopp is looking a slightly happier man on the sidelines, as Dortmund continue to look the more dominant side. Stuttgart manage to break after yet another mistake from the visitors, but Ibisevic's through ball to the marauding Schwaab is too heavy, allowing for Weidenfeller to collect.
Rudiger does down holding his face after a clash with Lewandowski, but the referee merely warns the Poland international. After controlling the ball, the Dortmund striker accidentally caught Rudiger in the face lightly, but from the central defender's reaction, you'd have thought he'd punched him square in the mouth.
Dortmund have started the second half well, retaining possession and delivering a couple of decent crosses. Stuttgart are sitting in their shape well, however, as Steven's system continues to work well. Grosskreutz fires wide of the far post after being fed the ball on the overlap.
Good defensive header from Rudiger! The central defender is at the near post once again to turn away a dangerous Hofmann cross, as the Dortmund youngster continues to show his potential. Didavi goes down after a kick in the face from Kehl, but the Stuttgart man doesn't require treatment.
DURM! Ambitious effort from the left-back, who arrows a half-volley over the crossbar from 30 yards. Kirch goes down after being elbowed in the face by Niedermeier, but the defensive midfielder is back to his feet after a few rubs.
We are back underway for the second half! If Stuttgart can cling on to their lead, it would be an invaluable three points for new coach Huub Stevens, while Dortmund can't afford to drop any points themselves should they want to retain their reputation of the second best team in Germany.
As it stands, this result would see Dortmund remain a point behind Schalke in the race for second place, with Stuttgart able to hoist themselves out of the relegation zone. There's still plenty of time left however, and if the first 45 minutes are anything to go off, be sure to tune back in ten minutes times for plenty more Bundesliga entertainment!
Stuttgart have looked well organised and dangerous on the break, though two mistakes from Dortmund have gifted the hosts their goals. Stevens will be pleased with his side, with Klopp presumably only having kind words for his offensive players. Both Durm and Kirch have been awful.
HALF TIME! The referee calls time on an excellent first 45 minutes, which has seen plenty of goals and drama, with Stuttgart leaving the field to rousing applause! Only three wins at home all season for the hosts, but goals from Gentner and Harnik have given Stuttgart a one-goal lead at the break, due to Reus' fantastic goal later on.
REUS! Schwaab manages to head away a Durm clearance, before the rebound is controlled by Mkhitaryan! Dortmund continue to press, with Reus found in a pocket of space at the back post, but Niedermeier is at full stretch to make a fantastic block to stop the visitors from equalising!
DIDAVI! On his return to the first team line-up, the attacking midfielder can only rocket his free-kick into the wall! It wins a corner, which eventually results in the same player whipping in a dangerous back post ball, but Schwaab can only turn his header over the crossbar.
Good sliding challenge from Sokratis! The Greek defender isn't beaten by a clever fake from Ibesevic, who cuts inside and looks to shoot with his left foot. Moments later, however, the same Dortmund man shoves Ibesevic to the ground, conceding a free-kick in a dangerous area.
As the half-time break comes ever-closer, Klopp will be urging his team forward to find an equaliser. If Die Schwarzgelben can find a second goal, this first half can be entirely forgotten about, which is something within the interest of all Dortmund personnel - especially Durm and Kirch.
Dortmund aren't looking anywhere near their best, but Stuttgart have allowed their adversaries to slip back into this game as a contest. Lewandowski continues to be kept quiet, but the likes of Reus and Hofmann are starting to tick in attack.
Yellow Card Oliver Kirch
The first yellow card of the game is given to Kirch, who continues to look extremely off the pace. He lunges into a sliding tackle, catching his man and getting absolutely none of the ball. It wouldn't be surprising if the defensive midfielder didn't re-appear after the half-time break.
Traore goes down after being caught in the face by Kehl's elbow, but the Dortmund's captain's arm was down by his side. No intent from the Dortmund man, but the referee awards a free-kick anyway. It's cleared easily, but Klopp continues to look ever more frustrated in his technical area.
MKHITARYAN! It should be 2-2! The Armenian playmaker is found in space on the left hand side, but fires narrowly wide of the far post when it looked easier to hit the target! Under no pressure, he really should have been doing far better!
Assist Jonas Hofmann
Goal Marco Reus
GOOOOOOOAL! DORTMUND ARE BACK IN THIS GAME THANKS TO REUS! They've looked clueless for long periods, but Hofmann unlocks the Stuttgart defence, slipping through Reus wonderfully. The Germany international slides the ball beyond Ulreich and into the far corner brilliantly!
IBESEVIC! Side netting! Awful stuff from Dortmund yet again! The Bosnian international rattles an effort off target despite beating Weidenfeller, following more good work down the right from Traore. It's a poor cross from the winger, but either Harnik or Ibesevic still could have applied the finish.
As we approach the half hour mark, the jubilant Stuttgart fans won't quite be able to believe their eyes. Their side have been good at home this season, but having a two goal lead over Dortmund won't have been the prediction from many of the home faithful.
It's nearly another mistake for the away side, as Durm plays Weidenfeller into trouble, but the German goalkeeper is quick off his line to make an important clearance. Ibesevic concedes a free-kick, as the Bosnian striker steams into the Dortmund shot-stopper at some speed. Dortmund are rattled.
Important defensive header from Rudiger! The central defender stoops to clear a cross from Hofmann, with Lewandowski lurking behind the Stuttgart defender. The Poland international has been utterly anonymous, but for a deflected strike early on.
The home fans can't quite believe their own luck, with their players probably feeling the same way! Dortmund have had more of the ball, but the hosts have remained solid and broken brilliantly. Two errors have been capitalised upon mercilessly by Stuttgart.
What a start for the hosts! Huub Steven's would have been hoping for a point from today's game, but he'll be disappointed should his side not leave their ground with three points now! Terrible defending from Dortmund and Jurgen Klopp does not look a happy man.
Assist Ibrahima Traore
Goal Martin Harnik
HARNIK! STUTTGART LEAD 2-0! Weidenfeller is left shellshocked by more poor Dortmund defending! Traore uses his pace and power to bypass Durm far too easily, before the winger cuts the ball back to his teammate for Harnik to pass into an unguarded net!
Harnik hasn't started this game well, with the Austrian winger giving the ball away yet again. His teammates aren't looking too happy with him, with poor decision-making the root cause of his mistakes. Die Schwarzgelben's defence is looking far more solid after their brief lapse in concentration.
Since the hosts' goal, it's been all Dortmund, with Klopp's side forcing Ulreich into two saves and earning themselves a couple of corners. Stuttgart are looking to break at pace, but Die Schwarzgelben are starting to take control. The home side are happy to sit back, given their one goal cushion.
GROSSKREUTZ! Good save from Ulreich! The full-back finds himself in an advanced position, forcing the Stuttgart keeper into a smart stop down to his right hand side. A slight resurgence from the visitors after falling behind!
LEWANDOWSKI! An excellent crossfield ball from Reus releases Grosskreutz on the right hand side, before the right-back cuts an excellent ball back to the Poland international from the byeline. Lewandowski strikes it first time, but Niedermeier's leg deflects the effort behind for a corner.
Well, Dortmund's starting eleven doesn't make good reading on paper and they've not started brilliantly here in Stuttgart! A terrible error from Kirch has given the hosts' the early lead and he won't want to see the replays. As it stands, that goal could lift the home side out of the relegation zone!
Goal Christian Gentner
GOOOOOOAL! STUTTGART TAKE THE LEAD DUE TO A DEFENSIVE ERROR! It's Kirch at fault, giving away possession to the pressing Gentner, who rounds Sokratis before blasting a low drive into the bottom right corner! Great finish and the captain gives his side the advantage!
HARNIK! The Austrian forward finds a pocket of space on the edge of the box, with the Stuttgart man having the opportunity to slip in Traore to his right. Instead, he tries to go it alone, but is dispossessed by a combination of Sokratis and Hummels, leaving his teammate furious with him.
Stuttgart have slightly more possession in the opening exchanges, but can't convert their early pressure into opportunities. Both goalkeepers have only had to make routine catches thus far, with Lewandowski and Ibesevic seeing little of the ball.
GENTNER! The midfielder tries a clever back-heel flick at the near post from Didavi's corner delivery, but Weidenfeller is alert to the danger and isn't caught out. Great idea from the Stuttgart man!
As a sidenote, Stuttgart have chosen this afternoon to give 18-year-old Gruezo his first Bundesliga start, making the midfielder only the second Ecuadorian to ever ply his trade in the German top flight. The atmosphere is excellent, but chances are few and far between in the opening stages.
Reus fires in the first free-kick of the afternoon, but the Germany international can only fizz the ball into the grasp of Ulreich. It's a beautiful day in Stuttgart, with the perfect conditions for a game of football! No excuses for any players in terms of the playing surface either.
We are underway at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena! Dortmund are desperate for a result with a weakened side, as only a win will be enough to move Die Schwarzgelben above second-placed Schalke. Plenty rides on this 90 minutes of Bundesliga football!
Only 15 minutes remain until kick-off, so be sure to stick around for all of the action from a game which has huge repurcussions on both ends of the Bundesliga table. Bayern may already have the title under lock and key, but plenty more interests need to be safeguarded before the German top flight closes its doors for another season.
Regardless of the result, today is a momentous occasion for Jurgen Klopp, as the Dortmund boss is celebrating his 300th Bundeliga game as a coach. With merely two wins from their last five matches in all competitions, Die Schwarzgelben need a result to kick-start the remainder of their season, with it looking likely that they'll be pushed all the way by Schalke in their hunt for second place.
Dortmund substitutes: Friedrich, Jojic, Aubameyang, Sahin, Langerak, Schieber, Piszczek.
Dortmund starting line-up: Weidenfeller; Grosskreutz, Sokratis, Hummels, Durm; Kirch, Kehl; Hofmann, Mkhitaryan, Reus; Lewandowski.
Stuttgart substitutes: Sakai, Haggui, Cacau, Werner, Vlachodimos, Rausch, Maxim.
Stuttgart starting line-up: Ulreich; Schwaab, Rudiger, Niedermeier, Boka; Gentner, Gruezo; Harnik, Didavi, Traore; Ibisevic.
TEAM NEWS: All change at full-back for the visitors, as Erik Durm and Kevin Grosskreutz start on the left and right flank respectively. Lukasz Piszczek drops to the bench in light of poor recent performances, with Oliver Kirch replacing Nuri Sahin in defensive midfield. Jonas Hofmann is deployed on the right hand side instead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan available to help the youngster support Robert Lewandowski.
TEAM NEWS: Vedad Ibesevic continues to lead the line for the hosts, with Boka and Didavi coming into the side which lost 2-0 to Nurnberg last time out - with Rausch and Sakai dropping to the substitutes' bench.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the action from the Mercedes-Benz-Arena, as both sides look for a possibly season-defining win. Injury-ravaged Dortmund certainly have a point to prove to their fans, following some poor recent performances, while Huub Steven's men can't really afford to drop many points at home as we move into the business end of the Bundesliga campaign.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of one of the Bundesliga's early kick-offs, as Stuttgart hosts Borussia Dortmund, with the league title already decided. With seven games remaining, however, there is still plenty to play for, as both sides are embroiled in their own contrasting situations. Stuttgart currently sit in the drop-zone, with a win today enough to drag them into 14th place, while Dortmund need a win to take them back above Schalke and into second.
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