Borussia Dortmund fought back from three goals down to rescue a point against bottom of the table Paderborn in a thrilling encounter on Friday night.
It was a stunning start for visiting Paderborn, who took the lead within five minutes – Streli Mamba sweeping home a beautifully crafted counter-attack and silencing Signal Iduna Park.
Things went from bad to worse for Lucien Favre’s side who conceded a second after 37 minutes, and it was Mamba again, running in behind the Dortmund defence and finishing with aplomb in front of a sea of yellow and black in the stands.
Things looked irreparable for Dortmund, but they made an electric start to the second half. Jadon Sancho slotted home only two minutes after the restart, converting half-time substitute Achraf Hakimi’s incisive pass and offering Dortmund hope.
Chances continued to come and go for the hosts but finally Dortmund grabbed a vital second goal through Axel Witsel’s near-range header, and bringing them back in to contention.
And finally, the comeback was complete in stoppage time. Sancho’s beautiful cross was calmly headed home by Marco Reus and rescued a much-needed point for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga’s best game of the season so far.
?Key Talking Point
?Dortmund knew that they could rise to second in the ?Bundesliga with a victory over bottom of the table Paderborn, and they were in desperate need of a win following their humiliating 4-0 defeat to ?Bayern Munich before the international break.
The first half was the stuff of nightmares for the home crowd, who couldn’t quite believe what they were witnessing. Three devastating Paderborn counter-attacks left Dortmund bereft, licking their wounds going in to half time after some shambolic defending throughout the opening 45 minutes.
Dortmund struggled to cope with the pace and intensity of the visitors – who have only won one game in the Bundesliga this season – and looked incredibly vulnerable at the back with amateurish defending, and very little in the way of attacking creativity.
Favre needed a drastic reaction in the second half with his job firmly on the line, and possibly only 45 minutes to save himself from the sack. It was a fine start too, Sancho netting shortly after the break and seeking to inspire another Signal Iduna Park comeback.
Dortmund continued to chip away at Paderborn, with the visitors growing increasingly weary as time passed. They grabbed a second and third to produce a stunning comeback, finished off by Marco Reus in added time and sparing some of Favre’s blushes.
Despite an admirable fight from Dortmund in the second half, the performance and result were still a far cry from what the home fans have come to expect, and Favre’s head may still be on the chopping block after an ultimately disappointing evening.
Starting XI: Burki (5); Piszczek (4), Weigl (3), Hummels (4), Schulz (4); Witsel (6), Dahoud (4), Guerreiro (4), Sancho (7*), Reus (6); Alcacer (4)
Substitutes: Brandt (5), Hazard (5), Hakimi (6)
It was a dismal evening for Dortmund with very few players leaving the field with any pride. However, Sancho was the hosts’ most creative outlet and grabbed a goal and an assist to inspire an incredible comeback.
The English winger produced some fabulous stuff in the second half and has once again proved why he is an essential for Borussia Dortmund.
Starting XI: Zingerle (8); Jans (7), Kilian (7), Schonlau (8), Collins (7); Gjasula (8), Vasiliadis (5), Proger (7), Holtmann (7), Zolinski (7); Mamba (9*)
Substitutes: Sabiri (6), Antwi-Adjej (6), Michel (5)
Borussia Dortmund’s next outing sees them travel to Camp Nou on Tuesday to take on ?Barcelona in ?Champions League Group F, before venturing to the German capital to face Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga this Saturday.
Meanwhile, Paderborn host RB Leipzig in their next domestic encounter.