Axel Witsel an Unlikely hero as Dortmund win late at Maniz the title race is on #1423

Dortmund 1 FSV Mainz 0FT

As the Bundesliga is dwindling down and heating up in its most vital moment, there is yet a possibility for a legitimate title battle near the end of the season. On a Wednesday evening, clash at Coface Arena with so much riding on the results. The entirety of this Bundesliga season was hanging in the balance, with arguably the most crucial match of the entire season coming into fruition on a Wednesday night. Bayern Munich has failed to pick up maximum points in their last two matches; the league title was expected to be already over, considering how often Dortmund has blown their chance to put pressure on Bayern Munich to take their crown. Their losses to Augsburg, Hertha Berlin, and dropping points against Bochum seem to have derailed any possibility of them taking the title from Bayern Munich. It seemed inescapable, but Dortmund was getting an opportunity to attempt to turn things around. They picked up a 1–0 victory against Armenia bfl last weekend as they came into Wednesday night with the possibility of coming within four points of Bayern Munich. In what was expected to be a crucial clash for their chance of winning the title. Dortmund still plays Bayern Munich later this season; there is a way for them to come back and win the title. With everything on the line, they traveled to Coface Arena, ready to battle with fsv Mainz. This wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, and it was expected to be a challenging affair fsv Mainz is a top-10 team this season and still is within reach of getting into Europe, points were essential for both of these teams it was expected to be a taut affair between two teams that were determined to get points. Dortmund went into a hostile environment with 25,000 screaming fsv Mainz fans in what would be a problematic challenge fsv Mainz and Dortmund lock horns with the Bundesliga season hanging in the balance.

After preparations and predictions, the match got underway at coface Arena with a vital fixture for the Bundesliga season. The match had a rather slow start with a lot of possession and controlled play from both teams. It was hard to read which team was superior or was gathering momentum. However, from my perspective, fsv Mainz looked comfortable and was feeding off the crowd moving the ball exceptionally well, and getting into those dangerous areas. In fairness, Dortmund was doing somewhat of the same it was just a matter of time before the game came to life after an incredibly slow start, especially for a Bundesliga game. Around the 20th minute, Jude Bellingham found space Inside the Box before firing a strike that was ultimately scrapped out by the fsv Mainz defense getting in the right place at the right time to close out the scoring chance. Fsv Mainz looks for a rapid reply with Kevin Stoger showing his range getting a powerful strike from deep but accuracy was not on it as too much power caused the ball to go high and wide, not bothering Kobel. Anton Stach did the same just a moment later, but another strike outside the box did not threaten Dortmund. Just as we approach the half-hour mark, Jonathan Burkhart strike from Point Blank Range was cleared out by the Dortmund defense as Matt Hummels got his foot in it. Fsv Mainz Gathering momentum as the first half progressed. But it continued to be slow-paced between the two teams. Dortmund, not asserting themselves well enough, Kevin Stoger hit another strike from outside the box come in close as the opening 45 minutes came to a close with a goalless game between them. In what was a relatively slow and unenthusiastic first half with so much at stake, the hope was the game would open up for the both of them, but the first half was indeed nothing to write home about, no one in control teams struggling.

At the start of the second half, it did seem slow fsv Mainz was opening it up slightly with the crowd behind them. Anton Stach connected on a deep strike coming from a corner had the distance and the accuracy but could not convert. And just a few minutes later, Jonathan Burkhart follows through, putting his foot through a cross before being blocked by the Dortmund at defense. Dortmund would go to the bench for the first time bringing on erling haaland as he replaces Marius wolf. The hope was the Norwegian Star would get Dortmund going. Just minutes after the substitution, Jude Bellingham tried stinging a strike from outside the box, for once again, the fsv Mainz defense got in the way. Only for Felix Passlack another strike, this time from the side of the box coast over. Around 30 minutes remaining fsv Mainz registered the first on-target strike. Anderson Alucoqui sent a cross into the box that found Widmer striking at a complicated angle, but the keeper managed to make the save. It was a challenging environment for both teams. The game became much more physical as there were some controversial decisions from both ends; it was heating up, and it was becoming tense between the teams exactly what was needed to re-energize the match. However, time was going against Dortmund Hazard set up Donyell Malen for a chance to put themselves in front, but his strike from the side of the box left something to be desired. Roughly 20 minutes to go, Erling Haaland finally made his presence felt, following through on a Nico Shultz cross the Norwegian hit it with power. Still, the keeper manages to deny him making a great save. Dortmund would make two more changes Giovanni Reyna and Julian Brandt entered the game, with Dahoud and Donyell Malen being sacrificed. The substitutes managed to link up just a minute later as Giovanni Reyna hit a beautiful cross, with Julian Brandt following through on goal before the defense deflected his strike. Fsv Mainz made some changes of their own as Papela and Jean-Paul Boetius came on for the hosts. A few minutes later, Hazard misfired from outside the box before fsv Mainz made another change with Daniel Brosinski replacing Tauer due to injury. Dortmund season was taking down as fsv Mainz came on strong during the closing stages. Kevin Stoger from inside the Box nearly could have murdered Dortmund’s season with a well-hit strike but narrowly missed. Papela came within inches from outside the bar before Stephen Bell header just coastwide coming from a corner. Fsv Mainz was heating up, and they were slowly taking the air out of Dortmund. However, in the 86th minute Jude Bellingham a free-kick from outside the box. This turned out to be Dortmund’s moment, a moment that could mean a great deal at the end of the season. Giovanni Reyna delivers a pin perfect into axel Witsel following through with a one-touch finished at the near post into the back of the neck as Dortmund took a 1–0 lead. It would be his first goal since February of 2020; over 500 days have passed since his last goal. He has become the unsung hero of this match as Dortmund gets a goal from the most unlikely sources. They battled through minutes a stoppage-time, but Dortmund can hold them off with it a late victory that brings them within four points of Bayern Munich Dortmund delivered when everyone thought they would fold. We may have a title race in this last stretch of the Bundesliga season.

Ever since Jurgen Klopp won back-to-back Bundesliga titles with Dortmund, they have lacked the winning mentality and the ability to thrive under pressurized circumstances. Every time Dortmund had a chance to put pressure on Bayern Munich, they faltered and fell on their face. If you just look at the pressurized moments from this season, they have dropped points or lost to some teams at the very bottom of the table. This has been the problem; there’s no denying Dortmund’s incredible talent and what they’ve been able to do as far as recruitment and putting together really strong teams. They have always lacked the minerals to go that extra edge and win the title for whatever reason. Dortmund has had several opportunities to become champions over the last couple of years; they’ve never seemed to be able to thrive when all the cars are in the middle of the table. With a game in hand and an opportunity to cut the lead at the top of the table to Just Four Points, this will always be a difficult task for them. They were going to be asked to win a tough game when all the pressure was on them. Fsv Mainz has been incredibly productive this season; they have gone from a relegation team to a team that could make Europe; this will be a difficult challenge for Dortmund to pull off. They are essentially in a situation now they cannot lose the rest of the season with the game in hand; there was no choice they had to find a way to Win It. Very late in this game, Witsel manages to get a late goal with very few minutes remaining. The performance itself fsv Mainz throughout the majority of the game looked like the more dangerous team and seemed on the cusp of breaking through throughout the 90 minutes. Dortmund was nowhere near at their best, but they managed to squeak out a late victory in an incredibly physically aggressive 90 minutes on Wednesday. Erling haaland got more game time as they’re easing him back slowly, and there were moments in this game where they look pretty strong. It wasn’t pretty, but they got the job done in the end. It will be interesting to see how they will respond to this; historically speaking, Dortmund would lose a game like this, but the fact that got through the first hurdle shows that there may be something in this. We could have a real title race; considering how Bayern Munich has played the last four or five weeks, there’s no guarantee that they’re going to win all the rest of their games; it could come down to that game in Munich at the end of April. It’s still hard to foresee Dortmund did what they were supposed to they got a big win against a very good team pressure is only going to escalate over the next couple of weeks it’s going to be interesting to see how Dortmund will continue we are in an area now where there cannot be many mistakes made they need to be playing better this wasn’t a great performance there’s no doubt about that they did get the result now there’s going to be pressure on them to continue to get results this entire Bundesliga season will be hanging in the balance based on Dortmund can continue to perform when there’s so much pressure my gut tells me the Dortmund will collapse because that’s what history tells me. Still, ladies and gentlemen, there are 24 points available for the taking this season; they just might have a shot they needed to win this game because otherwise, it would be all over.

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