Borussia’s 3-0 victory over Fortuna Düsseldorf was a victory for the fans. Thorgan Hazard scored a brace as the Foals rose to second place in the Bundesliga table. Here is everything you need to know from the match.
The story of the match
“We fully deserved to win the match,” said a very satisfied Dieter Hecking after the final whistle on Sunday. His team were dominant from the first second of the match as they showed an immediate reaction to the 5-0 home defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday. “In the first half we tried everything to find the breakthrough. Our passing game was certainly not quick enough at this point to break down our opponents,” analysed Hecking, who sent his team out for the second with a clear strategy to find a way through the Düsseldorf defence. “Keep up the intensity and play quicker football. Eventually Düsseldorf will make mistakes.” This is exactly what happened as Borussia took the lead with their first attacking move of the second half. Thorgan Hazard stroke the ball home from 12 yards after a penalty had been awarded for a handball by Düsseldorf defender Kaan Ayhan. The Foals had it a little easier now. “After conceding, Düsseldorf had to break free from their defence stance to get back in the match. We then made the most of their mistake,” said Hecking. Firstly, Florian Neuhaus successfully provided the crucial pass to play in Jonas Hofmann before Hazard secured his brace with a shot from distance. Following the 3-0 win, Hecking added: “Our fans showed an outstanding reaction following our 5-0 home defeat to Leverkusen and this gave us additional motivation for the match against Düsseldorf. We wanted to win the match against our neighbours to give something back to the fans.”
Man of the match
Thorgan Hazard: The Belgian attacker was awarded man of the match following his first brace of the Bundesliga season. Hazard was on hand to give the Foals the lead from the penalty spot just after half-time. He then added to his goal tally shortly before the final whistle with a shot from 20 metres out. Hazard has now scored seven goals so far this season, which puts him level with Sebastien Haller, Luka Jovic (both Eintracht Frankfurt) and Paco Alcacer (Borussia Dortmund) as joint top scorer in the Bundesliga.
The key number of the match
23: The Foals have now scored 23 goals so far this season, the joint second highest in the league alongside Eintracht Frankfurt. Only Borussia Dortmund have scored more goals (30). Hazard has scored seven of those goals, while Alassane Plea and Jonas Hofmann have five goals each. Additionally, Patrick Hermann has scored twice while Matthias Ginter, Fabian, Johnson, Nico Elvedi and Lars Stindl have also been on the scoresheet so far this season.
Updates to the table
Borussia’s fifth home win of the season extends their unbeaten run at BORUSSIA-PARK to eight consecutive wins. The Foals also climb back up to second place in the Bundesliga table. “If someone had said to us this summer that we would be in second place with 20 points from the opening third of the season, I think everyone at the club would have taken that,” said Borussia coach Hecking and added: “Just like the fans, we can enjoy this moment. However, we have to continue to concentrate so that we can maintain our current position until the winter break.”
Borussia captain Lars Stindl was consciously rested for the Fortuna Düsseldorf match on Sunday. “Lars has only just returned from a long period out with injury. It was clear that I needed to rest him next year because he played for the full 90 minutes in Freiburg and against Leverkusen,” explained Hecking. Stindl dropped to the bench as Raffael and Alassane Plea started a Bundesliga match together for the first time. The Brazilian started a match for the first time since the 1st September while Plea had recovered from his pulled hamstring muscle quicker than expected. “Alassane was only out for barely a week. We were pleased to have him back. He helps with our overall play,” said Hecking. The Foals’ head coach also praised Raffael, who played for around on hour on Sunday: “Raffael played very well between the gaps in the Düsseldorf defence. Of course he isn’t quite back to 100% but that is expected after missing the previous eight weeks.” Nico Elvedi was substituted at half-time after straining an ankle ligament. “Nico was already suffering a minor problem before the Leverkusen match. The problem was made worse on Sunday, meaning he couldn’t play on,” said Hecking. Denis Zakaria was not included in the matchday squad due to a knee problem. If we were struggling with other injuries, then Denis would’ve been on the bench on Sunday. He should return to the squad for the trip to Bremen,” said Hecking.
After all the players who played on Sunday have rested, following the win over Düsseldorf, the full team will return to training on Wednesday to begin preparation for Borussia’s trip to SV Werder Bremen on Saturday (15:30 CET). The team will also train on Thursday and Friday before travelling to Bremen. “A top match awaits us in Bremen and we want to take something out of the match,” said Hecking. Two attacking teams face each other on Saturday, and this promises to make a great match.”