Footy Times

Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga title hopes almost over after tragic Derby loss to Schalke

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Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga dreams got yet another blow as they were forced to play with 9 men for a 2-4 defeat against local rivals Schalke. German duo Marco Reus and Marius Wolf were shown straight red cards after the hour mark as struggling Schalke put a huge derby day dent with a dramatic win.

A Daniel Caligiuri penalty and a Salif Sané header turned the first half in Schalke’s favor after Mario Götze had given Dortmund an early lead, before the game was ultimately decided in five second-half minutes in which Dortmund were reduced to nine men and Caligiuri increased Schalke’s lead.

Dortmund captain Reus saw a straight red on the hour-mark for a studs-up tackle from behind on Suat Serdar. Five minutes later, full-back Wolf also saw a straight red for an identical challenge on the same player. In between, Caligiuri spectacularly converted the first freekick to give Schalke a two goal lead.

Axel Witsel gave the nine men a glimmer of hope with five minutes remaining when he stabbed home at the back post but Breel Embolo immediately restored Schalke’s two-goal cushion with a low drive into the bottom corner to wrap up three vital points in the Royal Blues’ battle for survival.

And yet it had all started so brightly for the title-chasing Black and Yellows, who enjoyed up to 82 percent possession in the first half and took the lead through Götze. The German World Cup-winner’s run and header were perfectly timed but credit must go to Jadon Sancho, whose delightful chip set up the goal.

The English teenager was subsequently struck with an object thrown from the away end while celebrating the goal in front of the traveling Schalke support, and the game took on a physical nature on the pitch too as three Schalke players went into the book for robust tackles.

Caligiuri leveled from the spot for the Royal Blues after the video assistant referee spotted a handball by Julian Weigl, before Salif Sane headed them in front just moments after returning to the fray after receiving treatment.

Dortmund continued to dominate possession before and after half-time but they struggled to create real chances, Thomas Delaney reduced to long-range efforts by a stubborn Schalke defense. Two red cards and the third Schalke goal in the space of just five second-half minutes settled Schalke’s first derby win in Dortmund since 2012 – and may just have settled the title race.

Bayern Munich have the chance to extend their lead to four points when they travel to second-bottom Nuremberg on Sunday evening.

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