Mainz 0-1 Borussia Dortmund: Axel Witsel helps Dortmund close the gap to FOUR points on Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich… as his 87th minute strike seals a win over mid-table Mainz
- Borussia Dortmund sealed a 1-0 win over Mainz in the Bundesliga on Wednesday
- A late 87th minute strike from midfielder Axel Witsel proved to be the difference
- Marco Rose’s side now sit just four points behind Bayern Munich in the title race
Axel Witsel scored an 87th-minute goal to give Borussia Dortmund a 1-0 victory at Mainz 05 on Wednesday as they closed in to within four points of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.
In a rescheduled game, postponed 10 days ago due to a large number of COVID-19 cases in the Mainz team, Belgium midfielder Witsel volleyed in at the far post from a Gio Reyna free kick.
Dortmund had been largely toothless until that stage with substitute Erling Haaland’s 67th-minute shot that was turned wide by keeper Robin Zentner their best chance, until Witsel broke the deadlock.
Borussia Dortmund sealed a late 1-0 victory over mid-table Mainz to close the gap on Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich
An 87th minute strike from midfielder Axel Witsel (pictured) proved to be the difference
Marco Rose’s side have closed the gap on Bayern Munich to four points in the Bundesliga title race
Marco Rose’s side now sit just four points behind the German powerhouse as they head into the final stretch of the season.
But the game itself had few highlights as it was punctuated by many fouls, niggles and disagreements.
Dortmund midfielder Marius Wolf and Mainz counterpart Stefan Bell were booked before the break after a shoving match broke out at the culmination of increasingly frayed tempers.
The game between Dortmund and Mainz had few highlights as it was punctuated by fouls
There was another flare-up at the end when Jude Bellingham was fouled by Anderson Lucoqui, who was booked.
Witsel was also booked in injury time, for a tactical foul, before Reyna drew a great save from Robin Zentner with another free kick.
The teams were originally down to play on March 6 but the game was called off due to a coronavirus outbreak at Mainz.
Bo Svensson’s team also had its next game at Augsburg called off with at least 20 members of the squad and coaching staff infected with COVID-19. The Augsburg game was postponed to April 26.
The Mainz team showed no ill effects from the enforced break as it frustrated Dortmund’s attack and might have scored itself with Jonathan Burkardt blocked by Emre Can in the best chance of the first half.
Dortmund coach Marco Rose brought Erling Haaland on for Wolf to energize his lackluster attack in the 57th, then Reyna and Julian Brandt.