BERLIN Ė Borussia Dortmund tied Werder Bremen 2-2 this Saturday to put Bayern Munich, which had previously downed Hannover 3-1, on the brink of winning this seasonís Bundesliga title that it could nail down with a win the next time out.
Bayern, which now has a 4-point lead just two match days away from the seasonís end in the Bundesliga, has a clear advantage in the difference in goals, so that now only a miracle could get Dortmund back in the fight for the title.
The match looked like a miniature of Dortmundís season. Clear domination from the outset, then running somewhat out of gas, and finally with everything turning upside down.
Dortmund started off fast, with its first invasion of the Bremen area at just 30 seconds, though the shot by Paco Alcacer was blocked.
Then at minute 6, Christian Pulisic sped from midfield into the area and, faking out the last defender, blasted the ball into the net.
In the first half-hour of the match, Dortmund had Bremen in complete submission, with the speed of Pulisic and Jadon Sancho giving it major problems.
Then as Bremen began to do better, and managed to control the ball several minutes on the Dortmund end of the field, Gotze stole the ball close to his own area and kicked off a counterattack with a long pass to Paco Alcacer. Alcacer maneuvered around Pulisic and the American was punished for a foul close to the penalty arc.
Alcacer took the penalty kick and scored, making it a 2-0 game at minute 41.
What could go wrong?
Just what happened in the second half. Pavlenka made sure a third Dortmund goal never happened, even when attacked by Guerreiro, Delaney, Pulisic and Alcacer.
And at the same time, Dortmund began ceding a little terrain to its opponent, though without Bremen yet seeming anything to worry about.
Then at minute 70, a nightmarish mistake by goalkeeper Roman Burki was a game-changer.
Moehwald booted the ball, not even very powerfully, from outside the area, and Burki let it pass between his legs. Score, 2-1!
The goal woke up the stadium and Bremen began to turn up the heat. Very quickly, at minute 75, veteran player Claudio Pizarro scored to make it 2-2 with what would be the final goal of the day.
From then on, Bremen was in charge. But the tie didnít help either team, neither Bremen in its struggle to enter the Europa League nor Dortmund in its fight for the Bundesliga title.
Dortmund, who dominated the first half of the 2018-2019 Bundesliga and at one juncture had a lead of as many as nine points over Bayern, seems to have let its title hopes slip away.