Borussia Dortmund were reduced to nine men as they were beaten 4-2 at the Signal Iduna Park by rivals Schalke on Saturday April 27th. The defeat is a devasting blow to BVB’s title ambitions, as Bayern Munich can go four points clear with three games remaining if they win away at Nurnberg on Sunday April 28th.
Dortmund started the game strongly and took the lead in the 14th minute. Jadon Sancho’s dinked ball over the top was headed into the back-of-the-net by Mario Götze.
But a few minutes later Schalke were given a penalty when Julian Weigl was judged to have handled the ball in the area by referee Felix Zwayer, after he consulted the video assistant referee (VAR). Daniel Caligiuri stepped up and struck the spot-kick into the bottom right corner to level the score.
The away side took the lead in the 28th minute, as Salif Sane headed in from Caligiuri’s corner to put his side in front for the first time in the game. Thomas Delaney had a header over the bar minutes later, before the Danish international fired an effort over the bar just before half-time.
After an even start to the second-half, Dortmund captain Marco Reus was shown a straight red card on the hour mark for a tackle on Suat Serdar. The host’s misery continued as Caligiuri curled in a stunner into the top corner from the ensuing free-kick. Things went from bad to worse as Marius Wolf was also shown a straight red in the 65th minute for bringing down Serdar on the counter attack.
Guido Burgstaller almost added the fourth in the 79th minute, as the home side began to crumble. Axel Witsel pulled a goal back in the 85th minute as he volleyed in from a Jacob Bruun Larsen header across goal. But the visitors restored their two-goal advantage a minute later, as Breel Embolo shot into the back of the net from outside of the box.
Reuters reported that Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre spoke after the game and criticised the decision to give Schalke a penalty. "We started really well and got the opening goal. But then their penalty was ridiculous. This was so ridiculous. Whoever invented that rule had no clue. They want that players stop using their arms. How is that possible? You need them for balance. Do they have to cut off their arms? It is a disgrace. The biggest scandal in years."
Reuters also reported that Schalke’s head coach, Huub Stevens, also spoke after the game and praised his players. "When you play in this stadium then you have to enjoy it. My players did what we had set out to do. As for the penalty I do not know if it was one but today we had luck on our side."