0-0 against 1. FC Köln at home. A dire result for any Dortmund fan, especially after Schalke dropped points on the afternoon…
There is not much to take away from this game, other than that you can beat Borussia Dormtund with an ultra defensive style without using excessive violence as Hamburg did on the prior match day.
BVB were disappointing on the night, they showed hardly any determination to unlock Cologne’s defense, who lined up just as anyone would have expected them to line up. The best chance came off a corner when Neven Subotic got his head to the ball, but it went over the bar. He was slightly hindered by Mats Hummels, who might have been in a better position, but that’s only speculations. But it was a nice metaphor for Dortmund standing in their own way.
So what’s the reason behind yet another scoreless draw? Were the boys saving their fuel for Wednesday night or do they just don’t know better? Breaking down a team that is defending with eleven man is probably the hardest thing to do in football, but that doesn’t mean Borussia Dortmund can do better. They have enough offensive quality to create chances, but they don’t have the right measures – which is sad and frustrating.
It didn’t help matters that Ilkay Gündogan had a very poor game for his standards, which obviously can happen. Partnered up with Sebastian Kehl who looked very much out of place against Köln. It becomes more and more evident that Nuri Sahin is missing tremendously in the side, especially in matches where another play maker is much more useful than a destroyer is. It was the veteran who set up the first chance of the Billy goats after 90 seconds with a very sloppy pass right into the feet of Anthony Ujah – who only needed to lob and the whole BVB back line was running behind Deyverson. The Brazilian striker is no Carlos Tevez or Alvaro Morata – see what I did there – so Borussia Dortmund were lucky not to concede early on.
Both Gündogan and Kehl were covered by Ujah and Deyverson, which meant hardly an opening for Subotic and Hummels, who shifted the ball around a lot of times. Yes, Gündogan dropped back or Kirch or Schmelzer received the ball, but Marco Reus rightly said after the match: “There wasn’t enough movement.” Too often the front four looked stale, Marco Reus was well covered and cut off from the rest, since he wasn’t moving around much either. Reus also complained about Dortmund failing to pin down balls up top, but given that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not the type of striker who will win and hold on to the ball against tall defenders, he is the kind of player who can run into space and is at his best, when Borussia Dortmund can make use of their transmission play. Only there was no transmission play, so clearly he wasn’t the right option for the night. Ciro Immobile and Adrian Ramos would have arguably been better choices for this game. After so many seasons without any real alternatives in Dortmund’s striking department, it’s so nice to finally have options to adapt to the required conditions… Shame Jürgen Klopp doesn’t see it that way and BVB’s 30 million euro investment is molding the recaro seats, while Dortmund are not scoring.
Except for a lucky point, BVB leave this match with frustration. They simply didn’t play well on the night – after a week of training to prepare for the match and no straining midweek match a lot more was expected than this quite performance. Given that it wasn’t the first mediocre performance before an important Champions League match, one can be bit hopeful that the black and yellows will make Wednesday a special day.