Borussia Dortmund draw 1-1 in their final test against Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Too keep up the average of one injury per game, Ilkay Gündogan was subbed off in after 30 minutes, holding his calf. Now don’t panick, it might have been precautionary and Gundogan won’t actually tear his hamstrings before next week. A bit of bitter cynicism may be allowed by now.
Anyway, to the game itself. “Things looked better against FC Utrecht” captain Mats Hummels said after the game. Albeit the pressing looked razor sharp in stages, there were some a few moments reminiscent of the Hinrunde. Of course, Football is a game of mistakes and Borussia Dortmund just won’t stop making them for good. But some errors were just blatant, like Hummels passing the ball into the opponent’s feet out of his own penalty area. Roman Weidenfeller maybe shouldn’t have passed the ball to Hummels in the first place, but there is always a better option to clear the ball. Then again nobody would like to see every ball just punted to quick safety.
A bit more scary was the way BVB conceded their first goal of 2015.
It’s hard to say which is scarier, the amount of space the Fortuna Düsseldorf player, who is about to receive the ball has or the space between the backline and the rest of the team. The unsynchronized behavior of said backline is also alarming. Hummels and Schmelzer went forward, while Piszczek and Sokratis tracked the run of the forwards.
Hummels and Klopp both blamed the “not so good stints” on lacking freshness, as the training sessions were very, very straining. Since a lot of mistakes of the first half of the season were blamed of a lack of fitness, this all makes total sense.
But I can’t blame you, if you remain a bit skeptical ahead of the Bundesliga start.
Enough with the moping. The partnership of Reus and Kampl is becoming more promising with every game and overall things look more crisp. Düsseldorf had a few chances here and there, but for most parts Dortmund were very ensured. There is certainly no reason to not be excited about the Bundesliga return.
It was also nice to see Henrikh Mkhitaryan back on the pitch. The Armenian entered team training on Friday and will probably need a couple of weeks to be fully up to speed, but the 15 minutes in Düsseldorf already looked formidable.
Shinji Kagawa is also already on his way back to Dortmund after missing the deciding penalty against the United Arab Emirates.