Dortmund — This weekend felt good for every Borussia Dortmund fan. Schalke are in crisis mode after losing 2-0 against Mainz on Friday, which paved the way for an enjoyable Saturday. Dortmund were ruthless against Frankfurt, took the three points and are now breathing Schalke’s necks again. Three point margin with four games to go. The goodness doesn’t stop there. FC Augsburg lost in Hamburg – the Labbadia effect is making the Bundesliga really interesting. Not only the relegation fight is seriously entertaining – as long as you’re not involved, otherwise it’s utterly distressing – but also the fight for the Euro League places.
If Bremen beat Paderborn on Sunday, Dortmund remain 9th in the league, being 3 points behind 5th place. Everything is possible!
The fans certainly feel that way, even two hours after full time, fans are singing on the streets not far away from the Westfalenstadion. The last two matches against SC Paderborn and Frankfurt reinstated hope. The supporters celebrated the 2-0 win against SGE in full voice, while the team looked utterly dominant on the field. They also looked utterly wasteful, but that’s just what they are, even in their best times.
The game started slow for Dortmund, but eventually they got going. A bit of fortune was needed to score the opener. Frankfurt’s Sonny Kittel blocked a cross in the penalty area with his hand and the referee awarded a penalty. Aubameyang took it casually, dinking it over Kevin Trapp. The confidence of the Gabonese striker must be enormous, but then again he has every right to be. By setting up Kagawa’s 2-0 he’s now directly involved in half of Dortmund’s 40 league goals. A baffling statistic, which underlines the value of Aubameyang.
Sadly, Aubameyang is also standing out, because the players around them did not rise to the level of their abilities. Marco Reus was hindered by injuries, but Kagawa and Mkhitaryan could have all done better. Now finally, as the whole team gains stability in defense, they find their feet as well. Kagawa didn’t only find his way to the score sheet for two games in a row, but he played some passes of incredible beauty.
Frankfurt was simply no match for Dortmund. The guests weren’t able to produce anything of notice – in their defense, they had to compete without Alex Meier and Stefan Aigner up front, Marco Russ in midfield and Bamba Anderson and Bastian Oczipka in defense. Still, not conceding a single shot on target in two consecutive matches is an achievement for any defense against any opponent.
Borussia Dortmund defend better now. Is it because of Matthias Ginter in defensive midfield? Maybe. With Gündogan’s and Kehl’s departures coming closer, it’s a reassuring to see Ginter perform so well in the center of the pitch.
It’s even better that BVB make their superiority count. Although not every chance was converted against Frankfurt, there were no clumsy errors at the back. Everything looks calm and clearheaded. Vertical passes are finding yellow shirts and the transmission play is getting into gear as well, which opens the opportunity to waste chances. Though, I must say I was still very nervous about the scoreline until the 86th minute or so, because I always anticipated a screw-up in someway despite Frankfurt failing to rattle Dortmund’s cage in away way. The two wins are certainly giving momentum, but it’s all still a fickle construct. Tuesday against Bayern and next Saturday against Hoffenheim will be oh so decisive. Every game now is. I’m totally looking forward to it!
Zieht den Bayern die Lederhosen aus!