Do we really have to talk about this? Can’t we just swoop this game under the carpet and say “Oh, Dortmund hadn’t had to play well anyway.”?
It’s the last gasp attempt to stay somehow positive:
Borussia Dortmund are saving energy for Eintracht Frankfurt
Now this was obviously one of the worst Champions League performances we’ve ever seen under Jürgen Klopp. The is 2-0 loss just as deserved as the 2-0 win in the previous encounter. The only hope left is that this side was conserving energy for the Bundesliga, otherwise it looks very grim.
Matthias Ginter instead of Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gündogan instead of Sebastian Kehl, those were the two changes from the 4-4-2 formation, that beat Arsenal convincingly at home.
It was a incoherent performance by a team that never looked to be up for the task. Going behind after 73 seconds obviously didn’t help and forced BVB more into action than they would have liked. Although the goal was offside and the linesman should have easily spotted the infringement, it doesn’t let the defense off the hook. Five players being outplayed by two in their own box is simply unacceptable. Santi Cazorla and Yaya Sanogo had it just too easy.
Lackluster defending against individual skill is one thing, being off the pace for an entire game is the other. Sven Bender had to admit himself after the game that he arrived too late for some challenges and felt that his side was always one step behind.
The pressing was awful, fore checking doesn’t work if you’re arriving an hour late to the scenery. It’s hard to say whether it was just lazy from Dortmund and not greedy enough given they hadn’t had to win, or if this was just the shape BVB are in at the moment.
Arsenal had hardly any trouble to find gaps, once they outplayed a stranded Dortmund player -or, you know – actually control the game in its entirety. Although BVB had more possession, they were nowhere to be seen. It felt like they didn’t win a single second ball to create any momentum.
Which brings us to the other end of the pitch – an area where Dortmund players were hardly seen. Ciro Immobile and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did their best to lead the line, but there was just nothing in behind to feed them with anything usable. Ilkay Gündogan was the only positive on the night, looking already quite silky with the ball on his feet, his defensive efforts still lack the bite. Yet Gündogan was too deep to get anything forward. Kevin Großkreutz and Henrikh Mkhitaryan just disappeared and the Gunners had no trouble in defending Dortmund’s uninspired forward plays.
IF BVB had taken their chances, they would have still gotten away with a draw, given they only had two chances. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Adrian Ramos fluffed them, but why even get worked up over it?
Alexis Sanchez scored a nice curler after 56′ minutes and unlike the 2-0 lead against Paderborn, this game was out of reach.
It’s best to forget this game as quickly as possible and just hope next Sunday will bring redemption.