Borussia Dortmund looked once again uninspired in a 1-1 draw away to Mainz on Sunday night. Here is what players and coaches had to say after the game.
Marcel Schmelzer. “The draw is very disappointing. The other results all went our way on this Matchday. We could have claimed third place with three points. But when you don’t defend with resoluteness until the end of the match, you will concede the equaliser in Mainz.
“We’re making it way too easy for Mainz prior to the equaliser. We defended very well throughout the entire match, but it wasn’t enough in that one situation and so we concede the stupid goal. Since we could have put the lid on the match earlier, this is very disappointing for us.”
“Third place is ours to claim. The match against Mainz is the perfect example: We actually play well and take an early lead, which is making things easier. Then we’re defending well on a bumpy pitch. What happened at the end today mustn’t happen.”
Thomas Tuchel: “We showed a decent performance in the first half, considering it was a road game. I’m most aggravated by the fact that we lost the reigns of the match. I had the feeling, that we’re only focused on defending. It fitted our mentality today, that we thought that it would be a gritty match and that we would win it somehow and bring the 1-0 lead home. We weren’t active enough. This is the biggest point of criticism. We didn’t have the courage to bring the game to Mainz and thus calm it down by shifting it into their half. The game mostly existed between the penalty areas. The ball was more in the air than it was on the ground. We’re fluffing counter-attacking chances, otherwise, we could have won the game. It’s always possible to concede a goal toward the end.”
…on the looming home match against Leipzig.
“Of course we want to set things right after losing late in the match away to Leipzig. Andre Schürrle even struck the bar. But it doesn’t matter whether you have something to settle or not. We will be tested on a higher level than we were against Mainz. It will be a very tough game.”
..on Mikel Merino: “He’s made a step forward. He is closer to making the team.”
André Schürrle: “The equaliser wasn’t in the air. Although we couldn’t fully dominate the game, because the ball spent a lot of time in the air and the bumpy pitch didn’t really allow that, we thought we had the game in our hands until that one situation. We won many headers, we’re strong in our tackling. Sadly we couldn’t hold that up for 90 minutes.”
“It’s hard to say straight after the game why it wasn’t enough today. We started well into the match. The first 15 minutes were very good. We could threaten their goal, had won the ball in promising areas. Then Mainz made some tactical changes and started to lump the ball more down the field, which prevented us from winning the ball higher up the field. We had the ball, but the way to the goal was a longer one. Also because of the lousy pitch, we tried to play a couple of long balls to get behind their defence, but that wasn’t forceful enough. We failed to create any major scoring opportunities afterwards. In the end, it’s just bitter that we couldn’t drag the 1-0 lead over the finish line. Today’s points would have been very important ahead of the cracker [against Leipzig] on the weekend to climb further in the table and for the self-confidence. Overall, it isn’t a bad start. Now we have to show at home that we want to further run the table.”
Julian Weigl: “It’s very bitter to concede the goal so late in the game. It wasn’t an easy game, the pitch was very poor, and Mainz it hard for us. I think we battled back well, though. We gave our all, which makes it even more frustrating to concede a goal and also allow another chance [in stoppage time]. We have to at that because we have to defend better, but there were also a few more chances that didn’t materialise because the last pass was lacking precision – which was maybe down to the pitch, I don’t want to blame anyone here. I still think that we defended well, overall.”
Roman Bürki: “It felt good to be back on the pitch, and to be back with the team. But the game took an unfortunate run. I think we could have put it in the bag earlier with the chances that we had in the first half. They scored with the first shot on target.”
“I feeling well, I want to thank everyone who supported me and helped me with my comeback.”
(Sources: Sky, BVB.de)