Borussia Dortmund conceded a historic home defeat against SV Werder Bremen in which, despite a 2-0 lead over the entire duration of the game, it was clear: BVB is struggling a lot – even the two victorious Bundesliga games before showed that.
The fact that Borussia Dortmund is involved when something historic happens in the Bundesliga is almost no longer news. Any examples? BVB not only conceded the heaviest defeat (0:12 against Gladbach 1978) and the fastest goal conceded (after nine seconds against Leverkusen 2014), on Saturday there was another “best mark” in the 2:3 home defeat against Werder Bremen: The Westphalians are now the first team to concede three goals from the 89th minute.
at ESPN one has even taken the trouble to clarify the European scope of this embarrassment. Dortmund are the first team in the last 13 seasons in Europe’s top 5 leagues to lose after a lead of more than one goal after the 89th minute. The record of the 8529 (!) games before: 8511 times it was bankruptcy for the team behind, 18 times they drew – and they never won.
“Sometimes that can’t be explained rationally,” said coach Edin Terzic and attested his team “a very poor performance” and a defeat that was “brutally annoying and brutally stupid”. It was not the first time that Terzic hit the right note. However, it must be said that BVB did not deliver a convincing performance for the first time.
“It could be bumpy,” said managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke before the start of the season, given that Terzic had the entire team available for preparation in less than three weeks. After three games played, it is clear that Watzke was right: BVB is bumping and worrying. The two appearances against Leverkusen and Freiburg brought the Westphalians the best points, but they left a lot to be desired in terms of play.
BVB: Why Salih Özcan could be a beneficiary
There are a number of shortcomings that Borussia have seen so far and that came to the fore in the entire 95 minutes against Bremen. Especially in the middle of the game, the squad lacks control and access. The pressing rarely worked, and the necessary consistency was sometimes lacking on the defensive.
In this respect, a Dortmunder could be the beneficiary despite the bankruptcy: Salih Özcan was on the bench for a second time after his foot injury, after Mahmoud Dahoud’s shoulder injury Terzic decided to substitute Emre Can. However, it was anything but a stability factor, but rather – not for the first time in his time in Dortmund – a security risk.
Neighbor Jude Bellingham also looked unusually old in the past two games. He can’t shoulder the responsibility in central midfield alone, the new third captain ran after the music too often and sometimes acted unusually nervous. It is therefore quite possible that the aggressive Özcan will soon slip into the team for the first time.
BVB striker Anthony Modeste has only had 35 ball actions so far
With regard to the ball possession game, it is to be criticized that BVB hardly gets any peace and structure in their efforts. In two of the three Bundesliga games, the pass accuracy was less than 80 percent. That is not worthy of a top team and at the same time fatal if you are not able to let your opponent run with a safe passing game with a 2-0 lead behind you shortly before the end.
This also makes it difficult to combine into the zone where Anthony Modeste can be used effectively. The striker only managed 35 ball actions in his two matches, Dortmund only had six shots on goal in front of a home crowd against a newly promoted team on Saturday – fewer than since 2008. In all three games, the attacking efforts were harmless and unimaginative, often simply lacking in determination.
With the tenth defeat against a promoted team in the past ten years, BVB’s new start has suffered an early, not undeserved, but powerful setback due to the nature of the game. Even if a lot is still piecemeal, a third win in the third game would have given you more self-confidence to expand your run and draw a certain strength from it.
BVB embarrassment shows long-known patterns again
Perhaps the disillusionment comes at the right time – so that nothing is concealed that nine points from three games could have concealed. Because against Bremen the game felt like it hadn’t been decided in Dortmund’s favor for almost the entire duration of the game. The only difference to the previous season is that you didn’t score the second goal there, but you would still have lost the same way.
The game on Saturday afternoon showed the team’s long-known patterns that they wanted to forget as quickly as possible – primarily the carelessness and lack of greed. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that under the new conditions – a new team of coaches, numerous additions, fresh blood in the team behind the team – it takes time for the processes that have been initiated to bear fruit.
“No one should be hungrier than us,” Terzic said recently, thereby indicating the credo that the team should radiate on the pitch in the long term. In the short term, however, the “new” BVB must make sure that it is not too often confused with the “old” BVB.