BVB extends its winning streak against SC Freiburg and climbs further up the table. And even the M-word comes up again – but for Borussia Dortmund’s coach Edin Terzic other M-words are more important at the moment. Findings on the BVB game.
BVB and the M-Words: momentum with flaws
Four games, four wins – BVB’s record since the winter break is flawless. Dortmund have now equalized the nine points behind FC Bayern – even if Munich can still improve on Sunday in Wolfsburg. Nevertheless, the black and yellow have reported back with their winning streak and the jump to third place in the title race. BVB last managed such a winning streak at the start of a calendar year in 2012, when they got the double at the end of the season. But coach Edin Terzic doesn’t want to know anything about it yet.
“Honestly, I’ve just heard a different M word over and over again, but I like Momentum better,” said Terzic after the 5-1 win over SC Freiburg. After all, this positive snapshot in Dortmund has replaced another tiresome M-word, the mentality debate that was still intense in the autumn is currently far away. Victories like on Saturday will help to keep it that way in the coming weeks. But Terzic knows how to classify it correctly.
“It doesn’t do us any good that we started the new year well because the next M-word that is important is May. Until then we have the chance to collect points and influence the table,” said Terzic . The fact that his team has defied various setbacks in previous games (against Augsburg), sometimes forced luck with a final set piece (against Mainz) and sometimes offered a “mature and very mature performance” (against Leverkusen), shows “that our toolbox is bigger become,” explained Terzic.
The point haul after the break is perfect, but the performance on the pitch has not yet been fully there. Terzic saw an “almost perfect” second half against Freiburg, which BVB steered early with an early double strike by Karim Adeyemi (48th) and Sébastien Haller (51st) and later by Julian Brandt (69th) and Giovanni Reyna (82nd) refined. But it is also true that Dortmund, despite the early yellow-red card against Kiliann Sildillia (17th), did not manage to make their dominance clearer on the scoreboard earlier in the form of goals.
“There was a phase between the 30th and 45th minute that we didn’t like at all,” analyzed Terzic. “We only passed to the next man, who hardly overplayed positions and stayed in the positions. We made it easy for Freiburg to defend in the standing formation.” When Lucas Höler (45th) conceded a surprising goal, who equalized Nico Schlotterbeck’s lead (26th), Terzic complained: “We weren’t consistent enough to clear the ball, although we were twice in the were in a position to do so.” Both Schlotterbeck and Niklas Süle should feel addressed. With all the offensive highlights, one K-word remains a recurring problem, namely that of a lack of concentration on the defensive.
BVB: New strength in standards is solidifying
After all, the Dortmunders successfully eliminated one flaw at the beginning of the year: the harmlessness of their own standards. In the 15 games before the winter break, they scored a meager three standard goals. BVB now scored three goals from corner kicks alone against Freiburg – for the first time in a league game since detailed data collection began in 2004/05. A new quality that helps BVB to eliminate the playful deficits.
Against Freiburg, who could not play their well-known standard strength due to a lack of opportunities (zero corners), Dortmund convinced with various variants. Before Adeyemi’s goal, a short corner led to success over several stations, when Haller’s header was good positioning and attentive reaction to the second ball.
“We were really good at positioning, passing and accelerating the game. The counter-pressing worked well. We hardly let the opponent breathe,” said Terzic.
BVB: Marco Reus with room for improvement – Karim Adeyemi slowed down
Captain Marco Reus revealed room for improvement in his first starting eleven for 140 days. He wasn’t able to put his stamp on the offensive game, which was too static for a long time in the first round. Especially in comparison to Julian Brandt, who is still in good form and who is now Dortmund’s top scorer with his fifth goal of the season and his four assists – together with Youssoufa Moukoko – Reus still has some catching up to do to match his performances from before the winter break when he often played for BVB was the can opener.
After all: In the case of a problem child, the knot now seems to have finally burst. Winger Adeyemi scored his second goal after his goal debut last weekend – the important one to make it 2-1 in the meantime, which made the pendulum swing back in favor of Dortmund. His sprint strength had previously provoked the yellow-red card against Sildillia.
“He kept the opponent busy. There were three or four fouls on the side because he kept getting his pace into the game,” said Terzic. At 36.65 km/h, Adeyemi also set a league-wide speed record – a strength that should be used more often. “We have decided to use his weapon more often,” said Terzic and praised Adeyemi: “He has improved himself in combination play. He has become very confident in receiving the ball and playing with one contact. It will always be about that for us to get him into a running duel.”
But the upswing of the 30 million man, who came from Red Bull Salzburg before the season and got off to a bad start at BVB, came to an abrupt halt. Both in the DFB Cup at VfL Bochum during the week and next Saturday in Bremen, Adeyemi has to watch with a ban. “As a result, he can’t rush in the next two games,” Terzic regretted. “We will then have him available again in ten days and remind him of what has made him strong in this phase.”
Sébastien Haller: Emotional highlight as a boost
Of course, Haller can also feel like a big winner, having scored his first goal for Borussia Dortmund on World Cancer Day of all days after recovering from testicular cancer. As he celebrated the goal, he pointed to his shoes, which were emblazoned with the words ‘F*ck Cancer’.
“Scoring my first goal of the day means a lot to me,” Haller said sky. “When I scored the goal I felt the whole stadium was on fire. It gives a big boost, I hope we get more of those moments.”
Haller has enriched the Dortmund offensive game since his comeback. Although he was in the style of a top scorer against Freiburg and used his only opportunity to score, he was otherwise largely unsigned from the Freiburg defence.
“It took a lot of weight off him, everyone was excited,” said sporting director Sebastian Kehl about Haller’s goal debut. Nevertheless, the striker can play “even better” and is still looking for his rhythm. “But goals help a striker,” added Kehl.
Terzic is also hoping for an initial spark: “We hope that this was the first of many goals and that he will continue to be so important to us.”