Every beginning is hard
After 106 days , it was finally time for the Bundesliga to start again. The summer pause is always dreadful and even the WorldCup could not fill the void that was left behind after the last game of the last season had ended. So finally, on Sunday, at 17:30 it was time for Dortmund to start into a new season of football and excitement. Against Leverkusen it was our aim to keep the first three points at home. Unfortunately life does not always go the way we want it to go.
Since Kuba injured himself, Großkreutz took over his position on the right side, while 18 year old Götze replaced Großkreutz on the left side. Owomoyela had recovered again from his flu and went back to his old position on the right side of the defense. Another familiar face was back in Leverkusen and so Michael Ballack made his first game, after a few years in Chelsea, in the Bundesliga for Leverkusen again.
It was an interesting beginning of the game, which unfortunately showed quite quickly that Leverkusen was another caliber than Agdam last week. They always seemed to be a bit faster, a bit zippier and a bit more clever in their movements and attacks. In the 10th minute the first chance of the game, however, lay on our side when Kagawa managed to get into Leverkusen's penalty area where Adler was just one step quicker at the ball than he was. Leverkusen took this as a wake-up call and showed us that they were quite awake as well, hammering the ball against our goalpost in the 14th minute. Dortmund seemed impressed and offered Leverkusen way too much room to develop their game. Furthermore it got clear quite quickly that it was a mistake to put Götze on the left side and therefore tear apart the well adjusted team Schmelzer/Großkreutz. Even though they appeared eager it was clearly visible that Schmelzer and Götze were struggling. So it was no surprise that Leverkusen's attacks mainly took place on their right side, resulting in their first goal only a few seconds later. Vidal and Castro managed to outdo three of our players and passed the ball into the middle where Barnetta hit the goal. This would not have been too bad if our goal in the 21st minute had not been marked as offside. Kehl net the ball but unfortunately the referees decided on offside. A wrong decision leading to even worse deeds. While Dortmund still tried to gather themselves after this disappointment, Augusto made his way through the field and scored the 0:2 for Leverkusen in the 22nd minute. This was not going as planned. Without further worth mentioning chances on both sides it has to be noted that Leverkusen was superior in every way. They never gave Dortmund enough room to develop their game but managed to break free every now and then from our struggling players. A few desperate shots by Kehl, Sahin and Großkreutz could not change this. After 45 minutes it was time for a side change.
The second half of the game continued the same way the first half had ended. Leverkusen kept their defense tight and Dortmund found little ways to break though. A free kick by Sahin in the 57th minute of the game brought some excitement however, Adler managed to jump into the right corner. A few minutes later it was time for Lewandowski's and Piszczek's debut in the Bundesliga for Dortmund in exchange for Kehl and Großkreutz. While Lewandowski was able to show some of his strengths, it was simply not enough to turn around the game. Leverkusen played it down too clever, they never gave Dortmund enough room to break free and Dortmund did not seem to find any ways of attempting to break free from Leverkusen's well sorted defense. Leverkusen did not have to put any further input into their offensive game and in the end they deserved to take home the three points since Dortmund found no ways of interrupting their tight structure.
We had probably imagined the season to start a little bit differently but then again, every beginning is hard and there will be enough time to prove that Dortmund is capable of playing among the big teams of the Bundesliga. Even though things have not worked out properly this time, it was nice to see that our new players like Lewandowski and Kagawa managed to show that they are eager and here for a good reason. There will be other moments for them to be successful. Next week we will most definitely enter the group games of the Europe League and then on Sunday, hopefully gather our first three points in Stuttgart.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller – Owomoyela (Rangelov), Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer – Kehl (63. Lewandowski), Sahin – Großkreutz (67. Piszczek), Kagawa, Götze – Barrios.
Bayer Leverkusen: Adler - Castro, Reinartz, Hyypiä, Kadlec - Renato Augusto (81. Schwaab), Vidal (83. Balitsch), Ballack, Barnetta (75. L. Bender)- Kießling, Derdiyok.
Goals: 0:1 Barnetta (19., Vidal), 0:2 Renato Augusto (22., Vidal).
Referee: Meyer (Burgdorf)
Westfalenstadion: 73 300