Bravo BVB! Or why a tie seems like a victory at times
After the difficult game against Paris it was time to play some football in the Bundesliga again. This time against Hoffenheim who appeared to be a difficult opponent from the beginning on. For Dortmund held the chance to stay at the top chart position for another week, while Hoffenheim aimed to take home three points. The struggle resulted in a tie- for Hoffenheim a loss of two points, for us a win of one well deserved point.
Before the game
Due to the fact that Schmelzer was only prohibited from playing in the Euroleague (due to the red card), Dede took a seat on the bench again while Schmelzer stood in on his position on the left side of the defense. Other than that Jürgen Klopp kept his successful team the way it has already played some wonderful football before.
In front of a sold out Westfalenstadion und during a constant rain, both teams started to play football. It was predictable that this would be an intense and interesting game, and it surely was. Unfortunately it was Hoffenheim who had the first chance to rejoice. After our Piszczek had lost the ball in our half, Gustavo took the ball and ran all the way down to the line of the field, then played a perfect cross to Ba, who was waiting in our penalty area. Ba, not being shielded by anyone, scored for Hoffenheim's 0:1. One mistake, one goal. Not really the start we had hoped for. I had witnessed two 0:1 in our stadium this season and both times it did not end well for us. However, the way Dortmund presented themselves, gave hope and it was not for too long that we had the chance to celebrate. A least that's what
we thought. We were proven wrong. Due to some weird decision of referee Stark, we had to face a shocking moment instead. But let's start at the beginning. After a wonderful pass from Sahin to Kagawa, Hoffenheim's Vorsah used his hand to stop the ball inside of the penalty area. Stark's whistle rang – penalty kick for us. Sahin, our well known specialist for penalty kicks, grabbed the ball and scored. It is not Christmas yet but maybe someone wants to buy the referees some glasses since they decided on an action replay. Why? Don't ask me. Apparently Barrios had run into the penalty area too early. A huge mistake as hundreds of cameras would point out later. Barrios had not run into the penalty area one second too early. Since Fortuna was not on our side in this situation, bad luck followed only seconds later. Sahin's second try was parried by Hoffenheim's keeper Starke. Again, a referee decision against us, that could have changed the whole run of the game. I tend to say that there's an equal for everything. For every goal taken away from us, we get one free.
The game continued and it was a weird game. The penalty situation was in the 15th minute of the game and after that there were no real chances on each side of the teams. Instead it was a great fight that was mostly kept in the area of the midfield. Both teams tried to be in the possession of the ball. Hoffenheim, now in the lead, did their best to keep their goal shut and Dortmund found little means to break through that strong wall of defense players. Still it was interesting to watch, an intense game with many fouls on Hoffenheim's side.
The first big chance of the second half lay in our hands. Großkreutz managed to shoot the ball over Hoffenheim's goal after standing in front of it all by himself in the 49th minute. Tough luck. In the 61st minute it was Barrios who had the chance to score for the 1:1. A wonderful shot from about 20 meters was parried perfectly by Hoffenheim's keeper Starke. It appeared that those people with the word "stark" in their name decided to drive us crazy today. Only one minute later it was Weidenfeller who had to prove himself. He fisted the ball from Vukcevics against the crossbar. The problem of the game was that Dortmund was eager, they tried very hard, they were constantly in action, however, it was either due to the difficult game on Thursday or the strong defense of Hoffenheim that they found no ways close towards Hoffenheim's goal. Instead they lost the ball because of imprecise passes way too often. And when they did manage to push forward to Hoffenheim's penalty area we could be sure that there was still someone who disagreed.
Again it was referee Stark who appeared to have a very bad day when it came to important decisions. Subotic was thrown off his feet by one of Hoffenheim's players. Instead of handing us another penalty kick the referees decided on offside. Why exactly? Apparently, because the ball had gone to Hummels, who was standing offside. The whole action of the foul, however, was BEFORE the offside moment and therefore it was a clear penalty kick for us that could have been the 1:1. Not so.
Do you remember me mentioning "for each goal taken away from us we get one free?" It was Stark's day of incorrect decisions today. In the 93rd minute of the game he decided on a foul on Da Silva and a free kick for us. Thank God he did, however, Da Silva did not get fouled. He fell in a normal fight and if the whistle was supposed to ring at all, I even dare to say it was rather Da Silva who had fouled and not the other way round. Anyway, who cares? After Sahin had not kept the luck on his side today when it came to free kicks and penalty kicks, Da Silva took the ball, kissed it, and lifted it over Hoffenheim's wall straight into the right corner of their goal. GOOOOAAAALLL!!! 1:1 FOR US.
What a wonderful decision to try his luck on his own and then score in the very, very last minute of such an intense game. It surely felt like winning. After all those weird decisions (free kick included) and the great fights and everything our players had put into the game, this simply felt like a victory. Who knows how it would have gone if we had been allowed to keep the 1:1 in the 15th minute of the game? But at that point it did not matter anymore. The most important thing was that Dortmund gained their well deserved point and the way the TEAM celebrated afterwards is greater than words can say. Again, as I have mentioned for so often, they celebrate together. It is not a one- man show. Even Owomoyela who was watching from the viewer's position, and Kringe who was not standing on the field. They all jumped to the side of the field together and celebrated. Wonderful moment.
After the game there was still time for some action. Salihovic got the red card for beefing too much. What was he beefing about anyway? The free kick? Well, think about all those penalty kicks boy. There's nothing to beef about. Guys, we are so proud of you. While Hoffenheim managed to develop the foul statistics to a new level- 28 fouls in one game- new high score, we surely were not at our top level at this game. Hoffenheim proved themselves to be a very strong opponent but they lacked something way more important: the feeling of a team, a team that we surely are. Since Mainz won against Leverkusen, we are at position number 2 again. Next week though, all this can change when Mainz has to welcome us in their own stadium. Be aware Mainz, here we come.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender,
Sahin - Kuba, Kagawa, Großkreutz - Barrios.
Hoffenheim: Starke - Beck, Vorsah, Compper, Luiz Gustavo - Rudy, Weis, Salihovic -
Vukcevic, Mlapa, Ba.
Exchanges: 46. Götze for Bender, 59. Lewandowski for Großkreutz, 74. da Silva for
Kuba - 46. Sigurdsson for Mlapa, 90.+1 Obasi for Weis.
Goals: 0:1 Ba, 1:1 da Silva
Viewers: sold out