Cold feet but a delighted heart
My way to the Westfalenstadion started off in Cologne and already there I was freezing like a snowman despite the fact that I was basically dressed like an Eskimo. But, with a good will in my heart and excitement towards the game I did not mind those cold feet that would continue to accompany me on the Südtribüne. After all, who cares about cold feet when your team is warming your heart with all the eagerness and passion they put into their game. So, that Saturday night was a cold one but despite the weather there was still some football to play.
Our guest this week, the false Borussia from Gladbach, had a lot to face since they were playing the current leaders of the league a visit while hosting the last place of the chart themselves. The signs appeared to look like a clear victory for us but we all know that one should never underestimate the so called inferior team. Jürgen Klopp changed our usual team on only one position. Kevin Großkreutz was allowed to take a rest first which offered Kuba the chance to prove himself from kick off. Even though it was very cold there was still no snow in Dortmund. Our fans however, took it upon themselves to create some snow. After having called out for confetti day, thousands of people brought confetti along and threw it up in the air when the players entered the field. A very nice picture.
The strongly attested upper hand that we were supposed to have over Gladbach was actually really there from the beginning on, however, it was more of a visual upper hand. Borussia Dortmund played the game, Borussia Dortmund acted, Gladbach reacted. It stayed like that for quite a while. Our game was surely superior but we still lacked the drive towards Gladbachs goal in the first minutes of the game. It took us almost 20 minutes to start a dangerous attack on Gladbach’s goal. It was Barrios who had the big chance after 19 minutes, unfortunately he found his master in Gladbachs keeper Heimeroth. The same fate overtook Hummels (22.) and Kagawa (30.) as well. Until then Gladbach was present in the game, but they still didn`t give the impression of wanting to take home three important points. They proved us wrong. Out of nowhere they suddenly scored. I couldn't even look as fast as they made that goal. In the 33rd minute an Ex-BVB youth player, Marco Reuss, scored from about 20 meters distance after Hummels and Subotic seemed to take a nap for a few seconds. Weidenfeller had no chance to save the ball. Weird situation. Actually that was nothing that I had expected, and usually I am a huge pessimist, this time though, I wasn`t worried at all. Throughout the past weeks our Borussia has given me a feeling of confidence when it comes to football, which made me believe in them turning that score around again. The game continued in a strange way. Gladbach was still present, now even a little bit more confident with that goal in their back, but Dortmund was wide awake as well. Somehow, however, they didn`t really seem to find a way to Gladbach’s goal. In moments like these, A corner shot is always a welcome change. After a Götze corner Neven Subotic jumped higher than anybody else around him and headed the ball into the goal. 1:1. In the 46th. minute of the game. That goal did not come one second too early. Right after that the whistle rang and it was time for a break. Due to Subotic's header we would be able to start over fresh in the second half of the game.
After having played for five minutes in the second half of the game, it finally came how we wanted it to come. Our youngster Mario Götze played an absolute dream pass towards Kagawa who was escaping from two of Gladbach’s players and then scored his seventh goal of this season. But what an excellent pass from our only 18 year old Mario Götze - he had the eye while Kagawa had the callousness. 2:1 for us. Perfect. The lead seemed to have an impact on our Borussia since they became way more eager and even a little bit cheeky. But despite the goals that would follow, it was the little things that brought a lot of joy as well. When you see the way our Nuri Shain circles around two or three players, with the ball close to his feet, not losing sight of the opponent for a second, yet still with that ball at his feet, it is a simple delight. When you see a young Götze, Piszczek or Schmelzer running up and down the lines, fighting for every ball, playing great crosses or passes, it is a simple joy. That's Borussia Dortmund this year. It is fun to watch a game. However, I would like to point out that I only named a couple of our players, you could add every other player to this list as well. Everyone gives his up most and brings different qualities into the game that creates this overwhelming force which we present at the moment. Back to the game. In the 63rd minute of the game Gladbach again had one of its stronger moments. Lucky for us, so did Weidenfeller, who got to the ball before Camargo did. Similar to the second goal of ours, our next two goals were created. Always through wonderful moves across the whole field. In the 77th minute of the game Barrios showed one of those earlier mentioned cheeky moments. He ran down the right side of the field, while Großkreutz, now in the game for Kuba, was running towards the center. Barrios took one quick glance and then played the ball towards Großkreutz who had no problem scoring it into the goal. 3:1 for us. Yey. Still, it needs to be mentioned that Barrios did not just pass the ball towards our Kevin in any way, no he played a perfect pass with his back heel. No problems doing that, at the moment it seems as if playing football is the easiest thing our players could probably imagine. I don't mind at all. As Jürgen Klopp pointed out: In times like these when things are working out for you, everything works. Let's hope for this moment to stay for a way, way longer time. About ten minutes later another substitute player proved that he deserved every second of the time he gets to play- maybe even more. We all remember Da Silva from his wonderful goal against Hoppenheim a few weeks ago. This time he leveled the way for Barrios with a perfect pass from I don't know how many meters. The pass landed right in front of Barrios feet, who, just like Kevin Großkreutz, had no problems at all shooting the ball into Gladbachs goal. 4:1. Referee Gräfe decided that there was no extra time necessary and so the game ended after exactly 90 minutes.
It was a well deserved victory. Even though Gladbach had its moments, it was us who played great football for the most time of the game. The moment that I remember the most of the game? The 4:1. I am well aware of the fact that I keep repeating myself in cases like this but after Barrios had scored everyone from the team came to him to celebrate. Really everyone. Weidenfeller ran across the whole field, simply to celebrate with his team. An absolute wonderful moment. Something I can't get enough from.
Before the game against Nürnberg next Sunday, we are expecting Lwiw in the Euroleague on Thursday. It is going to be a difficult game, utterly important, but difficult. I have faith in my dear Borussia. May you always find your way...
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender, Sahin – Götze (83. da Silva), Kagawa (78. Lewandowski), Kuba (62. Großkreutz) - Barrios.
Borussia Mönchengladbach: Heimeroth - Levels, Anderson, Callsen-Bracker, Daems - Bradley, Marx – Herrmann (65.Matmour), Reus - de Camargo (65. Bobadilla), Idrissou
Goals: 0:1 Reus (33.), 1:1 Subotic (45., Götze), 2:1 Kagawa (50., Götze), 3:1 Großkreutz (77., Barrios), 4:1 Barrios (88., da Silva)
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (Berlin)