Ouch. The 3-0 defeat in Marseille definitely hurts. Why? Because once again, Borussia was the better team over most parts of the match. Once again, Borussia had more possession than the opponent. Once again, Borussia had the opportunities to make this away game a win. However, once again, Borussia was severely punished for two individual mistakes by its defenders. Once again, statistics don't matter at the end of the day. Once again, you could get the feeling that Borussia can play as well as all players can but end up with having nothing in European competitions. Once again, the German championship winner had to face a bitter defeat.
Before the match
Marcel Schmelzer and Sven Bender were ready to get back into the team so that coach Jürgen Klopp was able to send the same squad on the pitch who fought hard for a draw against Arsenal London in the first match of the Champions League. That meant that Ivan Perisic found himself on the bench with Kevin Großkreutz replacing him. Lucas Barrios was to be brought in for the second time after he made his return to the Bundesliga on Saturday in Mainz. The French opponent Olympique Marseille who had beaten Olimpiacos in their first match missed three players in Traoré, Gignac and Mbia. Both teams started with a 4-2-3-1, even though Marseille changed it to 4-1-4-1 soon. 2.000 fans of mighty Borussia travelled to France to visit the Stade Velodrome who only gave place for an attendance of 40.000 due to construction works.
Borussia started furiously when a nice pass by Robert Lewandowski to Mario Götze - who was one of the best Borussians on the pitch - was saved by goalkeeper Mandanda (9th), the second national keeper of the Equipe Tricolore. Ten minutes later, Borussia was close to scoring when once again, Mario Götze found himself in the focus of the actions. A nice lob from the midfield to Super Mario who turned around his opposing player after taking the ball with his chest and was beaten by Mandanda once again who managed to get his leg on the ball which was very close to getting into the net but was finally saved seconds later after Götze tried to score for a second time.
Then, Neven Subotic seemed to wear the same shoes he used in Hanover when he once again lost control and fell on the ground to open the pitch for Loic Remy who saw his colleague André Ayew on the left, gave the assist and the son of Abidi Pele scored from around 17 metres in the right corner of the goal with no chance for Roman Weidenfeller (20th). After the match, defender Neven Subotic admitted that he fell not because of the shoes but because of his foot work. This honest statement needs to be respected. However, that doesn't matter in the end. Like in the match against Arsenal, the first attack of Borussia's opponent found his way into the goal because of an individual mistake of one hero in black and yellow.
The goal shocked the young team and after Ayew made his way to three or four defenders of the German champion, Valbuena tested Weidenfeller and nearly overcame the goalie who brilliantly saved the result for the moment. Before the break, Mats Hummels nearly hit the equalizer when he got an opportunity after a corner kick from the right side but his shot was hard to control and therefore went over the goal (36th).
It was a bitter result at half time since Borussia was not the weaker part of the match and nobody would have complained about a draw going into the break. However, it needs to be said that the best half of Borussia was still to come.
Seconds after the whistle starting the second half, Kagawa nearly got control over the ball at the penalty spot but was blocked by a French defender. The two corner kicks which followed brought no big opportunities but you could gain the impression that Borussia was willing to go for the equalizer right from the start. The best chance of Borussia was given away by – no surprise there – Mario Götze who was very unlucky after a cross of Großkreutz was extended right to his feet and the young gun only managed to hit the post. Last season, when everything went in favor of Borussia, this ball probably would have found its way into the net. Just 60 seconds later, trouble in the defense of Marseille allowed Götze to appear in front of Mandanda but even though Götze played a terrific game, it was not his day to score as he was beaten by the French goalie for one more time.
When Borussia was really close to scoring for the first time in this match, another individual mistake of a Dortmund defender decided the match. This time, it was Mats Hummels whose header gave the assist to Loic Remy who left Weidenfeller no chance. 2-0, 62nd minute, there was nothing to gain in Marseille for Borussia. Hummels should have decided to clear the long shot from the midfield to the sides and maybe we would be talking about a different game then. But as we all know, the word "maybe" means nothing in football.
When you had the impression that it couldn't get any worse, a penalty was awarded to Marseille after skipper Sebastian Kehl tackled the man who scored the 2-0, Loic Remy. For me, the call to make the penalty was ridiculous since Remy seemed to have taken flying lessons there and the attack by Kehl was similar to the one Valbuena made to gain the ball against Lukasz Piszczek just seconds before. However, Ayew didn't care about that and silenced all left optimistic supporters once and for all (69th).
Even though Borussia was done from that point on, opportunities to score were still present. For example, Mario Götze's header after a cross by substitute Kuba was brilliantly saved by Mandanda who really did a great job in this match and was one of the reasons that Borussia was leaving France with no points (70th). Another header by Lucas Barrios only hit the cross-bar five minutes before the final whistle. Borussia could have gone on to play for another thirty minutes without scoring. Statistics counted 10 opportunities for Borussia and five for Marseille which makes the final result of 3-0 even more painful. The game found his end with the second yellow card for Jordan Ayew (not the guy who scored twice but his brother) who was brought in twenty minutes before. Stupidly enough, the second card was awarded to him after he went for a dive.
It was a painful defeat by an opponent who was not three goals better than Borussia. It also was a matter of experience which our young team clearly lacks of. Two individual mistakes and a penalty present decide the game for Marseille who are on a perfect run in the Champions League with six points and no goals against them. In the second match of our group, Arsenal beat Olimpiacos 2-1. However, nothing is lost already. Borussia needs points and victories in the two upcoming matches against Olimpiacos to stay in the competition and not to lose sight of plan B which is become third-ranked to qualify for Europa League. However, these are the sounds of the future since it is more important to focus on Bundesliga now. Saturday, we will be welcoming league newbie Augsburg in Westfalenstadion in another match which Borussia needs to win.
Olympique Marseille: Mandanda - Azpilicueta, Diawara, N´Koulou, Morel - Diarra, Kaboré -Valbuena, Gonález, A. Ayew – Rémy
Subs: J. Ayew for Rémy (71st), Amalfitanon for Gonzáles (74th), Sabo for A. Ayew (89th)
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender, Kehl - Götze, Kagawa, Großkreutz – Lewandowski
Subs: Perisic and Kuba for Großkreutz and Kagawa (64th), Barrios for Lewandowski (73rd)
Goals: 1-0 Ayew (20th), 2-0 Remy (62nd), 3-0 Ayew (69th, penalty)
Bookings: Morel, J. Ayew – Hummels
Second Yellow Card: J. Ajew
Referee: Eriksson (Swede)
Attendance: 40.000 (sold out Stade Velodrome)