An autumn day of perfection...
Let's note a few facts here. Sebastian Kehl's son may as well challenge his dad before every match of the week, Cologne's coach Solbakken is a man of great humour, Cologne fans are a good sport, and our young guns are amazing.
Like that, or at least similar, looks the summary I would give on yesterday's football match. What a week it has been for us BVB fans, Championsleague and Bundesliga, heaven and hell in one. After Wednesday's terrible and disappointing performance by our young guns in the Championsleague, we were a bit moody for a bit. How was it possible to perish and surrender like we did against Piräus? None of us really had an explaination, but we surely hoped for an answer against the Karnivalclub from Cologne. And what an answer our team gave. Everything seemed to work on this Saturday.
Since Perisic collected a yellow/red card against Bremen, Kevin Großkreutz took over the position of the left winger again, while next to unbreakable Bender our captain Sebastian Kehl found his place. The setting of this wonderful afternoon couldn't have been better as well. With pleasent 15 degrees, a blue sky and sunshine we made our way to the Westfalenstadion. On the way there you saw Cologne fans among our fans all around. The atmosphere was great, everyone drank beer together, the game was ready to begin.
Four minutes into the game, we found ourselves confronted with the first worrying situation. (It should be the last one of the day) After a tackle, our captain Kehl got booked and had to be carried off, getting medical care at the side of the pitch. This took a few minutes, but apperently some of Bender's unbreakable spirit has swapped over to him, since he continued playing like nothing had happened. Quite impressive considering the following events and the fact that his lip had to be stapled and one of his teeth was loose. But more of that later since we have a goal following. After Hummel's amazing pass from the center of the pitch, Großkreutz was awaiting the ball on the left side of the penalty area. And our Dortmunder Jung had the patience and the eye to find Kagawa in the center, played a pass- and Kagawa? As in the good old days. Cold as eyes he shot the ball into the goal. 1:0 for us. First shot, first goal. Nice beginning.
And it only got better. The most wonderful this of this game was the fact, that you didn't really have to worry at all, not at one second of the game, somehow the feeling of comfort spread throughout the stadium, that this day might actually be a good one. But it wasn't, it was a great one. Cologne didn't find into the game at all, and so it was our boys who continued to make the game. From the beginning on Kehl seemed very determined and tried himself with a nice shot from around 20 meters- Cologne's keeper Rensing was there with a great save. But also Götze and Kagawa (especially Kagawa) showed a lot of confidence in the game, it was joy to watch. And so was the second goal. In the 25th minute it was our Marcel Schmelzer, who was allowed to experience the joy of scoring a bundesligagoal for the first time in his career. It was again Kagawa, as well as Götze and Bender who were involved in another offensive attack and somehow the ball landed in front of Schmelzer. Totally unimpressed- from around 20 meters distanc, Schmelzer hammered the ball into the upper right corner of the goal. 2:0. What a shot, great goal Marcel. After his really weak performance on Wednesday it was good to see Marcel back on track. Also striking was the fact that Schmelzer and Großkreutz seemed to harmonize quite well on the left side. It actually looked like the great times of last season's victory.
After almost fourty minutes Cologne had the first scene that can kind of be related to the area around the goal. They got a freekick and nothing came of it. Not the slightest attempt of danger for us. What followed was the goal of the day. At least for me. It resembled everything we love so much about our Borussia. A perfect combination which shows, it doesn't matter which player is involved, they can all be amazing if only they try. Our Bender was somewhere up front at the penalty area when Piszczek played a fantastic pass into that area. And while a few other Dortmundplayers appeared to be offside, Bender suddenly appears from somewhere deep, storming into the penalty area, playing a perfect pass into the center, where our goalgetter Lewandowski was waiting to score. 3:0. What a goal, what a game. The first half wasn't over, yet and we were already three goals ahead. On that sunny day, none of us had something to complain. The whole team played together, worked together, they seemed to really enjoy playing. And they played the game that used to distinguish us last season. Always running, always eager and combining these elements with the joy of the game- the combinations were just great. With a fantastic mood we went into the break, looking forward to what the second half might hold for us. As for Cologne- they had no chance at all. They pretty much gave up work after only 30 minutes, very poor performance.
The second half started with a nice joint choreography from our fans the Cologne fans.Cologne's banner read "Selbst die Spieler sehen ein" (even the players realise) while on our banner it said "Fußball muss bezahlbar sein" (football must be affordable). A nice joint move towards the aim that ticket prices must not reach the sky. Back into the game, Kuba was now replacing Mario Götze- a deserved break. Well, what can I say, the second half was just as "boring" as the first half. We played the game, we scored the goals. As a matter of fact it started pretty much the same way the first half had started- or ended. Either way. We scored.
Kuba passed the ball onto Großkreutz, Großkreutz- with his head- into Lewandowski's run, and Lewandowski? Scores. 4:0. Boy oh boy, we were so on. It was an utter joy to watch. Our Südtribüne appeared to be a little bit tired during the first half of the game, but this game reminded all of us of the great achievements from last season and we all remembered what this team down on the pitch has striven for, so we simply celebrated them (and of course us) again. "wer ist deutscher Meister?" could be heard all through the stadium, a bit of bouncing and clapping along- our mood was fantastic, our players were fantastic, the whole day was...well you know. After 57 Moritz Leitner came into the game for our "Manni" Bender. And again, I can't say it often enough. This guy Bender is amazing. The way he threw himself into the duel before the second goal and managed that the ball got back in front of Schmelzer's feet was just a typical Bender move. Mental. But in a great way. Back into the game, it was still a joy to watch. It was impossible to harmonize more than we did on this Saturday. Everything was working.
And we still have a goal to follow, by our captain Kehl. And what a great goal that was. Another long and perfect pass from Hummels landed in front of Kuba's feet, Kuba played a great cross into the center, and suddenly, it appeared like out of nowhere, there was a player storming into the penalty area: Sebastian Kehl. And our captain probably scored one of the greatest headers I have ever seen in my life. 5:0 for us. But let's remember, he was almost knocked out after only four minutes into the game and then suddenly he storms into the penalty area like a madman, scoring his so well deserved goal. The cherry on top for his brilliant performance on this day. Later in an interview Kehl would say that his own son told him that he wouldn't have to come home anymore if he didn't score. Well kiddo-Kehl, you are very welcome to "threaten" your dad before every game now, if that determination and ambition is the outcome of that.
The score could have been higher, since we had way more chances as well. A great one by Kuba 15 minutes before the game was over, but Rensing saved Cologne from another goal. The highlight for the Cologne fans? Their first and only shot onto the goal in the 86. minute of the game. Weidenfeller actually had to stretch himself there for the first time. I was worried that he might have fallen asleep already. However, after five goals and 90 minutes the game was over. Unfortunately one may even say.
While standing on the Südtribüne with my fellow editor Vanni, we came to the conclusion that we might as well only play Bundesliga from now on and forget about the Championsleague. So much more fun. But still, we were wondering. How is it possible to show two faces like that? If you watched the game on Wednesday and the one on Saturday, it is almost impossible that those two teams were actually the same ones. However, we all said good bye to Wednesday and were simply enjoying this fantastic Saturday autumn afternoon. On this day, things couldn't have gone better. There was not one player of the team that appeared to be lost or ruled out or not really into the game. Each player played a fantastic game and it was amazing to see that players like Kagawa, Hummels, Großkreutz and Schmelzer were right back on track with an amazing and confident performance after being criticised so much. Those three points were more than absolutely deserved. Three points for a great sense of humour go to Cologne's coach Solbakken though. At the press conference he got a piece of paper with the statistics which said that the ball posession was 60%. He took a puzzled look at the paper, and in a very dry tone he read it out loud and concluded "someone must have made a big, big mistake there..." And three points for a good sport to Cologne fans as well. After the game you still saw our fans and the red fans intermingled on the streets, in the pubs, and still, everyone was in a good mood. Days like these could hardly be better. Best wishes to Cologne's player Chihi though, a cruciate rupture will knock him out unitl the end of the season. Get well soon. As for our young guns: thanks boys, we are proud of you guys.
Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Kehl, Bender - Götze, Kagawa, Großkreutz - Lewandowski
Cologne: Rensing - Riether, Jamal, Sereno, Eichner - Matuschyk, Jajalo - Chihi, Lanig, Peszko - Podolski
Exchanges: Kuba for Götze (46), Leitner for Bender (57), Gündogan for Kagawa (71) - Roshi for Peszko (46), Clemens for Chihi (58), Pezzoni for Jajalo (71)
Goals: 1:0 Kagawa (7 / Großkreutz), 2:0 Schmelzer (25 / Bender), 3:0 Lewandowski (44 / Bender), 4:0 Lewandowski (50 / Großkreutz), 5:0 Kehl (66 / Kuba)