Fancy headline needed! Oh who cares - what a victory!
I feel like I am having a deja-vu. I was staring at my empty text document for quite a while now, in need for a catchy and interesting headline and all I could come up with were things I already used last season. Is it my lack of creativity? Maybe. But it is also possible that it is simply this amazing team that reminds me of last season where it was, at some point, really difficult to sum up a game without using the words "great", "perfect", "amazing" etc in the headline.
But what our Borussia did today was simply, again, great. Surely, not every game in the past weeks was spoiled with sugar and candy. Some games were hard work and sometimes you need a little bit of luck as well, but while the self-appointed champions from Munich tend to lose or draw a game they don't play very well, we win it anyway. Because this is something our team has tons and tons more of than Munich or any other team does, the will to keep those three points, no matter what. And it works. It doesn't always have to be a glorious 5:0. We tend to be satisfied with any kind of victory. But enough of the praises and the bashing against Munich already, there is a game I would like to talk about as well, and it was one of the rather entertaining ones. I most certainly wasn't bored at any minutes. But: first things first.
Before the game
After various mysterious news this week about how many players are sick or injured and what not, it turned out that only Leitner was one of the new ones who couldn't be part of the team today. At least when it comes to actively playing. They are, of course, always part of the team. But we were confronted with some good news over the week as well. Mario Götze is doing better and might actually start his running practise in a couple of weeks again. Fantastic news. No surprises in our line up since Kagawa was doing well again. On Hanover's side there were two changes concerning the Euro League game against Brügge Hanover still had on Thursday. Chahed and Pander couldn't play, for them Cherundolo and Schulz came in. Before the game everyone was convinced that this game wouldn't be an easy one. Hannover was still undefeated in the second half of the season as well and had a great Euro League victory in their backs. Enough motivation to gain some points in Dortmund as well. But let's take a look at the game.
From the very first minute on this game appeared to be a good one. Dortmund seemed to be eager and Hanover didn't feel like they had to hide themselves as well. While it was us who tended to have a better strive towards the goal, Hanover didn't lack the skills to keep up with us. This resoluted in an open game from both sides, nice to watch for the viewers. It wasn't like there were 10 chances on each side in the first five minutes, but you could tell that both teams had a plan. The question was, which team was about to fullfill theirs first? We could watch a few nice combinations on our side, where especially the right side with Kuba and Piszscek got involved. But then the first shock after only five minutes. Suddenly there was a duel between Bender and Diouf resulting in Bender lying on the ground, in pain, after he got Diouf's foot in his face. After only six minutes, the game was over for our Manni. Heavily bleeding, he had to leave the pitch and all of us were already worried about what the possible outcome of this could be. We expected the worst. News came in a couple of hours later that nothing is broken. Thank God. Get well soon Manni, we need you. For Manni, Gündogan came in.
In the 15th minute then the first big chance for our BVB. After a freekick by Kuba from, well almost the center of the pitch, the ball gets into the penalty area and suddenly there is a bit of chaos in Hanover's penalty area so that Hummels manages to pass the ball onto Kevin who plays it to the right where Lewandowski is waiting around one meter in front of the goal. But the ball comes in too fast and so Robert misses the goal by inches. Tough luck. Never mind, next time then. Hanover on the other side was still trying to find some dangerous moves for the game but every of their attacks was pretty much solved before it had a chance to really develop. Let's jump into the 27th minute of the game. Lewandowski has the ball and plays it onto Kuba who somehow loses the ball in the center of the pitch. In the back we can still see Lewandowski somehow being angry, maybe because of a little foul? Or some minor injury since he was holding his leg? Anyway, Kuba loses the ball and Hanover tries to attack. Kuba however corrects his mistake straight away and takes the ball away from Hanover's attacker. On a position that usually Piszczek holds. Piszczek however was on the right side in the center of the pitch, waiting for the pass, that Kuba plays only a few seconds later. Piszczek then takes the ball, strives forward and passes it onto Lewandowski who still seemed to be in pain. This pain, however, was forgotten the second Robert got the ball. He storms into the right corner of the penalty area and does, what - well - he does best. He scores. 1:0 for us and a fantastic combination by our three Polish players. Nice.
Only 09 minutes later another great chance for our BVB. The very strong playing Kuba got the ball in the center of the pitch and passed it onto Kagawa who was waiting in front of the penalty area. He then has the eye for the by storming Schmelzer, who pulls into Hanover's penalty area and shoots - but misses the goal by only a couple of inches. What a great chance to score the 2:0. Dortmund played a great game so far. It didn't seem like we had to be nervous at all. The players used every room that was given to them and on this day our right side was having a rather brilliant day. Kuba and Piszczek harmonized in a great way. But not only them, everyone contributed to the game which made it a great joy to watch. A couple of minutes later we actually score. Unfortunately this goal was not given. Basically it was a wonderful combination between Kuba, Kawaga, Piszczek and Lewandowski where everyone basically played the ball like football was the easiest thing on the planet. It was an utter joy to watch. Lewandowski eventually hit the goal post (of course, our old friend the post) and after that the situation was offside. Never mind. As long as the game was to be continued in this way, I wasn't worried.
In the 44th minute another great attack by our Borussia. Again very fast movements in the center of the pitch where Kagawa plays a great pass onto Kuba who was striving into the penalty area and shoots but, I don't really know where he shoots the ball. Left next to the door. It is a mystery who he manages to fail the goal in such a way, but then again it is Kuba. And we all remember Freiburg. After that it was time for a well deserved break. It was a fantastic first half where Hanover was, at some point, only busy defending their own penalty area and goal since our players enjoyed themselves too much to give up on trying. But of course Hanover had a difficult game on Thursday and it was to be expected that they would actually try a bit harder in the second half of the game. For now they were lucky that the score was still only 1:0. It should have been higher.
The second half began in the pretty much same way the first half had began. There was only little time to take a breath because this game never got boring. Then came the 53rd minute of the game. Our Kevin got the ball on the left side but was rather well looked after by Hanover's players. So he changed sides and played the ball onto Piszczek who was approaching on the other side of the pitch. Piszczek had all the time in the world and played a long cross into the left side of the penalty area where Kuba stood. Kuba, fighting for the ball managed to keep Hanover's Zieler entertained and played the ball in the middle where, again, Robert Lewandowski simply scored. 2:0 for us. Like I said, we only needed to be patient. Well done boys.
Only five minutes later, Hanover's exchanged players and Ya Konan came onto the pitch. His second touch with the ball was actually a goal for Hanover. Somehow no one was taking care of Ya Konan who got the ball around 30 meters in front of our goal. He then decided to, well, simply shoot. The ball went straight into the upper right corner of our goal. 2:1. I hate to say it, but it was a great goal after all. Sometimes it seems, that some players tend to make these kind of goals against us with a preference. I have whitnessed quite a few of these over the years.
But suddenly there was some kind of tension in the game. Maybe it was the fact that we all remembered the first game against Hanover from this season where we gave away the game in the last few minutes. This time there were still 30 minutes to be played and so the game became a bit more hectic than it had been before. Hanover had now woken up, eager to score at least another goal. Dortmund however didn't give up as well and so Sebastian Kehl had a nice try in the 64th minute of the game. Hanover's Ziegler managed to clear the ball to the side though. Pretty much one minute later we scored again. And again the referee decides offside. Big mistake this time. Our Gündogan plays a wonderful pass right in front of Großkreutz feet, who pulls to the right side, distracts Zieler and passes the ball into the middle where Lewandowski was waiting again to score. Unfortunately the referees had a different opinion. Too bad, this would have been much more relaxing.
Hanover on the other side was still eager to push forward as well. The game got hectic now. A few yellow cards were given and it looked like our team lost its concentration at times. The game was going back and forth now, Gündogan and Kagawa on one side with the chance, Hanover on the other side through a freekick and through Diouf. The last ten minutes had started and we all began to be more and more nervous. We managed to survive until minute 90 though. The now playing Ivan Perisic then got fouled on the right side of the pitch which resulted in a freekick for us. This freekick was shot by Kuba, whose ball found Perisic, who then decided that he would like to score a goal as well. 3:1 for us. Wonderful. With this goal, the whistle rang and all of us were extremely happy.
The first 60 minutes of the game, our team clearly was the more dominant and the simply better team. However, Hanover is a team that one should never underestimate and so they managed to come back at some point, and to be honest, to scare us a little bit as well. I am glad that our team kept their nerves and tried to stay as calm as possible. They did a fantastic job and we can only be proud of our young guns.
Unfortunately, Kehl got his 5th yellow card today and will have to miss the game against Mainz next Saturday. Let's all hope for our Manni to be back by then, but as Hummels has pointed out in an interview after the game "this injury is not too great, but wait, this is Manni, we will give him two days of rest and then we expect him to be back on the pitch". We all hope you get better soon Manni. Since Schalke lost against Munich today, we are now 8 points ahead of them and the fourth place. What a wonderful way to end a weekend. Thank you dear Ballspielverein for an exciting and pleasent game to watch. And thank you for your every week passion and determination. It surely is the easiest thing in the world to be a Dortmund fan. Because this team is simply great.
BVB: Weidenfeller - Piszczek , Subotic , Hummels , Schmelzer - S. Bender , Kehl - Blaszczykowski , Kagawa , Großkreutz - Lewandowski
8. Gündogan for S. Bender, 77. Barrios for Lewandowski, 87. Perisic for Kagawa
Hanover: Zieler - Cherundolo , Eggimann , Pogatetz , C. Schulz - Pinto - Stindl , Schmiedebach - Schlaudraff - M. Diouf , Abdellaoue
59. Ya Konan for Abdellaoue, 59. Rausch for Schlaudraff, 76. Stoppelkamp for Pinto
Goals: 1:0 Lewandowski (27., Piszczek), 2:0 Lewandowski (54., Blaszczykowski), 2:1 Ya Konan (60., M. Diouf), 3:1 Perisic (90. + 2, Blaszczykowski)
Referee: Manuel Graefe (Berlin)
Westfalenstadion: 80 720 (sold out)