There seems to be an End to every Run
It wasn't our day on Saturday- no. It most certainly wasn't. Somehow our players still seemed to be a little bit tired from Tuesday's Championsleague game, lacked the concentration and sometimes it felt, even a little bit the ambition. But maybe this is normal after a year that was filled with so much success. One year we have been undefeated in the Bundesliga and of all things, Hamburg was the team to end our run that was aiming for the record- a record Hamburg has held for a long time now. But there is no point in complaining because Hamburg was the better team on that Saturday- or at least- the more driven one.
Before the game
Jürgen Klopp has pointed out several times that we have enough games to come within the next months, and that we need every player we have in our team. Hence Kuba got a break after his performance in the CL squad on Tuesday and Perisic started of for him. However, Perisic took over the position on the left hand side, whereas Reus played in the center on the position of the ten and Götze scooched over to the right.
We have also talked about the "kein Zwanni" action our fans support amongst other fangroups and as the whistle of the referee rang, a lot of people left the guest stands in order to show a sign. Jürgen Klopp would later comment on this with the words "If people know how much money our fans spend to get to the games and support us and then leave when the game starts, this matter must be an important one". But let's take a look at the game itself.
The game started of in the worst possible way. We ran behind and Hamburg scored after only a couple of minutes. Van der Vaart used the moment when our players lost the ball in the offense, changed directions and sprinted down the line, unattacked by anyone and played a perfect cross into the center of the penalty area where Hummels seemed to be asleep and gave Son all the time in the work to head the ball into our goal. 1:0 for Hamburg and disbelief on our faces.
From the very beginning on it seemed as if we needed some help in the game and so it was no surprise that Hamburgs Mancienne worked out the first chance for us after a cornerkick when he headed the ball straight onto Adler's goal who cleared the ball in a good way. It shouldn't be the last time Adler would drive us nuts. It was a strange game. Hamburg hadn't gathered an points so far in the league and was desperate to change that- and it showed. All the things that stood for our team in the last couple of years: fighting for the ball, ambition, being driven, throwing themselves into every duel- they were suddenly lacking all these things and always came a step too late whereas Hamburg attacked and circled our players straight away so that chances on our side were limited. Lewandowski tried Adler a couple of times but none of these tries are really worth mentioning since they seemed to be rather desperate than confident.
On the other hand, Lewandowski had a hard time in the first half. Götze tried to play some football but again, Hamburg's defense was alert on this day, Reus had a terrible day in the offense and also Perisic seemed like he wasn't really there in the first half of the game. And so it was Piszczek who tried Adler with a sharp shot from the far right side in the last minute of the first half, which missed Hamburgs goal only by inches and was therefore pretty much the best chance Dortmund had to offer so far. Time for a break.
The second half began in a way that was even greater than Hamburgs way in the first half. Ivan Perisic that brought me to desperation in the first half, played, what looked like a cross at first and suddenly the ball was inside Hamburgs goal. 1:1. The reaction of Perisic was wide laughter after that goal, I assume he did not really expect to score with this ball either. He even checked the center of the penalty area before he played the "cross". All of this happened exactly 22 seconds after the referee had opened the second half of the game. Time to turn around that game. But it came differently. Hamburg had given away so many games in the past out of insecurity- today it was all different. They seemed rather unimpressed after Perisic goal. Even though Perisic appeared totally changed after his goal and tried Adler with another shot, the score remained the same. Until our saviour from Tuesday had a bad moment and our defense was again pretty much asleep and too late to create an offside and Illicevic ran down on the left side of the pitch, straight into the penalty area, hammering the ball into the left corner of the goal which Weidenfeller- well let's say- on Tuesday he would have cleared that ball.
2:1 for Hamburg in the 55th. minute of the game. And as if that wasn't bad enough only five minutes later it was again Son who was totally left alone around 25 meters in front of our goal and not being attacked at all he hammered the ball into our goal. 3:1. What in the world had happened there? But the game got even more confusing. While Hamburgs fans were still celebrating, the score was suddenly 3:2 because Perisic had scored again. Apparently Hamburgs defense was still too surprised about their sudden dominance and lacked focus for jut a few seconds, which Piszczek used in order to play a gread pass to Perisic who simply had to shove the ball into Hamburgs goal.
The last 25 minutes of the game were terrible. In order to give you a summary: Kuba missed the goal from around 10 feet, a header by Hummels was cleared from the goalline, Adler had a perfect day and cleared several chances- it simply wasn't meant to be. We could have drawn that game. The chances were there. But Hamburg played with all their hearts and everything they had, in the end you can only accept that and the fact that it somehow wasn't our day at all.
The points against Amsterdam on Tuesday were incredibly important and it is okey to loose in the Bundesliga again. It had been a good year, but somehow- even though the game actually frustrated me, I wasn't really mad or down after the game, this team simply has way too much credit still. I simply hope they find their old drive and and aggression back and use it against Frankfurt on Tuesday because that will be one difficult game. COme on DOrtmunder Jungs, we all know you can do it!
Hamburg: Adler- Diekmeier, Mancienne, Westermann, Jansen - Badelj, Arslan - Son , van der Vaart (87. Sala), Ilicevic (69. Beister)- Rudnevs (77. Berg)
Dortmund: Weidenfeller- Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer- Leitner, Kehl (63. Kuba)- Perisic , M. Götze, Reus (63. Schieber)- Lewandowski
Referee: Günter Perl (Pullach)
Son (2. van der Vaart)
Perisic (46. Lewandowski)
Ilicevic (55. van der Vaart)
Perisic (60. Piszczek)