A delay, a beauty and a disappointment
It is quite a long way from Dortmund to Nuremberg, but this wasn’t the reason why many fans were late. There was an incident with some idiots who attacked the fan project of Preussen Münster without any obvious reason, so the police was very present. Further, there were rumours that a quite large group of supporters of the blues who couldn’t attend their own game because of stadium bans were waiting for the fan busses of the BVB supporters on the way to Nuremberg. Many supporters decided therefore to meet at a parking and travel together which delayed the journey even further. In the end, the city was very full and traffic moved very slow. Most of the supporters reached the stadium just about in time and went full throttle right away.
For the team, however, it was time to calm down and concentrate again after the game in Naples. Emotions are the essence of football, but too much of it can make a team itchy and it was up to Klopp to get this out again. It was also up to him to form a new team after Hummels was left with a trapped nerve in his back and was out for the game against Nuremberg as was Kehl. And Klopp did form the team differently than one expected. Not only was the still a little injured Sokratis replacing Hummels, the coach also left Lewandowski, Mhkitaryan and Sahin on the bench. Durm, Duksch and Aubameyang were replacing them. Durm started at the right side, allowing Grosskreutz to move one up to the mid-field where he joined Bender and Kuba. Duksch replaced Lewandowski up-front and was flanked by Aubameyang and Reus in the unusual 4-3-3.
Nuremberg was quite a good opponent after the disturbing Championsleague match. Not only because they were far away from a good start with only three points, but also because games against Nuremberg were hardly ever very emotional, despite the closeness of their supporters with our blue neighbours and were usually quite dull and ending in a victory or a draw. The last defeat dates from 2007, it was the only one in the past 26 games.
However, it turned out that Klopp didn’t quite succeed in getting the itchy sphere out of the squad. Despite the fresh blood and a fabulous support, the team still didn’t seem quite at ease.
Nuremberg was the expected defensive opponent and Borussia had a lot of difficulties to crack the wall. Reus was the first to get a shot at the goal in minute 7, but missed. The next real chance came only in minute 25, but Aubameyang was denied a goal as well. 5 minutes before, Nuremberg had the best chance so far, when a header from Frantz somewhat surprised Weidenfeller and hit the bar. It came as no surprise that the opener in this very unspectacular game originated from a free kick. Kuba fell quite easily and was awarded the free kick in a perfect position. With Sahin not on the pitch, Reus and Schmelzer were ready to take it. From the away stand, it was very difficult to see who took it and the mentioning of the scorer was drowned completely by the loud cheers. Considering the skilful shot, we foolishly assumed that it could only have been Reus. We completely underestimated the brilliant footballing skills of Marcel Schmelzer! What a beauty! It was sure deserved, Nuremberg wasn’t really participating, but it didn’t seem that there was another way for Borussia to score, the offensive brilliance from the Hamburg game was lacking completely.
Schmelzer had problems with his tights and Reus had a bruise, both had to leave in the break, Sahin and Hofmann replaced them. After the already made changes, this disturbed the already shaky team even more. But Nuremberg still was no big danger, even though they got to see a little more of the game now and even had the ball a bit longer. But then they equalized out of the blue. It was another free kick and an even worse decision from the referee. Nilsson stood off-side and got the ball at his arm, he scored and it counted. Dortmund finally woke up and played football after this goal. Kuba (a shot very close to the post) and Duksch (Schäfer just about blocked this one) had big chances shortly after the equalizer. Lewandowski replaced Kuba and Borussia got even stronger. The next big chance was in minute 77 when four attackers came on to three defenders of Nuremberg, but failed to create a dangerous situation. It looked a lot more like our well-known attacking Borussia now, but all the chances were missed. And then, already in extra time, Esswein showed up completely alone in front of Weidenfeller. It was sowhat the only chance for Nuremberg after the goal and Esswein showed nerves, shooting the ball above the goal. Seconds after, Sokratis missed the last chance when his header was easily caught by Schäfter after a corner kick. It was a disappointing end to this quite disappointing game.
The disappointed feeling went away quite fast. Looking at the table and seeing Borussia still topping it made us forget about the game in an instant. There is no reason to see the world in black only because we missed the first two points of the season. It’s still a great start, better than in 2010, better than in 2011 and we all know how those seasons ended. The newly formed team with some promising newbies managed to completely control the game and only failed to create the usual bunch of chances we somewhat expect to see. Next Tuesday, there’s a new chance against 1860 Munich in the German cup and we have all reasons to be optimistic, also because it looks like Hummels, Schmelzer and Reus will be returning.
1. FC Nuremberg: Schäfer - Chandler, Nilsson, Pogatetz, Plattenhardt - Stark – Kyotake (88. Angha), Hasebe, Frantz, Hlousek (67. Esswein) – Ginczek (81. Pekhart)
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Durm, Subotic, Sokratis, Schmelzer (46. Sahin) – Blaszczykowski (65. Lewandowski), Bender, Großkreutz - Aubameyang, Ducksch, Reus (46. Hofmann)
Goals: 0-1 Schmelzer (37. minute, free kick), 1-1 Nilsson (51. minute, free kick Plattenhardt)
Referee: Kircher (not his best day to say the least)
Spectators: 50.000 (sold-out)