Second to last step taken
Before the match
It is troublesome to speak about all the injuries surrounding Borussia in the last few months. In addition to all the players missing over the last weeks, Marco Reus and Sven Bender were also not able to compete which set another hard challenge for coach Jürgen Klopp. Fortunately, he still has some options left which is also because of the return of Lukasz Piszczek which meant that Kevin Großkreutz was able to fill another spot in the line-up. He returned to his original position on the left midfield side on which he did not play for a very long time to replace Marco Reus. Sven Bender was was replaced by Sebastian Kehl and Manuel Friedrich who showed a great effort in Bremen on Saturday with the icing on the cake being a goal had another opportunity to play in the beautiful colors that are black and yellow. Also worth to point out is the fact that Roman Weidenfeller made his first appearance in the DFB cup this season after Mitch Langerak had played all the last matches in this competition. On the other side, Frankfurt missed Celozzi, Kittel, Stendera and one of their key players, Pirmin Schwegler who plays an important position on the double-six. Flum was able to compete against Borussia just in time.
6.000 supporters travelled to Frankfurt from Dortmund and saw a team in black and yellow which was the dominant part of the match for the most time of the played 90 minutes. Several attacks over the right side were taken into consideration as the fast Aubameyang managed to create danger several times as in minute 12 where he assisted for Henrikh Mkhitaryan who showed some signs of self-confidence after his brace in Bremen. However, he did not manage to get his shot from sixteen meters on the goal and slightly missed edge. The first opportunity for Borussia was given away with the feeling that this could have already been the early lead. Some minutes later, Manuel Friedrich was held in the box after a long free kick by Sahin and fell to theground but referee Knut Kircher decided not to award Borussia a penalty. However, this was not the most controversial decision of Kircher during this match. One of the biggest opportunities saw Aubameyang nearly scoring after a corner by Sahin had been extended on the first post by Kehl but a Frankfurt defender managed to get the ball cleared in the air against our Speedy Gonzales. After half an hour had been played, Großkreutz was the next one to go for the lead but his shot from around 20 meters was no big challenge for Frankfurt's keeper Kevin Trapp who saved at the cost of a corner kick resulting in nothing. The last chances of the first half saw Kehl with a harmless shot from the box and a really good opportunity for Mkhitaryan who got the ball at a sharp ankle but totally misplaced his shot and did not direct it on the Eintracht goal. Großkreutz completed the first half with another chance where he shot the ball over the goal after another quick attack of Borussia. As you can see, Frankfurt did not really have any chances during the first 45 minutes and Borussia was in control of the match, creating two or three really good opportunities which could not be used to gain the lead eventually. However, it was a good performance by BVB and also by Frankfurt who fought hard and showed the will to win just as well as Borussia had.
The second half started similar even though Borussia had problems finding into the match for the first 20 minutes after the break because Frankfurt increased the pressure a bit. A free kick by Sahin nearly found Sokratis in minute 56 but the ball was hard to control and so our Greek defender could not really create a chance out of Sahin's assist. However, a personal duel between Robert Lewandowski and Frankfurt defender Carlos Zambrano got in the center of attention. Both players showed very intense tacklings at the edge of legality and both fan sides saw the player from the other team as the guy not being fair but a dumbass. Zambrano for example used his elbow in a running duel against Lewandowski, hitting the chest of our Pole Striker who for one time accepted the provocations of the former player of blue scum and therefore lost a little bit of his focus. Several tacklings werde put into question for both of the sides and eventually, it was okay that Zambrano could end this game on the pitch even though he will be welcomed accordingly on Saturday in the Westfalenstadion of Dortmund. However,it was not the match of Robert Lewandowski even though our number nine should have been awarded a penalty in minute 70. Lewandowski dribbled through Eintracht's defense, only to be stopped by Madlung who clearly had contact with Lewandowski's leg and was the reason for Robert to fall down. Knut Kircher decided differently though and the score was still 0-0 with twenty more minutes to go and no substitutions taken by Borussia yet. Klopp seemed to trust his starting eleven and left possible midfield option like Jonas Hofmann or newbie Milos Jojic out of the match. Two minor opportunities followed with Lewandowski and Mkhitaryan's tries but both of them could not manage to get enough power behind their respective shots so that the final relief came two minutes later. A free kick from the right was brought inside the box by Mkhitaryan, Kehl extended the ball at the first post just like in the first half and this time, Aubameyang got the header and scored from two or three meters. A well-practiced set-piece led to the goal of the night for Borussia, 1-0 ahead with about ten minutes to go. This should have been it, right? Right. No big opportunities for Frankfurt were left who however came close to scoring over the 90 minutes for a few times but lacked the efficiency in the last pass of their offense. It was a well-deserved victory but it was a hard fight and not an easy one. However, in the end, it does not matter, we are in the semi finals!
AftermathAfter the other three matches had been played yesterday, Kaiserslautern who beat Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich were left in the competition. The draw brought a home match against VfL Wolfsburg and Bayern will face Kaiserslautern at home. Of course, Wolfsburg will be another challenge in April but not one too hard to overcome. It looks like another battle between Dortmund and Bayern could be possible in the final in Berlin this May. First, we have to concentrate on Bundesliga competition this Saturday where we will face EIntracht Frankfurt once again, this time in the temple that is Westfalenstadion. We have seen that the victory is not guaranteed yet but possible, especially with the recent form of our black and yellows.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp – Jung, Zambrano, Madlung, Djakpa – Rode, Russ, Flum – Meier – Aigner, Kadlec
Subs: Rosenthal for Kadlec (46th), Weis for Flum (83rd)
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller – Piszczek, Friedrich, Sokratis, Schmelzer – Sahin, Kehl –Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Großkreutz – Lewandowski
Subs: Hofmann for Mkhitaryan (90th), Schieber for Aubameyang (90th + 4)
Goal: 0-1 Aubameyang (82nd)
Referee: Knut Kircher (Rottenburg)
Bookings: Russ, Rode, Flum - Sokratis, Schmelzer
Attendance: 51.500 (sold-out Waldstadion)