The good, the bad and the unlucky
Chances for goal 18:8, Ballpossession 55% : 45%, succesfull passes 73% : 65%, won duels 53% : 47%, endresult: 0:0.
If you read the statistics of our last game against Schalke, aka the bad, one would assume that Dortmund, aka the good, was dominating, but expect for the goal scoring opportunities not that big a difference between those teams right? Wrong, it was a damn huge difference in strength. Especially in the second half where our boys, aka the unlucky, had so many chances to score a goal that it will be hard for me to write about them all. And it's the reason why they look so frustrated in the starting picture. If you read my last match report against Hannover then you remember that I wrote: “…but aside from the things I mentioned above nothing really happened. I can't count the endless chances that our boys created but didn't use, because we used the chances that we were given.”
Well I can tell you this time it’s the other way around. Against Hannover our boys made a decent game and won 3:0 with only those chances worth a goal and they used them. Against Gelsenkirchen we had above 10 really good chances to score a goal, we saw the best second half Dortmund played so far this year and still we don’t get 3 points as in Hannover, but only 1 and I am quite sure that the team in blue doesn’t even know how they didn’t lose, well maybe we ask Jürgen Klopp about it: “It was a really good game from us, we didn’t do this often lately. But either Fährmann was there to hold our shots, a leg was there to deflect them, or we managed to head off goal. Those were the reasons why this game ended 0:0. The atmosphere was awesome”
No surprises in the starting eleven on both sides. Kehl replaced Kirch and was starting besides Sahin and Reus was back in the starting eleven as well. The other side has the same difficulties that we have: A lot of injured players that have to be compensated.
The First Half was really intense, but fair battle with the first chance for Schalke. Neustädter passed the ball along to Kolasinac who shot the ball in the back of our defenders, but Huntelaar’s shot went wide (4.). Even though Schalke was able to keep up with Dortmunds fast paced gameplay in the first half, the just mentioned chance was one of the few Schalke managed to create. After that it was either Dortmund to go for goal or a fast and stressful battle in midfield. In the sixth minute it was Lewandowski with a great opportunity. Reus was able to make a good cross directly on the head of Robert, who could have chosen freely in which corner to score but somehow managed to head the ball wide (6.). Just 1 minute later it was Großkreutz with an opportunity but his shot on goal was an easy pickup for Fährmann (7.). After that it was Kehl who headed a ball just wide after a great cross from Mkhitaryan (17.). The latter proved Fährmann again in the 31th minute with a strong shot, which the goalkeeper barely managed to deflect of goal (31.) the scene was a prime example of Dortmund’s offensive football Reus and Lewandowski played an excellent one-two pass and then passed the ball along to Durm who then delivers the ball to Miki and he took the shot as mentioned above. The last chance was for Marco Reus. He had a free shot on goal but again it was Ralf Fährmann who barely managed to keep the ball away from entering the far bottom corner of the goal.
The second half started where the second half ended: Ferociously pushing men in black and yellow, against defensive and crouching players in blue. The sad thing about this is, that even though Dortmund started one attack after another most of these attacks lacked the final pass or the final dribbling to get into the danger zone and accordingly the ball wasn’t shot on goal as often as it could have been. A perfect example was the 49th minute: Lewandowski toyed with Hoogland once again on the left side of the field and then does an inaccurate cross-pass to Reus who would have been in perfect shooting position (49.). New Situation same outcome Lewandowski plays 1-2 with Miki quite freely close to the penalty area of Schalke, only Fährmann is in front of Robert now, but instead of passing the ball, or chipping it, he tries to dribble past the goalkeeper and fails (68.). not later than now we should have been in front with at least 1 goal. I could go on and on counting these chances like the one 2 minutes later in the 70th minute (Reus) or 2 minutes after that in the 74th minute (Miki). And then out of nowhere a chance for Schalke, but luckily we got one of the best goalkeepers with us. A long ball over the field reaches Huntelaar who lays the ball of for Boateng and he shots the ball into the right corner but Weidenfeller is down fast and can deflect the ball off field (77.).
After that Dortmund tried very very hard to score this last goal, but you could see that their strength was weakening as the game progressed and even though we had plenty of more chances one started to believe that we could play hours and still won’t get past Fährmann today. And so the game ended with zero goals for both sides and Schalke can thank their keeper and our inaccuracy that they got away with 1 point.
What is left to say to this game? Well, we certainly showed everyone that Dortmund is still capable of great football and that our neighbor from Gelsenkirchen is yet miles behind us in terms of power play, creativity and aggressiveness. We are still in second place, we still got everything in our own hands and most importantly our boys can still play exhilarating football that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I want to quote Mats Hummels because he nailed the situation perfectly: “It is a mixture of disappointment and satisfaction, because this was one of our best home games since month. Schalke was lucky to get one point out of this. We clearly have been the better team. We once again know how it is done, but now we have to find our effectiveness.”
And if Dortmund can keep this shape and this attitude for the rest of the season then I am not afraid to say that Dortmund can challenge Real Madrid once again and leave the field as winners. Of course with this kind of football we will also stay in second place in the fussball Bundesliga and will also reach the final of the DFB-Pokal, if our boys just use those chances properly. Oh and one last thing I nearly forgot, because I am so used to it. The atmosphere in the stadium was back to being amazing. Not only "the yellow wall" but the whole stadium did a great job supporting our black and yellow boys.
Jürgen Klopp (Trainer Borussia Dortmund): “It was a really good game from us, we didn’t do this often lately. But either Fährmann was there to hold our shots, a leg was there to deflect them, or we managed to head off goal. Those were the reasons why this game ended 0:0. The atmosphere was awesome. Of course it doesn't feel to good now, but if I sleep it over I will surely see the good things that happened and then we will go on.”
Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund): "It is a mixture of disappointment and satisfaction, because this was one of our best home games since month. Schalke was lucky to get one point out of this. We clearly have been the better team. We once again know how it is done, but now we have to find our effectiveness.”
Jens Keller (Trainer S04): "We really managed to shape the first halfe quite balanced. Fährmann did a great job at goal keeping. I knew that we would get problems in the second half with our strength, but the boys fought great."
Ralf Fährmann (Schalke 04): "I am happy that we finished this game without any goals against us. Of course we would have loved to win, but we have to be happy with this one point."
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Sokratis, Hummels, Durm - Kehl, Sahin - Reus, Mkhitaryan (79. Aubameyang), Groskreutz (87. Schieber) - Lewandowski
Schalke: Fährmann - Hoogland, Matip, Kolasinac, Ayhan - Boateng, Neustädter - Draxler (90. Max), Goretzka (85. Obasi), Meyer (77. Annan) - Huntelaar
Yellow Cards: Reus, Hummels - Draxler, Boateng, Ayhan
Referee: Florian Meyer
Attendance: Signal Iduna Park (77.600 sold out)