Light and Shade
If you ask me how one could describe Saturday's two halftimes, I would probaby use the terms light and shade. While BVB seemed to be absurd tired and powerless in the first half, the birthday child Westfalenstadion and it's visitors managed to resuscitate the patient. And so it was Marco Reus in minute 77, who secured the lucky but important win over Wolfsburg in the run for the Champions League qualification.
As a consequence of the collision between Roman Weidenfeller and Marco Reus back in Bernabeu, the first-choice goalkeeper was replaced by Aussie Mitch Langerak. Furthermore Kevin Großkreutz took over Erik Durm's position as full-back, who had a cold. Fortunately there could not be recognized any differences in quality. How would the reshaped Black and Yellow team get over the bitter but deserved loss in Spain?
In front of outstanding 80,645 visitors Borussia Dortmund showed a lot ot willpower that reminded me of the good old days, when one defined the style of play only through fighting power and hard working until the final whistle. Together with the aforementioned brilliant supporters, the squad turned the match around, even though the players seemed to be on their last legs.
Jürgen Klopp: "It was a 'big point' match. If you recognized how we celebrated, you can see how relieved we were. Our aims have been come up for discussion often, and we still didn't reach all of them. But we managed to increase the distance between us and our wild chasers, this won't put pressure on us if we make mistakes."
Marco Reus: "It was really hard to get into the game, especially because of the strength-sapping match in Madrid. Our first half wasn't acceptable, like in the last matches. We have to discuss this and desperately suppress it. I'm really happy that the second half was much better. We had a lot of duels, played much more focussed and were the deserved winners."
Milos Jojic: "It was a really tough match, Wolfsburg is a good team. During the first half we weren't good, still we managed to step up, tried everything and were the lucky winners. When I first came to Dortmund, I could not believe how brilliant the atmosphere was. This is unbelievable and I'm happy to be around everytime."
Dieter Hecking: "The loss is really annoying after such a first half. In fact we must have had decided the much before the break. If you allow Dortmund to unfold in such a way in the second half and don't avoid set-pieces, it's logic that you lose the thread and leave the pitch as losers. In the end BVB was a bit favored by fortune."
Minute 8: Mkhitaryan steals the ball from Christian Träsch on the left side of the pitch. The Armenian quickly delivers the ball to Reus, his shot is deflected by Malanda but brilliantly saved by the replacement of Diego Benaglio, Max Grün.
Minute 24: A grotesque situation. Wolfsburg breaks on the left wing and the cross passes friend and foe. In the end Kevin De Bruyne is able to fire out of 17 meters, fortunately he fires (wobbles) wide.
Minute 34: The deserved lead for Wolfsburg by Ivica Olic, who was invited by BVB's rearguard. At first Rodriguez flanks nearly unchallenged, then skipper Kehl loses an aerial duel against Junior Malanda. While the reliable Mitch Langerak was able to save the first header, he was chanceless against Ivica Olic' tap-in, who reacted much quicker than the entire central defence.
Minute 40: A situation you only witness once in a decade. This had to be another goal by Olic, but step by step. De Bruyne's cross from the right wing reaches Olic who shoots against the bar. As if this was not enough, the rebound reaches Olic again and the ball finds the crossbar for a second time. What an artistical master stroke and more luck than judgement for BVB.
Minute 50: After disappointing performances of Nuri Sahin and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Klopp put in Erik Durm as well as Milos Jojic. Furthermore the formation changed from 4-2-3-1 to 4-1-41, which should turn into a lucky find. Thus the equaliser was already scored in Minute 50 by Polish international Robert Lewandowski. After a corner by Marco Reus from the left side, Naldo and Knoche both underestimated the trajectory and Lewandowski was the lucky man. To be more accurate: The back of Lewandowski.
Minute 61: A brilliant counterattack by Borussia Dortmund. Lewandowski nearly runs over the whole pitch until he reaches the box of the Lower-Saxonies and passes the ball to Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Unfortunately the midfielder misses the goal closely.
Minute 76: Marco Reus puts Dortmund in front. Youngster Max Grün does not look too good for the second time in the match. The goalkeeper saves a cross but lets the ball slip out of his hands. A really easy task for Marco Reus, who slided the ball home. Outstanding celebrations and goosebumps were to follow in Westfalenstadion.
As already mentioned before, Borussia Dortmund celebrated a milestone in respect of the Champions League qualification. An advantage of 10 points while only 5 matches are still to play, should most likely be enough to reach the aspiration. Remarkable were the two totally different parts of the match, in which BVB seemed to be totally exhausted but fought buck. Especially in regard to the tough and painstaking weeks BVB goes through, a really incorruptible performance by the squad as well as the Westfalenstadion. With this dedication, nobody has to be afraid due to the upcoming tasks. Walk on Borussia.
Borussia Dortmund: Langerak - Piszczek, Hummels, Sokratis, Großkreutz - Kehl, Sahin - Reus, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang - Lewandowski.
Substitute's Bench: Alomerovic, Durm, Jojic, Harder, Kirch, Hofmann, Friedrich.
VfL Wolfsburg: Grün - Knoche, Naldo, Rodriguez, Träsch - Luiz Gustavo, Junior Malanda - Arnold, Perisic, De Bruyne - Olic.
Substitute's Bench: Caligiuri, Polak, Ochs, Kutschke, Schäfer, Drewes, Lopes.
Bookings: Sahin, Jojic, Träsch.
Goals: Ivica Olic (34'), Robert Lewandowski (50'), Marco Reus (77').