Living on the edge
Borussia Dortmund ended their visit to Mainz with an unnecessary 0-2 loss. While the black-yellows controlled most of the match, they lacked coolness in the box and conceded two easy goals. With a couple of injuries and several matches ahead, Jürgen Klopp need to find more stability.
It's crunch time. 7 matches within 22 days plus a bunch of injured players. Borussia Dortmund need to survive this intense phase without dropping to much points. The start into this period with two matches at home was really nice with a convincing 3-1 win against SC Freiburg and 2-0 against Arsenal FC which was near perfection. But even the Arsenal match added some more injured players. Neven Subotic and Sebastian Kehl missed the Mainz clash due to minor muscular problems. Keeping in mind that still players like Hummels, Reus, Gündogan, Sahin, Kirch, Ji and Blaszczykowski were missing, it was again no easy task for Jürgen Klopp to find a suiting line up. In front of goalie Roman Weidenfeller our flat four was made up by Piszczek, Ginter, Sokratis and Durm. Bender and Jojic played in holding midfield, while Aubameyang, Kagawa and Großkreutz played behind sole striker Adrian Ramos. Ciro Immobile, who scored a fantastic goal against Arsenal, and Mkhitaryan took place on the bench.
FSV Mainz coach Kasper Hjulmand needed to do two changes. Jara and Moritz replaced Bungert and Koo. So Karius started in goal, guided by defenders Brosinski, Bell, Jara and Diaz. Geis, Baumgartlinger and Moritz played in midfield while Allagui, Hofmann, on loan from Dortmund, and Okazaki made up Mainz' offence.
In front of a capacity crowd of 34.000 spectators Borussia Dortmund immediately took control. Not nearly with the same perfection like against Arsenal, but the black-yellow boys attacked Mainz early and forced several errors. In minute 4 Dortmund had their first approach. Lukasz Piszczek paced down the right side and was found by a long vertical pass. The Polish international tried a fierce shot from narrow angle but was denied by a desperate tackle by Diaz. It needed some more minutes for FSV Mainz to get to Dortmund's box. A Mainz attack was stopped by Ginter fouling Okazaki. The following freekick taken by Geis was clearly of the target. On the other side of the pitch Kagawa tried to sneak away but was slightly offside, not his last offside position in this match. Three minutes later a high cut-in found Ramos unmarked in the box. Adding to the fact that he was offside, his header was wide. With 20 minutes into the match FSV Mainz adopted better to Dortmund's style of play. The were more often able to overcome BVB's first line of pressing. It then took until minute 30 for Dortmund's next chance. A combination by Piszczek, Aubameyang and Jojic found Ramos who wasted this one. A couple of minutes later Mainz had two approaches but both were cleared by Weidenfeller. With halftime break ahead Borussia Dortmund raised the pressure a little bit. Piszczek with a low cut-in from the right side which found Ramos on the near post. Unfortunately his volley shot hit the post only and so both teams went into the cabins with a goalless draw.
Neither Hjulmand nor Klopp made any changes. And it was again Borussia Dortmund that started eagerly. In minute 53 Kevin Großkreutz tanked down the left side and penetrated Mainz' box finishing with a fine pass to Adrian Ramos. The Colombian striker was unmarked 9 metres in front of the goal but his shot was blocked by Diaz. The following corner kick found Aubameyang. His deflected shot was cleared on the goalline. But Borussia Dortmund wasn't able to hold the pressure for a longer period. Especially with Hjulmand's first substitution, Jairo for Allagui, Mainz gained more ball possession. Jürgen Klopp reacted in minute 65 and brought striker Ciro Immobile and attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan onto the pitch. Ramos and Kagawa were taken off. Only one minute later a long distance ball by Mainz goalie Karius found Jairo in midfield. He played the ball back to a Mainz midfielder and started to pace down into Dortmund's half of the pitch. A long vertical pass found him up and away with Sokratis struggling to follow. Jairo's cut-in found Okazaki, not marked by Mathias Ginter, who had no problem scoring from short distance - 1-0 Mainz!
But Borussia Dortmund now showed some reaction. In minute 69 a shot by Immobile touched Okazaki's hand within Mainz' penalty area. Referee Perl immediately pointed to the penalty spot - a harsh but consequent decision. Aubameyang took the ball ready to execute the penalty. But striker Ciro Immobile joined him and finally took over from Aubameyang. The Italian national player had played a fantastic match against Arsenal FC this Wednesday and had scored a superb goal. Maybe he wanted to show the Dortmund audience that he can score in Bundesliga too. His shot was more or less well placed and had a good speed. Unfortunately Mainz keeper Karius made a fine save and so this one was wasted. Too pile up the mess Mainz add another one. In minute 74 it was again substitute Jairo, who was up und away on the right side. He tried a pass to Jonas Hofmann on the left side of the box. The Dortmund-bound player who is on loan in Mainz might have been offside, but Mathias Ginter made an offside decision obsolete by scoring an own goal in his attempt to clear the ball - 2-0 Mainz!
FSV Mainz drew back deeply to their own half. Jürgen Klopp threw in another offensive midfield when he replaced Sven Bender by Mitsuru Maruoka, an 18 year old Japanese talent. Mkhitaryan had a last approach when a deflected ball hit the left post, but at all Borussia Dortmund wasn't able to great any more chances to score. So the match ended 2-0 in favour of FSV Mainz 05.
Somehow an unnecessary zero-pointer. Borussia Dortmund was the slightly better team but wasn't able to great many chances. Maybe a converted penalty by Immobile could have been the kick-starter. Nonetheless Mainz earned the points as the showed high discipline and commitment. BVB have now too look forward for the upcoming matches, still 4 matches in 11 days. To add to the injury mess Henrikh Mkhitaryan torn a ligament in his foot and will be out for about 4 weeks.
Hjulmand: "I think we played extremely well in defence. Dortmund's counter-attacking is the best in Europe, but my boys mastered this task in a perfect way."
Klopp: "We were mentally too slow. It was a normal match with some good moments for us. But when you receive two goals, you deserve to go home with empty hands."
FSV Mainz 05: Karius - Brosinski, Bell, Jara, Diaz - Geis, Baumgartlinger - Moritz (83. Koch) - Allagui (60. Jairo), Hofmann (87. Djuricic) - Okazaki
Coach: Kasper Hjulmann
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller (4) - Piszczek (3), Ginter (5), Sokratis (4), Durm (4) - Jojic (4), Bender (4) (80. Maruoka) - Aubameyang (4), Kagawa (4) (65. Mkhitaryan), Großkreutz (3) - Ramos (4) (65. Immobile)
Coach: Jürgen Klopp
Goals: 1-0 Okazaki (66., right-footed, assist Jairo), 2-0 Ginter (74., own-goal, Jairo)
Yellow cards: Geis, Okazaki - Großkreutz
Misc.: Karius saves penalty taken by Immobile (70.)
Referee: Günter Perl