75 minutes of collective malfunction
Why? Why? Why? Probably the most asked question yesterday when our BVB drew in a rather bad match against Stuttgart. It is discussable whether this draw was deserved or not. All in all we could not have complained about a defeat as well.
Why didn’t we win?
Because we did not score more goals than Stuttgart – that would be the most obvious answer. We could have won though, ironically. Piszczek had a great chance to score in the last minutes of the match but Rüdiger was able to get a foot between ball and goal. Piszczek was heartbroken after the match like he missed the deciding penalty. It felt like that but on the other hand: If it all comes to one situation that somehow decides about one point or three points, you have either been the worse team or done something wrong.
Why did we concede two goals again?
During summer training camp Klopp said that the focus has to be on improving the defence for the upcoming season. With a look on the statistics after five match days, this can still be seen as an urgent matter. We concede way too many goals, nearly two on average! The big question is: Who is to blame for that. We have had several formations for our back four and often to deal with injuries but comparing the Arsenal match to the Bundesliga matches leaves the question why pressing and counter-pressing work in the Champions League but not against Stuttgart. Why does a new totally new formation against Arsenal have a better defensive stability than a similar or even better formation against Stuttgart? Of course, some players lack match fitness and form! Nonetheless, yesterday’s goals resulted from a collective blackout paired with individual mistakes.
0-1: Corner by Stuttgart, several options to clear the ball but nobody gets it away. Schmelzer looked badly when he was forced into the ultimate mistake. Immobile needs to take the longer way around a Stuttgart player thus playing him on-side. Gentner just passes the ball in the centre and Didavi says “Thanks for the nice present”.
0-2: Free kick in midfield, Sakai plays a long ball over nearly fifty meters into the box. Nobody there apart from Schmelzer. Probably a lack of communication because it seemed that Sokratis and Subotic wanted to play Stuttgart offside but Schmelzer didn’t. Then Schmelzer takes the outside of his left boot to clear the ball which becomes a brilliant pass. Unfortunately in the wrong direction. Didavi is invited again, doubling his money.
Why did we just score two goals?
Before the match many fans were certain that we will score more than four goals. “Their defence is far from being Bundesliga class”, was a commonly used phrase. True or not, we couldn’t capitalise their weaknesses. Our attacking play looked rather cheap. The strengths of our players were visible but somehow did not connect at all, probably because of the new formation. That does not explain the poor passing though. It took more than 30 minutes for a first chance: Beautiful pass by Piszczek to Kagawa who hits the bar, unlucky. Out attacking play seemed to have fallen asleep for another 40 minutes, woken up by Aubameyang. Quicker than everyone else, around the goalie and into the back of the net: 1-2! This reanimated the team and the stadium as well.
The 2-2 was scored by Immobile who couldn’t miss after a blackout by Stuttgart’s goalkeeper. But apart from the Piszczek chance not many opportunities were created.
Why am I disappointed?
The last 15 minutes showed what could have been possible. Stuttgart was not playing well at all, doing just a basic defending: Eight men around the box, one attacking Sokratis and one attacking the player who is trying to get the ball forward. That left Subotic with the creative part which is not really a strength of him. As the support by his teammates was rather small, it all ended in a poor attacking.
It’s not that I couldn’t forgive a bad day. These matches happen and sometimes the easiest things do not work. We have many injured players, some just recovered and some are lacking form. But still, if you just try for 15 minutes it is not enough. With a similar attitude to the Arsenal match, I’m certain that we would have won.
The good thing is that Saturday awaits us with the derby. All complaining and moaning is forgotten because derby fever is rising. Bring it on Sch*lke! There will be only one question left after Saturday: “Why can’t we always play like that?” Why I am certain of that? Because Klopp knows best!
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller – Piszczek, Sokratis, Subotic, Schmelzer – Bender (Ramos, 66th), Jojic – Aubameyang (Gyau, 74th), Kagawa, Großkreutz (Hummels, 74th) – Immobile
Coach: Jürgen Klopp
VfB Stuttgart: Ulreich - Klein, Schwaab, Rüdiger, Sakai - Oriol Romeu, Gruezo, Leitner – Gentner (Kostic, 89th), Didavi (Niedermeier, 79th) – Ti. Werner (Ibisevic, 78th)
Coach: Armin Veh
Goals: 0-1, 0-2 Didavi (48th, 68th); 1-2 Aubameyang (73rd), 2-2 Immobile (86th)
Yellow cards: Sokratis, Subotic; Romeu, Gentner
Referee: Gräfe (Berlin)