Finally- or "we have a little bit lucky"
Rarely something that had been said by Lothar Mattäus has been that accurate for our situation as the statement above. Or to put it into other words: Our captain Mats Hummels gave the members-magazine an interview in the previous week, pointing out, that the situation at the moment surely is difficult. However, he also underlined, that we haven't been the worse team in all of the games that we had lost and that sometimes just a tiny bit of luck, might have changed the course of the game. On Sunday, that tiny bit of luck finally was on our side, when Christoph Kramer hit his own goal after 58 minutes played and round about 500 chances on our side and zero on Gladbachs side. People on the Süd were already going mental. Things like "typical game against Gladbach, we make all the effort, Gladbach does nothing, and in the end their first shot will find the goal". could be heard everywhere, but I am sure that hardly any fan had in mind what followed afterwards. But let's take it step by step.
Jürgen Klopp didn't see any reasons for changing the team from the team that played well against Galatasaray on Tuesday. Also Marco Reus and Roman Weidenfeller were able to play after having recovered from a stomach flue. And so it was time to beat Gladbach- something no one had managed so far during this season.
The game started furiously. After only two minutes it was Marco Reus who strived into the direction of the goal and his shot into the lower right corner only missed the goal by a couple of inches. What a great wake-up call for Gladbach. Things should not change during the first half of the game. Dortmund played eagerly, with loads of passion and up and foremost: they seemed to enjoy themselves. What us fans got to witness was close to the very first Championsleague performance against Arsenal: we constantly pressed forward, whenever one of the green-white ones had the ball, two of ours attacked straight away, giving Gladbach no room to develop their kind of game. On the other hand we were quick to turn the game around after conquering the ball, putting in quite a bit of pace, which lead to more than just a handful chances. Moreover our players remained calm when things didn't work out straight away. Instead of playing the ball hectically onto our players up front, we included our defense into the game quite regularly, gaining the much needed confidence for attacks up front.
So after 09 minutes it was again Reus who used Mkhitaryans cross perfectly- only goalie Sommer and the goal post saved Gladbachs early defeat. And so it went on. Piszczek after 29 and Mkhitaryan after 37 minutes had perfect chances that both missed from a very promising position in the right part of the penalty area. That was the fourth "must have scored chance" that we failed to use- our use of the chances? In need of improvement. After 45 minutes the score read 0:0 and the shots onto the goals read 13:0. Probably also Gladbach was wondering how in the world they had not been behind already.
The second half pretty much went on the very same way the first one had ended. After having played a great first half against Munich, a Dortmund fan could actually worry about what was about to come next. But apparently Gladbach felt no need to attack at any point of the day. Maybe they remembered the last games against us where we had around 27 shots on their goal and they had two on our goal and won anyways. Luckily enough Christoph Kramer messed up that was supposed to find his goalie from around 45 meters distance. Without good cause he played a high pass, that Sommer, who was too far out of his own goal, could only watch finding his own goal from below. 1:0 for us and Mats Hummels requested luck served perfectly. It took Dortmund around 20 more minutes until some nervous mistakes appeared on the surface. We created chance after chance but it seemed as if we could have continued to play for three more days: we probably wouldn't have scored anyway. So from around the 80. minute onwards Dortmund showed some nervous signs. The imagination that we could actually bag in this victory after such a dreadful long time, seemed to shake the players, leading to Gladbachs most efficient 10 minutes of the game. But even these ten minutes stayed without a real chance. After 93 minutes the referee called it a day and us fans celebrated a victory that was not only dreadfully needed, but also utter joy.
The scenes after the referees final whistle were wonderful. A totally thrilled and ecstatic Jürgen Klopp rushed into the direction of the Süd, jumping up and down, screaming his lungs out, throwing the victory fist into the air again and again and again. On the VIP seats Mats Hummels freaked out completely and us fans? Total relieve and total joy combined. These ten minutes were some of the most nervous ten minutes I can remember from this season. Also the Championsleague victorys cannot compete with the joy I felt after the game against Gladbach. Of course the Championsleague is a league on its own and will always be special, but the glory actually kind of fades away when your every day business shows you the most unpleasant face it has got: position 18 of the table. Which is why the teams' performance was so incredibly brilliant. They gave all they had, Gladbach most definitely is one of the strongest teams this season and for your confidence it is more than important to win games like these. Also, it is good to know, that sometimes, when you do all you can, but you just don't seem to be able to get the ball across the line, that there is a bit of luck waiting around the corner. There is a Football-God after all who paid the team what it definitely deserved: three points for a brilliant performance where everyone ran and fought for the other.
Unfortunately Reus and Sokratis injured themselves, luckily enough both will only have to sit out for around a couple of weeks plus Sokratis would have to skip the next game anyways due to his fifth yellow card. The international break came just in time this time.
Thank you Ballspielverein for a glorious football evening and emotions I will never ever be able to explain.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller – Piszczek, Subotic, Sokratis (84. Ginter), Durm – Bender, Kehl – Mkhitaryan, Kagawa (73. Großkreutz), Reus (89. Immobile) – Aubameyang
Bor. M’gladbach: Sommer – Korb, Jantschke, Stranzl, Dominguez – Hahn, Kramer, Nordtveit (46. Nordveit), Herrmann (75. Traore) – Kruse, Raffael (65. Hazard)
Goal: 1:0 Kramer (58., owngoal)
Referee: Brych (Munich)
Yellow Cards: Durm, Sokratis (5.), Immobile - Nordtveit, Kramer
Viewers: 80.667 (sold out)