Little by little
To play the last home game of the year in the week sure wasn’t what we all were hoping for. But then again, there wasn’t much this year that was what we’ve been hoping for.
The “Sonnenkinder” traditionally sang their songs while many people were still stuck somewhere in the Wednesday evening traffic and the queues were still building up outside when “You’ll never walk alone” was sang. When Nobby announced the starting XI (Langerak – Durm, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer – Kehl, Bender – Aubameyang, Gündogan, Grosskreutz – Immobile), I was running towards the “Süd” in order to get to the place in time.
And I really was there just in time.
The first thing I saw was a header by Aubameyang after just a few seconds, immediately followed by a huge chance by Wolfsburg. The extremely dangerous De Bruyne completely alone before Langerak, but luckily the Australian keeper saved.
And then there was the goal. Hummels with a great pass to Immobile who played a fantastic pass to the middle where Aubameyang artistically volleyed the ball into the net. It was a really great goal and confirmed what has been visible in several Champions League matches this season: Immobile does have a certain class and talent, he just has to show it more often.
The next 15 to 20 minutes, Borussia played great. There was so much passion and fight that the whole stadium was electrified. Unfortunately, the last passes weren’t good enough and so there weren’t too many chances. Still, it didn’t look like there was a relegation candidate on the pitch. And if there was, it sure couldn’t be the one in yellow.
After some 20 minutes, Wolfsburg finally got some grip on the game. And then one could really see that this is a team with great individuals, who are really in form at the moment. There were times when I wasn’t sure if we would ever get the ball again. But we fought and we tackled and we showed so much passion that it still was a joy watching.
After all the bad press and the bad games, it was especially great to see how Immobile played. He did a great job up front, fought for every ball, could even defend it against multiple attackers after a liberation sometimes. And he had another big chance: after he skilfully picked the ball out of the air, he wasn’t able to shoot it past the keeper. But the best of him was yet to come.
Before that, however, it was Wolfsburg’s turn and they scored. A simple free kick from outside the box found the way past Gündogan who had left the wall and Langerak who should have been able to easily pick it up. A terrible mistake that levelled the score.
Now it was quite an entertaining game with chances on both sides, but no other goals until the break.
The start of the second half was the opposite of the first. Wolfsburg got the better start, Langerak made a big save after not even 50 minutes. But after some 10 minutes, Borussia got back in the game again and even got some good chances, but Immobile, Hummels and Subotic all couldn’t pass the goalkeeper. Then the game got a little more quiet and it took another 10 minutes until the next chance by Immobile. In minute 75, Klopp substituted Gündogan for Kirch and that immediately had a huge impact on the game. Only one minute after he entered the pitch, Kirch got the ball with a great tackling. The ball came to Immobile who made a great shot into the left edge – no chance for a save. A great goal that really topped his impeccable performance!
The joy and relief and pure emotion that filled the stadium was not only heard, but also felt in every bone. Goosebumps were everywhere.
But unfortunately this wasn’t the end of the story. In minute 85 an unnecessary corner resulted in an even more unnecessary goal. Naldo, one of the tallest and most dangerous defenders of the league, was left completely alone and had no problems whatsoever to score. What a pity! They would surely have deserved more for their efforts.
The last game this year in the mighty Westfalenstadion was quite a good one. The sphere was quite good. The score was quite good. The mood was quite good. The team was quite good.
Little by little, the bird builds his nest. It wasn’t enough to be a relief, but it was enough to give some hope. Especially the passion that was visible on the pitch and on the stands gave a good feeling that we are not only all in this together, but that we are also going to get out of it together.
After the 5th game in the Westfalenstadion without a defeat (Galatasaray, Gladbach, Hoppenheim, Anderlecht, Wolfsburg), it is time now to show the same effort and passion also in an away game.
Because if we play against Bremen as we did against Wolfsburg, we will definitely beat them and then – and only then – it could become quite a good Christmas in the end.
Borussia Dortmund: Langerak - Durm, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Kehl, Bender - Aubameyang, Gündogan, Grosskreutz - Immobile
Wolfsburg: Benaglio - Jung, Naldo, Knoche, Rodriguez - Luiz Gustavo, Guilavogui - De Bruyne - Vierinha, Dost, Perisic
Goals: 8th Aubameyang (Immobile), 29th De Bruyne (direct free kick), 76th Immobile (Kirch), 85th Naldo (Rodriguez)
Referee: Tobias Welz
Yellow cards: Subotic (5th, suspended against Bremen)