From few to nothing
The first half of the season is over. The result? Borussia Dortmund will face Juventus Turin in the last sixteen of the Champions League while remaining on a relegation spot over the winter break. Could it be more ironic? Not bleeding likely. The 2:1 loss in Bremen completed one of Borussias worst first half of a season with historic ten defeats. Now, each black and yellow heart among us will find the biggest crisis in the era of coach Klopp under the Christmas tree. And have you ever opened a Christmas gift not knowing what to do with it? Well, welcome to my world...
After the 1:0 defeat last Saturday in Berlin followed by a 2:2 draw against Wolfsburg under the week, it were rallying calls from Klopp that kept us alive and the club environment silent. „One thing is for sure, we will drive up there and give everything we f***ing got!“ said Klopp after the match against Wolfsburg. Well yeah, that was basically the same thing he was always saying after one of the ten defeats. The big difference is, that in the past we were used to really see a reaction of the squad. But this performance in Bremen was by far one of the most painful matches I had to watch in my 15 years as a fan.
Here is why:
After the 2:2 against Wolfsburg under the week, Kloppo had to make three changes in the starting formation. Kirch substituted the injured Bender (muscle problems) in the midfield, Piszczeck returned after curing his abdominal influenza for Durm and the young Ginter replaced Subotic in the defence who saw his fifth yellow card against Wolfsburg.
Bremen coach Skripnik came with a 1:4 defeat against Gladbach back home. After taking over the head coach position in Bremen a few months ago, the former coach of Bremens amateurs managed to give the struck Werder squad a new face by integrating more of his former younger players into the team. No wonder, that the tall young German national Davie Selke und the fast Melvyn Lorenzen returned in the offensive for Makiadi und the suspended Caldirola. And unsurprisingly, it was the passionate and dedicated Davie Selke who gave our Borussia a cold shower right after the starting whistle.
Garcia initiated with a beautiful pass right through our defence to Selke. With a free path in front, the young striker precisely finished off from inside left and 15-meter distance with a beautiful shot in the right corner (3.). The impact of this early goal did not go without notice. Bremen now with a compact defence was constantly in the majority in front of their box, winning a large portion of the tackles. In the forward movement, Werder combined light-footed and with an unusual confidence. And especially this confidence was absolutely not present in the play of our Borussia. The squad appeared extremely unsure. Uncountable misplaced passes, unnecessary ball losses and missing mental freshness was the consequence. Not a single offensive action led to any kind of danger for the Bremen defence.
As a consequence, these circumstances did of course totally play in Bremens hands. In the defence, the home team was celebrated for each single won tackle, and in the offense the Hanseatic started sudden counterattacks over their fast strikers, especially after dreadful individual faults of our Borussia. Lorenzen closely missed the left bottom corner of the goal after a shot from 15-meter distance (26.), later, Langerak saved in the last second in front of the box against the quickly approaching Selke (43.).
Between those two scenes, Dortmund strived for the equalizer without anything countable. No ideas, no creativity, no penetrating power. This is the current face of our Borussia. No need to say that absolutely no danger for the squad in green arose. Only in the last minute of the first half Dortmund got a first countable approach: A cross from Piszczeck reached Kirch who directed the ball into the hands of keeper Wolf from 7 meter distance (45.).
Hummels answer for Bartels
Restarting the match, Klopp substituted Kagawa for the horrible Kehl, hoping for more impulses and ideas from the midfield. Dortmund now a little bit more dedicated, but still with a tough time against hard-running and passionate fighting Bremer, who threw their selves in each tackle. Aubameyang (51., 55.) and Kagawa (56.) at least with little chances to equalize, but the attempts – if they even hit the target - have not been enough to overcome keeper Wolf.
Werder on the other side waited patiently for their chances to counterattack and found one shortly after. Selke passed the German national and World Championship winner Mats Hummels as if he was a street lamp, his flat pass from the right wing across the box found the moved up Bartels who could easily finish this beautiful play to the 2:0 lead (62.). This goal now roused the game from sleep. Immobile challenged Wolf from sharp angle (66.), on the other side, Selke barely missed the 3:0 with a free shot over the goal (68.). Missing the decision was punished right away: A corner from Gündogan and a header from Hummels brought the 2:1 (69.) and the BVB back in the game.
Final black and yellow offensive
The so far stable und solid Werder defensive now had their problems with our Borussia trying to save at least one point out of this devastating performance. Finally, the black and yellow boys could build up some pressure. Kagawa (78.), Ginter (81.) and Gündogan (84.) recorded promising chances, but failed amateurish. With the full offensive, Borussia had to open up the already incomplete defence line, giving Werder the opportunity to launch one counterattack after the other: Garcia (86.), Bartels (89., inside of the post!), Selke (90. +3) and Fritz (90.+4) missed to finally decide the match. Thereby, Werder protected the lead to the end and championship runner up Borussia Dortmund has to hibernate on a relegation spot.
After the match
Frustration, compassion, incomprehension, awkwardness and especially no idea for an approach how to come out of this situation led me through my Saturday evening and will certainly accompany me through my Christmas holidays. If Freiburg will win their match against Hannover tonight, Borussia will fall down on the last place of the Bundesliga table. Whereas a few years ago we did hang the printed table with Borussia being the autumn champion on the Christmas tree, the club is now facing an extremely uncomfortable and dangerous situation..
It would now be the proper place to give recommendations about what to do, topped off with some rallying calls, let me try... The relegation battle is on and it is more serious than it has ever been before in the last couple of years. Let us all use the winter break get ourselves together and draw power out of the things we have achieved. We have won championships, national cups and reached Champions League finals, now, we will also overcome this situation together. The most important thing is that we do not lose our faith in our club, our team and our ability to do things that the majority would not consider being possible.
And now, despite this situation, the editors wish all of our schwatzgelb.com readers merry Christmas and wonderful holidays. Thanks for you loyalty in 2014, we hear each other next year!
Goals: 1:0 Selke (3., Garcia), 2:0 Bartels (62., Selke), 2:1 Hummels (69., Gündogan)
Borussia Dortmund: Langerak - Piszczek (76. Blaszczykowski), Ginter , Hummels, Schmelzer - Kehl (46. Kagawa) - Aubameyang , Gündogan , Kirch , Großkreutz - Immobile
Werder Bremen: Wolf - Gebre Selassie , Galvez , Lukimya , Garcia - Bargfrede - Fritz, Junuzovic (90. +1 Makiadi) - Bartels (89. Hüsing) - Selke, Lorenzen (59. F. Kroos)