BThere was a look of horror on the faces of the Borussia Dortmund family as they tried to comprehend this incredible football match they had just lost. In the 89th minute, the highly ambitious Revierklub was 2-0 up against Werder Bremen, and the third lackluster win in a row was within reach.
When the game finally blew its whistle six minutes later, they stared at the floor as losers in yellow, struggling for composure. The promoted team from the Weser turned the game into a truly spectacular away win in a magical final phase with goals from substitutes Lee Buchanan (89′), Niklas Schmidt (90+3′) and Oliver Burke (90+5).
“Pure emotion, you can’t describe it,” said the goalscorer Schmidt, while the Bremen coach Ole Werner seemed surprisingly sober, while he added: “You can’t even imagine such a spectacular gameplay as a child, these moments in a stadium experience, that’s what we all became footballers for.”
How special this victory was was also underlined by the Sky stats, who determined that Bremen are the first team in the Bundesliga to have scored three goals after the 89th minute. In any case, it was about memorable minutes, about moments that shook the Dortmund season project in its foundations.
Had they saved their leadership over time, they could have celebrated a new pragmatism. For the ability to win difficult games without having matured as a footballer. The success against Leverkusen (1-0) fitted this image, as did the 3-1 in Freiburg.
They were now comfortably 2-0 up after goals from Julian Brandt (45′) and Rafael Guerreiro (77′) and when Thorgan Hazard was unlucky to hit the post the game almost ended.
But if you took a closer look, you couldn’t overlook the fact that the newcomers from Bremen were not only clearer in their style of play over the entire 90 minutes, but also more dangerous in most phases. Jens Stage had a good chance to head the ball after a free kick (22′), before Marvin Ducksch made two promising shots. First with a direct acceptance (34th) and then with a free kick, which the Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel artfully steered around the post.
“That was a very poor performance from us, even in the first half,” said coach Edin Terzic, who saw a “deserved defeat” for his team. Dortmund, on the other hand, had not once appeared dangerously in front of the Bremen goal until Brandt scored the opening goal.
Kobel complains about a lack of energy
Captain Marco Reus found his team’s game “wild” and said he had “no idea” how that could have happened. Maybe they felt a little too safe after the favorable game runs over the past few weeks, although Gregor Kobel’s summary sounded threatening for Dortmund’s self-image. “We couldn’t bring the same energy onto the pitch as Werder did and we got the reward for that.”
That sounds suspiciously like the good old BVB problem, which is hidden behind the overused terms “attitude” and “mentality”, which appear in the headlines at some point in every BVB season.
Because in this final phase, the phenomenon of a lack of resilience became visible in a particularly dramatic form. His team’s performance was poor, but if you’re 2-0 up in the 89th minute, you still have to win, said Terzic.
The goals were “brutally stupid, brutally annoying”. However, shortly after the final whistle, no one was able to provide an explanation for this unbelievable turn of events. If he knew a solution, his team would not have let this win be snatched away, Reus indicated.
But not only because of the lost points was this a very unpleasant day for Dortmund. In the first half, Mahmoud Dahoud, who had been very strong recently, had to be substituted with a shoulder injury, and his substitute Emre Can then played his part in the weak overall performance. And in the middle of the second half, Mats Hummels also left the pitch.
But even more painful is the realization that BVB is still missing something to create the desired development step towards a stable top team. “We still have to learn to win these games, even if the performance isn’t good,” said Terzic. But it would be even better to just play really well for 90 minutes.