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Football: DFB Cup: DFB Cup: VfB Stuttgart is really as good as it looks

Stuttgart’s Deniz Undav (M.) played the Dortmund team around Karim Adeyemi dizzy. He would like to do the same for the DFB team.

Photo: imago/Sportfoto Rudel

There is a strange atmosphere that is currently spreading in the “Palm Beach” sports bar after VfB Stuttgart home games, which now, in the depths of December, awakens even fewer Florida associations than in the summer. Of course, even after the almost grotesquely low 2-0 win against Borussia Dortmund, there was this childlike fan joy at another win against a team that a few weeks ago would have been considered a big favorite. But the collective enthusiasm seems increasingly more experienced – which is understandable after 13 wins in 16 competitive games this season. Especially since it was of course not meant seriously on Wednesday when individual fans thought out loud about whether they would one day travel to the cup final in Berlin in June as the newly crowned German champions. But it’s no longer the case that the idea sounds as absurd as the now ceremoniously buried “big city club” ambitions of Berlin’s Hertha, which at the same time had a pretty nice cup evening in the win against HSV .

In the icy Bad Cannstatt district of Stuttgart, however, the picture was different to that in the capital, where the game swung back and forth. In Swabia it was all less complex and can be summarized as follows: Dortmund was miserable, Stuttgart was really good. So good, in fact, that one could argue that VfB would have won even if Dortmund had played significantly better. “A lot of people are going home really happy today,” was the justified assumption of Stuttgart coach Sebastian Hoeneß. “You saw a team that fought together and combined beautifully.”

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In fact, the speed and precision with which Serhou Guirassy, ​​for example, combined freely before the 1-0 goal is not seen that often in this country (54th). Even with Silas making it 2-0 (77th), everything happened much too quickly for the Dortmund defense, which was also extremely lucky in three or four other situations that the Stuttgart offense was having so much fun that it was the goal of the game Game, which in Swabian is also an area defined by two posts and a crossbar, loses sight of it. Deniz Undav, who played well but didn’t score, reported after the game that he would play for Germany and not Turkey if DFB coach Julian Nagelsmann allowed him to do so. With the best will in the world, one couldn’t imagine what would speak against it on Wednesday: national striker Niclas Füllkrug remained, to put it politely, inconspicuous after being substituted on.

Borussia’s defense wasn’t even the most obvious weak point of a helpless team that seemed to be longing for the final whistle after Stuttgart’s energetic opening phase. BVB had already lost the league game 2-1 at the same place three and a half weeks earlier and played poorly. This time he was even worse – especially in terms of football. It remains to be seen whether the defensive tactics prescribed by coach Edin Terzic will release the necessary energy for a team that would like to become champions. If you play the not exactly complex approach of standing deep and countering quickly, but as slowly and incorrectly as Dortmund, you remain as without a chance as the runner-up was almost constantly on Thursday. After all, everyone involved was self-critical. From Terzic to captain Emre Can, who made it clear in front of the television camera: “It was missing at the front and at the back. In terms of football, it was a catastrophe. It can not go on like this.”

They see things completely differently in Stuttgart. And the question is actually beginning to arise as to whether the opponent was really always so weak in the many very convincing victories of the past few weeks. Or whether this VfB team isn’t just as good as the third-placed team in the Bundesliga table currently claims.

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