This evening was painful, it was very painful for everyone who supports Borussia Dortmund. Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel summed up the pain that not only tormented him when he said: “It hurts incredibly that we missed another huge opportunity this year.” After the 2-0 defeat in the DFB Cup round of 16 the Dortmund team at VfB Stuttgart on Wednesday, this football competition is already over long before the final and the associated concrete chance of winning the cup.
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But there was also pain on this dark evening that not only tormented the black and yellow soul. Four Dortmund players left the pitch in the Stuttgart Arena sooner or later with injuries that could have consequences for the next few days or even months. Youssoufa Moukoko, Marius Wolf, Marcel Sabitzer and Julian Ryerson are physically injured. “We hope it’s not too bad, we’re keeping our fingers crossed,” said coach Edin Terzic on a “shitty evening.”
He was unable to make a bulletin on the severity of the injuries at this late hour in the catacombs. At least the signs at Ryerson gave rise to fears of the worse. The Norwegian could only move from the cabin to the team bus using crutches. “We still don’t have an exact diagnosis for an update, so we’ll have to wait until tomorrow,” said Terzic at the press conference. And so he had no choice but to narrow down the problems a little.
“That just wasn’t good enough.”
Moukoko was the first player to be substituted midway through the first half. The young striker felt a stitch in the back of his thigh, explained Terzic. Wolf was also caught early, he stayed in the dressing room at halftime after he sprained and injured his ankle. The same was true for Sabitzer, who was over after a blow to his calf. And Ryerson’s left knee hurt in stoppage time; he had to leave the pitch supported.
It is uncertain which of the four injured players will be able to take part in the Bundesliga home game against Leipzig on Saturday (6.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and on Sky). But before Terzic chooses his line-up for the next duel, he will have to talk to his team about the attitude. The coach called his team’s performance “very disappointing. We couldn’t even begin to show what we had imagined. That just wasn’t good enough.”
The finding was surprising, as it was only a week ago when BVB was even being raved about internationally. In the Champions League, Dortmund qualified for the round of 16 in the trickiest group with Paris St.-Germain, AC Milan and Newcastle United one match day before the end of the preliminary round and showed performances in the away wins in England and most recently in Italy revealed the great potential of this team. And now this.
Despite the largely good performances on the European stage, BVB probably won’t win the Champions League this season, the competition is too great. In the Bundesliga, on the other hand, the gap to the top teams Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich is enormous; It will be difficult to make up for the ten points in first place by May. That’s why the missed opportunity to win the DFB Cup title was so painful. But the manner hurt even more.
Roland Zorn, Stuttgart Published/Updated: Recommendations: 4 Marc Heinrich, Saarbrücken Published/Updated: , Recommendations: 4 Published/Updated:
In Leverkusen’s 1-1 draw last Saturday, Terzic chose a defensive approach for his team and at least got a point from the unbeaten leaders. In Stuttgart, where BVB lost 2-1 after a poor performance three and a half weeks ago, things should be more offensive again. But hair-raising ball losses thwarted Dortmund’s plans. “This caused the uncertainty to grow,” said Terzic. “We didn’t like that at all.”
The captain was even more explicit than his coach. Emre Can spoke of an “extremely bad” performance. “We are Dortmund, a big team – that’s how we have to act, we’re not doing that at the moment,” said Can on the TV channel Sky; on ZDF he added: “There has to be more. We have to get together, it can’t go on like this.” In terms of football, the performance in Stuttgart this time was “a catastrophe”, “we were missing at the front and back,” said Can.
He was faced with a puzzle. “We have already shown what we can do, I would say it is not a question of quality,” he said. Rather? “I don’t know what you call it, maybe it’s a question of attitude.” Can said clearly that things have to “improve a lot,” he said. “We always talk about tactics or the formation, but every player should take a look at his own nose and analyze his performance, me first. It’s too little, we invest too little, press too little, aren’t brave enough with the ball.”
And now? “The season is long. You notice that again and again. The game on Saturday doesn’t decide the whole season,” said goalkeeper Kobel, referring to the duel with Leipzig on Saturday, but “we have to be extremely careful that we don’t lose touch. That starts with the next game.” The mood was “already shitty” after the end. Sports director Sebastian Kehl is hoping for a reaction from BVB. But you have to “perform better in order to pass”. This realization also hurt.