Seven relevant absences: four players injured, two sick, one suspended. This constellation of shortages had reminded coach Edin Terzic shortly before kick-off in the Sky conversation, painfully and a bit threateningly of last fall, of that “vicious circle”, as he called it in retrospect, when Borussia Dortmund was in a crisis with a small squad had slipped and had temporarily lost contact with the top of the Bundesliga.
On Saturday evening, the opening of a vicious circle threatened again. Without the injured Julian Brandt, Karim Adeyemi, Youssoufa Moukoko and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, without the sick Gregor Kobel and Salih Özcan and without the suspended Emre Can, BVB received eleven days after the Champions League end at Chelsea in London and seven Days after a disappointing derby draw at Schalke against 1. FC Köln and faced a double test of character: personally and mentally.
The test was successful. Dortmund won 6-1 (4-1) with a brace each from Marco Reus and Sebastien Haller and a goal each from Donyell Malen and Raphael Guerreiro. Dortmund’s fans then sang breaking news, which should arouse interest in FC Bayern Munich: “Who will be German champions? BVB Borussia!” Dortmund are coming to Munich for their next game on April 1st.
After 36 minutes, they were already 4-0 up against an overwhelmed Cologne side. In the previous 2: 2 in Gelsenkirchen involved in the creation of both goals, the Portuguese named Raphaël Guerreiro was even involved in the first three goals against Cologne intended to be phased out at the end of the season. The 29-year-old made it 1-0 himself (15′), Haller made it 2-0 (17′) and Reus 3-0 (32′) and maybe that’s why he wasn’t 4-0 (36′). involved because Malen decided to do it alone.
The fact that it was only 4:1 at the break was due to the fact that Dortmund became careless in view of the overwhelming lead. Davie Selke scored Cologne’s first goal after 6:46 goalless hours in the 42nd minute and the first goal by a Cologne striker after 13:51 hours. In six of the previous seven games, the Rhinelanders had gone empty-handed. Finally a goal again – but this did not have a consoling character in view of the result. “We got our ass full,” scolded FC coach Steffen Baumgart after the game.
In the 26th minute, when the score was 0:2, the Cologne team was denied a possible penalty. Dortmund’s Can replacement Mahmoud Dahoud hit the ball in the penalty area against his raised hand. Penalties have been awarded in various games in various competitions over the past few weeks, but referee Daniel Siebert decided against it in this case.
Terzic reveals: “The mood wasn’t exactly great during the week”
At the beginning of the second half, the Cologne fans tried to cloud the eyes of the spectators and the senses of Borussia with a pronounced tinder, but this was just as unsuccessful as preventing further goals. After a free kick from Dahoud on the crossbar, Haller converted the rebound to 5:1 in the 69th minute. Two goals for the Frenchman, who had been out for months due to testicular cancer, certainly had a psychologically healing character. Just a minute later, Reus scored the second goal to make it 6-1. It was his 150th Bundesliga goal.
“The atmosphere wasn’t exactly great during the week,” revealed Terzic, “but that was a really good game on a successful evening.” He was particularly pleased that he could rely on players from the second row.
“Now we have a really great game ahead of us in two weeks,” said BVB captain Reus, expressing his anticipation. On April 1st, Dortmund would like to make fun of Bayern. Before that, however, they will first watch them on TV on Sunday. At least until the final whistle of Bayern Munich’s away game in Leverkusen early on Sunday evening, Dortmund’s victory put it at the top of the Bundesliga. Ascension instead of a vicious circle.