The acoustics of modern stadiums have a lot to offer. On Friday evening, for example, even 750 people, i.e. less than one percent of the usual spectator capacity of the Dortmund football bowl, were able to express a touch of enthusiasm in sound waves. Sometimes, one got the impression, the Corona elect on the main and south stands were more astonished than completely excited when their Borussia 5: 1 against Sportclub Freiburg. That’s how much their own team apparently surprised their symbolic audience.
The collective eye rubbing continued after the game. So clear, decisive and dominant, and that for almost a full 90 minutes, BVB had never been seen play this season. And above all, never before under the direction of coach Marco Rose. No wonder there were questions about the sustainability of this victory afterwards. Once again, Dortmund’s Julian Brandt was able to give the simplest answer: “Sustainability is that you keep winning. Victories make sustainability.” Teammate Mo Dahoud wanted to add: “And work.”
Brandt had the scorer points for Dortmund’s first two goals, both times with very accurate and finely shot corners, both times converted with a header by Thomas Meunier of all people, who had not previously been noticed as a scorer or a header specialist. The recognizable rehearsal of both scenes, which led to the early 2-0 split, pointed to Mo Dahoud’s “work” approach, but technically gifted guys like Brandt and Dahoud also make a living from using their own, almost god-given talents in a really sustainable way to use.
Brandt therefore submitted more thoughts on the newfangled slogan of sustainability: “Of course it always has something to do with the head. We tried to address many of our mistakes and work on them in training.” Brandt’s colleague Dahoud managed a particularly fine pass on the goalscorer Erling Haaland before the 4-0, and he scored the 5-0 himself. After the late and collectively forced 3-2 last week at Eintracht Frankfurt, BVB is so good in the The second half of the season has started so that the Bavarians who have apparently already rushed are back in sight for the time being.
Freiburg coach Christian Streich followed a large part of the BVB festival with an almost petrified expression. “If you concede two goals from corner kicks against Dortmund, then it’s going to be brutally difficult.” Streich’s team, who have rarely been embarrassed in away games so far (they only conceded seven goals in the first half of the season), seemed unable to cope with the astonishing passing intensity and clarity of the Dortmund team from the start. As if by magic, the BVB game seemed to be remotely controlled, with apparently somnambulistic changes in the attacking zones. Whether Freiburg got a black day or whether the automatisms that had often flashed in permanent loose contact finally snapped in at Dortmund – in the end it was not possible to say with certainty.
Dortmund coach Marco Rose had many wins in the first half of the season, but he had hardly ever been able to get his highly talented players to play really convincing ninety minutes. After the impressive 5:1, however, Rose wanted to radiate confidence and even admitted that “of course” they also wanted to play for the championship. “We want to stay up front, but we haven’t been consistent in a few games.” Rose praised the pressing, the good ball acquisition, the clear positional play, but found: “With such a dominance, you really have to get more chances to score.”
Bellingham pulls the team along
The coach himself took a while to push his temporarily injured midfield players Brandt and Dahoud into the formation that has now been found, as a supplement to the already and almost always outstanding Jude Bellingham, who this time managed to make it 3-0 by Haaland in the meantime. At 18, the Englishman is already clearly the conductor in the BVB game. It almost doesn’t matter whether the rest of the team goes along with it, like on this evening, or not. Bellingham sums up the Dortmund game in a way that the coach would probably wish everyone else did.
So the young Englishman shows clear top player tendencies, currently still in the shadow of Erling Haaland, whom the 750 on the seat shells celebrated with amazing echoes, as if there were no corona restrictions. Haaland remains the acclaimed scorer, but after the game the young Norwegian lost himself in interview statements with his compatriot Jan-Aage Fjörtoft and for Norwegian television. The club, according to Haaland, is urging him to make decisions about his future, even though he actually only wants to play football. That’s why he has to make decisions now.
Dortmund believes they can keep Haaland
The usual murmurs of young football professionals, which you can hear that it was apparently influenced by the so-called environment. In fact, Dortmund bosses Michael Zorc and Hans-Joachim Watzke are urging their player and his advisors to make a commitment for the coming season as soon as possible. Haaland could be gone in the summer with a high transfer fee, Dortmund believes they can keep their top scorer at least until mid-2023, even with an increased fee.
If the worst comes to the worst, BVB wants clarity soon. You can’t replace someone like Haaland overnight. On this evening of the 5:1 against Freiburg, however, one had the impression for the first time that the rest of the BVB team would have won with any other top striker. Also a good insight in Dortmund’s constant search for sustainability. On Tuesday, the cup at the Millerntor will be against second-division FC St. Pauli. That should be reason enough for a real test of what appears to be a new attitude at BVB.