Borussia Dortmund is temporarily at the top of the table after beating 1. FC Köln, but first has to prove itself in the top game in Munich after the international break. Despite the tense personnel situation, Edin Terzic can also rely on almost all of his players – but one problem child remains. The findings on the BVB triumph.
BVB overwhelmed Cologne, who were overwhelmed for long stretches of the game, 6-1, and several Dortmunders drummed their own drums.
Meanwhile, the title race with FC Bayern is coming to a head. The record champions can take the lead again on Sunday with a draw in Leverkusen. A win would separate the two rivals by two points before the duel on April 1 after the upcoming international break. So everything is set for the big showdown.
BVB: Possibly the last chance for the championship for the time being
“I know it’s a very exciting topic. We want people to enjoy watching us play,” said Edin Terzic about the BVB fans, who loudly celebrated their heart club during and after the game. “Of course that’s really good for us.”
At the same time, however, the coach also limited that Dortmund had not been in first place at the end of a match day since 2019 and asked: “So what right should we now say that we are at the top on match day 34?” Even if that doesn’t mean that his team won’t do everything they can to break Bayern’s long-standing dominance.
“We still have to prove that, last week it didn’t go so well and we have our next chance in two weeks. Then we want to show a really good game,” added Terzic, describing unintentionally with his very cautious choice of words in the direction of the German record champions the problem that has sometimes cost BVB another championship trophy in recent years after 2012: Borussia hid in the crucial moments, which was particularly evident in the direct duels against Bayern.
In the last ten Bundesliga clashes, BVB lost eight times – sometimes clearly – as a loser. The last win was in November 2018 (3:2), in the first half of the season a last-minute goal resulted in a happy division of points. When things got really serious in the past, Dortmund often showed scaredy-cat football despite different starting positions – such as in 2019, when they carelessly gambled away a lead of nine points or in places when they finally deserved to be knocked out in the Champions League against FC Chelsea.
On April 1st, BVB not only has a chance, as Terzic says, but THE ONE. Borussia not only have to “prove” themselves in Munich, they have to deliver! Especially since it is anything but certain how Dortmund will be in the coming years.
BVB: Edin Terzic can also rely on almost all players
Veteran players like Mats Hummels or Marco Reus are either signing the last contract of their careers or possibly leaving the club. Jude Bellingham could become the number one transfer target in Europe this summer and the future of a number of other players is also uncertain. It is almost certain that BVB will have to restructure at least partially in the summer.
However, the game against Cologne also showed that the omens are a bit different than in the recent past when BVB had Bayern in front of their chests. Despite the absence of six top performers (Julian Brandt, Karim Adeyemi, Gregor Kobel, Salih Özcan, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Emre Can), the players who recently played irregularly were also convincing.
“Everyone wants to play, the squad is big enough. The lads who play can show what they’re capable of,” predicted Kevin Grosskreutz minutes before kick-off sky-Microphone and should be right.
For example Mahmoud Dahoud, who was in the starting XI again after seven months and immediately shone as the tone setter in the three-man midfield – even though he is already certain that his contract, which is due to expire in the summer, will not be extended. Or Donyell Malen, who looks back on another sobering season and, with one goal and two assists, played one of his best games for BVB since moving from Eindhoven.
With 28 out of a possible 30 points from the last ten Bundesliga games, which Terzic proudly emphasized, BVB must now demonstrate in Munich that they are ready for the title. That’s why the coach allowed himself to be carried away to a small declaration of war: “It’s nice that we can start the last third of the season in such a way that it’s about the sausage. We want to use that too.”
BVB vs. FC Bayern: The last ten Bundesliga duels
|28th matchday in the 2017/18 season||Bayern Munich – BVB||6-0|
|11th matchday in the 2018/19 season||BVB vs Bayern Munich||3:2|
|28th matchday in the 2018/19 season||Bayern Munich – BVB||5-0|
|11th matchday in the 2019/20 season||Bayern Munich – BVB||4-0|
|28th matchday in the 2019/20 season||BVB vs Bayern Munich||0:1|
|7th matchday in the 2020/21 season||BVB vs Bayern Munich||2:3|
|24th matchday in the 2020/21 season||Bayern Munich – BVB||4:2|
|14th matchday in the 2021/22 season||BVB vs Bayern Munich||2:3|
|31st matchday in the 2021/22 season||Bayern Munich – BVB||3:1|
|9th matchday in the 2022/23 season||BVB vs Bayern Munich||2:2|
BVB must extend with Reus and Guerreiro
In addition to Dahoud and Malen, two Dortmunders whose contracts expire in the summer also knew how to convince: Marco Reus and Raphaël Guerreiro.
The latter once again benefited from his new position as eighth in the half-space. With one goal and two assists, the Portuguese once again impressively demonstrated his offensive qualities, which he often lacked as a left-back this season and which increasingly made negative headlines due to weaknesses in defense.
Before and shortly after the World Cup, Guerreiro was clearly saying goodbye, but he is now an important piece of the puzzle for Terzic’s midfield idea with a clear midfielder and two central midfielders behind the attacking three-man line. That is why those responsible around sports director Sebastian Kehl are said to have made friends with the idea of extending the working paper with the 29-year-old.
according to the Ruhr news both parties would currently be in close contact. A decision should be made promptly. With Guerreiro’s influence in his new role, anything less than continued employment would be a mistake.
Clarity should soon prevail at Reus. Even before the top game against Bayern, BVB wants to decide whether the 33-year-old will stay in the Ruhr area for at least another year.
Reus himself made it clear after the Cologne game that there was only one option for him. “I would like to end my career here,” said the captain, who reportedly has to accept a considerable drop in salary if his contract is extended. Supposedly he should only earn half instead of twelve million euros in the future.
At the latest after the triumph over Cologne, it should be clear: Even with a smaller salary cut, Dortmund would be well advised to extend with Reus. The national player can take over a game with his class at any time. Between the lines, Terzic also spoke out in favor of staying: “Of course you want everything to be decided early on.”
Like Guerreiro, Reus did a lot of self-promotion. In addition to his two goals, which made him the club’s sole record goalscorer, the former Gladbacher shone with some space-opening passes. Apart from a new contract, Reus is longing for his first championship trophy.
“It was important to be top of the table again and to put some pressure on. And then we have a really great game in front of us in two weeks,” he said, looking forward to the Bayern game. With the knowledge of a secure future, Reus would probably be a little more focused in the cracker.
BVB: Anthony Modeste was a huge misunderstanding
“From a sporting point of view, he should have stayed with us. That would have been best for everyone,” said FC coach Steffen Baumgart about his former striker Anthony Modeste before the game, hitting the nail on the head.
After around two-thirds of the season, it can be said with certainty: Modeste’s transfer to BVB was a huge misunderstanding. In 26 appearances and more than 1,200 minutes of playing time, the Frenchman has only managed two goals and one assist. In addition, he seems like a foreign body in almost every game.
Modeste joined Dortmund in the summer as a short-term solution for Sébastien Haller, who was suffering from testicular cancer, but apart from his goal to equalize against Bayern in a 2-2 draw in the first half of the season, he was rarely able to demonstrate his skills.
While he was regularly fed with crosses in Cologne, BVB’s attacking game is based on a completely different approach. Even when Haller, who is three centimeters taller, is on the pitch, high crosses rarely fly through the opposing penalty area. In contrast to Modeste, the Ivorian can regularly tie balls and serve his teammates.
Terzic also recognized early on that Modeste is only an option as a joker in tight games or even more in games that have long been decided. He hasn’t been in the starting XI since October 1, while Youssoufa Moukoko, who was still 17 at the time, had overtaken him in the first half of the season.
In the summer they will part ways. In the end, BVB will end up with a big loss in the double-digit million range, if you add the undoubtedly lavish salary to the 5.1 million euros transfer fee. And Modest? That threatens a quiet farewell from the Bundesliga.
As with his first Cologne departure to China, he is said to be following the call of money again. His advisors are rumored to be working on a move to Saudi Arabia. Al-Hilal is said to have offered him an annual salary of over seven million euros after scoring 23 competitive goals in the previous season. It is at least questionable whether the paycheck will be as big after this year.
BVB: The games after the international break
|date and venue||Opponent|
|Sat., April 1, 6.30 p.m. (Allianz Arena)||FC Bayern (Bundesliga)|
|Wed., April 5th 8.45 p.m. (Red Bull Arena)||RB Leipzig (DFB Cup)|
|Sat 8 April 3:30 p.m. (Signal Iduna Park)||Union Berlin (Bundesliga|