In the final week of Advent, the football club Borussia Dortmund is no different than most people: they are in total Christmas stress. After seven Bundesliga games with just one win, BVB sports director Sebastian Kehl said on Tuesday evening shortly before kick-off of the home game against FSV Mainz 05 on Sky broadcaster: “We have pressure on us.”
The pressure has now increased further. When the last game of the year ended in a 1-1 (1-1) draw, which was extremely disappointing for Dortmund, a shrill whistle was heard in the stadium as an acoustic pressure indicator. Only seven of a possible 24 points from the last eight games distance BVB further from the important Champions League places and also complicate the position of coach Edin Terzic. The media recently claimed that he no longer had the entire squad behind him due to his controversial playing style. Kehl, however, had assured before (!) the game that Terzic’s relationship with the team was “still good!”
In any case, captain Emre Can laughed annoyed after the game when Sky repeatedly asked him about his relationship with the coach. This is “good, we made progress in the Champions League, it’s not always the coach’s fault. It has nothing to do with him if the ball hits the crossbar and doesn’t go into the goal.”
Julian Brandt articulated his frustration: “For me it’s basically about the situation, it’s not easy,” said the BVB national player on the TV station Sat.1. “It sucks, if you’re honest. It always sucks going into the break with a draw or a loss.”
It was a special Tuesday for Dortmund in several ways. Exactly 114 years after the Borussia ball game club was founded on December 19th, 1909, exactly 206 days after BVB lost its ninth championship title with a 2-2 draw against Mainz on May 27th, six days after they lost 1st place :1 against Paris Saint-Germain had an impressive group win in the Champions League and two days after 73,000 happy people set a world record for Christmas singing in the Dortmund football stadium, BVB ended an extremely changeable year with bitter disappointment.
Although Dortmund were missing four relevant players with Karim Adeyemi, Youssoufa Moukoko, Felix Nmecha and Julian Ryerson injured, two other relevant players, Marco Reus and Niklas Süle, initially only sat on the bench. Borussia still acted dominantly in the first half, but because Dortmund’s Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (8th) and Marcel Sabitzer (31st) only hit the crossbar and because 14 minutes after Julian Brandt’s free kick goal made it 1-0 (29th). After Sepp van den Berg (43′) got Mainz to a surprising 1-1 equalizer, they went into the locker room tied.
At the beginning of the second half, Dortmund’s Christmas stress increased even further, and that was clearly noticeable in the black and yellow performance. The Borussia team now looked nervous and nervous. In defense, Süle, who came on as a substitute for the apparently ailing Mats Hummels, had a lot to do against the brash Mainz team. Things didn’t get any better when Sebastien Haller and Samuel Bamba came on as substitutes for Niclas Füllkrug and Bynoe-Gittens. BVB played reverently, which was fitting for Advent, but not for trying to get a place in the Champions League. Reus surprisingly stayed out until the end. The supposed winning goal by Giovanni Reyna in the 90th minute fell victim to an offside position. Dortmund next play in Darmstadt on January 13th. By then the pressure on the boiler is likely to become even greater.