Talking Points from APOEL 1-1 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly APOEL in their UCL Group Stage match, which left their hopes of progressing to the knockout round hanging by a thread. Mickael Pote and Sokratis cancelled out each other’s goal within 5 minutes as Dortmund scraped a draw.
Borussia Dortmund came into the match after a poor game against RB Leipzig, and Peter Bosz was desperate to raise his side’s morale in this must-win game. However, the visitors had a pathetic start to the game as they could only manage one shot on target in the first half. And while travelling fans were hoping to see their team charged up after the break, they were disappointed to see their team concede on the hour mark. Roman Burki made an awful error as his pass went straight to an APOEL player on the edge of his own box. He saved the shot but then spilled it in the path of Pote who didn’t make any mistake in putting the ball in an open net. However, Dortmund had something to rejoice as Sokratis headed the ball into the net from a Mario Gotze cross. The visitors tried their best but the resilient APOEL defence did everything and managed to keep the Dortmund players at bay. Kagawa had a long-range shot saved by the keeper and clipped the post while Bartra somehow missed an open goal with the match’s last kick, but chances were rare and few in the second half.
Here are the Major Talking Points from the match-
UCL Dream Almost Over
This was a must win match for Borussia Dortmund, but they failed to beat even a weak opponent. And having lost the opening two games, they are now six points adrift of both Tottenham and Real Madrid. Even winning all three remaining matches couldn’t be enough as both Madrid and Tottenham require only 4 points from their remaining three games. And it’s quite obvious, even if not mathematically yet, that it’s now time to prepare for life in the Europa League.
Pressure on Bosz?
This loss has led to an increased pressure on an already under-fire boss who has failed to guide his side to a single win in the UCL this season. Critics have already been quick to point out that Dortmund haven’t been able to register a win against any top opponent, and after a pathetic performance against Leipzig this Saturday, fans wanted to see a positive change but what they saw here was a turmoil. It’s not a surprise that fingers are being pointed at the man at the helm, particularly because he failed to win against a weak opposition even with a full strength team.
Burki Underperforms on the big stage, yet again
Roman Burki has had a good two seasons at the club, but still, it wasn’t surprising when Dortmund were being linked with players like Areola and Leno in the summer transfer window. Why? Because even though Burki’s good, he isn’t consistent enough and has time and again underperformed where it matters, in the big games. This was his third poor outing in the UCL in a row, and maybe its time for Bosz to turn to veteran Weidenfeller and rest Burki, who looks out of confidence at the moment.