Talking Points from Borussia Dortmund 1 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur

Talking Points from Borussia Dortmund 1 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur

Dortmund’s faint Champions League hopes were snuffed out on Tuesday by virtue of a 2-1 loss the Spurs. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, back from a team suspension, was a threat in the first-half and broke the scoreless tie in the 31st minute with a goal involving a good bit of skill. However, the second half belonged to Spurs and it was England’s Harry Kane who equalized in the 49th minute after a turnover by Jeremy Toljan. Dele Alli tortured the Dortmund defence a half hour later and found Son for the game-winning score. Now Dortmund have one match left in the group stage to avoid the disgrace of finishing last in the group. These are the match’s talking points.

The Yellow Wall Has Been Breached Too Often

Westfalnstadion has rightly earned its reputation for one of, if not the best, atmosphere in all football. However, the team on the pitch has not lived up to the reputation. The last time Spurs faced the Black and Yellow, the North London side came to Dortmund and left 5-1 losers on aggregate. This time, the result has actually not been that surprising when you look at the club’s home results since August. Tuesday’s loss was their fifth straight match without a win in all competitions; their last victory was the comfortable 6-1 victory over Gladbach on September 23. The only draw in that stretch was the abysmal one to APOEL. Those five matches were against some of the best clubs in the world (and APOEL) but for a club that aspires to being a league and continental power, three points at home is almost a must.

Another Game, Another Poor Showing By the Defence

To his credit, Roman Burki responded to maybe his worst game of the season against Stuttgart with a strong showing. A few reflex saves in this match maybe hid Spurs’ dominance, especially in the second half. Instead, there were obvious deficiencies in the backline and overall poor team defending that again led to a poor result. The first goal looked familiar to Dortmund fans, as Toljan was simply stripped by Danny Rose and Dortmund struggled to transition from offence to defence against one of the most lethal scoring clubs in the world. A few minutes later it was Marc Bartra who rifled a clearance right to a Spurs player that, if not for a Burki save, would have put the tie to bed earlier in the half. Instead, Spurs toyed with Dortmund and a draw looked like it would have been the positive result. This is especially disappointing considering Bosz started Raphael Guerreiro up front instead of scoring threat Max Philipp.

Injuries Mounting at an Inopportune Time

It seems that every time a player has a spell of good form, they pick up a knock. Such as it is for Roman Burki, who recovered well as mentioned above but finished the match in the locker room after suffering an injury near the end of the match. A called-for keeper switch made now be necessary for a match. Joining him on the trainer’s table is Dan-Axel Zagadou, starting in place of an injured Sokratis. When you consider Christian Pulisic missed the match with an injury and the other players out long-term, the club could again be facing a lack of depth.

Is Bosz Finally Losing the Bootroom?

Two post-match quotes:

Bosz – “After they equalised you could see that my players simply didn’t have the self-belief to keep going.”

Castro – “The last few weeks have taken their toll on us, so when they made it 1-1 it was kind of a killer blow. If we knew what was wrong we’d have fixed it a long time ago.”