Talking Points from FC Magdeburg 0-5 Borussia Dortmund
Facing a disappointing run of form, Dortmund responded almost as loudly as the home crowd with a 5-0 victory over third division Magdeburg in the DFB Pokal on Tuesday night. On the day after CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke described talk of a crisis as “sick”, the club finally showed the depth and promise of a title contender, albeit against a lesser opponent. Magdeburg has a proud history and is the more decorated side from the former East Germany, but on this day adding to the club’s lore was not to be.
The Black and Yellow had the first chance early, as in the third minute Maximilian Philipp powered a shot off the upright. The rebound bounced back to the visitors and Magdeburg keeper Alexander Brunst made an impressive save from an Alexander Isak attempt. After this, the game settled into a stalemate for most of the first-half. The visitors looked disjointed on their passing and the Magdeburg press did just enough to prevent BVB from building sustained pressure. In fact, as we approached halftime, the visitors looked like a team in poor form with no answers, similar to how they had looked in recent matches. Adding injury to insult, Mahmoud Dahoud came off in the 40th minute after being hit in the back and indicating he was dizzy; the German youth international had been battling illness prior to the match.
Dreams of momentum for the home side going into the half were quickly dashed as substitute Gonzalo Castro put BVB on the board. Andrey Yarmolenko whipped in a cross from the right that found Alexander Isak. The forward bumped the ball into the path of Castro who skillfully pushed the ball past Brunst for the first goal. Any hopes of a comeback were dashed in the 47th minute. Gaining possession after a Magdeburg corner, Isak starts a break and is the recipient of a final pass from Philipp that he slots under Brunst for a second goal. For this point, BVB asserted control and slowly played out the match. Late goals from Yarmolenko (pen), Bartra, and Kagawa led to a lopsided scoreline.
Here are three talking points from a much-needed thrashing:
Schurrle, Guerreiro, and Schmelzer Return to Boost Depth
Both Andre Schurrle and Raphael Guerreiro featured in the second-half of this match, which was positive news for Peter Bosz’s men. Guerreiro, of course, had been out since July while Schurrle had battled a thigh injury. Both moved well and looked healthy when playing. More poignantly was captain Marcel Schmelzer getting the start against the club where he played as a youth. The full-back had featured against APOEL last week and has looked good in his return to the starting XI. If all three players are healthy and can contribute at a high level, BVB’s depth is immensely boosted. With so many injuries suffered in recent matches – and another one tonight potentially with Dahoud coming off early – Dortmund will need world class players to contribute from the bench to survive a brutal upcoming schedule. By making seven changes coming in to the match, Bosz showed that he wants to rotate his players to survive three competitions.
Alexander Isak Earns a Man of the Match Nod
Playing in the place of a rested Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the young Swede was a constant threat in this match. In addition to setting up the first goal and scoring the second, his vision allowed him to constantly dribble away from pressure and find the right teammates to create scoring opportunities. He showed the elements a manager wants in a young forward – knack for creating scoring chances and a desire to work hard. In only his fourth appearance across all competitions, Isak looks like he could be a key contributor this season.
FC Magdeburg Are in the Running for Best Fans in Germany
The atmosphere at the MDCC-Arena was intense. Even down by 5 goals in the waning minutes, the home crowd were chanting loudly. Even before the teams came onto the pitch, the supporter’s section was singing loudly. Then when both sides came out, they were greeted with this:
FC Magdeburg have just put on this display to welcome Dortmund to their ground 😳
They play in Germany’s third tier… pic.twitter.com/vCawecOXAt
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) October 24, 2017
It may not have affected the final result, but the effort will earn Magdeburg respect and maybe a few new fans around the world.