Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s return to the starting line-up was a disappointing one as Borussia Dortmund were held to a 2-2 draw at home to a mid-table SC Freiburg side at the Westfalenstadion.
A double from Freiburg captain Nils Petersen, (the second a sensational strike from 40 yards), was enough to cancel out Shinji Kagawa’s early opener in the first half before full-back Jeremy Toljan spared his side’s blushes with a last-minute equaliser.
Dortmund had started the game well and had got their just rewards when Japan international Shinji Kagawa smartly finished with an acrobatic strike after the away side were unable to clear the ball away on numerous occasions.
This early goal gave Dortmund a lot of confidence and looked much more threatening going forward than their opponents, with the game almost looking like a defence vs attack drill.
But just like in their last two fixtures had been unable to capitalise on their dominance and find another goal that would give them breathing room, they would be punished for this not long after.
In what was one of their first attacks of the game, Freiburg would equalise in the 21st minute after Janik Haberer cut the ball back for Petersen to smash the ball past Burki at his near post for his 9th goal of the season.
This goal shocked and silenced many of the ‘Yellow Wall’ who couldn’t quite believe their side had been pegged back after playing so well in the first 20 minutes.
After missing his side’s last two games against Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a point to prove to the home supporters after coming back into the starting line-up following whispers of a move to Arsenal had lingered for several weeks.
For a man who had scored 21 goals in 23 games this season, he just didn’t look himself today and it was clear that his mind was elsewhere with his only chance coming in the 32nd minute.
Full-back Lukasz Piszczek’s inviting cross is met by Aubameyang but his header went just over the bar from about 7 yards out.
Fans were clearly not impressed by what they saw from Aubameyang with the Gabonese forward being booed when he picked up the ball.
Following Freiburg’s equaliser, the game seemed to level out with both sides beginning to threaten the other and it was no surprise to see the sides go in 1-1 at half-time.
The second-half started much tighter with both sides looking for a moment of brilliance to spark the game into life and fans watching the game would be treated to just this, although it would come courtesy of that man, Petersen, again.
Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin cheaply conceded possession just in front of the midway mark, Petersen already full of confidence having already scored used his striker’s instinct to catch Roman Burki off his line before shooting from at least 40 yards to clip the ball over the Switzerland international from a long, long way out.
This sensational goal sparked Freiburg into life and left Dortmund deflated after working so hard to look for their second of the game and as the longer the game went on, the more bodies Dortmund would send forward to find an equaliser.
Just as it looked like they would fall victims to an embarrassing defeat at home to Freiburg, full-back Jeremy Toljan steps up for his side for what was a perhaps lucky, but well-deserved goal.
Substitute Andriy Yarmolenko’s cross was initially headed away by Freiburg before Toljan tried his luck with a first-time volley just inside the penalty area which catches Rafał Gikiewicz in the Freiburg goal off guard and goes through his legs before he can react in time.
Even though Dortmund were able to find an equaliser in the final minute of the game, this didn’t mean anything to fans who clearly felt they should’ve got more from the game with a chilled reaction at full-time.
This result means Dortmund have now three league games without a win and three consecutive draws is not the sort of form you want to be in if you’re pushing for titles and European glory. Dortmund move up to 5th place and play Koln next but have a game more than rivals Bayer Leverkusen who play Mainz at home tomorrow.
Freiburg meanwhile should take pride of their efforts today and had it not been for a late equaliser for Toljan in the final minute would’ve been fully deserved of the victory but should still be happy with the performance and draw from today’s game. They remain in 12th place and look forward to their game against Dortmund’s rivals Leverkusen at home next.