Eintracht Frankfurt – Borussia Dortmund 2 – 2 Tactical Analysis

Eintracht Frankfurt – Borussia Dortmund 2 – 2 Tactical Analysis

Eintracht Frankfurt – Borussia Dortmund 2 – 2 Tactical Analysis.

Borussia Dortmund’s and Peter Bosz’s honeymoon period is officially over. They have two draws and one loss in their last three matches in Bundesliga and Europe and have therefore surrendered their five-point lead over Bayern Munich, who are now joint first with.

A well-known vice from the past made its debut this season, as Dortmund squandered a two-goal lead, just to save the point in the end. It is true that Bosz has to deal with an injury-hit squad and his game style demands a lot of energy and commitment, so it seems natural that they will drop points throughout the season.

When you aspire to dethrone a giant like Bayern though, you have no room for excuses and this is something that the Dutch manager and his players have to learn to live with.


Eintracht Frankfurt – Hradecky / Russ – Hasebe – Abraham / Gacinovic – Boateng – Wolf – Chandler – Willems / Rebic – Haller.

Borussia Dortmund – Burki / Bartra – Weigl – Subotic – Toljan / Sahin – Castro – Gotze / Pulisic – Philipp – Aubameyang.

I don’t know when it will be the next time – if there is – that we will see these specific four men in Dortmund’s defence together again. It was a clear indicator of Bosz’s struggles with injuries and it only added up in his team’s recent defensive sloppiness. Bartra – an original center-back – played as a right-back, Weigl – defensive midfielder – played as a center-back and Subotic started for the first time this season.

It was obvious from the very beginning of the game that Niko Kovac had done some RB Leipzig Homework during his pre-game preparation. His players applied an intense pressing in their attacking third of the pitch, trying to make sure that Burki will not have any options near him to pass the ball. They also knew that Sahin and Castro are not the most energetic duo out there, so they would mark him closely and encourage a lot of long balls to their opponents.

Eintracht packed the central zone of the pitch, trying to lead Dortmund to play down the flanks, plus denying them short-passes combinations in dangerous areas, a style of play they are very efficient at.

They also kept a very solid defensive organization, especially in the midfield area, most of the times having one player near every opponent.

Of course, Dortmund is a team that will always try to press highly too, but Sahin and Castro aren’t the best facilitators for this and it has become very clear in the last games that they have played together.

During the first minutes of the game, when Eintracht won the ball they would – most of the times – attempt a long-ball or a cross, wanting to find their forwards behind Dortmund’s defenders back, but these efforts resulted in nothing.

Both defensive lines were quite high outside their box and many players were caught offside, as they tried to exploit the space left behind them.

Eintracht had in mind to take advantage of the fact that Bartra isn’t used to playing at the right, so they would try to find Rebic down their left flank when they had the ball.

Bartra wasn’t only comfortable enough when situations like the aforementioned occurred, but he also had the nerve to spread forward with or without the ball. Such a moment led to Dortmund’s first goal. Bartra found himself with the ball just outside the box, attempted a clumsy shot, which by luck found Sahin, who placed his foot exactly as needed to score.

Eintracht didn’t change their pressing approach, with Wolf being responsible for not allowing Sahin to receive the first pass in order to link play between Dortmund’s lines.

He along with Rebic and Haller would press their opponents in their defensive third of the pitch immediately after they lost possession, while their teammates would wait behind the center-line.

As time passed, Willems moved closer to Rebic, with the Croatian often going in a more central position, both to put more pressure on Bartra and chase Dortmund’s center-backs.

Bartra was really good though, showing some of his Barcelona education, with some fine passes and through-balls, which his teammates were unable to exploit.

In the 37th minute, Salcedo replaced Chandler due to an injury for the latter, a sub that didn’t change much, since they are both original right-backs.

In the first minutes of the second half, Dortmund had some potentially good chances, but they fell at the feet of other players rather than Aubameyang, who would have better chances to finish them.

On the other hand, Rebic managed to move nicely behind Dortmund’s defence, but failed to score in the 54th minute.

Two minutes later, Dortmund players found themselves in a rare position where they had the chance to create a two-vs-one situation in the center of the pitch, steal the ball and then attack against a disorganized defence, with Philipp scoring a nice goal from a few inches inside the box.

Dortmund seemed to solidify a good lead, but that wasn’t the case.

Bosz’s men sat deeper after their second goal, leaving possession to their opponents, assuming that they could find a counter attack for their third – and game-ending – goal.

Eintracht were able to take advantage of their retreat instead, by keeping on attempting long-balls, which were barely contested now. One of them found Rebic alone inside the box and Burki knocked him down with a poor effort, giving away a penalty, converted by Haller.

Now Eintracht were back in the game and Dortmund had to control the game, unless they wanted even bigger trouble.

Pulisic – who once again couldn’t make much of an impact – wasted a great chance right after that and Eintracht, now spreading forward with confidence, managed to equalise.

Gacinovic received the ball uncovered in the midfield area, had all the time he wanted to examine his options and found Wolf with a brilliant through-ball, who moved nicely behind the defence to score.

For the next twenty-five minutes both teams had their chances to win the game, but some poor finishing – or good goalkeeping if you want – kept the score at 2 – 2 until the end.


For one more time, Dortmund dominated possession by a huge difference (37.8% – 62.2%), but failed to win. This happened because they remain unstable at the back, which is partly a result of the injuries they are having from the start of the season. They have surrendered two penalties in their last two Bundesliga outings – one coming with a red card – which is a sign of bad concentration and misplacement.

Peter Bosz has to improve this certain part of his team’s performance if he wants to keep competing for the title until the end.